what is a mobile developer?

A mobile developer creates mobile applications for various platforms, from design to development and implementation. The applications help users perform simple tasks like sending and receiving emails, health management or online banking.

As a mobile developer, you can build apps on major platforms like iOS, Android or Windows. Most times, you have to optimise the application to work on all devices. Hence, it is crucial to be conversant with all platforms used in tablets and smartphones to ensure you build software that provides a seamless user experience regardless of the device or platform.

what does a mobile developer do?

A mobile developer works with various designers to incorporate appealing features and themes that improve user experience during development. You also ensure the design and features align with the users' needs.

As a mobile developer, you work for software development companies or game developers who design mobile applications. Major platforms like Android and iOS have in-house mobile developers that build new applications and maintain the current apps on the market.

Would working as a mobile developer suit your interest in technology and creative skills? Then read on to find out what competencies and qualifications you need to thrive in a mobile developer role.

mobile developer jobs

average salary of a mobile developer

According to National Careers, mobile developers at the start of their career earn £21,000 annually. After gaining experience and extra qualifications, your earnings rise to £55,000 per year. Mobile developers also receive overtime pay for working extra hours. Those working in full-time positions enjoy various allowances, including medical insurance and contribution to a pension scheme. You may also receive end-year bonuses depending on your employer.

what factors affect the salary of a mobile developer?

The project complexity and the employer often influence your salary as a mobile developer. For instance, established platforms like Google's Android and Apple's iOS are likely to pay high salaries. You also work on complex projects in the established platforms compared to private developers with minimal resources. The qualifications and experience you need to work in established platforms also improve your salary prospects.

If you have years of experience, an employer will pay more for your expertise compared to entry-level developers with minimal transferable skills. The location can also affect your earnings; urban centres have a higher demand for mobile developers and a higher cost of living compared to small towns.


Man in suit working on his desktop computer. China. Primary color: blue.
Man in suit working on his desktop computer. China. Primary color: blue.

types of mobile developers

Some areas of focus for mobile developers include:

  • iOS mobile developer: your job is to build applications for iOS devices. You use the iOS programing language, Swift and the Xcode development environment to create the applications. The Xcode development tool allows you to design a native iOS mobile application using a visual interface builder.
  • android developer: as an Android mobile developer, you create apps for Android-powered devices using Java or Kotlin programming languages. The operating system has a development environment (Android Studio) that has all the tools to create a functional application.


working as a mobile developer

Working as a mobile developer requires creativity and problem-solving skills to build applications or maintain them. Let's explore the primary duties of a mobile developer and the work environments.


education and skills

Some of the routes of becoming a mobile developer include:

  • university course: you can become a mobile developer by completing a foundation degree, bachelor's degree or a higher national diploma in computer applications development. For the foundation degree and higher national diploma, you need 1 or 2 A-Levels, while a bachelor's degree requires 2 to 3 A-Levels. Other relevant fields to join the career are computer science, financial technology and software engineering.
  • apprenticeship: an apprenticeship in mobile development allows you to join the industry without a post-secondary education. The apprenticeships available for mobile app developers in the UK are creative digital design professional apprenticeships and software developer higher apprenticeships. You will complete the training as you acquire on-the-job skills.
  • graduate training schemes: some mobile developers join the profession from other non-IT courses through the graduate trainee scheme with IT companies. You learn app development on the job and start your career as a junior developer. It is crucial to have basic coding skills or an interest in programming languages if you don't have an IT background.

skills and competencies

Some of the competencies and soft skills necessary for mobile developers include:

  • computer proficiency: as a mobile developer, you spend hours on your computer developing applications. Hence, you require computer proficiency and skills in using software development tools. Computer proficiency also comes in handy when you are developing computer software.
  • coding skills: programming language proficiency is crucial for a mobile developer, especially app development languages like JavaScript or C++. If you are developing applications for a specific platform, you need to code in their preferred language. It is important to polish your coding skills and learn new programming languages constantly.
  • cross-platform development skills: as a mobile developer, it is crucial to develop applications for different platforms and operating systems. Cross-platform development is an important skill since numerous platforms are emerging daily, and you need to be conversant with concepts like reusing code and cross-platform service support.
  • cybersecurity skills: your job is to create safe applications for users. Cybersecurity skills help you determine the security level of your apps and identify solutions to security issues.
  • business skills: as a mobile developer, you need business acumen, including marketing and customer service skills, to develop an app that solves users' needs.

Two business women and a man in an office putting sticky notes on a window. Primary colors: blue.
Two business women and a man in an office putting sticky notes on a window. Primary colors: blue.


FAQs about working as a mobile developer

thank you for subscribing to your personalised job alerts.