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Over the past few years, offshore software development has experienced an exponential growth. Working with outstanding specialists who are based abroad is now possible thanks to this tried-and-true business technique.

While huge corporations utilize this strategy to expand their current staff and broaden their worldwide reach, small firms use it to reduce development costs. The average hourly rate for employing software developers as of December 2022 can range from $18 to $90.

This article contains a summary of recruiting costs for software developers and the hourly rate for software development in 2023 for the major outsourcing nations.

What is the Hourly Rate for Software Development?

Defining your demands is the first step in figuring out how much it will cost to engage a software developer. Numerous variables, such as skill and experience, geographic location, and market conditions, might affect rates.

1. project scope

The type of work that has to be done is the first factor to take into account when defining scope. Software development initiatives differ greatly from one another. Do you need assistance creating a high-performing SaaS (software as a service) based on ASP.NET or are you developing a mobile app for iOS? The cost of your software development project will mostly depend on the extent of the work involved and the specialized talents required to complete it.

Read Also: What are the Benefits of Being a Software Engineer?

Your project’s scope will be more accurately described in your job description, which will make it simpler for talent to provide you with realistic pricing estimates and proposals.

2. software development experience

How carefully you defined the scope of your project will have a significant impact on your decision on the appropriate level of competence. To create a landing page for your organization, you wouldn’t require a highly skilled software engineer.

However, it will need a skilled software developer to create a business intelligence dashboard that uses Hadoop to process enormous amounts of data. Beyond experience level, you must also take the talent’s experience background into account. The prices for the common categories of software developers that you may discover on Upwork are broken down in the following table.

Type of Software developerDescriptionHourly Rate
Web developmentFront-end development (e.g., HTML, CSS, JavaScript). Back-end development (e.g., databases, web servers, cloud storage). Experience with CMSs (e.g., WordPress), JavaScript frameworks (e.g., React), and/or app-specific frameworks (e.g., WooCommerce).$30-120+
Mobile developmentiOS app development (e.g., Swift, Objective-C, Xcode, Cocoa Touch). Android app development (e.g., Java, Kotlin, Android SDK, Android Studio). Hybrid app development (e.g., Flutter, React Native, Ionic).$30-120+
DevOpsBeyond software development, experience with the DevOps toolchain: containers (e.g., Docker, Vagrant), orchestration tools (e.g., Kubernetes), source code repositories (e.g., Git, Bitbucket), continuous integration tools (e.g., Jenkins, TeamCity), configuration management tools (e.g., Puppet, Chef), and deployment automation tools (e.g., Bamboo, Octopus). $60-120+

3. location

Another element that can affect a software developer’s pricing is location. It’s no news that you may save money on talent by taking advantage of global variations in purchasing power. However, it’s also crucial to account for unforeseen expenses like time zones, language challenges, and the complexity of managing a remote staff. The ability to search a worldwide talent pool for the best candidate for the project is the actual benefit of finding talent remotely on Upwork. No longer is location a barrier.

4. independent contractor vs. agency

Hiring an independent contractor as opposed to an agency is the last factor affecting talent costs. You’ll frequently have access to a designer, a project manager, a developer, and more because agencies frequently follow the “one size fits all” model. You can choose anybody you want to hire to work on whichever aspect of the project, but you’ll need to find each of those skills separately.

The level of administrative burden you yourself experience in organizing duties among all team members is the trade-off between hiring individuals and hiring an agency. Which style is more appropriate for your needs will depend on the nature of the project and your own preferences.

A excellent method to increase productivity and innovation inside your company is by developing custom software. When hiring software developers, you have a lot of options, therefore it’s crucial that you choose the correct kind of consultation for your project.

Here is a quick list of the many categories of software consulting firms, along with the costs of their projects and respective hourly rates.‍

Consultancy TypeConsultancy Size (employees)Hourly RateAverage Project Size
Enterprise Class1,000+$385 – $935$200,000 – $100,000,000+
Big Business Class100 – 1,000$220 – $330$125,000 – $1,000,000+
Mid-Market Class25 – 100$110 – $220$50,000 – $750,000
Small Class5 – 10$82 – $137$10,000 – $500,000
Freelance Developers1$27 – $330$1,000 – $100,000
Offshore Developers500+$27 – $55$10,000 – $1,000,000+
Nearshore Developers500+$44 – $82$10,000 – $1,000,000+

How Much Should I Charge for Programming?

Numerous variables, such as skill and experience, geographic location, and market conditions, might affect rates.

  • An experienced coder may command higher fees but also work faster, have more-specialized areas of expertise, and deliver higher-quality work.
  • A contractor who is still in the process of building a client base may price their coding services more competitively. 

Rates typically charged by coders on Upwork are:

  • Beginner: $25 per hour
  • Intermediate: $41 per hour
  • Advanced: $80 per hour

Which one is right for you will depend on the specifics of your project.

You must have noticed that each IT location has a drastically different average hourly wage. Let’s examine the primary variables influencing the rates:


When it comes to the geography element, for instance, employing a programmer in the Ukraine will cost less than hiring the same developer in the USA. According to our research, Europe, Africa, and South America have much lower hourly coder rates than Canada and the United States. Since the quality-price ratio is better in less successful IT enterprises, the bulk of businesses end up using offshore tech services.

The size of an IT services company

It is well known that a large IT company has more hoops to jump through than a small or medium-sized one. Large organizations are more complex and have more bureaucracy. On the other side, being small allows for greater flexibility and improved customer understanding. Last but not least, the hourly software wage in a smaller company is much lower.
As you can see, the size depends entirely on a particular software scenario and your preferences.

Soft skills

Technical expertise is unquestionably essential in the software industry, but in today’s tech-based culture, soft skills are more important than ever. Developers who have improved their social, communication, and adaptability abilities in addition to having a remarkable tech skill set typically charge more than those who solely have technical skills. Their abilities and specialty motivate them to do better than others, which results in a pay increase.


Another thing to take into account while testing the water for your project is technology. Technology stacks differ as well. While some applications only need one API, others require both a front-end and a back-end. So, be prepared to receive more financial incentives if you need a complicated project that uses several different technologies.


Our research shows that rates are related to years of experience. Learning has always had a substantial impact on earning potential. There is no exception in the IT sector. You can save money by hiring a beginning programmer with little to no expertise rather than a seasoned master. Projects that are extensive and intricate are obviously not the greatest fit for beginning programmers.

The complexity of your project

Technology-rich, highly complicated projects provide major obstacles for your staff. Your product idea will be more challenging to develop, test, and launch if its logic is complex. The hourly rates will increase in direct proportion to the amount of features, regardless of the complexity of the technology or the design.

The time frame

One of the most important things to take into account before giving an assignment is the finish time. When time is of the essence, this calls for either a larger crew or longer business hours. On the other side, if your software takes more than seven months to complete, it will cost more than one that only requires five months. Hiring a software developer will force you to pay some expenditures regardless of whether you have limited time or require more time.

Software Development Hourly Rate: World-Wide Comparison

Globally, North America is thought to have the most robust economy. The economic turnaround of North America since the 16th century is one of the most glorious and amazing periods in human history. What was once a center for agriculture has turned into a magnificent region with a robust economy.

In terms of the global software services market, North America is renowned for having the most cutting-edge sector. Here, mostly in the US, is where more than 40% of the $5 trillion global IT sector is located. There are more than 520,000 software companies in the United States alone, according to CompTIA.

The market for IT services in North America is expected to increase from USD 459.2 billion in 2021 to USD 660.9 billion in 2026, according to experts at a compound annual growth rate.

The IT industry in North America is well-aligned, and North American corporations are well-known for offering durable solutions that rule the market. The IT industry will expand in North America due to the region’s significant interest in technical advancement, competitive mindset, and rising need for custom software.


CityJunior developerMiddle developerSenior developer
Los Angeles$43-$52$56-$72up to $73
Milwaukee$26-$35$38-$47up to $57
San Diego$34-$38$43-$58up to $63
San Francisco$38-$55$55-$68$65-$89
New York$35-$47$47-$63$61-$73


CityJunior developer Middle developerSenior developer
Ottawa$23-$34up to $48$43-$60


CityJunior developer Middle developerSenior developer
Mexico City$2.5-$6$6-$10$9-$17


CityJunior developerMiddle developerSenior developer
Melbourne$23-$34$31-$46up to $58

New Zealand

CityJunior developerMiddle developerSenior developer
Auckland$16 to $22$23 to $35$40-$50

United Kingdom

CityJunior developerMiddle developerSenior developer


CityJunior developer Middle developerSenior developer
Bangalore$2.5-$6$6-$12up to $20
Kolkata$2-$5.5$5-$8up to $14

The price is not the only concern you have while developing your product idea into a finished item. Due to the abundance of employment alternatives, businesses frequently struggle with the decision of whether to hire a firm or a freelancer. Let me now summarize all the advantages for you.

Read Also: Why Goldman Sachs Answer Software Engineer?

Freelancers are self-employed individuals or independent contractors who typically operate from home and are engaged simultaneously by a number of clients on separate projects. These are the advantages of employing one that you can look forward to:

  • Low hourly rate
    As there are no extra costs like health insurance, you can generally expect an experienced freelancer’s hourly pay to appear higher than at a software development company.
  • Plugged in one specific area As people in charge of their own business spend much time honing up their skills, freelancers are usually great at one specific task.
  • More flexibility Self-employed developers can squeeze more work if needed within one day. So if you need the task to be completed fast, hiring a freelancer is a good idea.

A software development company often provides expert full-cycle services, from product deployment through consultancy. The benefits of working with a firm are as follows:

  • More suitable for big and complex products
    When you reach out to a company, you get a professional team of designers, devs, managers, QAs, and other software gurus. Unlike freelancers, who are a one-man or one-woman show, each employee plays a unique role at a company.
  • Diverse experience Hiring a company presupposes that you have a team of professionals at your service. Having various skills and knowledge, their experience total beats the one of a freelancer.
  • Keep with new trends Software development companies are constantly perfecting and improving. To stay on top of the IT industry, they have to follow current software trends and explore new programming languages.

There are numerous details to pay attention to, ranging from hourly coder prices to the difficulty of your project. Make sure your decision is based on the goal of the bespoke software program, whether you choose an independent contractor or a software firm. As a result, you will make the best decision and possibly avoid obstacles.

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