Mobile apps have gelled so well with our lifestyles; there doesn’t seem to be an end to their relevance or popularity. With disruptive technologies like augmented reality, mobile app developers have more tricks and tools to innovate and fascinate users.
Not surprisingly, becoming an app developer is an extremely lucrative career with more opportunities available than the current inflow of talents could possibly fill.
Yet, many remain unclear about a mobile app developer’s salary. So here we are, confirming the salaries of mobile developers, around the world and across multiple platforms and levels of experience.
How Much Do App Developers Make?
Mobile app developers can wear many hats during their career lifetime. They can be entrepreneurs publishing apps on the app stores, or working for an organization as a developer, or sharing their expertise as a freelance app developer.
By 2023, the worldwide mobile app revenue generation is expected to hit US$935.2 billion, almost double of what 2019 brought about. Although games are the most popular and profitable category, app developers can utilise multiple app monetization methods to profit from apps of any category.
App creators can be further divided into three categories – independent developers, medium-sized studios, and large-sized studios. More than 55% of the large studios make a monthly revenue of US$10,000 or more, with an average monthly income of US$44,000.
On the other hand, medium-sized studios generate an average monthly revenue of US$7,500, whereas independent developers make US$1,500.
Also, the top 200 apps make around US$82,500 per day on average, whereas the top 8000 apps make nearly US$3,5000 per day. And in terms of geographical location, Asian developers reap the highest revenue from apps.
If you are keen to know more about how much developers can earn from apps, read our guide on how much do apps make.
How Much Do Freelance App Developers Make?
Unlike salaried developers, freelance app developers earn hourly or contractual rates. And the figures are entirely dependent on the skills, experience, and area of residence of the developer.
In most cases, freelancers earn quite a lot more than the salaried developers. Here’s a table that represents the average hourly rates of freelance developers with respect to their area of expertise and residence.
Read our article on freelance developers to know more about how and where freelancers are hired in 2020.
Mobile App Developer Salary 2020
When working as an employee of an organisation, the mobile app developer salary can be quite predictable. This is primarily because most companies stick to specific parameters before evaluating the worth of a developer.
On a global scale, American developers are paid the highest, with Asian countries like India and Indonesia on the lower end of the spectrum. However, when considering the per capita income of nations, mobile app developers earn fancy figures.
Of course, one can never be entirely precise, and so, let’s look at the different factors that affect an app developer’s salary.
Android and iOS form 99% of the mobile operating system market share. So it makes sense to be a mobile developer for either of the platforms and preferably not both. By concentrating on a single platform, you will be able to learn more in-depth about a single platform and not become a jack of all trades and a master of none.
Further, a mobile app developer can develop cross-platform apps, which significantly reduces the development time as compared to native apps. Let’s take a look at how much app developers earn from each of these platforms.
iOS Developer Salary
An iOS developer must have impeccable expertise in programming languages such as Swift, Objective-C and Xcode. In the US, 58.17% of smartphones are iPhones.
The average iOS developer salary in the United States is US$86,772 per year.
Android Developer Salary
Globally, Android apps are in more demand as it runs on 87% of all smartphones. An android app developer must be a master of Java or Kotlin. Apart from the US and Japan, citizens of almost every other country in the world use an Android smartphone, meaning Android developers are in high demand.
The average Android developer salary in the United States is US$86,607 per year.
Cross-Platform Developer Salary
Compared to native apps, cross-platform app development takes less time to develop and is ideal for companies having a tight deadline. Cross-platform app developers must be well-versed in programming languages such as Flutter, React Native and Xamarin.
The average salary of a cross-platform mobile app developer in the United States is between US$91,548 to US$127,170 per year.
2. Geographical Location
The geographical location is probably one of the most significant determinants of mobile app developer salary. And the disparity between countries is so evident that an Indonesian developer’s yearly salary may be lesser than the monthly salary of an American developer.
On average, an American iOS developer earns US$150 per hour, whereas an Indonesian iOS developer earns around US$10 per hour. Similarly, the mobile app developer salary per hour of an American Android developer is US$168, whereas an Indian Android developer earns US$26 per hour on average.
Mobile developer salary differs even among different states or cities of a country. For example, the average mobile developer salary in NYC is US$142,199 per year, whereas the mobile developer salary in Arizona is US$105,633 per year.
From the above image, it can be derived that an Android developer in San Francisco earns 44% more than the national average. However, an Android developer in Chicago earns 2% lesser than the national average.
Coming back to the differences between developer salaries among nationalities, the main reason for such large disparity can be related to the cost of living. Living expenses in Indonesia is significantly lower than in the US.
The mobile app developer salary is also dependent on the experience an individual has. The salary difference between senior-level developers and developers with lesser experience are apparent, whereas there isn’t much difference among entry-level or junior-level developers.
Entry-Level Mobile Developer Salary
Mobile app developers who just got into the industry are deemed to be entry-level developers. In most cases, these developers will have minimal experience in the domain and will probably be focusing on learning than earning.
Most companies keep a developer in the entry-level position for nearly three months (or even two years) before being promoted to junior level. However, passionate developers who are self-learners may directly get into the junior level position while onboarding.
In the United States, an entry-level Android developer earns an average salary of US$76,000 per year. On the other hand, an entry-level iOS developer earns around US$77,000 in the United States.
Junior-Level Mobile Developer Salary
A junior-level app developer can be someone who has enough experience to join a company without the need for much training. These developers can be freelance app developers who have established expertise in the industry or university graduates who gained experience by working in independent projects or internships.
Since a junior developer knows the basics and how things work in the industry, they will probably be quick learners. Although it is common knowledge that mobile app development is a vast topic with new things to learn every day, companies are more likely to trust junior developers with critical tasks, in comparison with entry-level developers.
A junior-level Android developer earns around US$98,000 per year in the United States, whereas a junior iOS developer earns around US$103,000.
Mid-Level Mobile Developer Salary
A mid-level developer is someone who has experience of 6-8 years in mobile app development. A majority of the experienced developers you see around will be mid-level developers, considering that both the Android and iOS operating systems have been in the industry for a little more than a decade.
These developers will know almost everything there is to know about the industry and will be leading the entry-level and junior developers. They are technically strong and capable of solving nearly every complex problem. This level of developers will also be capable of differentiating a working app and a good app.
In the United States, a mid-level Android developer earns around US$114,000 per year, whereas a mid-level iOS app developer earns nearly US$117,000 per year.
Senior-Level Mobile Developer Salary
It is said that the leap from mid-level developer to senior-level developer happens when a developer realises there is even more to learn than they ever comprehended. They will be more inclined to think of a problem in the logical level than from a programming perspective, as they know anything logically solvable will surrender under their coding prowess.
They are effective team players and will be more concerned about the end product, its scalability and usability. However, in the development industry, senior-level developers are seen to be those individuals who have more than 20 years of experience.
Since the dominant mobile operating systems came into existence only a decade ago (iOS in 2007 and Android in 2008), any developer who has spent ten years or more of their career is seen to be a senior developer. Of course, there are many other attributes, such as skills and number of projects completed that adds to the seniority of developers.
In the US, the average senior mobile developer salary of an iOS developer is US$125,000 per year. On the other hand, a senior Android developer earns around US$130,000 on average.
4. Education and Certifications
Although formal degrees play a crucial role in corporate recruitment, it isn’t mandatory at all to become a developer. Many of the top developers you see around the world will probably be self-taught coders who have one thing in common – an immeasurable passion for mobile app development.
There are plenty of free online app development courses available for beginners, some of which are offered by the creators of the respective mobile operating systems. Even if you are an established developer, completing online certification courses can give a significant boost to your salaries.
Becoming an app developer can be enjoyable or a struggle, and it depends on how passionate you are about mobile apps. And if you are a newbie wondering how to become a mobile app developer, the answer is simple – read our comprehensive guide on it.
But one thing is for sure – it is a highly lucrative career that is going to gain even more prevalence in the coming years as, by 2021, around half of the world’s population will be having a smartphone.
The average mobile app developer salary stated in this article only tells a story. It can significantly change depending on the skills you possess. If you are planning to expand your skill set to include cutting edge technologies like artificial intelligence in mobile app development, your value will be unimaginably above the industry average.