iOS Developer: Skills, Salary & Ad Template For 2024

The views expressed in this post are the writer's and do not necessarily reflect the views of Aloa or AloaLabs, LLC.

If you’re looking for an iOS developer to build software solutions for your business, then this post is for you. Today you will learn what skills to look for when considering iOS developer candidates, how much you can offer them, and how you can craft the perfect ad template to entice the best iOS programmers in the industry in 2024.

More than just knowing what skills to require, we’ll also give you an overview of why each skill is on the list. This will ideally help you when shortlisting your candidates in the interview phase of the hiring process.

We’ll also give you salary rates to consider so you can maximize your resources while at the same time providing an appealing offer for the best iOS developers in the market. Once you learn what to require and what to offer potential candidates, we’ll wrap everything up in an ad template you can use when posting on developer hiring sites or when reaching out to iOS freelancing and outsourcing firms.

Let’s wait no further and get right to the important parts of this post.

12 Skills To Look For In An Exceptional iOS Developer Candidate

When considering an iOS developer to hire, here are the most important skills to look for in a potential candidate. Being equipped with the following skills means that the iOS developer job candidate can design and develop a functional iOS mobile app for Apple mobile devices and macOS computers that goes in line with your business goals.

1. Swift 3.0 Programming Language

Swift 3.0 is an intuitive, general-purpose, and multiparadigm open-source programming language developed by Apple and used for native iOS and macOS development. Without proficiency in this language, you can safely conclude that the iOS developer candidate you’re considering wouldn’t be able to leverage this language to the best of their abilities.

At the very least, the iOS programmer should understand or have ample experience with:

  • Basic syntax
  • Switch statements
  • Control flow
  • Inheritance, classes, and initialization
  • Error handling
  • SwiftUI

2. Objective-C

Objective-C is a general-purpose and object-oriented programming language that’s also used to develop iOS software solutions. Other than having object-oriented capabilities, this superset of the C programming language also provides a dynamic runtime. While many iOS applications are made with Swift, you’ll still find a lot of documentation written in Objective-C.

Compared to Swift, this programming language is a bit more intimidating to learn. However, it’s important to learn this language because most (if not all) iOS apps today use their runtime for iPhone and iPad app development.

Image explains what is swift and describes the differences between swift and objective c

3. Data Structures And Algorithms

Familiarity and experience in data structures and algorithms aren’t necessary for developing all kinds of iPad and iPhone apps. However, if the iOS app needs to process large quantities of data, like iOS apps that route paths on an online map, you certainly need to require this from the developer candidates you’ll consider.

4. Apple’s Xcode IDE

An iOS developer that has expertise in Xcode IDE is someone who can produce a unique iOS app with an exceptional user experience. Xcode IDE is combined with Cocoa Touch frameworks to develop functional apps for the iPhone, iPad, Mac, and Apple TV. An iOS developer who has expertise in this tech skill can allow Apple services like Passbook and Game Changer to work on the app they’ll develop for you.

Apple Xcode view

5. Spatial Reasoning

Spatial reasoning is a vital skill in developing an app, especially those in the Apple ecosystem. Apple products have been famous for being minimalist and user-friendly and so the app users will download for it should reflect this characteristic.

When choosing an iOS developer to hire, identify those that have already built user-centric apps. Additionally, when asking interview questions, you can ask how their design process goes about and how they keep how the users interact with the app in mind.

An excellent iOS programmer should be creative enough to think out of the box and produce an iOS app that can provide an unmatched user experience for its target iOS users and potential audience. They should be able to think logically to create an app with convenient functionalities. They also can have the ability to think in 3D and visualize spatial relationships. This means that when designing apps for the iPhone, iPad, iWatch, Apple TV, or Mac, you should be able to perceive how a user interacts with the app.

This is easier when the iOS developer does 2 things:

  1. Understand the strict set of interface design guidelines to get familiar with all the inputs and controls for all Apple devices
  2. A user of iOS products to be familiar with how intuitive they are

6. UI/UX Design Experience

User interface and user experience are 2 vital features for each iOS app that will gauge if the app is worth using or not. A complicated-looking layout will turn users off at first glance. Additionally, even if the UI is great but the navigation is poor, you’ll eventually lose users as well, in turn losing the chance of turning potential leads into paying clients.

The more intuitive and user-friendly the app is, the more engaging it will be for users, and the more chances of them becoming regular users of the iOS app. This includes being fully knowledgeable of the Apple Guidelines to ensure exciting visuals and a breathtaking user experience.

With these in mind, the app developer you hire should have a thorough idea and experience of design concepts and how they are applied to Apple devices utilizing the unique navigational features it comes with. This includes thorough experience with design patterns like the MVC model (model-view-controller) and KVO (key-value observing) including its dangers.

7. Networking

A notable iOS developer is fully aware of how storing and transporting data works, specifically, how JSON or JavaScript Object Notation works. Networking is vital for iOS app development, or for any software development projects for that matter because almost every app, if not all, interacts with the web.

While JSON might sound unfamiliar to a layman’s ears, a remarkable iOS developer should have full knowledge of how it runs to ensure a smooth web experience for users of the iOS app you want to be developed.

8. Core Data

To put it simply, core data is a memory-geared user experience element each iOS developer should master. For a smooth user experience, core data gets rid of the obstacles that come when storing data for tasks you do daily with the app.

Just imagine developing a social media app for iOS and every time the user opens the app they have to input their details? You can safely conclude how frustrating that would be for all the users so core data allows you to save data usage progress so users can go back to where they left off with the app.

Core data allows data organization by a relational entity that can be serialized into binary, XML, or SQLite stores so a great iOS developer should be equipped with these tech skills as well.

9. Grand Central Dispatch

An iOS app will do so many things at once, from receiving internet data and presenting data to following human inputs. Hence skill on Grand Central Dispatch, also called by many GCD, is vital that the iOS app users will have a smooth user experience in this area. With these skills, iOS programmers can make it possible for the app to run multiple tasks simultaneously and smoothly.

Image displays the linkages and outcomes of serial queue, concurrent queue, and serial queue

10. Memory Management

Other than skills in core data, an exceptional iOS developer is an expert on memory management. They must have thorough knowledge and appropriate experience with using ARC for memory management.

This skill includes knowing how to avoid segmentation faults and retain cycles. It’s also helpful if they know auto-release pools and auto-release variables as some applications need these elements to function smoothly.

11. Source Control

When investing in developing an iOS app, one of the primary concerns you should have is protecting your invested code through source control, sometimes also called version control. So the iOS developer you should hire should be very knowledgeable and have ample experience in distributed version control systems like Mercurial or Git. Additionally, familiarity with the collaborative version of this like GitHub is recommended.

12. Code Review And Debugging

An exceptional iOS developer doesn’t only know how to design and execute an iOS app but also knows how to maintain and enhance the app quality. After developing the iOS app, the great iOS programmer should be able to do a code review to check for any bugs and if found, be able to fix them in no time.

With debugging, the iOS developer should be familiar with debugging tools like Xcode and should be able to set breakpoints and probe content variables.

iOS Developer Salary in 2024

There are no black-and-white rates when it comes to the salary rate you can offer potential iOS developer candidates. However, 2 main factors affect how much and how little you can offer a particular candidate.

The first is skill level. A junior iOS developer who has 0-3 years of experience in the industry is logically paid less than a senior iOS developer with at least 6 years of experience. Depending on the complexity of your project, you can decide which of the two is a better fit.

If it’s just a simple iOS app with a few straightforward features, it’s best to work with a junior developer so you won’t needlessly have to spend for the expertise you won’t be able to utilize to the best extent.

However, for complex iOS software solutions that require a lot of experience and someone to handle oversight, of course, it’s logical to hire a capable senior iOS developer.

So what rates are we looking at when considering expertise?

For a junior developer, you can start your offer at $62,000 per year. Just divide that by 12 to determine how much you can offer an iOS programmer if the project will just take a few months.

However, if they know more than the basic skills required, they can offer more to the project and add more than the basic functionality. Your rate offer can go as high up to 296,000 per year.

Junior iOS developer salary

Of course, for larger, more complex projects that require years of expertise to master, it’s best to work with a senior iOS developer. The starting rate for this type of developer is $78,000 per year.

Senior iOS developer salary

The second thing to consider is the country of origin of the iOS developer you’re looking to hire. If you decide to work with a developer that resides in New York City, your offer should range from $60,000 to $163,00.

Hire from New York, Toronto, Londo, Tel Aviv, and Berlin, and you’d be paying for the most expensive iOS developers worldwide. If you’re low on budget, you can hire from the most affordable developers in the market, those in India. The yearly offer is $6,610. Of course, with this rate, you can’t guarantee a quality iOS app unless you do a thorough vetting process like what we do in Aloa.

If you want your budget to meet expertise, it’s best to work with us so we can filter out the best candidates for the job at the most affordable rates.

iOS Developer Ad Template

Having an ad template to work with will make it drastically easier for you to find the right iOS developer candidates for your app project. To help you out with that, here is a sample ad template you can follow if you opt to post job offers on developer listing websites or look for developers on freelancing platforms.

Even when you plan to work with an outsourcing company like us at Aloa, having an ad template will make it easier for us to identify the perfect iOS developer candidates for the job by having a copy of your criteria and preferences at hand.

There are 4 main parts of an iOS ad template:

  • Company introduction: An introduction of what your business does and how this relates to the project you want to develop.
  • Job description: an overview of the tasks you want the iOS developer to cover
  • Responsibilities: is a list of the day-to-day deliverables expected from the iOS developer
  • Skills: include both tech skills and soft skills you’ll require for a candidate to qualify for the job.

So this is how it should look like:

Our company, ABC Inc., is looking for a senior iOS developer. We are a corporation of convenience stores looking to expand our reach to more customers by offering them a comfortable way to purchase their goods through a mobile application.

While our on-site employees work between 3 shift schedules, we can work out a more convenient agreement for this project. Our main priority is to launch the fully-functional app within the allotted time frame.

2024 Job Description

We’re looking for a full-time senior developer who will be responsible for the overall iOS mobile app development cycle of the iOS app project. When the project is launched, we’d also prefer to keep working with the same developer for maintenance and improvement but with an adjusted work agreement or schedule.

Your primary focus will be to ensure smooth development progress. We’d prefer that you work hands-on with the project but if the timeframe requires more manpower, we’re willing to adjust to being ready before the target launch date. If more iOS software engineers are needed, you will also be responsible for their oversight and will be the person in charge of answering queries and concerns regarding the project.


  • Oversee the whole development lifecycle of the iOS app project including its resources
  • Design and take part in building the application, especially in critical phases
  • Ensure quality, performance, responsiveness, and security of the application
  • Identify bottlenecks in the process, the development tasks, review code, and fix bugs
  • Maintain code quality, automatization, organization, and implement upgrades when available
  • Oversee the frontend and backend administration of the app


  • Proficiency in Objective-C and Swift programming language, and preferably Cocoa Touch as well
  • Experience with Core Animation, Core Data, and other iOS frameworks
  • Proficiency in data structures, algorithms, and Apple’s Xcode IDE
  • Experience in spatial reasoning, UI/UX design, and Apple’s interface guidelines
  • Proficiency in networking (JSON) and fixing errors if found
  • Proficiency in memory management and source control
  • Proficiency n code versioning tools like Mercurial and Git
  • Preferably knows low-level c-based libraries
  • Familiarity with push notifications, cloud message APIs, and continuous integration
  • Preferably has experience building an eCommerce app both on iOS and Android
  • Familiarity with RESTful APIs
  • Familiarity with operating systems
  • Preferably a high-quality full stack developer/Swift developer
  • Familiarity with SDK, TVOS, and WWDC

In the skills part, you can also add a college requirement, like a computer science degree when necessary.


Deciding what iOS developer to hire starts with defining the iOS project scope. By identifying what you want your iOS app to do and who it’s for, it’ll be easier to decide whether to work with a junior or a senior iOS app developer. Deciding on how much to offer follows suit.

The important thing when hiring an iOS developer is to ensure that they are fully equipped with at least the fundamental skills required from a developer of this sort. The 12 skills above will be your guide.

You can then follow the ad template given above to organize the criteria you’re looking for in an excellent candidate. If tech is not your cup of tea, don’t worry, we at Aloa would love to help determine your project scope together with the skills and responsibilities you can require from the developer who will work on the project. Message us at [email protected] and we can start discussing your iOS developer needs.

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