Software Developers on Upwork cost $15–$30/hr.

Learn about common cost factors to budget your hiring on the world's work marketplace.
Software Developers average prices bell curve

$15 $30

Median hourly rates (USD)*

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How much does it cost to hire a software developer?

The first step to determining the cost to hire a software 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 scope

The first variable to consider when determining scope is the nature of the work that needs to be completed. Not all software development projects are created equal. Are you building a mobile app for iOS, or do you need help building performant SaaS (software as a service) off ASP.NET? The cost of your software development project will depend largely on your scope of work and the specific skills needed to bring your project to life.

Tip: The more accurately your job description describes the scope of your project, the easier it will be for talent to give you accurate cost estimates and proposals.

Cost factor #2: software development experience

Choosing the right level of expertise for the job is closely tied to how well you determined the scope of your project. You wouldn’t need an advanced software developer to build a landing page for your business. On the other hand, building a business intelligence dashboard that must process large volumes of data through Hadoop will require an experienced software developer. Beyond experience level, you need to consider the type of experience the talent possesses. The following table breaks down the rates of the typical types of software developer you can find on Upwork.

Rates charged by software developers on Upwork

Type of Software developer


Hourly Rate

Web development

Front-end development (e.g., HTML, CSS, JavaScript). Back-end development (e.g., databases, web servers, cloud storage). Experience with CMSs (e.g., WordPress), JavaScript frameworks (e.g., React), and/or app-specific frameworks (e.g., WooCommerce).


Mobile development

iOS app development (e.g., Swift, Objective-C, Xcode, Cocoa Touch). Android app development (e.g., Java, Kotlin, Android SDK, Android Studio). Hybrid app development (e.g., Flutter, React Native, Ionic).



Beyond software development, experience with the DevOps toolchain: containers (e.g., Docker, Vagrant), orchestration tools (e.g., Kubernetes), source code repositories (e.g., Git, Bitbucket), continuous integration tools (e.g., Jenkins, TeamCity), configuration management tools (e.g., Puppet, Chef), and deployment automation tools (e.g., Bamboo, Octopus). 


Cost factor #3: location

Location is another variable that can impact a software developer’s cost. It’s no secret that you can leverage differences in purchasing power between countries to gain savings on talent. But it’s also important to factor in hidden costs such as language barriers, time zones, and the logistics of managing a remote team. The real advantage to sourcing talent remotely on Upwork is the ability to scan a global talent pool for the best possible person for the job. Location is no longer an obstacle. 

Cost factor #4: independent contractor vs. agency

The final variable regarding talent cost is hiring an independent contractor vs. an agency. An agency is often a “one size fits all” model, so you’ll often have access to a designer, a project manager, an developer, and more. When hiring individuals you have total autonomy regarding who is responsible for which part of the project, but you’ll need to source each of those skills separately.

The trade-off between hiring individuals vs. hiring an agency is the level of administrative overhead you incur personally in coordinating tasks among all members of the team. Project scope and personal preference will determine which style is a better fit for your needs.

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