In the 11 years since the iPhone revolutionized mobile technology, many thousands of developers have made a living (sometimes even a comfortable one) building apps for iOS, the iPhone’s operating system. With iOS a fully mature platform, and Apple’s App Store larger than ever, what’s the average iOS developer salary?
To figure out the average iOS developer salary, we leveraged Dice’s extensive database of job postings and salary information. Here’s the breakdown we came up with, by city. These results are unlikely to surprise you:
When it comes to iOS development, the country’s largest tech hubs pay the highest average salaries, as one would expect—the concentration of tech firms in those cities translates into aggressive competition for talent. In addition, large cities have robust, well-established industries with a continuing need for contractors and freelancers, perfect for those independent developers who build iOS apps.
If you’re interested in a career in iOS development (or just want to explore some iOS-related side projects), your first step is to learn Swift and Objective-C, the programming languages that drive the platform’s development. Although Swift is the newer and shinier language (albeit still missing some core features such as ABI stability), many older iOS apps are maintained in Objective-C, which was Apple’s primary programming language for decades; if you plan on interacting in any way with legacy code, knowing Objective-C is essential.
(Also, knowing both languages looks really, really good on any résumé you write for an iOS-related job.)
And how do you go about learning Swift? Check out Swift Playgrounds, which is designed as a fun way to teach people the fundamentals of the language. (At WWDC, Apple even offers a workshop where developers can contribute to Swift Open Source.) There are also a number of online courses, and Apple offers an “App Development with Swift” course via iBooks.
Of course, earning an “average” iOS developer salary in a place like San Francisco or New York City demands several years’ of experience, as well as a healthy portfolio of projects. That takes work, as well as a dedication to continually learning new skills, but it’s certainly very doable. The iOS ecosystem seems primed to keep expanding over the coming years, which means solid job security.