How Much an Android Developer Costs These Days?
MAR 06, 2017 17:29 PM
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How Much an Android Developer Costs These Days?

By Ellie Martin

Over $69 billion was generated in global mobile app revenue in the year 2015 alone. Some estimates purport that by the year 2020 that number will nearly triple. It would be an understatement to suggest that the (already massive) mobile app market is growing exponentially. Advancements in both hardware and software have greatly decreased the cost of powerful smartphones, which has, in turn, caused them to proliferate rather rapidly. As more people use smartphones on an everyday basis, the demand for apps rises.

Currently, Android smartphones own the lion’s share of the market. As of Q3 of 2016, Android predominated at an astonishing 86%. To put this number in perspective, iOS devices claim around 18% of the market share. Android smartphones are seemingly ubiquitous, and their domination of the smartphone market suggests an enormous built-in consumer base. What’s more, the number of available Android apps surpassed the number of iOS apps, tallying over 1.6 million last year. It goes without saying that Android apps are in the very highest demand. It’s no surprise that the developers who create them are highly sought after.

Android Developers are expensive. There’s no way around it. In fact, they are only getting more expensive over time, recently experiencing a 6% wage increase. The average salary for an Android Developer in the US sits around $110,000 and the upper limits can reach as high as $155,000, cementing the job as one of the highest paying vocations in IT.

Freelance work can be cheaper, if outsourcing is an option. Android Developers in North America charge premium rates, ranging anywhere from $100 to $150 per hour, and are by far the most expensive. Contractors from Eastern European countries, such as Ukraine, would net around half that price at an average going rate of approximately $40 to $50 per hour. Android Developers based out of India are some of the cheapest, charging only $20 per hour on average. Thus, if outsourcing is indeed an option, the cost of an Android Developer is extremely variable.


Even considering the possibility of outsourcing Android Developers, app development takes time, and expenses have a tendency to ramp up. The simplest apps will take at least 300 hours to complete, with larger, feature-rich apps ranging anywhere from 600 to 900 hours to complete. Let’s say a simple app utilizing a competitively priced freelancer from India would run you around $6,000 to complete, if we eliminate marketing, UI/UX and other costs for the sake of simplicity. The larger more robust app, if you were to use a programmer from Eastern Europe, would cost $45,000. Both of these figures seem like bargains when compared to the cost of a large-scale app created by North American developers: a stupefying $135,000. Regardless, Android Developers will need a large segment of time to complete meaningful projects, so even the simplest apps created by freelancers charging the most competitive rates will cost thousands of dollars.

As illustrated above, the mobile app market shows no signs of slowing. As Android app development surges, so too does demand of skilled developers. Android Developers are not particularly expensive relative to their iOS counterparts, but are seeing faster growth, which may widen the pay gap further. This trend won’t likely stop anytime soon as Android’s share in the mobile market continues to increase.

Developing compelling apps in a flooded market requires skilled Android Developers. Talented freelancers and experienced full-time employees will cost you, at the very least thousands of dollars. In the future, we could expect those numbers to be driven up further. Outsourcing developers may be a solution for those seeking to cut expenses, but others may find the best option resides locally, and may prefer to pay premium rates. Whatever the strategy, you must be prepared for a sizable cost -- and timetable.

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