Remote Developer Hourly Rate and Hiring Guide

When companies make the decision to hire out at least part of their work remotely, the next big question facing any project manager or owner is how far offshore to take their job search. While there are some obvious similarities between both nearshore and offshore talent pools (lower costs, remote collaboration needs), there are some key areas of comparison that can help you make the decision between hiring nearshore and hiring offshore. First, we will run through some of those areas of comparison to help you learn more about the advantages and disadvantages of the talent pools. Then, we will break down the data a bit more to help you understand even more clearly why hiring nearshore developers is the right move for your domestic company, no matter how simple or complicated your project, and how big or small your budget.

Average Hourly Rates for Different Developer Roles Worldwide

The software engineer talent pool worldwide is generally divided into four distinct global regions with similar characteristics: 

  • The U.S/North America. Also known as onshore talent for domestic companies
  • Latin/South America. Known as nearshore talent for domestic companies.The main sources of nearshore talent in this region include Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Mexico, Panama, and Peru.
  • Eastern Europe. One of the two regions known as offshore talent. The main sources of talent in this region include Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, Ukraine, Russia, and Belarus.
  • Asia. The second offshore talent region. The main sources of talent in this region include India, the Phillippines, Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, China, Malaysia, Nepal, and Bangladesh.

To give you a broader idea of what you can expect to pay for different job needs when hiring nearshore, let’s look at some of the common developer roles and the average hourly rates (from various sources around the web). We will also include a brief description of each role, so that you have a better idea of whether this is the type of talent you plan to hire for your project or company:

Software Architect

Generally, an architect is the top of the developer food chain. They are responsible for high-level design choices and establishing technical standards for an app’s construction, which can include software coding standards, tools used, and platforms for building it out. Think of this as the lead programmer for your app. Here are the average hourly rates for an architect in different regions of the world:

North America/U.S = $198-292 per hour Latin America = $60-72 per hour Eastern Europe = $50-77 per hour Asia = $35-48 per hour
Software Architect Rate Comparison

Lead/Senior Developer

Just below the software architect in terms of responsibility and technical knowledge, the lead or senior developer roles also largely determine the technical standards and processes for constructing the app. While an architect may lay out the road map, the lead and senior developer often collaborates with them (as well as the company founders) to ensure that coding processes on the development side mesh with the app vision. Common rates for this role throughout the world:

North America/U.S = $154-187 per hour Latin America = $45-61 per hour Eastern Europe = $45-70 per hour Asia = $30-42 per hour
Lead/Senior Developer Rate Comparison

Junior Developer

Just like it sounds, the junior developer does the grunt work and implementation of the vision orchestrated by the architect and/or senior developer. Often, junior developers have more experience with the technical side of things and less with team management or communication. As such, their rates are significantly lower, as you cannot assign them the level of responsibility of their more senior counterparts. Additionally, the number of junior developers you need will often be partially determined by the technical plan laid out by the architect or senior developer. Global rates for this role include:

North America/U.S = $105-111 per hour Latin America = $35-44 per hour Eastern Europe = $25-42 per hour Asia = $18-24 per hour
Junior Developer Rate Comparison

Senior/Junior QA Engineer

Quality assurance engineers are your safety nets as an app progresses - they are responsible for testing every part of a product to make sure it performs as it is supposed to, as well as to catch any bugs or potential issues before the product is released to consumers or users. They are also responsible for ensuring coding and technical standards have been met by other members of the team, meaning they can help you ensure that junior developers and others are performing as you expect them to. Like developers, QA engineers are generally classified as junior or senior based on work experience and technical skills. The hourly rates globally for both junior and senior QA engineers are as follows:

North America/U.S = $143-169 per hour (Senior QA)/$77-81 (Junior QA) Latin America = $40-50 per hour (Senior QA)/$30-39 (Junior QA) Eastern Europe = $40-63 per hour (Senior QA)/$25-42 (Junior QA) Asia = $25-36 per hour (Senior QA)/$15-24 (Junior QA)
Senior/Junior QA Engineer Rate Comparison

Graphic Designer

The graphic designer is largely responsible for designing and implementing the front-end of your product, the side that users and customers will see and interact with when using your app or platform. Good graphic designers also have sufficient knowledge of common back-end technical platforms, to integrate their designs with your tech stack (or to work with your architect or senior developer efficiently to do so). Since the graphic designer is responsible for what your product actually looks like when users see it, this is a key role for any hiring process. However, given the needs of different products vary widely, the hourly rates (and technical needs for your team) also vary much more with this role than others. Common hourly rate ranges globally for graphic designers include:

North America/U.S = $79-163 per hour Latin America = $40-50 per hour Eastern Europe = $35-56 per hour Asia = $25-36 per hour
Graphic Designer Rate Comparison

Why the Data Supports Hiring Nearshore Developers

No matter how big or small your company or project budget may be, the name of the game for any bootstrapping project and product developer is making the most with the resources you have. However, while that may seem to suggest hiring the lowest-cost developers to stretch your budget, wasting money on less skilled developers can end up costing your company more money in the long run, as well as potentially delaying your product’s development and eventual launch date. With this in mind, in considering the data above, here are four key reasons why hiring nearshore developers is your best bet for savings and finding the best people.

The savings are still phenomenal

No matter what role you look at above, the comparison between hourly rates of domestic talent and nearshore talent are clear. In most cases, you can expect to save over $100 per hour per employee by choosing nearshore talent over domestic workers. If that difference isn’t clear already, consider a small company needing three developers of various roles for 20 hours of work per week. That company can expect to save $6000 per week by choosing nearshore talent.

Cultural/Collaborative Team Members at a Discount

While Asian offshore workers offer even steeper discounts, the 10-12 hour time zone differences and language and cultural barriers can lead to development delays, miscommunication issues, and inabilities to get problems or emergencies fixed due to the time difference. With nearshore talent still offering steep discounts, all while working in the same general time zones and cultural section of the globe, the peace of mind for any project manager or company founder is worth paying slightly more than rates for offshore developers.

The Talent and Technical Skill You Need

Nearshore developers continue to develop an outstanding reputation for possessing the technical skills needed to take products from vision to reality. With a talent pool growing every year, and offering qualified and experienced workers in every role from senior software architect to junior developers and QA engineers, you can find a variety of reliable options for your product development without leaving your own time zone and region of the world.

The Perfect Combination of Savings and Reliability

At the end of the day, nearshore developers offer domestic companies the ideal combination of competitive labor rates and technical and collaborative abilities. While every company would love to save as much money as possible when hiring anyone to the team, finding someone that you can count on to be both skilled and responsible, along with cheap, is the ideal fit and need for any company attempting to bootstrap their way to the marketplace.