The Art of Budgeting: Know the True Cost of Hiring a Mobile App Developer

Lyudmila Kucher
Lyudmila Kucher

I specialize in outstaffing and staff augmentation, and I have extensive experti...

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Cost to hire an app developer

It’s not enough to just have a website or social media profile to stay concurrent. To catch and hold the attention of customers, businesses invest into their applications to make them functional, appealing, and user-friendly.

In this article, we will share insights on how much does it cost to hire an app developer if you need to create or update your digital solution. Stay tuned to learn how to hire an app developer for best possible cost, find clues for the most effective approach to calculating budget, defining scope, finding software experts, and getting your SW done.

The mobile app market continues to boom, with millions of apps vying for attention. Global mobile app revenue is expected to reach $581.9 billion in 2020 and exceed $613 billion by 2025. — Statista

Cost of Hiring an App Developer on Outstaffing vs In-House Engineers

Looking for a performer for the SW project, companies usually choose from two options: hire in-house or make a choice in favour of remote app developers, and a cost is not the last question here.

If you already have an outstanding in-house team and a local talent pool can respond to your request for seniority level and tech stack – you would choose to hire an in-house engineer and add them to your internal team.

In-house vs outsourcing app development

However, there are cases, when it is beneficial to hire offshore mobile app developers:


  • Talent gap on an internal market. When you face hardship in searching for in-house developers with the corresponding expertise set, it is worth trying to go for remote options.
  • Need to optimise budget. It is possible to cut costs by opting for outstaffing on the markets with lower average prices.
  • Necessity to involve extra workforce quickly. Access to the broader talent pool makes it easier and faster to find the matching engineer.
  • Need to speed up development. Companies can boost software development with dedicated teams, distributing tasks among internal and external teams.


Whichever option you choose, – outstaffing or hiring in-house, – the budget to consider will differ. We will delve deeper into the factors that influence it to figure out how much does it cost to hire someone to build an app.

What Factors Contribute Most to the Cost of Hiring Mobile Developers?

Before addressing your HR partner with the request for an engineer, it is better to define your exact project needs as they greatly impact the cost to hire an app developer. Among the high-priority aspects to consider when looking for a software engineer there are location, seniority level, tech stack and other points. Look through the options to adjust your demands accordingly.

How Location Affects App Developer Costs

According to data from Clutch, the hourly rate of an engineer differs from location to location — a place of residence makes a significant impact on how much a contractor will charge. While the United States, Canada, and Australia are known as the most expensive outsourcing destinations, it is easier to save the budget by contacting contractors from Eastern Europe.


Hourly Rates

The US

$100 - $149


$100 - $149


$100 - $149

United Kingdom

$50 - $99


$50 - $99


$25 - $49


$25 - $49

Average app developer rates globally

How Experience Influences Cost of Mobile Development

Experience of a contractor touches the whole app development project. For example, an entry level engineer may need supervision and guidance, which will result in more time spent on a task. A senior developer will have a higher hourly rate, but will be able to finish a task in fewer hours. The total of mobile app development varies with the engineer’s experience.


Junior Level

Middle Level

Senior Level

North America

$100 - $115

$115 - $125

$125 - $150

Western Europe

$50 - $65

$65 - $80

$75 - $100

Eastern Europe

$25 - $35

$35 - $45

$40 - $50

How App Complexity Impacts Cost of Development

Naturally, more complex applications demand more skilled engineers, time, and resources for successful launch. At the stage of building a feature list, it is important to consider all features, technologies and integrations to estimate the future budget because it impacts how much does it cost to hire an app developer.


Hourly Rate


$100 - $149


$50 - $99


$50 - $99

Big Data

$50 - $99


$100 - $149

How the Development Platform Affects the Cost of a Work

Choosing an application development platform, a business should decide which operating systems their app should support and what type of app it should be, whether it should be a native or a cross-platform application. For instance, if you need to hire an Android app developer, the cost will not be the same as for iOS or React dev.

Development Platform

Hourly Rate

React Native












Mobile OS share by continent
Android vs iOS Market Share by continent in 2024, source: Mobiloud

Android vs iOS Market Share by countries

How To Calculate Cost to Hire Mobile App Developer

App creation budget estimation is conducted at the initial step, when you work cooperatively with your SD vendor on the project scope, match the tech stack and developers’ rates, negotiate billing methods and put all these factors together. Follow these 4 steps to get the approximate estimation done.

Draw Up a Project Scope

While it might be difficult to come up with every single feature you want to see in your future app, the project scope is obligatory for visualising a roadmap in mobile app development. A project scope usually contains specific goals, tasks, deliverables for each stage of the project, and timelines.

Both parties of cooperation will benefit from scope creation: the development team is aware of what and when should be done, and a client has realistic expectations of the project outcomes.

Compare Prices for Engineers

Now, as you define your project scope and decide on the finer tech stack to be used, you determine the development team composition and proceed to compare rates.

As we noted earlier, it is vital to analyse varied nuances to figure out how much does it cost to hire a mobile app developer. To choose an option that fits your budget better, we recommend comparing salary of engineers in your location and in locations of possible offshore software development partners.

Agree on Billing Methods

There are three billing modes often applied to app development project, and which works better for you depends on your preferences and budget:
Time and Materials is a flexible model where you pay regularly for completed work.

Fixed Price model builds a total budget according to the initial work estimates regardless of actual time or expenses.

Dedicated Team model includes the salaries of all the developers involved into the project, rather than milestones achieved.

Check Online Cost Estimation Tools

App development project estimation often causes difficulties in teams without technical specialists like a Business Analyst or a CTO. However, if you want to get an idea of how much your application costs, you can use online estimation forms often published on the websites of software development companies. They are calculating the rough cost of hiring a corresponding team.

Choose from the options like the estimated headcount of the team, tech stack, and features you would like to see in the future application, and a vendor will make a free quote.

How To Calculate Cost to Hire Mobile App Developer

6 Tips for Hiring Mobile App Developers Like a Pro

To launch a digital solution that will bring your company to the next level, it is important to assemble a dream team of software engineers. Check out these tips that will make the matching and hiring procedure smoother:

  • Define the project scope. Clear expectations for the future app make requirements for the development team clear: number of devs, seniority level, tech stack, etc. The app project scope will also be needed for roadmap building and budgeting.
  • Create a comprehensive feature-list. Segment desired features into must-haves and nice-to-haves. Must-have features will be developed at the MVP stage, while nice-to-have features can be left for future iterations. Some secondary features can also be omitted to tighten the budget if needed.
  • Decide on the hiring model. Opting for the in-house development will likely involve cooperation with an HR department to search the local market. Going for remote software development means collaborating with remote partners.
  • Compare options. Many software development companies offer free quotes. Invest time in introductory calls with several candidates to discuss cooperation possibilities and request quotes. You’ll understand the average cost to hire app devs and secure the best offer on the market.
  • Find a trusty tech ally. It is crucial to review freelance app developers regardless of their cost, to understand that they have necessary skills. Enlist the support of a reliable tech partner who will interview and check the candidates for you. This could be an in-house CTO or an outsourcing partner, who will take care of all staffing needs and other processes.
  • Look for industry-specific experience. It is favourable if the developers you choose have experience creating applications for your industry. They will better understand your business processes and the specific challenges, enabling them to create a product that will better respond to your needs.

6 Tips for Hiring Mobile App Developers Like a Pro

Take With You: Insights on App Development Costs

Different companies consider outsourcing app building because of talent shortages in the local market or better prices in offshore locations. However, they differ not only based on a place of residence of workforce. It also depends on the SW team’s technology stack and experience, the features and technologies enlisted, and development platform you mark out for app creation.

A devoted software development ally will make app development process easier: from project scope marking, through roadmap building, team composition and management, development stages and testing, to successful release and maintenance.

If you need help with any of these points — or with all of them — Talmatic will help you to get your remarkable software product built with the best remote developers for hire.

Hiring app developers with Talmatic, you will get:

  • Access to a broad tech talent pool
  • Support from experienced HRs, PMs, and tech leads
  • Perfect matches for your tech stack and project tasks
  • Comfortable partnership framework

Contact us to tell about your needs and get the key to successful app development today!

Frequently Asked Questions

Looking to hire remote software developers but have a few questions unanswered? We are sharing our list of frequently asked questions by our clients when hiring software developers.

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The price of app development differs depending on the team location, and enlisted features, technologies, integrations.

The rate an app developer charges is drawn up by tech stack and background.

The hourly rate can range from $20 to $150 depending on the tech stack, seniority, and location.

view all

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