The first step to determining the cost to hire an iOS developer will be to define your needs. Rates can vary due to many factors, including expertise and experience, location, and market conditions.
Cost factor #1: Project timeline and deliverables
Laying out what you need from your iOS app will help you determine deliverables, phases, and the amount of time it will take to complete. iOS development projects can take anywhere from a week to six months, or more—it will all depend on what you need in terms of design, integrations, and other functionality.
Tip: You may need only some of the above phases. A simple utility app may require no server-side integrations, but a messaging app will need that back-end integration and database support.
Cost factor #2: Developer experience & rate
More experience translates to a higher rate, which can increase the cost of your project. Experienced iOS app developers are versed in AutoLayout, design patterns, APIs and MPIs. They’ll have worked with Xcode, Cocoa Touch, Objective-C or Swift, server-side scripting, database administration and integration, and server administration.
Define what the iOS developer will be doing as more simple tasks might incur a lower rate. Are they updating an existing app or creating an app from scratch? Do you needs some bugs fixed, or server-side scripting and database administration?
Tip: If you’re creating a new app from scratch, you may need a higher-level developer with the experience to take the project from the beginning and see it through to completion. If you have a smaller budget and are doing more simple updates, you can specify that you need a junior or intermediate-level developer.
Typical Rates Charged by iOS Developers*
|Type of iOS Developers||Description||Average Hourly Rate|
|Basic iOS Developer||Basic iOS development fundamentals which include, wireframing and storyboarding, Objective C and/or Swift, and the Xcode IDE.||$16 +|
|Intermediate-Advanced iOS Developer||Beyond fundamentals, also skilled in one or more frameworks and APIs like Foundation, UIKit, and Cocoa. Skills may include familiarity with bug tracking system like Bugzilla, dependency management tools like CocoaPods, and version control with GitHub—technologies that indicate experience working on project teams.||$35 +|
|iOS Developer and UI/UX Designer in one.||These iOS developers can also perform traditional design tasks like high fidelity visual mockups with Photoshop, and are well versed in color schemes, typography, and Apple Human Interface Guidelines.||$50 +|
*Reflects rates charged by freelancers on Upwork in North America with over 1,000 hours and 90% success rate.
Tip: Not sure exactly how to scope your project or anticipate challenges? You can engage an experienced developer with UI/UX experience and expertise in various languages, frameworks, and project management systems to advise on how to scope your project and what kind of developer you need (one with Swift experience or will Objective-C do?). Then find a developer with a narrower expertise (and lower rate) to build the app.
Cost Factor #3: Scope and complexity of the iOS project
Timelines and budgets are more susceptible to growing beyond initial scope when you don’t anticipate complexities and challenges. Does your app require complicated API integration? Will it handle sensitive data and require complex OAuth customization?
Tip: Outline challenges the developer should anticipate if possible. You’ll be able to build extra time into your budget and expand your testing timeline in the event that hiccups occur.
Defining specifications up front is the easiest way to accurately determine time and cost estimates when hiring an iOS developer.