Key takeaways:

  • Remote developer rates vary according to the cost of living and development levels in different countries
  • Tech talent is globally distributed, and outsourcing software development can lead to huge cost savings
  • Southeast Asia, especially Vietnam, offers some of the best talent for the money in the current tech environment

Good news! The world is more interconnected than ever before, and remote work is a trend that’s unlikely to be retired anytime soon. This remote job trend is especially prevalent in the world of software development, where a physical work environment is not always necessary. What this means for companies is that hiring remote software developers has become an international game, with many rewards to be reaped by those who play it right. The bad news is that hiring managers will need to keep up with a vast swath of information regarding hiring standards. Above all, many hiring decisions hinge on international remote developer rates.

As you may have noticed, remote software developer jobs continue to grow in demand. But what does it cost to hire a remote software developer? Indeed, average salaries of software engineers vary wildly across the world, within countries, and across skillsets. When you’re looking to hire hourly, daily, or annually, getting all these numbers straight can be a chore.

To help put this in perspective, we’ve broken remote developers’ rates by region, country, hourly rate, and yearly salary. These numbers we provide are estimates, as salary ranges can and do change considerably between different individuals and companies. That said, you’ll see some underlying trends that can help you read between the lines and hopefully find the right programmer. So, read along with us as we dive into the wide world of remote developer rates.

Remote developer rates by region 

Remote developer rates in North America

CountryEstimated outsourcing company daily rates ($USD)
USA$1045
Canada$712
Mexico$438

USA

According to Indeed, the average base salary for a software developer in the United States is around $93,000 USD. Developers with more than 10 years of experience pull in nearly $120,000 per year on average. Note that salaries in the US are commonly arranged on a yearly basis rather than monthly.

In terms of hourly wages for remote workers, US remote software developer rates can range anywhere from $60-150, and even higher in expensive regions like California, Seattle, or New York city. A remote senior full-stack developer — that is, both back-end and front-end — can pull in north of $200 per hour according to anecdotal evidence we’ve gathered.

Canada

Engineers in Canada tend to make less than their counterparts in the United States, though rates in cities like Vancouver, Toronto, and Montreal are comparable. According to Payscale, Canadian senior software developers earn anywhere from $25-80 CAD ($20-65 USD) per hour, with Talent calculating an average of around $40 CAD ($31 USD) per hour. Senior developers are naturally towards the high end of that scale.

Mexico

SalaryExplorer notes that Mexican software developers earn around 30,000 pesos per month, or around $1500 USD per month. There is a very wide disparity in the range of Mexican software developers based on skillset, experience, and location, however. Mexico City, for example, is a considerably more expensive place to live than many other parts of the country. Thus, a range of anywhere from $15-40 per hour, with senior developers on the high side of the scale, is a reasonable estimate.

Remote developer rates in Europe

Western Europe

CountryEstimated outsourcing company daily rates ($USD)
UK$630
France$550
Spain$442
Portugal$390
Belgium$528
Netherlands$717
Germany$653
Italy$397
Switzerland$1199

Like North America, Western Europe is home to some of the world’s highest cost of living — as well as no shortage of software talent. This leads to rates similar to those found in North America, and in many cases even higher. It’s not uncommon for senior developers in Western Europe to pull in $100-200 USD per hour, and sometimes even more than that. Swiss developers are the most expensive in the region, as the cost of living in Switzerland is among the highest in the world.  

Eastern Europe

CountryEstimated outsourcing company daily rates ($USD)
Poland$375
Czechia$417
Slovakia$336
Hungary$282
Romania$239
Ukraine$338

Eastern Europe has long been a hub of offshore software development, with rates considerably lower than that in Western Europe and North America. Countries like Poland and Ukraine, for example, have drawn considerable investment and attention in software development. Hungary and Czechia  

If you find a senior remote developer in Eastern Europe for $30 per hour, consider yourself lucky. Many charge more than that, with $50 an hour and up being fairly common. The rates can vary significantly depending on what skillset you’re looking for, whether the developer is located in a major city or in a small town, or the nature of the work involved.  

Remote developer rates in Asia 

SmartDev new office

Behold the SmartDev office. We make sure to give our developers a fine place to work.

In the tech world, South and Southeast Asia have long been outsourcing hotspots. So, when someone says they’re looking to outsource to Asia, they’re usually referring to those specific regions. West Asia and Central Asia are not currently tech hubs. However, there’s a strong possibility that countries like Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan will soon attract more tech investment. Currently, however, a handful of countries dominate the remote developer world.

South Asia

CountryEstimated outsourcing company daily rates ($USD)
India$150
Pakistan$75
Bangladesh$90

India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh are home to an enormous pool of tech talent. Because this fact has long been known, the region has trended significantly upwards in the last couple of decades. India boasts one of the world’s largest tech hubs, with cities like Bangalore becoming world-famous.

Senior Indian developers, just as an example, can charge anywhere from $20-40 per hour or more depending on their experience, skillset, and the negotiation you reach.

Southeast Asia

CountryEstimated outsourcing company daily rates ($USD)
Vietnam$319
Thailand$278
Indonesia$140
Malaysia$183

We’re quite partial to Southeast Asia, of course, since we’re based here. Southeast Asia represents a large and upcoming generation of young, talented people who are hungry for more. Consider, for example, how Vietnam has gone from being one of the world’s poorest countries to a middle-income country in one generation, and you’ll see just how fast this sector is evolving.

The costs of hiring a senior developer in Vietnam, just as an example, are some of the lowest in the world for comparable talent. At our daily rate, a senior web full-stack developer at SmartDev costs $28/hr, for reference. You can compare our other daily rates here.

Remote developer rates across the world

Remote developers are availables

Remote developers are available at your fingertips.

When hiring remote developers, note that the cost will usually be higher than local rates. Eastern Europe and South Asia are both prime examples of this trend, where remote developers significantly out-earn locally focused competitors. There are a few reasons for this: 

  • English language proficiency confers a significant competitive advantage to remote workers
  • Remote workers compete in a global marketplace, meaning they have to be comparatively talented to workers in wealthy countries
  • Remote developers frequently work with companies from other countries, so are aware worldwide rates and how their cost of living stacks up

A good rule of thumb in remote hiring is this: Developer salaries and remote rates are largely dependent on the remote worker’s cost of living. Look to parts of the world where the cost of living is lower and you’re most likely to find lower hourly rates or annual salaries for software engineers. Combine this with talent and a drive to achieve and you’ve got a recipe for success.

Why hire remote developers? 

SmartDev Celebration

We’re proud to celebrate both our clients and our developers.

There are many benefits of hiring a remote software developer vs. someone who works in an office every day: You can hire people based on their skills rather than their commute, you don’t have to pay for gas or parking or provide any reimbursed meals, and your remote team members can work from home (or wherever they like) on days that are best for them.

Additionally, remote work is remarkably popular. Some 97% of poll respondents indicated they were in favor of remote work in some form — indicating there are significant benefits in terms of employee or freelancer retention.

If you want to learn more about just how hiring remote developers can work for you, how to do it, and why Vietnam is a good choice, check the articles linked in this sentence.

Considering going remote? 

If you’re considering hiring remote, we’re just the development team you’re looking for. With 150+ developers across a huge variety of categories, our team is well placed to guide you to success. Whether you’re looking for Java/Javascript, web developers of all kinds, app development, DevOps, mobile development, or more, we’ve got you covered. We write programming languages like our native tongue, and have dedicated project managers to facilitate points of contact.

Want to find out more? Curious to see just how we could get you where you need to go? Reach out to us and we’ll get back to you with all the details you want.


Source: Glassdoor
Calculation: Estimated daily rates = gross developer salary (excluded overheads) x 2
Date: 31/05/2022

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