Mobile apps have taken the world by a storm and there seems to be no end to their popularity and utility.
It’s no surprise that becoming a mobile app developer has become a lucrative career option over the past few years. Software engineers, in general, rank higher on the quality of life metrics and enjoy higher pay scales.
But, how much do app developers really earn?
Whether you are considering pursuing mobile app development as a career option or are actively looking out for job opportunities in the field, having an idea about the salary range for mobile app developers can lead to better career choices.
Estimating mobile developer salary is no longer a straight-forward task.
Computation of the remuneration rates of mobile application developers involves a number of factors which need to be considered.
Knowing the average salary of an app developer would help you determine your current and future net worth and also be instrumental in having salary negotiations with app development companies when applying for a job. While salaries isn’t always a motivating factor, it would be helpful to know where you stand in the market though.
Factors affecting app developer salary
1. Platform and Programming Languages
Android and iOS constitute more than 90 percent of the current mobile platforms but developing for each of them is vastly different. In the US, the salary of an iOS developer is comparable to that of an Android developer but the popularity and prevalence of each mobile platform vary significantly.
The Apple vs Android war extends to development as well. Let’s delve into the strengths of weaknesses of both to help you make this vital choice.
- iOS developers: For developing a native iOS app, you need to be well versed in Objective-C/ Swift programming language. In the US, the demand for Apple devices wins over Android but on a global scale, Android is the more popular platform. App development companies that hire iOS developers shell out more for iOS development as compared to Android for the US.
- Android developers: Java is the core language for Android platform. The fact that android apps are accessible from a greater number of mobile devices and the Google play store is less restrictive than the Apple app store is a huge plus for companies that target android app development and hire Android app developers.
- Cross-platform developers: Developing both Android and iOS native apps is a time consuming and resource intensive process. A lot of startups and enterprises that want to target both the platforms simultaneously thus turn towards hybrid app development. Using cross-platform programming languages like React Native, Flutter, Xamarin etc, an app with a shared codebase can be developed which can be deployed across the various mobile platforms at the same time. Cross-platform developers specializing in these languages is also a high-paying career option for app developers to pursue.
2. Geographical location
There is a huge variation in the global pay rates of mobile app developers based on the country or region you are based in. An app developer based in the United States would receive a significantly higher salary than one based out of any Asian country.
According to Indeed, App developer salaries are the highest in the US where the average yearly salary of a mobile developer is $105,220 per year. India reportedly has one of the lowest salaries offered on a global scale with the average salary close to $4,100 per year.
Even within the US, there is a huge disparity in the pay scale on the basis of the location. Cities like New York, Houston, San Francisco offer higher salaries than the national average while Philadelphia and Columbus etc range lower than the national average salary.
A lot of factors including the cost of living expenses and demand-supply ratio in a particular area affect the actual salary.
It is also to be noted that while the global discrepancy in the salaries may seem high, the actual salary received is still higher than the average per-capita income in that region. So considering the per capita income in India is $1670, the average application developer salary of $4100 a year seems a lucrative offer indeed. The same is the case all over the world.
3. Level of experience
The base salary of a mobile applications developer is directly related to the years of experience. The entry level salary is understandably lower than what would be expected at a junior developer or a senior developer level.
According to Ziprecruiter, the average entry-level mobile application developer salary in the US is $78,914. With the developer acquires more experience over the course of years, the salary spikes upwards.
4. Education qualifications and certifications
While app development is a dynamic field with new innovations and updates taking place constantly, the importance of formal education in the form of bachelor’s and master’s degrees in computer science, software engineering or other related fields hasn’t diminished.
While it is required by some companies that the candidates have formal degrees, it isn’t mandatory for all. Self-taught coders are also flourishing in their development careers. There are also a number of certifications and online courses which can be pursued to excel in your technology of choice.
Whether you are looking for full-time work opportunities, remote working jobs or freelance gigs, there is no shortage of opportunities in the mobile app development space. App development companies are constantly on the lookout for talented developers with the skill set that matches the company’s requirements.
What matters at the end of the day are your skills, a business understanding of how mobile app development works and constant updating of knowledge to stay relevant in the rapidly changing world of apps.
The ever increasing demand for skilled developers combined with growing number of mobility initiatives in enterprise space as well as SMBs and startups has given the app market the propulsion that it needed.
The demand of skilled mobile app developers is constantly on the rise. Incorporation of advancement in technology like artificial and virtual reality, internet of things, artificial intelligence and machine learning is only going to drive it upwards.
While there is no dearth of opportunities and job openings for a skilled developer in the mobile app space, closing of ever increasing demand-supply gap between requirements and recruitment takes more than just coding skills.