Freelance Developer Rate Trends of 2018

Published Apr 30, 2018Last updated May 02, 2018
Freelance Developer Rate Trends of 2018

Why We Made the Freelance Rates Explorer

We talk to a lot of clients, and often, we get the question: how much does it cost to hire a freelance developer? Clients are curious about typical rates for X developers at Y experience level.

Because a realistic budget is something clients should have before hiring a freelance developer, we made the Freelance Rates Explorer to help people familiarize themselves with current freelance market rates.

Our industry know-how gives us a bird’s eye view of the state of the freelance economy — we want to raise awareness of current freelance market rates around the world so everyone is better informed about how much freelance developers cost and can adjust their expectations accordingly.

How We Got This Data

We collected hourly rate data from over 9,000 vetted freelance developers of varying experience levels and technical stacks across the Codementor community to create the Freelance Rates Explorer.

Vetted developers who meet certain criteria and quality standards will charge more on average than unvetted developers on freelancing platforms like Upwork and others.

At Codementor, most rates start at $40 per hour — which is why you don’t see data displayed for rates under that hourly rate.

Front-end vs Back-end

There are roughly equal numbers of developers in the first four ranges between back-end and front-end developers. However, when it comes to the last two brackets, there is quite a difference between the two categories ($120-140 vs. $140-160).


There is a far greater number of front-end developers in the $120-140 range compared to back-end developers — perhaps because of the rise of JavaScript front-end frameworks and libraries, such as Angular and React — only a quarter of back-end developers are represented in this hourly rate range.


When it comes to the last bracket, however, there are roughly twice as many back-end developers compared to front-end developers.

This means that although front-end developers are overrepresented when it comes to higher than average rates compared to back-end developers, ultimately, back-end developers command the highest rates overall.

Web vs Mobile


Web developers performed very well in all price ranges compared to mobile developers. There were greater numbers of web developers compared to mobile developers in every bracket, but there are subtle differences in hourly rate trends between the two.

Mobile developers had the edge when it came to the lowest bracket compared to web developers. In contrast, there were more web developers in the $60-80 range compared to mobile developers.

While there was more representation in the middle ranges for both mobile and web developers, there was a much greater number of web developers in the $80-100 range compared to the $100-120 than there were for mobile developers.

When it came to the last two brackets, the situation was even for both mobile and web developers, signalling that when it comes to hiring web and mobile developers, the rate difference is more pronounced in the lower rate ranges than the higher ones ($120-140 and $140-160).

JS Frameworks


Node.js — the most commonly used framework among developers — known for its fast performance, scalability, and extensive libraries, has been on the rise in the last few years.
Node.js developers fell mostly into the $60-80 range, with a good amount of representation in the middle ranges.

While the largest number of developers were in the $60-80 range and second most in the $40-60 ranges, the average hourly rate for Node.js developers is $80-100. This can be attributed to the number of developers in the last bracket pulling up the average hourly rate for Node.js developers overall.


There was a bigger difference, compared to Node.js, in the number of React.js developers in the the lower brackets ($40-60 and $60-80). React.js is SEO-friendly, fast, easy to debug, and contains reusable components, which has caused it to become increasingly popular in recent years.

A larger majority of React.js developers fell in the second range compared to Node.js developers, while the other brackets remained roughly the same for both React.js and Node.js developers. Like Node.js developers, the average hourly rate for React.js developers is $80-100, with a decent number of React.js developers in the highest bracket.


Angular.js developers, in contrast, were largely congregated in the first range, with the second bracket in second place. The $80-100 and $100-120 ranges had a roughly equal number of Angular.js developers and fewer developers in the highest two brackets compared to Node.js and React.js.

For Angular.js, both the average hourly rate and the median hourly rate is $60-80, which means that the number of developers in the three highest ranges pulled the average up from the two lowest ranges.

TL;DR: in terms of hiring across JavaScript frameworks, Angular.js developers are less expensive than Node.js and React.js developers, with more developers in the $40-60 range to choose from than the $60-80 range and fewer developers in the $140-160 range.


All in all, we found that that the average hourly rates for freelance developers fall between $60-100 for CodementorX developers. Whether the median and average hourly rates are $60-80 or $80-100 varies by language, geographical location, or level of expertise, but overall, those two brackets are the most common across the board.

To quickly review, we found that back-end developers command higher rates than front-end developers in the highest bracket, web developers appear in greater numbers (compared to mobile developers) in the $60-80 bracket, and Angular.js developers are less expensive than Node.js and React.js developers.

If you’re wondering about a specific programming language, framework, experience level, or regional rate that we haven’t discussed in this post, feel free to play around with our Freelance Rates Explorer. If you’re ready to hire freelance developers, talk to us here.

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