The Ultimate Guide to Hire iOS Developers: Salaries, Skills, and More

Updated 14 Feb 2023

17 Min




In today's digital age, developing a mobile application can be a game-changer for businesses and entrepreneurs alike. However, it's not always easy to find the right iOS app developer to bring your idea to life. With so many candidates to choose from, it can be overwhelming to narrow down your search and find the ideal partner. In this article, we will provide you with a comprehensive guide on how to hire an iOS app developer highly competent in Swift and Objective-C.

Let’s briefly outline the critical steps to hire iphone developers:

  • Outline the details of your project. This involves creating a rough plan of your project, outlining its objectives, scope, required milestones, budget, and resources required.
  • Select the most relevant cooperation model. Depending on the nature of your project and the goals you want to achieve, there are different cooperation models to consider.
  • Complete the interviews and meetings. Once you've identified potential partners or collaborators, you'll need to conduct interviews and meetings to discuss your project and explore possible synergies.
  • Accept the agreement and sign the partnership contract. After determining a suitable partner or collaborators, it’s time to negotiate the terms of your partnership and formalize it in a contract.

How to Hire iOS Developer: Roles and Responsibilities

The iOS development project requires a team comprising a project manager, UI/UX designers, back-end developers, QA engineers, and obviously, iOS developers. Not everyone understands the full scale of duties that are fulfilled by last specialists. In fact, the borders of iOS developer responsibilities go beyond writing code. They take part at every stage of app development, from planning and design aspects (wireframing screens, building UI) to testing and launching the app to the App Store. Thus, every teammate is essential in the development flow, but the iOS developers play a vitally significant part. So avoid trying to decrease expenditures on their work.

Design awareness is what you should pay due attention to while looking for iOS developer candidate. The point is, the qualitative UI/UX design services aren't only designers' responsibilities since the responsibilities of iOS developer comprise transferring good experience to final users. That's why among iOS developer key skills should be experienced with both UI/UX, understand their principles, and, of course, be good at programming in Swift or other languages.

Junior, middle, and senior iOS developers

Typically, the versatility of developers depends on their working experience. Respectively, the more projects a developer has worked on, the more complex and diverse tech problems he/she can solve. In the IT industry, the skills of programmers are divided into three levels: junior, middle, and senior.

Junior iOS developer

It’s an entry level iOS developer. In companies, junior developers most commonly work alongside their more experienced colleagues to improve their knowledge and enhance skills. It usually takes a few years for junior developers to level up.

Middle iOS developer

After working on various complex projects, developers move from beginners to a more advanced level that's called middle or mid level iOS developer. Here they have more independence in terms of working on projects.

Senior iOS developer

Senior iOS developer is an experienced developer that has seen tons of code and released dozens of apps. Typically, such developers not just code and design an app but deal with iOS testing frameworks, integration of APIs, and security matters. Consequently, iOS senior developer salary is higher.

Considering everything mentioned above, you're willing to choose whether your project requires less or more experienced iOS software engineer. The critical factor here is your budget, as salaries for each level may vary dramatically. The project complexity also matters since the junior developer will barely cope well with a large project with a complicated business logic.

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iOS developer skill set

The scope of iOS developer largely depends on your project. However, the general skills needed for iOS developer should look something like this:

  • Proficient with Swift or Objective-C programming language;
  • Knowledge of Xcode IDE;
  • Experience with APIs like Cocoa Touch and UIKit;
  • Understanding of RESTful APIs;
  • Understanding of UI and UX design standards;
  • Knowledge of Apple Human Interface Guidelines;
  • Experience with Metal or OpenGL;
  • Advanced knowledge of code versioning tools like Git;
  • Knowledge of Core Data framework.
iOS developer skills to look for

iOS developer requirements

How to Hire an iPhone App Developer

Now, when you understand the roles and responsibilities of iOS developers and know what skills you should look for, it's time to talk about where and how exactly to hire iphone programmer.

In fact, there are three well-known options to find iOS developer for hire, such as:

  • Option#1. Freelance iOS developer
  • Option#2. In-house team of developers
  • Option#3. Software outsourcing company

However, which one is the most suitable in your case? Let's sort this out.

When to Hire a Freelance iOS Developer

Freelancers are a quite wide-spread option for any kind of services, and it's not a problem to find and hire someone to make an app for you. However, freelance iOS app developers aren't the best option in case you're looking for long-term cooperation; it is more about hiring a part-time iOS developer.

It may be more reasonable to hire freelancers to fulfill a project with certain requirements and deadlines. For instance, you can hire freelance iOS developers for bug fixing or perform tasks related to adding additional features to a ready-made app. If you want to find iPhone app developer for your project among the freelancers, please note that the main drawback of hiring them for the project development from scratch is the total absence of quality guarantee. What’s more, you aren’t able to manage and control them. Thus, the final product may not meet your requirements and deadlines. If you don't have a development team, the best option is to apply to experienced and competent outsourcing companies.

Probably, you wonder where to find freelance iOS developers for hire? While there are dozens of websites allowing you to find companies and freelancers from all around the world, Upwork and LinkedIn are among the most popular and credible ones.


  • The freelance market is full of iOS developers you can pick from and, respectively, you're unlikely to face problems with finding the right developer for your project
  • Hiring a freelancer is often cheaper compared to other options
  • You don't have to pay a salary to a freelance worker in case you have no work for him/her
  • No worries about taxes, office space, vacations, sick leaves, etc.


  • Freelancers can't cooperate with other developers participating in a project as closely as, let's say, in-house or outsourced workers can
  • Nobody can give you a 100% guarantee that your freelance employee won't abandon the project one day and simply disappear
  • Failed deadlines are a widespread problem among freelancers
  • Language and cultural barriers are also among the problems of working with freelancers
  • You can't be sure your freelance developer is involved only in your project and has no side customers
  • A freelancer’s work implies frequent changes of projects, and your freelance developer may simply switch to another project if he/she gets bored or stuck on a problem

To learn whether a developer has the required expertise, you can check the iOS developer portfolio or ask about expertise directly. In case you're considering an iOS app development company, look for a dedicated page or case study on the website.

When to Form an In-house Development Team

Let’s proceed to the advantages and disadvantages of in-house software development. A plethora of startup companies have utilized outsourcing software development services of their products and only then started thinking over forming an in-house software development team. Skype, Slack, Opera, and many other giants are among them.

Let’s go on and consider in-house development advantages and disadvantages. If you're a startup company, it's more rational to outsource software development and gather the in-house team together when a viability point is achieved. What does it mean? The viability is visible when the product is deployed to the market, and sponsors or users (or both) are engaged in it. This fact alone may indicate the perspective of attracting fundings or generating profit from monetization in the future. If you're a startup company, it's a more balanced solution for you to outsource software development and put the in-house team together when a viability point will be reached. What does it mean? The viability comes when you have launched a product to the market and see that investors or users (or both) start taking interest in it. This fact alone may indicate the perspective of attracting fundings or generating profit from monetization in future. 

Thus, you can begin distributing resources to hire dedicated development team and other tech experts to work in-house. It's not a universal plan for startups but is still a good option. Nevertheless, the advantages of in-house development may be helpful for middle-sized firms and establishments which build specific products with sophisticated business logic requiring regular cooperation of programmers and other departments.

Here are the advantages and disadvantages of in-house software development:


  • Your employees can work together 24/7
  • No limitations in communication and distance
  • Developers are provided with in-depth information of your project as they work only on yours


  • In-house development is on the payroll, so salaries are obligatory even in case you have no tasks for them
  • Hiring the right talents is a challenging task, and don't forget they sometimes leave, so you have to be ready to search for new ones constantly
  • Taxes, office space rent, hardware, software, and other related stuff you have to pay for
  • Vacations, sick leaves, and other perks your employees enjoy while you're paying them off

When to Hire an Outsourcing Company

If you're looking for an economical and fast option to hire iOS developers, you should turn your mind to software outsourcing companies.

As a rule, they offer two cooperation models:

Dedicated Team

You hire iOS app developer (it doesn't matter one, two, three, or more) and pay due to the per hour rate of that company on every member. This option is also known as an outstaffing or dedicated developer team. In case you select it, you’ll take over all the management of in-house application development, and the employees can work both in your already existing team (if any) or accomplish your tasks.


You contact the outsource software development company's representatives, detail your requirements, and top iPhone app developers execute your project from scratch. All the management aspects and responsibilities for the entire chain of processes (from design to release), lay on the company.

It’s significant to mention that there are some key factors that will help you to hire dedicated iPhone developer successfully:

  • Portfolio. Your potential partner should have excellent previous project samples
  • Rates and reviews. The best way to check the vendor’s suitability is to see if the prior or current clients are satisfied
  • Social media accounts. Publications located there may help you assess if the company is competent enough to share the extra info with its followers

Why is it an optimal choice to hire iOS developers from outsourcing companies? Here are the key advantages and disadvantages of this cooperation model:


  • If you urgently need to find iOS developer with extensive experience, an outsourcing company is one of the best options as such firms keep an eye on their employees' skills and train them all the time to stick to high industry standards
  • No vacations, dismissals, recruiting, and anything else that may freeze the project development
  • Unlike freelancers, iOS developers in one company can communicate all the time and discuss the experience
  • Ordinarily, freelance iOS developer rates and rates of experienced programmers working in a company are the same or even lower (it depends on a region)
  • Fewer expenditures than hiring an in-house developer and you don't have to pay taxes
  • All the organizational issues are on the shoulders of the company's project manager, who keeps in touch with you


  • If the company you've picked is situated in another country, there may be communication delays which can be overcome by setting up a simple schedule
  • Cultural gap and language barrier

Searching for a credible partner?

Our specialists analyze your requirements and provide a personalized estimate

Where to Find iOS Developers

There you'll find detailed information about firms, reviews from their customers, as well as flexible search by countries, industries, hourly rates, and more.

  • Clutch. This platform Comprises 150.000+ agencies in 500+ categories, software development companies as well.
  • GoodFirms. It allows users to check authenticated reviews and has 60000+ services and software companies.
  • GitHub. This platform allows you to select among over 65 million developers and 3 million organizations.
  • AppFutura. AppFutura is a service that connects businesses with outsourcing vendors specializing in mobile app development.
  • TechReviewer. It is a research and review platform that provides in-depth analysis of tech companies based on their expertise, industry recognition, and client feedback.
  • TechTello. This B2B platform connects businesses with IT companies qualified in web and mobile app development.

Factors to Consider Before Hiring an iOS Developer

So, you've picked the most suitable hiring option for your case. Is there anything else to pay attention to before you hire iOS developers? You bet! Let’s split the points for consideration into two categories:

Hard skills

This group includes the proficiency, knowledge, expertise level, and technical skills required for iOS developer.

Full-on experience

Experience is a vital factor, especially when it comes to software development services. We've already touched upon the division of software engineers into levels. Those levels are often assigned to developers depending on their work experience in the tech industry:

  • Junior -- up to 2 years;
  • Middle -- from 2 to 5 years;
  • Senior -- over 5 years.

Hands-on expertise

Experience and expertise are two different notions that develop technical skills for iOS developer. The expertise means that the developer has already dealt with certain apps or worked on projects focused on a specific industry (e.g., logistics). It's a good idea to pay your attention not only to experience but expertise as well. To learn whether a developer has the required expertise, you can check the iOS developer portfolio or ask about expertise directly. In case you're considering an outsourcing company, look for a dedicated page or case study on the website.


This is another crucial factor that will help to estimate iOS developer technical skills. By checking the portfolio of a candidate or company, you can see both their experience and expertise. What's more, you can try out apps they've developed and evaluate their overall proficiency as well as their attention to detail.

Please note, that the number of years spent writing code isn't a marker of high iOS developer qualifications. Pay your attention to the number of projects this specialist was involved in rather than the time he/she works as a developer. Otherwise, you put yourself at risk to hire a narrowly focused developer who has spent the entire career supporting one specific app.

Soft skills

These skills required for iOS developer incorporate personal traits that impact working productivity. They also help to maintain a proper dialogue with teammates, enhance the working environment, and, as a result, to make the workflow more efficient.

Communicating skills

If your remote iOS developer or software development company is placed in another country or continent, you have to establish a stable communication channel. As a rule, a bit of scheduling and specialized software like Slack or Skype solve this problem. However, discuss this point beforehand.

Time management

This skill is integral for meeting deadlines and indicating the self-organization level, which goes hand in hand with the efficiency of each developer during the development flow.

Problem-solving approach

The ability to find solutions by applying such an approach and a creative way of thinking will help the developer overcome all the building challenges quickly and productively.

Set Up Your iOS Developer Requirements

To define your requirement for ios developers properly, you should understand the cooperation flow with your future partner.

You can observe the services step by step required to build a successful application below:

  • Consultation. It allows assessing if the company can meet your requirements and negotiate your potential cooperation.
  • Discovery Phase. This stage commonly involves the product architecture and thorough features detailing.
  • Development by Sprints. It incorporates the technical implementation of the functionality, quality assurance, delivery, and deployment process of your product.
  • Product Release. The step of launching the product to the market.
  • Further Support. The developers are essential for the subsequent support, bug fixing, and updating after the application launching.

Before applying to any specialist, discussing anything, or signing an iOS developer contract, you have to learn your project inside and out. That's the only way to make informed decisions and set the proper requirements for the expert. Here are several tips that'll help you approach this process:

1. Describe the overall idea

Write down the general idea of your application in order not to get lost in your thoughts. You can devote a small paragraph or a sentence to this description and focus on the app's use cases or the main problems it should solve. This will help you concentrate and put your thoughts together.

2. Set your goal

Describe goals you plan to reach both in the short term and long run. E.g. get a thousand downloads, find investors, hit the top on app stores etc. By evaluating your goals, you can understand the scale of your app and set the direction for further development.

3. Describe the functionality

It's pretty simple to describe the app's functionality. Just think and make up a list of features you want to be implemented in your application. Thus, your iOS developers will better understand what they are going to deal with.

4. Set priorities

It's a good idea to prioritize features so that developers know what they should focus their attention on first. There is a variety of prioritization strategies that can help you decide what features should come first.

Cost to Hire iOS Developers

The iOS developer hourly rate is one of the decisive factors for most customers. Those rates vary depending on a hiring option you choose as well as the region you're intended to form an in-house team in or hire remote iOS developers from.

Average iOS developer salary

The service cost of an iOS developer per hour is one of the decisive factors for most customers. iOS software engineer salary varies depending on the hiring option you choose as well as the region you're intended to form an in-house team in or hire remote iOS developers from. According to Glassdoor, one of the world’s largest job sites, iOS developers get $107,338 per year.

iOS app developer salary in USA

If you want to recruit experienced talents who will work as a part of your full-time team, you have to offer them a competitive salary. As for the US, the average iOS app developer salary is about $97.214K.

You can see a detailed table below:

PositionAverage Salary

iOS App Developer


iOS Mobile Developer


iOS Software Developer


iOS Software Engineer


Average Annual Salary


However, iOS app developer salary in USA largely depends on a state since each one has a different number of talents and supply for them not talking about the cost of living.

Freelance iOS developer salary

According to the data published by UpWork (it covers freelance iOS developers from all over the world), the average iOS developer hourly rate ranges between $40-60.

This way, the eight-hour workday will cost you $400 on average. It's $2000 a week and $8000 a month. But remember, these figures are approximate. You can find iOS developer rates that are above or below average.

iOS developer salary (Europe)

The cost of hiring an iOS app developer working for the software outsourcing company depends on the country and even the continent in which this company is situated. As the iPhone app developer salary in North America is pretty high, you can expect bills with lots of zeros. The same thing with Australia and most countries of Western Europe. Asia is a pretty cheap option, but you may encounter a language barrier and a cultural gap when working with local companies.

Check our article on how to outsource software development and not to fail

If you're seeking the perfect value for money, you should consider Central Europe in general and Estonia in particular. The price for development is low, while the number of top iOS app developers is high.

iOS developer salary by region on the world map

iOS app development hourly rates by regions on a world map

Reasons to Hire iOS Developers at Cleveroad

Our team strives to ensure 100% user satisfaction by guaranteeing that our iPhone/iPad, Apple Watch, and Apple TV apps operate smoothly on all Apple gadgets and iOS versions. We achieve superior performance by developing our iOS solutions using native programming languages such as Swift and Objective-C. To achieve this, we leverage various Apple resources, including frameworks, app services such as Apple Pay, HealthKit, HomeKit, CloudKit, media and web tools, and graphics and game development kits like ARKit, SceneKit, and OpenGL.

Here are some of our successful iOS projects:

Micro-investment platform for the Middle East market

Our project involves the creation of a Micro-Investment Platform that is specifically designed for the Middle East market. The main objective is to eliminate the traditional obstacles associated with minimum brokerage account sizes by serving as a mediator between individual traders and investment companies. The aim is to attract a new target audience that is interested in micro-investing, and offer a user-friendly automated service that facilitates the management of personal savings.

Route Planning and Transport Management System

Transportation Mangement System was designed for a client who specializes in warehousing and long-distance delivery of cargo, mainly for drop-shipping, and has a separate division that offers last-mile delivery services to marketplaces of varying sizes. To streamline their operations, the company was delivered with transportation management and automated route planning software, which is integrated with their existing business systems.

Versatile video-on-demand platform

Blockbuster is one of our iOS cases. The famous American company, Blockbuster, was known for its video and game rental services. Its brand rights were acquired by Danish TDC, who launched a video streaming platform in the Nordics. This platform now features over 8,000 movies and 350 seasons of TV series. Our team played a crucial role in this video-on-demand platform by developing a sophisticated search system and creating custom video players for iOS and Android platforms. Additionally, we designed a new user interface, rebuilt the iOS app, overhauled the Android and Android TV apps, and partially transitioned to the GraphQL data query language.

Cooperate with our iOS specialists

Tell us your iOS idea and get advice from senior experts

Frequently Asked Questions
How to hire an iOS developer?

First off, you have to decide what hiring option is right for you:

  • Freelancer
  • In-house employee
  • Vendor

Freelancers are often unreliable but offer pretty low rates. Picking this option, you should be ready for delays and mediocre product quality.

In-house employees are a good but very expensive option for some regions. They’re the only choice you have if you want to hire a developer to your office, not a remote one.

Software development vendors usually offer the best value for money especially talking about outsourcing companies. Pay your attention to vendors from Estonia offering iOS developers as a dedicated team. Rates are competitive while the quality is high due to thorough recruiting and optimized processes.

Where to hire an iOS developer?

Again, everything depends on what type of employment you’re considering: freelance, in-house employee or outsourcing.

Here are the platforms where you can find iOS developers under any suitable option:

  • Freelancers — Upwork, Fiverr, Toptal
  • In-house employees — LinkedIn, Indeed, Glassdoor
  • Outsourcing — Clutch, GoodFirms, AppFutura
How much does it cost to hire an iOS developer?

It depends on the type of employment (freelance, in-house, outsourcing) and even more heavily on the region.

Underneath, I’m attaching the average rates per hour for iOS developers in different regions of the world:

  • Central Europe (Ukraine) — $35/h
  • Western Europe — $70/h
  • North America — $150/h
  • South America — $43/h
  • Australia — $110/h
  • Asia — $30/h
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About author

Evgeniy Altynpara is a CTO and member of the Forbes Councils’ community of tech professionals. He is an expert in software development and technological entrepreneurship and has 10+years of experience in digital transformation consulting in Healthcare, FinTech, Supply Chain and Logistics

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29.06.2022 at 10:55

HI there, Thanks for sharing this information! As we know mobile application has become part of life but people don't know how to invest in mobile app industry to start a business. This blog is really very helpful. Keep sharing

Alicia Thomos
23.04.2021 at 07:37

Thank you so much for sharing informative blogs about how we can hire the best developers. Hire dedicated iOS developers you can also hire hourly or part-time developers as we know some projects did not require a full-time developer. Must check the experiences and skills of developers. Waiting for your next blog which is relevant to hire a developer on a part-time or hourly basis which topics must be required.

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