Software Developer Hourly Rates in the USA

Software developers are in high demand in the United States, fueling strong growth in their hourly rates. This article analyzes current software developer rates in the USA, compares them to other major tech talent markets globally, and projects future trends.

The rapid demand growth for software developers has fueled a steady rise in their hourly rates in the USA over the past 5 years. Below is a comparison of average hourly rates by programming language and specialization since 2019.

Average Software Developer Rates in the USA

According to PayScale data, the average hourly rate for a software developer in the USA is $45.53 as of February 2023. Rates vary significantly based on role, experience, skills, and location.
Frontend developers earn slightly less than backend developers - $44.22 vs $46.31 per hour on average. Full-stack developers command the highest rates at $47.32 per hour on average.
Software engineers with over 20 years experience can earn over $60 per hour on average. Those just starting their careers earn around $30 per hour.

By location, Silicon Valley boasts the highest software developer rates at an average of $53.55 per hour. However, there is also intense competition for talent. Seattle, New York, Boston and Los Angeles also feature rates 10-15% above the national average.

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How US Rates Compare to Global Rates?

The USA commands the 2nd highest software developer hourly rates globally, behind only Switzerland, where rates average $55.95 per hour.

Among other major English-speaking tech talent markets, Canada averages $41.60 per hour, the UK $38.01 per hour, and Australia $37.30 per hour. In the European Union, Danish and German software engineers earn similar rates to their American counterparts, while Spain, Italy, and countries in Eastern Europe offer large cost savings to outsourcers.

India has become a top destination for IT outsourcing with rates as low as $25 per hour for experienced coders. However, turnover is often high and communication can be challenging.
The following table summarizes average hourly rates globally:

Projections for Software Developer Hourly Rates

As technology continues its ubiquity across all industries, demand for software developers in the US is expected to grow at a rapid pace. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics forecasts 22% 10-year job growth for software developers, much faster than average.

This intense competition for talent is likely to place continued upward pressure on hourly rates. By 2024, the average software developer rate in the US could surpass $50 per hour, with specialized roles and tech hubs continuing to pay significant premiums.

However, economic conditions may impact short-term growth. A potential recession in 2023/2024 would slow rate growth, but likely not lead to reductions given high demand.
Over the long term, remote work options could reduce geographic-based pay premiums as talent markets equalize globally. However, Silicon Valley and other vibrant tech hubs still offer unmatched career opportunities, networking, and innovation ecosystems. This enduring appeal will maintain their pay premiums.
Software Developer Hourly Rates in the USA

Conclusion

Software developers are highly coveted professionals in the USA, fueling pay rates that are among the highest globally. While global talent markets and economic fluctuations may impact rates at the margins, intense demand is likely to sustain rapid growth in developer hourly pay over the coming decade across specialized roles, experience levels, and top tech hub locations.
If you want to know the hourly rates for developers in the USA, the team at ODC can help you find a specialist to fit your budget.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Question:
    Which programming languages earn the highest hourly rates in the USA?
    Answer:
    As of 2023, Python and JavaScript developers earn the top hourly rates at $53 and $52.40 per hour on average, respectively. Following close are Java, C++, C#, and PHP developers with average rates between $48-52 per hour.
  • Question:
    How fast are software developer rates rising each year in the USA?
    Answer:
    Over the past 5 years, developer hourly rates have increased nearly 10% overall in the USA. Rates for backend engineers have risen faster, at 12% versus 7% for frontend developers. High demand has fueled above-average growth for Python and JavaScript devs in particular.
  • Question:
    How do US developer rates compare to Europe and other English-speaking countries?
    Answer:
    The USA has the 2nd highest developer rates globally, behind only Switzerland. The US considerably outpaces Canada ($41.60), the UK ($38), and Australia ($37.30) in average hourly software developer compensation. Some Western European countries like Denmark approach US rates.
  • Question:
    Are outsourced developer rates substantially cheaper than the USA?
    Answer:
    Yes, regions with vastly lower costs of living feature much lower hourly rates for software developers. India has rates averaging as low as $25 per hour. However, outsourcing comes with downsides like communications barriers, higher turnover, and intellectual property risks.

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