What is the Average Software Developer Salary: the USA vs Eastern Europe

Victor Purolnik
5 min read

Developer salaries are one of the hottest topics in the programming world and raise many questions and controversies. Average developer earnings are of interest not only to people who want to join the IT market but also to start-up founders who consider outsourcing product development to other countries. But how much do developers actually earn in different countries? We decided to check it out and wrote this article for people who are considering hiring a remote developer and need to know how much it will cost them.

The average salaries were indicated based on the data from PayScale, SalaryExpert and DOU.ua but they can fluctuate based on the tech skills and experience of a developer. 

Comparison of average salaries across the world

It’s absolutely not a surprise that the number one position in the rating of the highest software developer salary goes to the United States (Avr. base salary – $106,816/year). Programmers in Switzerland, Israel, Denmark and Norway are also lucky to be among the top five best-paid specialists in the world. Talented developers are in high demand in those countries, leading to high rates and a long and tedious process of finding and hiring a developer in-house. 

developers salaries across the world

On the other hand, software developer salaries in Eastern Europe look more attractive for start-up founders or even large well-established enterprises that are looking for specialists to implement new features and are ready to work with remote developers. 

For the last few years Ukrainian, Polish, Moldavian, Serbian or Hungarian developers have been in high demand for Western businesses. The main reason is  access to highly skilled specialists for a relatively low price. See the graph to compare how much Eastern European developer earnings differ from salaries in the US or other Western countries (we included the US salary on top for better comparison).

Developers salaries Eastern Europe

 

Most popular programming languages and salaries

Many programming languages have risen in the last decade. However, not all of them are equally well-established in the world of software development. And some, not surprisingly, were quickly forgotten. 

Choosing too ‘hip’ or trendy technologies for software products may lead to difficulties in finding a good developer. At the same time, developers who want to specialise in rare programming languages very often face problems with finding good materials and courses as well as orders and projects to work on. 

To be on the safe side, it is worth learning about and using technology that is popular, in-demand, stable, open-source and up-to-date. Even though they require a different sets of skills, salaries per programming language are quite similar. Among them, we will look at the earnings of JavaScript and Python developers.

JavaScript

JavaScript salaries

It is extremely difficult to imagine a web-application or a site without JavaScript. Today, it is the most popular language according to a survey by Stack Overflow developers. High demand results in a good Javascript developer salary. Rates also differ depending on countries and on sources. According to  SalaryExpert the average salary of a Javascript developer is $97,710 per year.

Check the graph to see comparisons in different countries.

 

Python

From simple SaaS applications over complex crawlers or artificial intelligence – everything that you can dream up on your mockups can be written in Python, and this is a really big advantage. It is completely open-source and has many libraries. Python is often taught in schools so it is not that hard to learn. On top of that, Python has libraries for neural networks, robotics, computer graphics, statistics, and more. When we look at how much Python programmers make, the results will also depend on the country. However, we can see that the average Python developer salary is around $70,618.

Take a closer look at the graph for comparison.

 

Python salaries

Why developers in Eastern Europe earn less than in the US

The average salaries of developers in Eastern Europe vary from $25,958 to $41,170 a year. At the same time, salaries in the US and  other well-developed countries are around $68,543. Of course, there are outliers for very senior candidates everywhere.

You might wonder why there is such a big difference; after all, relatively low prices can be associated with bad quality or unreliable contractors. However, in this case, that simply isn’t true. Software development rates are highly influenced by the country’s median cost of living and regulations, its demand for software developers, and the skill set of local talent.

If we look at the cost of living, there is a big difference between healthcare, property (rental/buying), and food prices between the US and Poland for example. The same is true for taxes. They have a really big influence on the net salary a developer actually receives. Tax systems in highly developed countries become punitive quickly – thus you will enter higher tax brackets sooner than in other countries. Taking this into account, the financial attractiveness of Eastern European countries becomes obvious. 

There are certain risks connected with outsourcing product development and the process definitely looks different to hiring an in-house employee. Whenever you decide to go and look for developers in Eastern Europe, you can use our Cheatsheet with the most useful information on that topic. 

If you still have doubts or need some advice we are here to help! Just book a call and get closer to launching or scaling with the best remote developers for your project.

 

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