The Perfect Client-Vendor Match: How Much to Pay for Software Developers

9183391040_083d13179a_q_stock-tickerDave Hecker concludes his series on finding the perfect offshore team and knowing how much to pay for software developers. With your client and vendor profiles in hand, you can get the best pricing for your software projects.

Offshore software development pricing varies dramatically from region-to-region, vendor-to- vendor, and even from individual vendors sometimes. Prices are frequently adjusted based on the perceived quality of the client, the expected difficulty in working with them, and other factors. A tech-savvy client with an interesting project may pay 30% less than a newbie client with a boring job.

When considering cost, remember that many regions are more or less expensive than others for a variety of reasons. Consider the following examples of regional themes during your selection process:

  • India tends to be inexpensive, due to the huge labor pool  Russia/Ukraine/Belarus tends to be more expensive, due to high education and skill levels.
  • Vietnam tends to be inexpensive due to very favorable currency exchange, language barriers and a fairly new IT market with a lack of senior developers
  •  South America tends to be expensive, due to similarities in time zone, language, and culture

The information below provides baseline data that has been collected through thousands of vendor contacts and client engagements at SourceSeek, and suggests how much to pay for software developers accordingly. These cost ranges are rough and are provided as informational guides only – many exceptions exist and the offshore development marketplace is constantly changing.

Large enterprise vendors

These companies offer a wide range of resources with different prices (i.e. senior, junior, QA, etc). Current hourly rates fall between $20/hr and $30/hr for multiple, long-term resources.

Body shops and mid-level vendors

Expect to currently pay between $18/hr to $23/hr for a body shop, or $25/hr to $35/hr for a quality mid-level vendor.

Premium boutique and expat-run vendors

Expect to currently pay anywhere from $29/hr up to $55/hr. Many great vendors with solid management and language skills who deliver quality code are clustered around the $36/hr to $42/hr range, with wide variation for specialties and regions.

Upstart vendors and freelancers

Small groups that have great skills and management will currently fall between $18/hr and $30/hr. Freelancers have a wider range, with brand-new freelancers trying to develop a clientele by offering rock-bottom rates and more established developers charging up to $70/hr.


At the bottom, we still see rates under $15/hr and even under $10/hr.

Photos by huangjiahui

Dave Hecker

Co-Founder at SourceSeek at SourceSeek
Dave is a seasoned technology executive focused software delivery, quality, process, and helping clients succeed at international software outsourcing.