How Much Does It Cost to Hire a Programmer For an App: An Ultimate Guide

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How Much Does It Cost to Hire a Programmer For an App: An Ultimate Guide

If you have a great idea for a mobile app and want to take it to market, you have to start costing your project using the mobile app development cost per hour. While there are thousands of developers out there, the more experienced mobile app developers command huge salaries and rates for their skills, and you’ll be competing for talent with mega-companies from around the world. 

There’s plenty of conflicting information out there, but with this guide, we’ll finally answer the question: how much does it cost to hire a programmer for an app

Unpacking the Mobile App Development Cost Per Hour

The cost of hiring app developer teams or freelancers varies based on a number of factors. Let’s look at a few things that might influence the “hire an app developer cost” portion of your budget:

  • Experience: Senior developers are in high demand. Because the world is so globalized and many white-collar workers are working from home, you’re competing for these highly skilled workers from companies around the globe. Obviously, juniors and graduates charge slightly less per hour and have the right skill set, but they lack experience. You can try to mix your seniors and juniors up to balance out your budget and train the newer developers up. 
  • Location: Many companies offshore their developer teams to countries where their local currency is weak against the dollar. You can save a considerable amount of money and still gain access to highly skilled and experienced workers. 
  • Your Value Proposition:  For developers, it’s not always about money. They want to work on meaningful projects that add value to the world (and to the businesses they serve). You might not be able to offer the same perks as a large Silicon Valley company, but if you have a clear vision and mission, you can still draw talent to your business. 
  • The Complexity of the App: If you need specialist skills, like machine learning experience or others, you’ll likely pay more. The number of hours you need to complete the project won’t affect the hourly rate, but it will impact your overall project cost. For example, you can hire juniors who might not be able to spot bugs and issues, extending the lifetime of the project (and the cost).

How Much Does It Cost to Hire an App Developer? 

Now that we understand the factors at play, we can dive into the mobile app development hourly rate. Every team needs several developers and team members to complete an app. A junior developer in North America can charge anywhere from $50-70 per hour. In Western Europe, it’s slightly lower at $40-50 per hour, and in Eastern Europe, you can pay as little as $20-30 per hour for the same skillset and seniority. 

Mid-level developers in North America will charge $60-80, and senior developers charge $75-105. This is in sharp contrast to Eastern Europe, which charges $45 for mid-level skills and $40-50 for senior skills. Your lead developers will charge up to $115 in the USA, but only $70 in Eastern Europe, which is why offshoring has become such a popular option for many companies. 

You can also acquire a full team in Eastern Europe at significantly lower rates, including Business Analysts ($55 per hour), Architects ($90 per hour), Project Managers ($55 per hour), Junior QAs ($35 per hour), Mid-level QAs ($45 per hour) and Senior QAs ($30). 

Don’t forget that you’ll also need the skills of a good graphic designer to complete your project. There are also additional costs to consider, including building wireframes and promotional costs like websites to market your business. 

Freelancers may come at a slightly reduced rate but are a lot harder to manage and pull into a cohesive team. The best way to assemble a team is to hire an offshore agency that has teams of developers on its books and can fill the roles quickly and easily.


The mobile app development cost per hour can vary dramatically based on skill level and location. Junior developers are cheaper but might not have the experience you need, which can extend the hours you require on your project. It’s best to look for offshore developers with the right skills, the right experience, and the right price to succeed.

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