Cocoa Contract Developer Rates - The Results

A few days ago I put out an appeal for developers to share their rates with me. I got more responses than I’d expected and I’d like to thank the 37 respondents for their time, for being open and for being trusting.

For the sake of simplicity I’ve converted amounts to USD. Pounds sterling was converted at a rate of 1.6 USD per GBP and Euros were converted at 1.3 USD per EUR. The only other currency I had to tackle was Swiss Francs which were converted 1:1 with USD.

Where people gave a day rate I converted it to an hourly rate by assuming a seven hour day based on Dolly Parton’s song and assuming an hour for lunch.

So, with that said, the summary is that the average rate people are charging is around $100 per hour (actually $99). There are a few very high and a few very low answers which balance each other out and the full range was from $200 down to $13. However they really were anomalies and the majority of people were in the $80 to $125 range.

Contract Rates Graph

The vast majority of people are sole developers (86%) who mainly or exclusively work from a home office (73%). iOS gets by far the most attention with 81% either exclusively developing for iOS or mainly developing for it. A further 8% do both iOS and OS X fairly equally and 5% focus on OS X more than iOS. The remaining 6% mix Cocoa with other platforms such as Android and Windows. Around 80% of respondents feel that the market for Cocoa development is good and some feel that it is ‘hot’ and ‘insane’.

On average Americans seem to charge slightly higher rates although if you are located in a capital city in Europe your rate will be higher but you will tend to work on-site more.

A number of people mentioned that whilst the concentrate on iOS work they would like to get into OS X projects which, unsurprisingly, suggests that many people started Cocoa development on the back of the iPhone SDK.

I’d like to thank everyone who responded for being so candid and I was surprised that only one person chose to anonymise their details. Perhaps developers are more willing to discuss their rates than people think.

I’ll end with a bit of advice from Bill Dudney who said, “Double your rate on every project, until you stop getting projects then back down 10% a bid till you get one. You are worth more…”