IT Salaries 2013: Ukraine Versus USA, UK and Germany

Last year, Verizon caught one of their US software developers versed in C, C++, Perl, Java, Ruby, PHP, and Python outsourcing his development job to a Chinese developer while having fun in the workplace (surfing eBay, viewing YouTube videos, etc.). He allegedly paid him one fifth of his 6-digit salary and granted access to the company’s internal systems.

Recently, one girl has tweeted she had a bad day because she ran over a curb while driving her boyfriend’s brand new $70,000 sports car around the city. It’s shaken the twitter community a bit after it turned out that her boyfriend was an average game developer working in a prominent US games studio. Such cases make many people wonder how much money software developers should be making in the Western world to be able to afford $70,000 sports cars or hire Chinese developers to do their job.

Any business and IT leader knows well that most of their development budgets will eventually go to developers’ wallets. This year, the annual gross salaries in the US IT sector saw a 7% to 9% increase from 2012 and the current salary ranges look as follows:

  • Mobile app developer (iOS, Android) – $92,750 – $133,500
  • Middle Web Developer – $65,750 – $106,500
  • Middle Software Engineer – $83,500 -$127,750

That said, the average salary in IT in the United States is around $81,000 per annum, which means that a company running a 10 people software development team will pay nearly $810,000 in salaries alone, not to mention at least 3 different taxes and bonuses it will have to pay on top of salaries. As such, a 10-person IT team will cost a US company around $1 million. A software product should really be very cool and disruptive to be able to earn a company $1 million, shouldn’t it? Maybe this is the reason why companies such as Skype, Amazon Web Services and PayPal regularly come to Ukraine to screen the talent pool and hire specialists (mainly C, C++, Java, C#, front-end and mobile) that are too expensive and/or in short supply in their home countries?

While a trend to distribute development across several locations beyond a home country is hot, allowing Western companies to significantly save costs, source better technological expertise, accelerate time to market and do more for less, we have created an up-to-date guide to IT salaries in Ukraine, one of Eastern European leading pools of software development resources, and compared them to those in the United States, the UK and Germany (see images below).

According to the Intersog HR salary stats, in Ukraine you can find a Project Manager for $2,500 – $3,000, and a Scrum Master for $2,500 – $3,500 per month depending on the city. The actual cost of employee compensation in Ukraine is almost equal to the salaries specified above, as all taxes and benefits will account for less than 10% of the employee income.

It goes without saying that the actual total cost of employee compensation in the United States is almost twice the amount of salary. As an employer, you will have to pay at least 3 different taxes including social security, unemployment insurance and half of employee’s Medicare tax. In addition, you may have to pay certain local taxes depending on the specific requirements of a certain state. In order to stay competitive, businesses will also have to cover employees’ social benefits and on- or off-job training, so the total cost of an employee may actually be up to 3 times higher than the salary.

The full Guide to Ukraine’s IT Salaries can be requested from Intersog.

Sources: ITJobsWatch.Co.Uk, 2013; Indeed.Com, 2013; TheITJobBoard.co.uk, 2013, Gehalt.De, 2013; Intersog HR, 2013

About Intersog


Intersog (www.intersog.com) is a global provider of custom software, mobile apps and games development as well as graphic design and apps marketing solutions in the e-commerce, automotive, manufacturing, education, entertainment, gaming and other industries. Intersog utilizes both a traditional project-based approach (fixed price, T&M) and a dedicated Agile software development team model.

Founded in 2005, Intersog is headquartered in Chicago, IL, has a sales office in Vancouver, Canada, and runs 3 development centers in Ukraine.

Source: Intersog
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  • Tom Omen

    Nice post, thanks for your vision sharing!

    Also I have a question how did you calculate the “middle” level for non-Ukrainian countries and how did you calculate “developer” range for Ukraine?

    There aren’t such exact levels in Europe as we have here in Ukraine as I know..

  • Anonymous

    I’m follow previous one commentator as you compare this data?
    Where can I see the salary of UX Designer for Ukraine and Europe, US ?

  • Viktor Bogdanov

    Hi Tom, thanks for your question, I actually took the mid-level salary from payscale.com, itjobswatch.co.uk, gehalt.de for non-ua developers. regarding the range – it’s based on our internal HR stats, I simply took the min for cities other than Kyiv and the maximum salary paid in the capital city (within Intersog).

  • Tom Omen

    Thanks for response Viktor.
    My bad that I’ve asked incorrect. I’m sorry.

    How did you compare knowledge levels of developers (knowledge and skills for junior, mid and senior)? E.g. mid PHP and Java.

  • Viktor Bogdanov

    UX designer in Ukraine – $1000 – $2300 gross / month (depending on the city), in US – $9250 base (exc taxes and benefits) http://www.indeed.com/salary/q-Ui-Ux-Designer-l-San-Francisco,-CA.html

  • Viktor Bogdanov

    Tom, in Ukraine we normally regard developers as:

    - junior – 0 -1,5 years of experience
    - mid – 1,5 – 3-5 years
    - senior – 3-5+ years

    In addition, the availability of professional certification and previous work experience are also taken into account when determining the skills level. Hope I’ve understood your question correctly

  • Tom Omen

    You’ve understood almostly correct!

    How did you measured junior, middle and senior levels in EU and US? They don’t use the same knowledge measurement as in UA..

  • Viktor Bogdanov

    Tom, I only used the information provided in the indicated sources, I literally searched for “middle PHP developer” or “middle JAVA developer”. So, in this case the question should be – how do these sites determine the seniority levels? I need to do additional research to answer it )

  • Tom Omen

    Victor, I thought that you’ve researched this question. Sorry for possible inconvenience.

  • Viktor Bogdanov

    No worries, I didn’t really research their methodology, I only researched the salaries, sorry

  • John

    Nice. Thanks for the article.

  • Vadim Mikhnevych

    “The actual cost of employee compensation in Ukraine is almost equal to the
    salaries specified above, as all taxes and benefits will account for
    less than 10% of the employee income.”
    Well, that’s only partially true. In Ukraine, one can work either as a “self-employed” contractor, paying very small taxes, as was mentioned above, or as an officially employed person. In the latter case, taxation is roughly 50% of salary (and is payed by employer).
    Anyway, I guess around 90% of IT companies in Ukraine use the first approach, with lower taxation. However, according to this article, even using the second approach with higher taxes, developers in Ukraine are still much cheaper than in US

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