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What’s the Cost of Hiring a Mobile App Developer in the U.S. vs. Mexico?

by Carlos A. Vázquez    |    December 25, 2023    |      6 min read

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What’s the Cost of Hiring a Mobile App Developer in the U.S. vs. Mexico?

“There’s an app for that!” It used to be a running joke. Now, it’s nothing short of reality as companies across all industries work to get their next greatest idea in mobile app form. 

Someone’s got to create it, of course, and it’s why mobile developers are in high demand. 

This should be of no surprise given the incessant demand for new mobile applications. Many industries find themselves in need of developing applications that help them digitize and improve their business. 

Read our complete guide to hiring a mobile developer to learn more about some of the common interview questions and top skills to look for when hiring developers. In this post, we’ll focus more on the practical aspects and costs of hiring a mobile App Developer and how that might compare to the U.S. 

Assessing Your Budget Size for the App Development Project 

Whether you are hiring a mobile app developer for the short or long term, you want to carefully assess the budget you might have for the particular project or budget you have mapped out for the foreseeable future (if it’s a long-term position). 

By carefully assessing what the app will cost, execution will go a lot smoother and you’ll avoid running into setbacks or delays in the future. 

Consider Whether You Want to Hire a Full-Time or Freelance App Developer 

This might vary depending on your company roadmap and the requirements of your mobile app. It will also depend on what stage of development your company is in. 

Things to consider before deciding on a freelancer or full-time developer:

  1. Scope and Budget
  2. Timeframe or estimated timeframe
  3. Decide on tech stack 
  4. Consider the Design phase 

Scope and Budget

Understand the scope of the project and what it will realistically take to get it to a delivery stage. This may take a little investigation as you assess the complexity of the project or talk to possible developers to understand the scope of work necessary to get the job done. 

Understanding the scope means digging into understanding the requirements and the features that need to be developed.

This involves:

  • Requirements
  • Defining objectives
  • Identifying the key features 
  • Platform and devices
  • User experience 
  • Integration
  • Data management
  • Security and privacy 
  • Performance 
  • Technology stack 

Timeframe 

It can be difficult to gauge exactly how much the development of your app will take. This may very well depend on several factors, but on average, a simple app development might take 2-4 months, an average app development about 6 months, and a complex app development could take up to 9 months to complete. 

Deciding Tech Stack:

Before you can hire the right mobile app developer, it should be clear what tech stack your app needs for development. What are the technologies and frameworks needed? 

Ready to hire top tech talent?

Costs of Hiring a Mobile App Developer in the U.S. 

Like any position, a mobile app developer’s salary in the U.S. can vary. The main factors that contribute to the average salary will be experience, specialization, and location. Cost of living is a major factor in salary differences across the U.S. 

According to Salary.com, the range will typically fall between $89,907 and $117,069 per year with a median salary of $102,794. 

Other sources will cite the average mobile developer salary at about $116,426 with entry-level starting around $93,118. 

This salary number will vary depending on the state or locality as well. According to Talent.com, the average mobile app developer salaries per region in the U.S. are: 

Washington $134,000
New York  $133,313
North Carolina $126,750
Arizona $126,750
Tennessee $110,000
Utah $105,000

Costs of Hiring a Mobile App Developer in Mexico 

The cost of living in Mexico is much lower than in the United States. By some estimates, it is about 64% less expensive. For example, according to livingcost.org, the cost of living per person in Mexico is about $786 vs the United States where it is about $2,213. 

According to our Tech Salaries Report 2023, the cost of hiring a mobile developer will be around $5,067 per month or $60,804 per year. The mobile developer role is one of the highest paying roles in Mexico, along with Project Managers, Dev Ops, Designers, and Solutions Architects. 

Mid-level developer (3-5 yrs) $2,919
Semi Senior Mobile Developer (6-10) $4,432
Senior Mobile Developer (11-15) $5,067

Cost of living among different regions in Mexico. 

Our Tech Salaries Report 2023 also looked at the average salary for tech professionals across different regions in Mexico and highlighted how where a tech professional lives can impact their expected salary. The map looked something like this:

The most expensive region will usually be Mexico City, as it is the industrial and main tech hub of the nation. After that, higher costs of living can be found in Guadalajara in the Western region and the Northeast region, where cities like Monterrey can be found. 

According to this data, there is a 34% difference between the most expensive region (Central region) and the least expensive (Northwest region). So, if the average salary for a mobile app developer in Mexico City is around $5,000 per month, that salary might likely be around $3,300. 

Find Qualified Mobile App Developers Through the CodersLink Network 

Finding the right mobile app developer, of course, is not simply a matter of putting up an ad or help wanted sign. It can take a little digging and some experienced recruiting. The cost of hiring a mobile app developer can double unnecessarily with one bad hire. 

Here at CodersLink, we specialize in the Mexican labor market by forming a large network of vetted developers and ensuring we have sophisticated talent sourcing, matching, and talent support to ensure the successful placement of candidates in proper roles. 

Want to learn more about how we have helped hundreds of U.S. companies find the right software developer, engineer, or tech pro? Connect with our team today.

Tech Salaries Report TLDR Version

Mexico Tech Salaries Report, The TLDR Version: Get the most important information from the fourth edition of our annual salary guide

Our report provides a comprehensive analysis of Mexico's burgeoning tech landscape. Find valuable insights into various aspects of the country's tech industry, including demographics, salary data, regional hubs, and language proficiency. It serves as an essential resource for businesses looking to tap into Mexico's tech talent and make informed decisions when building remote tech teams or hiring developers in the region.