Freelance developers have a lot going for them. The ability to work from anywhere and choose clients are among the best perks, but how much can you actually make? A new study gives us a granular look.
Code Mentor queried 5,302 freelance developers to get insight into how much they get paid. As you might expect, those in the United States make the most on average, along with those in Australia and New Zealand: up to $70 per hour. Canadians pull in $65 per hour. Those in the Middle East and Western Europe make $64 and $63 per hour, respectively.
The extent of this survey is critical to understanding Code Mentor’s findings. Only 91 Australians and New Zealanders responded, which may have skewed the numbers a bit when you consider the highest hourly wage reported worldwide was Australia at $74.
Rates also vary by city. A freelance developer in Munich commands an average of $91 per hour. In Palo Alto, freelancers pull in $87 per hour, the same rate as Brooklyn. Phoenix freelancers earn $86 per hour. Mountain View freelancers (who live in the belly of the Silicon Valley beast, mind) earn $81 per hour. Those in Portland and Austin receive $80 per hour, while sunny Philadelphia sees freelance developers making $79 per hour.
The Dice Salary Survey echoes these findings. While admittedly U.S.-heavy, freelancers tell Dice they make $69.05 per hour. With an average annual take of $114,473, that means contractors work about 32 hours per week.
Code Mentor’s survey hints at how developers get to that high salary level, too. Seasoned freelance developers (i.e., averaging eight years of experience or more) get the job done right and on-time. Between their expertise, networking and ‘gig’ boards specifically geared toward freelancers, it’s easy to see how some end up making a very nice living.