App Development

Independent app developer salary

How Much Do iOS App Developers Make?  February 14, 2017 – 09:46 am
It may be harder than you think to make it as an independent developer

How much do iOS/iPhone app developers make? I get this question all the time. It’s best to break the answer up into three groups: independent app developers, salaried employees, and independent contractors.

Independent App Developers

The independent app developers are the ones who put everything on the line to develop original apps and reap the full profit/loss from their work. Apple pays out 70% of the sale price on The App Store. So for every sale of an app at $0.99, the developer gets $0.70. The question is, how many sales can you expect to make? The Game Bakers compiled an excellent list of independent app developers who have published their revenue. They range from the game Tiny Wings which was made by one person and has sold more than 5.6 million copies, to Dapple which cost $32k to develop and sold just over 100 copies in the first 24 days.

Salaried Employees

Salaried employees work for a company and draw an annual salary with benefits in exchange for handling that company’s iOS development needs. With Facebook interns making $7k per month there’s no question that technology is the career to be in right now. A quick search on for job openings with the skill “iOS Developer” reveals salaries ranging up to $160K in Palo Alto, CA.

Independent Contactors

Independent contractors are iOS developers who work for companies temporarily in projects lasting anywhere from a few weeks to over a year. Their rates vary in the $100-$150 range for an experienced developer. While that hourly rate may seem high at first compared to salaried employees, note that independent contractors have to deal with a lot of costs and hassles that salaried employees don’t like health insurance, equipment/office costs, and finding new customers.

You’ll find that many developers like to get their income from a mix of different sources to suit their own risk/reward preference. Some salaried employees may develop their own apps on the side. And a contractor might release his/her own product in between contracting projects.

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