All You Need to Know About Global Software Outsourcing Rates

Software outsourcing is the business practice of hiring an outside organization to complete specific tasks that could be taken care of within an organization, like building a minimum viable product (MVP).

Software outsourcing has its merits, as well as its disadvantages, one of them being its inexpensiveness, especially with offshore companies, compared to building in-house teams.

As the costs of hiring a developer are relatively higher in Western countries, companies benefit greatly from the diverse and affordable offshore talent markets.

In this post, we compare software outsourcing hourly rates among six main offshore development destinations, look into each region in detail, and go over the hourly rates for some skills and programming languages in two locations.

All the rates were last modified in September 2020.

Global software outsourcing rates comparison

Software outsourcing rates (and the costs of labor in general) are higher in North America, Australia, and Europe compared to South America, Asia, and Africa.

For instance, the rates begin with 25€ for hiring a junior developer in North America and can go as high as 85€ (or much higher) with senior and more experienced developers.

In Australia, the rates for hiring a software developer begin with 21€ an hour and can go as high as 85€ (or even 152€ or higher). Software outsourcing is cheaper in Europe compared to the two previous regions, starting from 18€ and rising to 56€ an hour.

Whereas hiring a junior developer from Asia costs about 15€ an hour on average, and more experienced developers usually charge 34€ an hour or less.

Rates are moderately similar in South America and Africa, beginning with 17€ and rising as high as 42€ an hour based on a developer’s skillset.

You can see the average software outsourcing hourly rates by region below:

Region Minimum Hourly Rate Maximum Hourly Rate
North America 20€ +80€
South America 17€ 42€
Europe 18€ 55€
Asia 15€ 34€
Australia 21€ +80€
Africa 17€ 36€
Software outsourcing rates in North America
north america

Software outsourcing rates are notably higher in North America than anywhere else.

Consequently, most North American companies choose to outsource their software products to cut their costs of product development.

Field Hourly Rates
Junior Developer 25€ – 31€
Mid-Level Developer 32€ – 40€
Senior Developer 37€ – 52€
Lead Developer 43€ – 65€
Business Analyst 19€ – 29€
Project Manager 23€ – 40€
Junior Mobile Developer 21€ – 34€
Mid-Level Mobile Developer 25€ – 46€
Senior Mobile Developer 42€ – 65€
Junior QA 18€ – 27€
Mid-Level QA 32€ – 44€
Senior QA 37€ – 59€
Software outsourcing rates in South America
south america

South America is a popular outsourcing destination, especially for North American companies; many choose this region because of its reasonable prices, negligible time zone difference, and geographical proximity.

Hiring a junior developer from North America can cost up to 59€ an hour. A vendor from North America can cut its costs up to 25% if it hires a junior developer from South America, as they charge 30€ an hour, or less.

Field Hourly Rates
Junior Developer 24€ – 46€
Mid-Level Developer 23€ – 50€
Senior Developer 27€ – 55€
Lead Developer 23€ – 59€
Business Analyst 19€ – 33€
Project Manager 34€ – 57€
Junior Mobile Developer 21€ – 25€
Mid-Level Mobile Developer 27€ – 39€
Senior Mobile Developer 38€ – 44€
Junior QA 28€ – 38€
Mid-Level QA 32€ – 42€
Senior QA 34€ – 50€
Software outsourcing rates in Europe
europe

Despite their geographical proximity, software outsourcing rates differ a lot in Eastern Europe and Western Europe. 

Hourly rates are much lower in Eastern Europe (in countries such as Ukraine and Poland, two very notable IT nations), and double or even triple in some countries in Western Europe (such as Belgium and the UK).

The data we collected shows the average hourly rates in all of Europe, combining its Eastern and Western regions.

Europe is famous for its density of skilled software developers and a popular region for outsourcing, and most of its developers speak intermediate or upper-intermediate English.

Field Hourly Rates
Junior Developer 7€ – 19€
Mid-Level Developer 25€ – 50€
Senior Developer 38€ – 59€
Lead Developer 42€ – 76€
Business Analyst 34€ – 59€
Project Manager 25€ – 50€
Junior Mobile Developer 21€ – 27€
Mid-Level Mobile Developer 27€ – 36€
Senior Mobile Developer 35€ – 52€
Junior QA 17€ – 42€
Mid-Level QA 21€ – 50€
Senior QA 25€ – 59€
Software outsourcing rates in Asia
Asia

Software outsourcing rates are significantly lower in Asia because of its rather adverse work conditions.

China and India are the two main outsourcing destinations in Asia, each with a large number of software developers.

Western companies choose Asian outsourcing companies because they charge less than their Western nearshore counterparts, but dealing with language, time zone, and cultural disparities is almost always a challenge.

Field Hourly Rates
Junior Developer 17€ – 21€
Mid-Level Developer 21€ – 25€
Senior Developer 20€ – 28€
Lead Developer 20€ – 29€
Business Analyst 21€ – 29€
Project Manager 20€ – 42€
Junior Mobile Developer 13€ – 18€
Mid-Level Mobile Developer 17€ – 23€
Senior Mobile Developer 25€ – 34€
Junior QA 15€ – 20€
Mid-Level QA 18€ – 22€
Senior QA 18€ – 24€
Software outsourcing rates in Australia
Australia

Australia falls a bit behind in outsourcing and software development because of its geographical remoteness; this factor prevents the region from cultural exchanges and business cooperation with neighbor labor markets.

Even though a digital nomad lifestyle allows developers to work remotely with other companies from across the globe, managing time zone difference is extremely difficult when working with Australian developers.

Not to mention, the rates are high.

By taking a look at the Australian Skilled Occupation List (2017-2018), we realize that the country lacks skilled software developers and QA engineers. So, local specialists are expensive and charge up to 152€ an hour sometimes.

Field Hourly Rates
Junior Developer 24€ – 46€
Mid-Level Developer 18€ – 51€
Senior Developer 24€ – 96€
Lead Developer 25€ – 39€
Business Analyst 15€ – 59€
Project Manager 23€ – 50€
Junior Mobile Developer 15€ – 46€
Mid-Level Mobile Developer 32€ – 50€
Senior Mobile Developer 29€ – 51€
Junior QA 13€ – 27€
Mid-Level QA 14€ – 37€
Senior QA 23€ – 67€
Software outsourcing rates in Africa
Africa

The market is newly discovered and lacks experienced specialists due to its freshness in Africa.

The prices are more affordable in the Northern parts and offer similar prices as Asia. But in South Africa, the rates rise to 84€ sometimes; such fluctuation is caused by the severe skill shortage in the area at the moment.

The chart below shows the combination of Northern and Southern regions’ data.

Field Hourly Rates
Junior Developer 3€ – 10€
Mid-Level Developer 9€ – 21€
Senior Developer 11€ – 37€
Lead Developer 10€ – 24€
Business Analyst 8€ – 25€
Project Manager 12€ – 25€
Junior Mobile Developer 1€ – 8€
Mid-Level Mobile Developer 9€ – 25€
Senior Mobile Developer 25€ – 39€
Junior QA 3€ – 6€
Mid-Level QA 4€ – 13€
Senior QA 6€ – 20€
Hourly rates by skills and programming languages in the US and Germany

We have picked two locations to look into and compare in this section: the United States and Germany.

The charts below include the hourly rates for the most popular software development skills and programming languages in 2019 and 2020.

Data collected from salary.com and payscale.com.

Skill/Programming Language Hourly Rates
Mobile31€ – 42€
Product42€ – 56€
Ruby On Rails 26€ – 34€
C 27€ – 36€
Python 30€ – 39€
Java32€ – 43€
Linux 30€ – 43€
Backbone.Js 24€ – 38€
Agile Methodology39€ – 53€
Maven44€ – 50€
Product Marketing 39€ – 51€
Product Management 30€ – 40€
Agile/Scrum 39€ – 53€
User Experience Design 26€ – 33€
IOS Development 30€ – 40€
JavaScript 37€ – 45€
User Interface Design 21€ – 27€
Jira 26€ – 37€
Django 27€ – 62€
CSS 34€ – 42€
Project Management49€ – 67€
Online Marketing 33€ – 43€
Android 39€ – 50€
Web Developer 23€ – 29€
Sales Strategy and Management 40€ – 56€
Business Strategy 39€ – 75€
MySQL 49€ – 67€
HTML 39€ – 48€
Digital Strategy 35€ – 50€
Web Design 23€ – 29€
HTML5 & CSS3 50€ – 65€
Web Analytics 21€ – 29€
Business Development 24€ – 34€
Graphic Designer 19€ – 24€
Social Media Marketing 34€ – 50€
Sales and Marketing 55€ – 72€
JQuery 37€ – 43€
PHP 29€ – 37€

As we’ve already mentioned, the rates are significantly higher in North America compared to anywhere else.

The chart above shows the data concerning the United States.

Java takes the lead, with an hourly rate of 37-45€. Python comes after, with an hourly rate of €30-39, and C comes last, with an hourly rate of 27-36€.

Skill/Programming Language Hourly Rates
Mobile9€ – 21€
Product18€ – 38€
Ruby On Rails 14€ – 18€
C 9€ – 48€
Python 9€ – 71€
Java9€ – 58€
Linux 14€ – 25€
Backbone.Js 9€ – 52€
Agile Methodology45€ – 50€
Maven67€ – 90€
Product Marketing 16€ – 74€
Product Management 62€ – 100€
Agile/Scrum 53€ – 60€
User Experience Design 25€ – 60€
IOS Development 9€ – 73€
JavaScript 9€ – 19€
User Interface Design 17€ – 47€
Jira 11€ – 22€
Django 17€ – 29€
CSS 8€ – 43€
Project Management56€ – 59€
Online Marketing 17€ – 37€
Android 9€ – 56€
Web Developer 8€ – 43€
Sales Strategy and Management 15€ – 104€
Business Strategy 34€ – 63€
MySQL 13€ – 24€
HTML 14€ – 19€
Digital Strategy 16€ – 38€
Web Design 8€ – 57€
HTML5 & CSS3 8€ – 38€
Web Analytics 8€ – 57€
Business Development 15€ – 41€
Graphic Designer 9€ – 48€
Social Media Marketing 9€ – 24€
Sales and Marketing 11€ – 24€
JQuery 9€ – 23€
PHP 12€ – 26€

The chart above shows the data concerning Germany.

The price range is wide in Germany, and the minimum hourly rates and maximum hourly rates can differ considerably.

Java takes the lead here as well, with an hourly rate that begins with 9€ and can rise to 58€. Python comes next with an hourly rate of 9-72€, and C comes last again with an hourly rate of 9-48€.

If we compare these three programming languages in the US and Germany, we see that the average price is much higher in the US, but the minimum and maximum rates fluctuate a lot more in Germany.

We’ve also written other posts about outsourcing; read Why Software Outsourcing Fails Most of the Time.

What does WinATalent do?

WinATalent offers numerous outsourcing and estimation services that help you develop your software product successfully.

We have a network of vetted freelancers who can take care of your every software need.

We also help you get a better sense of your product’s deliverables and its completion process by tailoring an estimation document.

Visit our website for more information.

30 thoughts on “All You Need to Know About Global Software Outsourcing Rates

    1. Hi Emily,

      That’s completely true. The rates CAN in fact be as low as you said, but we’re stating the average rates here.
      That’s why they might seem higher than expected, because some regions are still a bit more expensive.

  1. Such compelete statistics.
    These rates will absolutely give companies a good insight about freelacers’ rate from all over the world.

    1. Hi Matt,
      There isn’t much data available online regarding this matter, since a great number of Middle Easterns don’t have the resources to work internationally.
      But I’ll definitely write a post about this very soon!

  2. Hi, thank you for your detailed article about software outsourcing rates.
    I’m looking to outsource the development of my application idea and this info will help me to choose the best country to look for developers.

    What I’m looking for is a country which is not as expensive as Europe or USA, because I want to develop kind of an MVP. Also, I’ve had unpleasant experiences with very cheap developers (one of them was Indian and the other one was from Pakistan)

    I’ve recently heard that Iranian developers have very high standards in their work compared to what they cost. One of my friends told me they deliver great results, comparable to programmers of West Europe which is surprising.

    Do you have any info about the rates of Iranian application developers?

    1. Hi Matthew, thanks for your comment.
      Will soon add this data on this post in future updates.
      You can also contact our experts at WINaTALENT’s website; we offer freelance services from IT experts with compatible rates which are a lot lower than the US and Europe. We can either develop your product from scratch or fix its features.

  3. Hi there

    I’m a software developer with 8+ years of experience and I would like to start working as a freelancer.
    How can I get outsourcing projects from abroad? Could you please advise?

    Thanks

    1. Hi Monica,
      Thanks for your comment.

      Our platform is currently recruiting freelance developers. Check out our website https://winatalent.com/ and sign up.
      Make sure to thoroughly complete your profile in order to get verified.

      Best of luck.

  4. Thank your for the report of the global hourly rates for software engineering. Now I can compare different countries.

    I’m thinking how much will it cost to develop my e-commerce MVP (minimum viable product) application (iOS and Android). I’m looking for a developer to build this MVP, but if I get good signals from market, I wanna build a more reliable and scalable custom app to further develop it.

    I don’t know what’s the best choice for me.
    Hire an offshore remote developer?
    Hire a full-time developer?
    Or just contract-out the MVP on bidding freelancing platforms and later decide for the second version?

    This decision will impact my estimation of charges and development fees. I wanna know how much should I pay for my IT services.

  5. Do you have any comments on outsourcing software development pros and cons in different local markets?
    For example, maybe freelancers of some areas are better in specific things… such as cultural fit or time-zone difference management… or quality of codes and communication skills??

    1. Hi Balduin,
      thanks for your comment.
      The criteria that affects your relations with freelancers (factors such as their location and rate) is highly dependent on your own circumstances.
      Whether your timezones and cultural differences can create a problem or not is entirely on you and the person you work with, but I can suggest Ukrainian and Iranian developers; they’re compatible with almost anyone.

  6. I’m aware of software development rates in Eastern Europe, USA, South America and regions near Australia because of my experience in IT software outsourcing.

    Although outsourcing rates vary by country and different companies, we finally decide with focus on the hourly rate and the professionalism of the developer.

  7. This articles answers everything you need to know about outsourcing cost of programmers. I’m surprised.
    I was able to compare hourly based developers outsourcing rates, eastern Europe vs Asia vs other continents.

    I have one question though, are offshore developer rates different from these?

  8. This article is so innovative and well constructed I got a lot of information from this post. Keep writing related to the topics on your site.

    1. Hi Emily,
      Yes, in fact they’re very different.
      We will update this post and give you some more info on the “why” soon.

  9. I’ve heard some countries offer extremely good prices because of their currency value and inflation, such as Iran and its neighbors.

    Can I assume this low price will not affect the quality of work and we can get decent work done? Because Indian freelancers offer low prices, too, but they sacrifice quality.

    1. Hi Xavier, thanks for your comment.
      Well, it’s true that India has made quite a reputation for itself regarding its rates and the quality it offers.
      But low price doesn’t always mean poor quality; in some regions, the rates might be low because the costs of labor are lower. That doesn’t necessarily affect the quality.
      We offer freelance services from Iranian and Middle Eastern regions as well, and we guarantee the quality!
      If you’re interested, please check out our website and sign up for free!
      winatalent.com

  10. Outsourcing or Software Development Outsourcing has been one of the most talked about services for business development and strategies, especially after Globalization.

  11. It had been a long time I was looking for a place to have all of these stats in one place. Software development is a hot topic these days, such stats can be really helpful.

  12. It seems that middle east and europe has been considered in the same region, while I understand it may be because of the lack of information, it would have been a batter idea to count Middle east as it’s own location and show the info as incomplete in that region. A good idea for expanding this infographic is to link each country individually for anyone how wants to know more about a specific country. In general this is a nice informative work and helps deliver the information.

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