How Much Does It Cost to Hire a Software Developer? A Complete Guide

Key Takeaway:

    In the USA, the cost to hire developers based on their experience is as follows:

  • Junior Developer: $30-45/hour
  • Mid-level Developer: $45-70/hour
  • Experienced Developer: $70-120/hour

Are you looking to hire software developers? And have no idea how much it costs to hire a software developer? Let us provide you with a detailed blog post on the costs.

As a leading software development company, we understand that the cost of hiring software developers is an important concern for businesses. Also, it is difficult to find quality work within the constraints of a limited budget. This is the reason we have written this blog post to make sure you don’t make any mistakes.

In this blog, we have covered various aspects related to the cost to hire a software developer. This not only includes the cost of hiring software developers but also the factors that influence these costs. We have also provided valuable tips to help you reduce these costs effectively.

Let’s first understand the cost required to hire a software developer.

The Cost of Hiring Software Developers for Different Engagement Models [Quick Cost]

The average cost of hiring a software developer ranges from $25 to $120+ per hour.

But the cost depends on various factors that include location, demand, and specific skills. Even the average hourly rate depends on the type of developer you want to hire.

Here is the table that contains the country-wise hourly rates of the software developers. The information and data included in this table are listed after analyzing various reliable websites like Clutch, Upwork, and GoodFirms.

CountryJunior Developer (0-2 years)Mid-level Developers (2-5 years)Experienced Developers (5+)
United States$30-45$45-70$70-120
United Kingdom$20-35$35-55$55-90

Wondering about the credibility of our software development cost figures? We have analyzed multiple websites like Clutch and GoodFirms and different freelancer profiles on Upwork, Arc, Toptal, Freelancer, and Fiverr which provide hourly prices for developers.

So far, we have covered the software developer cost. Now let’s learn which factors affect the hiring cost of a software developer.

4 Factors That Impact the Cost of Hiring a Software Developer

You might be thinking that when hiring a software developer, the most important thing is hourly rates. However, you are mistaken. There are certain factors that affect the software development cost. Let’s help you understand all of these factors. Here are the factors to consider that can affect the cost to hire software developers for your software development project.

  1. Experience and Skill Set of Developers

    The experience and skills of a full-time software developer shape the hiring cost. Below is a table of hourly costs as per the experience level, experience, and skills.

    Experience LevelYears of ExperienceSkillsAverage Hourly Cost ($)
    Entry-Level0-2 years
    • Knowledge of at least one programming language (e.g., Python, JavaScript, Java)
    • Understanding of development tools (IDEs, version control like Git)
    $20 – $40
    Mid-Level2-5 years
    • Mastery in programming languages or frameworks (e.g., React, Node.js, Django)
    • Experience with database systems (e.g., MySQL, MongoDB)
    • Ability to analyze complex software issues
    $40 – $80
    Senior-Level5+ years
    • Multiple projects completed from start to finish
    • Design and implementation of software architecture
    • Knowledge of microservices, serverless architectures
    • Leading code reviews and providing feedback
    $80 – $150

    Experienced developers command higher salaries due to their deep expertise in complex projects. In contrast, junior developers, while more affordable, bring fresh perspectives and quickly adapt to new concepts.

  2. Want to Hire an Experienced Software Developer?

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  3. Location of the Software Developers

    The cost even depends on the location of the developers. Developers located in higher living costs, or regions known for their technology hubs often demand higher compensation.

    CountryLocal Economic FactorsAverage Hourly RateExpertise and Skills
    • High living standards
    • Strong tech industry
    $40 – $90
    • Mastery in emerging technologies (AI, ML, Cloud Computing)
    • Strong software engineering fundamentals
    • Expertise in Full-stack development
    • AR/VR technologies
    • High living standards
    • Advanced tech hubs
    • High demand
    $70 – $150
    • Expertise in AI/ML
    • Full-stack development
    • Cloud solutions
    • Strong software engineering fundamentals.
    • Lower cost of living
    • A huge IT sector
    • Competitive market
    $15 – $35
    • Proficient in diverse tech stacks
    • Expert in enterprise solutions
    • Agile methodologies
    • Rapid adaptability to new tech.
    • Higher living costs
    • Quality-oriented culture
    $50 – $100
    • High-performance software builds
    • Advanced algorithmic skills
    • Automation and IoT expertise.
    • Developing tech scene
    • Economic variations
    $20 – $50
    • Strong grasp on web and mobile platforms
    • Agile & Scrum methodologies
    • Growing expertise in cloud and microservices.
    • High living standard
    • Growing tech industry
    $60 – $120
    • Emphasis on modern software practices
    • Strong UX/UI design skills
    • Scalable software development expertise.
    • Competitive living cost
    • Emerging as a tech hub
    $15 – $30
    • Growing skills in web and mobile platforms
    • Frontend technologies
    • Continuous Integration & Deployment practices.

    Developers located in regions with lower living costs may ask for relatively lower salaries since their expertise is not high. Hiring skilled developers from different locations can also impact recruitment costs since they reside in regions with varying economic conditions.

  4. Project’s Complexity and Scope

    The complexity and scope of a project play an important role in determining the cost of software development projects. Below is a table of software development costs based on the type, examples, features, timelines, and other costs.

    ClassificationSoftware TypeFeatures (Indicating Complexity)Approximate TimelineCost
    Small ProjectsContent Management Systems (CMS)
    • Content editor
    • Media upload & management
    • User roles & permissions
    • Template-based design customization
    1-3 months$5,000 – $20,000
    Custom Web Applications
    • User authentication
    • Dynamic database-driven content
    • Simple dashboard for data visualization
    • Basic workflow automation
    2-6 months$10,000 – $40,000
    Medium-Level ProjectsE-commerce Platforms
    • Product categories & listings
    • User cart & checkout flow
    • Payment & order processing
    • Customer reviews & ratings
    4-8 months$20,000 – $80,000
    Learning Management Systems (LMS)
    • Course creation & management
    • Interactive quizzes & assessments
    • Student progress tracking
    • Certification issuance
    5-10 months$25,000 – $100,000
    Large-Scale ProjectsEnterprise Resource Planning (ERP)
    • Financial management
    • HR management & payroll
    • Supply chain & procurement
    • Project management & time tracking
    12-36 months$100,000 – $500,000
    Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP)
    • Lead & opportunity tracking
    • Campaign management
    • Sales forecasting
    • Customer support & ticketing
    10-24 months$50,000 – $200,000

    As we know, a complex project comes with more challenges. Also, if your software development project scope is complex, you might need a larger team to manage it, which surely affects the overall cost. However, if you are not sure how to pick the right developers, read this detailed guide on the process of hiring a software developer for your project development.

    Developers spend more time-solving problems, testing, and ensuring that everything is executed properly. This results in higher costs as developers need to put in extra hours to carry out these tasks. Now, let’s understand the cost incurred based on the types of hiring models.

  5. Types of Hiring Models (In-house, Outsourced, Freelance)

    Each of these hiring models whether it is in-house, outsourced, or freelance, influences the cost to hire software developers. Let’s provide you with a table that explains the difference between these three types of models.

    Hiring ModelCost StructureOperational CostsEstimated Rates
    In-houseSalaries, benefits, bonusesOffice space, utilities, equipment, software licenses$50k-$120k/year
    OutsourcedProject/hourly ratesIncluded in the package$20-$150/hour
    FreelanceHourly/per-project ratesFreelancers use their own equipment and software$25-$200/hourr

    Now, after exploring the table, let’s break down each model and understand in which scenarios you should hire in-house developers, freelance developers or outsource developers.

    When to Hire In-house Developers?

    • When you have a long-term project or continuous in-house development needs, you can hire in-house developers.
    • When projects require extensive collaboration between departments, such as marketing, design, and development.
    • When it’s essential for the developer to be deeply ingrained in the company culture and understand the nuances of the business.
    • When working on core technologies or projects that are of high intellectual property value, having in-house developers can provide better security control.

    When to Outsource Software Developers?

    • Outsourcing can be effective when you need to develop a large-scale project quickly, as offshore teams can provide multiple developers simultaneously.
    • Outsourcing, especially to countries with a lower cost of living, can be cost-effective.
    • If you can’t find the right expertise locally, outsourcing provides access to a global talent pool.
    • Some outsourcing businesses offer end-to-end solutions, from design to development to QA, which can simplify project management.
    • Outsourcing across different time zones can lead to round-the-clock development.

    When to Hire Freelance Developers?

    • A freelance developer is ideal for short-term tasks or projects, especially when you need specialized skills only for a limited period.
    • If you anticipate fluctuations in development needs, hiring a freelance developer offers the flexibility to scale up or down quickly.
    • For businesses or startups on a tight budget, freelancers can offer a cost-effective solution without the overheads associated with full-time employees.
    • If you require a niche skill that’s not frequently needed, hiring an expert freelancer can be a smart move.

    Picking up the right remote developers could be challenging as compared to hiring from a software agency. This could ultimately waste your time, effort, and money. To avoid this, you must know the correct process of hiring remote developers, which could help you achieve your project goals with the utmost quality and satisfaction.

    Why is Outsourcing More Worth Than Hiring Freelancers or In-house?

    If you are unclear about which of the three models for hiring a software developer to utilize, outsourcing, freelance, or in-house, let us assist you by presenting a list of reasons why you should select an outsourcing business over a freelancer or your internal team.

      Here are the reasons.

    • Accomplish complex tasks as their dedicated team consists of people with diverse and specialized skills.
    • This team easily adapts, adjusts, and efficiently grows as your project expands.
    • Utilises Agile and flexible project management methodologies for smooth and error-free workflow.
    • Reduces the extra office work by effectively outsourcing tasks and responsibilities.
    • Ensures thorough quality control through comprehensive testing.
    • Leverages modern technologies for enhanced performance.
    • Effectively manages and reduces risks with proven expertise and advanced risk management practices.

    Now that you understand that outsourcing is a favorable choice compared to opting for a freelance or in-house team, the challenge lies in finding a reliable outsourcing software company in today’s competitive world. That’s where we can assist you. With a track record of working with over 100+ clients worldwide and successfully completing 300+ successful projects, we boast a team of experienced developers who excel in delivering tailor-made solutions.

    With our services, you also have the option to hire a software developer through three engagement models, which include part-time developers, full-time developers, and hourly-based developers. Our offerings include timely delivery, the signing of an NDA for data protection, regular updates on work progress, flexible hiring models, and no costs until you’ve hired a developer. To avail of our services, let’s get in touch.

Now, let’s understand how you can reduce the final cost of hiring developers.

10 Tips to Reduce the Cost of Hiring a Software Developer

Here is a list of tips that help you reduce the cost of hiring a software developer for your project.

  1. Simplify job descriptions to attract candidates who are well-suited to your demands, maintaining focus and efficiency.
  2. Use specialized job boards for particular developer roles to increase your chances of getting qualified candidates.
  3. Use employee referrals or industry contacts to find qualified individuals and profit from insights and connections.
  4. Accept remote work to gain access to global talent and save money while enabling developer flexibility.
  5. Engage freelancers for project needs to ensure expertise without committing full-time and save money.
  6. Create a future personnel pipeline by developing university internship programs to nurture talent and support growth.
  7. Utilize coding tests to assess skills before doing thorough interviews with developers.
  8. Use an applicant tracking system to automate screening to save time and analyze effectively.
  9. For a full evaluation, optimize interviews by employing panels and video formats.
  10. Evaluate compatibility efficiently through well-structured short-term contracts or trial periods to save cost.
  11. Negotiate competitive salaries based on criteria and qualifications for fair compensation.

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FAQ About Cost of Hiring Software Developers

  1. Are there any hidden costs involved in hiring software developers?

  2. Yes, the hidden costs involved in hiring software developers are listed below.

    • Hiring costs associated with providing the necessary technology, software, and development tools.
    • Cost of resources needed to train and employ new developers into the team.
    • The cost involved in integrating tools to facilitate effective remote or cross-team collaboration.
    • Fees that are paid to recruitment agencies for finding suitable candidates.
    • Offering benefits such as health insurance and retirement plans to attract and retain developers.
  3. What are the challenges faced when hiring a software developer?

  4. Here are the challenges faced when hiring a software developer.

    • Not able to get the ideal developer with the exact skills you require.
    • It becomes hard to figure out how good a developer is at doing technical stuff.
    • Finding a developer who fits well with your offshore company and your development team is difficult.
    • Ensuring that the developer’s expertise aligns well with your project’s requirements.
    • Particularly, for hiring remote developers, it becomes complex to manage communication, due to time zone differences.
  5. Where can you find software developers for your project?

  6. Here are several sources available where you can find software developers for your projects.

    • Contact reputed software development companies like Space-O Technologies.
    • You can look for online freelance platforms such as Upwork, and Toptal that connect you to an experienced freelance software developer for project-based work.
    • Reach out to recruitment agencies to engage software developers, as they can help you find the most suitable candidates for your needs.
    • Seek suggestions from colleagues or contacts within the tech industry.

Let Us Help You to Know the Cost of Hiring a Software Developer

Now that you know the cost of hiring a software developer depends on project complexity, location, and experience level. If you have a project in mind and want to know about the cost of hiring a software developer from an outsourcing agency like us contact us. We analyze the feasibility of your idea and provide you with a detailed work breakdown structure. This helps you to know the approx cost to hire software developers. Contact us with your requirements.

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Rakesh Patel

Written by

Rakesh Patel is the Founder and CEO of Space-O Technologies (Canada). He has 28 years of IT experience in business strategies, operations & information technology. He has expertise in various aspects of business like project planning, sales, and marketing, and has successfully defined flawless business models for the clients. A techie by mind and a writer at heart, he has authored two books – Enterprise Mobility: Strategy & Solutions and A Guide To Open311

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