Whether you’re building a decentralized application, launching an initial coin offering, or simply exploring the limitless possibilities of blockchain technology, it’s hard to imagine achieving any of these tasks without a skilled smart contract developer in your team. But as the demand for smart contract engineers grows, their salary expectations increase accordingly, making it difficult to estimate the hiring budget.
If you’re on the hunt for top-notch smart contract developers, you’ve come to the right place. Based on vast experience in talent acquisition, in this article, our experts will share several trends that influence smart contract developer salaries. We will also share how the salary range of smart contract developers differs depending on the programming language, seniority, and the engagement model you choose, so keep reading to learn the details.
What do smart contract developers do?
Before discovering the main trends affecting the smart contract developer salary, let us briefly explain the main responsibilities of this programmer, which will also allow us to answer why smart contract developers are some of the highest-paid specialists in the ICT industry.
So, their main responsibilities include:
- Design, develop and deploy smart contracts on blockchain platforms like Ethereum.
- Write, test, and debug code in programming languages such as Solidity, Vyper, Rust, and C++.
- Create and maintain documentation for smart contracts. Since smart contracts are often used to automate business processes, their documentation needs the highest accuracy, security, and clarity.
- Ensure the security, efficiency, and accuracy of smart contracts. This is perhaps one of the most important responsibilities and requirements for smart contract developers. As Decrypt reports, recently a hacker has stolen more than $10 million worth of Ethereum from MetaMask users, due to an “unidentified exploit”, which highlights the necessity for creating bulletproof protection for your solution.
- Collaborate with blockchain architects, software developers, and other stakeholders to integrate smart contracts into blockchain-based systems.
- Implement best practices for smart contract development, including code reviews, testing frameworks, and security audits.
So, the smart contract developers’ skills are pretty specific but this is only one of the reasons that create the demand for these specialists. Below you can find 3 key trends that shape the smart contract development market.
3 major trends that drive the demand for smart contract developers
Let’s look at the key reasons behind the increased demand for smart contract developers:
- The smart contract development market grows rapidly. The global smart contracts market is projected to hit $8,3 billion by 2030. The main factors that contribute to its growth are increasing demand for faster transactions, reduced total cost of ownership (TCO), and the increasing adoption of various applications in industries such as supply chain, banking, government, and insurance.
- In some countries, smart contracts are already regulated legally. For example, such countries as China, Japan, the UK, and the US were the first to adopt blockchain on a legal level. In the US, some states started to allow the use of smart contracts and blockchain in the legal industry in certain cases. For example, Arizona allows enforceable legal agreements to be created via smart contracts. Providing a legal framework for smart contracts is one of the most important steps towards its adoption, while the larger adoption means higher demand for qualified smart contract developers.
- The number of industries adopting smart contracts is growing. Smart contracts are widely adopted by the financial industry, gaming industry, and so on. Still, such areas as healthcare and real estate are also on the way to adopting it. For both of them, smart contracts open up an opportunity to store data in the most secure way possible and make transparent transactions. For example, according to Market Research Future (MRFR), the global smart contracts growth in the healthcare market is expected to reach USD 5.6 billion by 2030, registering a 16.82% CAGR which means that this niche will demand skilled smart contract programmers, in addition to cybersecurity and legal compliance specialists.
Now, let’s discuss other aspects that contribute to smart contract engineer’s wages.
Factors affecting a smart contract developer’s salary
When it comes to reasons why a smart contract engineer’s salary remains one of the highest in the field, these include the technology developers use to build smart contracts, their experience, and their location. And let’s not forget about bonuses and benefits that you also have to consider. So, let’s crunch some numbers.
There are several programming languages that developers can use to build smart contracts. Some of them have been here for decades, and some are just emerging. Solidity, Vyper, Rust, and C++ are the top programming languages for smart contract development, so let’s find out how much developers proficient in these technologies make on average.
|Average smart contract developer’s salary by technology in the US per year ($)
|Solidity smart contract developer salary
|Rust developer salary
|C++ developer salary
So, the cost to hire Solidity or Rust developers is noticeably lower than the annual wage of a C++ programmer. The matter is that both Solidity and Rust are relatively new programming languages (but one of the highest-paid ones still), while C++ is one of the oldest and most difficult-to-master technologies.
The experience of a smart contract developer is a crucial factor that significantly affects their salary. The more experience the developer has, the higher their salary can be. For instance, in the US, a Senior level specialist can make up to five times more than a Junior smart contract developer.
|Average smart contract developer’s salary by seniority in the US per year ($)
|Junior smart contract developer salary
|Middle smart contract developer salary
|Senior smart contract developer salary
The engagement model of a smart contract developer can also affect their salary. Hiring developers on a full-time or in-house basis can be more expensive than engaging them as freelancers or contractors. For example, you can hire freelance smart contract developers at $40 per hour. At the same time, the average hourly rate for an in-house smart contract developer based in the US is $63 on average and can reach up to $128. As a result, the engagement model of a smart contract developer can influence their salary, with in-house developers typically earning more than their remote or freelance counterparts.
Bonuses and benefits
Apart from high salary expectations, modern developers also care about the benefits package and bonuses the company offers. When it comes to the blockchain industry, smart contract developers expect to get token-based rewards, in addition to health insurance, paid time off, and retirement plans. In total, the amount you should pay for benefits and bonuses can be significant, constructing up to 20% of your smart contract programmer salary.
Smart contract developer salary global overview
The location of a programmer is the last but no less significant factor that impacts their salary range. For example, the average wage for a smart contract programmer is a little more than $60,000 per year in America, while hiring a specialist with the same qualification in Singapore can cost up to two times more. The reason for such a salary difference is that Singapore is one of the fastest-growing tech hubs in Asia, and the government of the country prioritizes technology development and invests heavily in this industry.
|Average smart contract developer salary per year ($)
At the same time, when you analyze smart contract developers’ salaries in different locations, mind the technology developers use. As we said, smart contracts can be developed using different tools, so the final cost to hire a smart contract developer can vary. To get a better idea, consider reading our article about how much blockchain developers earn in Asia, Europe, and the US.
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If you are looking to hire smart contract developers but struggling to find the right talent within your budget, Bridge is here to help you with our sourcing-as-a-service. We offer a global hiring approach that allows us to tap into a vast pool of talented developers from around the world. We source top-tier and pre-vetted candidates using our data-driven engine, developed for finding the best programming talent in a careful match with your project requirements. Our proprietary data technology identifies the most talented developers with the skills and experience needed to meet our clients’ needs, allowing us to find and source qualified smart contract developers faster and cheaper than seeking for them manually.
Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you hire top-tier smart contract developers!