Hourly Rates on the Rise for Freelance Development Work

Although the U.S. labor report recently showed that joblessness is at its highest in years, rays of recovery are starting to peek through the storm clouds. Not only are job cuts slowing, according to a recent Bloomberg.com article, but also the hourly rates for freelance software development in the U.S. have risen by 35 percent during the past year.

“We [have] observed an increase in the U.S. software development rate [for freelance work] from $19.52 an hour to $26.29 an hour, and that was from the end of April ’08 to the end of April ’09,” said Gary Swart, CEO of oDesk, a global service for small and medium-sized businesses to hire, manage and pay remote freelancers.

Software development jobs on oDesk include the subareas of desktop applications, game development, mobile apps, application interface design and software project management.

“For good [software developers], it’s easier [to find work right now] because the demand is so high,” Swart said.

A few things will set great developers apart: a well-developed profile, higher test scores on sites such as oDesk.com, positive feedback from buyers and properly defined skill sets.

Not all countries are seeing increases in hourly rates, though. And Swart said that in countries that are experiencing growth — including the U.S., Pakistan and Russia — the work completed has proven to be higher quality than that in geographies with dips in hourly rates.

“For the U.S., we’re finding [that] if you look at the trends of increasing…


Meagan Polakowski

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