Freelance Software Development in the United States (US)

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The next disruption is about to happen in the freelancing space. Freelancing platforms such as Upwork and Fiverr grow double-digit per year.

But what if you’re living in the US? Is freelancing still a great opportunity for you—given the worldwide competition? How much can you earn in the US?

In this article, we’re going to answer these most common questions!

What’s the Hourly Rate of an US-Based Freelance Developer?

What’s the hourly rate of a freelance developer? If you’re like me, you want to peek into the potential of a given profession before you commit years of your life to any profession like freelance developing.

The average freelance developer in the US earns $56 per hour with conservative estimates ranging as low as $31 and aggressive estimates ranging as high as $82.

The following table compares the hourly rates of employed developers and freelance developers:

Job DescriptionStatusHourly Rate
Web DeveloperEmployee$31.62
PHP DeveloperEmployee$46.28
.Net DeveloperEmployee$55.06
Python DeveloperEmployee$56.90

About the Data. Our data is based on various online sources such as,, and other portals where professionals can report their earnings. We state the sources below in the image captions.

We modified the expected earnings of a freelancer by increasing the average earnings of an employed professional by 10%. This is based on the findings of this study: the average freelancer earns about 10% more than his employed counterpart. We found that in practice, the difference is often much higher than that—freelancers earning much more than employees. One of the reasons may be that freelancers have more control of their earnings—an ambitious freelancer tends to earn a higher percentage more than an ambitious employee in the same profession. This is because there are no caps in freelance earnings.

If you want to earn your full-time income working in your part-time freelancing business, check out our course “Become a Python Freelance Developer”.

The average hourly rate of an employed web developer is $31.62 per hour in the US. The average hourly rate of a freelance web developer is $34.78 in the US.

The average hourly rate of an employed Python developer is $56.90 per hour in the US. The average hourly rate of a freelance Python developer is $62.59 in the US.

The average hourly rate of an employed PHP developer is $46.28 per hour in the US. The average hourly rate of a freelance PHP developer is $50.90 in the US.

The average hourly rate of an employed .Net developer is $55.06 per hour in the US. The average hourly rate of a freelance .Net developer is $60.56 in the US.

Related Article: Freelance Developer Hourly Rate By Regions and Professions

How Do You Compete with Cheap Labor Countries as an US-based Freelance Developer?

In the following video, I discuss little-known but very effective strategies to compete in a globalized economy as a US-based freelance developer.

How to Compete with Low-Wage Workers as a Freelance Developer?

How Many Freelance Software Developers Are There in the United States?

How many freelance developers are there in the US? There’s no official and precise answer. However, based on three credible sources—Upwork, Freelancer Union, McKinsey—I calculated an estimation stemming from each source.

Here are our estimations for the number of freelancers based on three independent data sources:

  • Upwork Data: 12,500,000 freelance developers in the IT sector.
  • Freelancer Union Data: 1,740,000 freelance developers in the IT sector.
  • McKinsey Data: 5,400,000 freelance developers in the IT sector.

The median of these three data points—Upwork, Freelancer Union, McKinsey—is 5,400,000 freelance developers working in an IT related field and the average is 6,560,000 freelance developers. Thus, the number of freelance developers is between 5 and 7 million.

A more in-depth explanation of these estimations is given in my detailed blog article.

Related Article: How Many Freelance Developers Are There in the US?

Where to Go From Here?

Enough theory. Let’s get some practice!

Coders get paid six figures and more because they can solve problems more effectively using machine intelligence and automation.

To become more successful in coding, solve more real problems for real people. That’s how you polish the skills you really need in practice. After all, what’s the use of learning theory that nobody ever needs?

You build high-value coding skills by working on practical coding projects!

Do you want to stop learning with toy projects and focus on practical code projects that earn you money and solve real problems for people?

🚀 If your answer is YES!, consider becoming a Python freelance developer! It’s the best way of approaching the task of improving your Python skills—even if you are a complete beginner.

If you just want to learn about the freelancing opportunity, feel free to watch my free webinar “How to Build Your High-Income Skill Python” and learn how I grew my coding business online and how you can, too—from the comfort of your own home.

Join the free webinar now!