How much PHP Programmers make per hour as an employee and as a freelancer? How to increase hourly rates along with answer to common questions
Do you want to know how much a PHP Programmer makes per hour?
As an Employee
According to Indeed,
The average salary of a PHP Developer is ₹20,612 per month in India. Salary estimates are based on 19,595 salaries submitted anonymously to Indeed by PHP Developer employees, users, and collected from past and present job advertisements on Indeed in the past 36 months.
The requirements for a PHP job is typically a bachelor’s degree. Ideally the specialization in computer science or information technology.
An important factor in the above data has to be the region. A PHP Programmer in IT hubs like Bengaluru, Hyderabad will make a lot more than in other regions.
As A Freelancer
Programming jobs are outsourced the most. Among programming, PHP is the top programming language among the outsourcing fraternity.
So, clearly there is a demand for PHP programmers as a freelancer but it also means there are developers who are willing to work for as low as $5 per hour as well.
As per Arc / Codementor, if we choose the Asia Pacific region, we find the average per hour rate of PHP developer with mid-level experience is between $41 and $60.
At TopTal.com the average hourly rate of Mid-level (4-6 years experience) PHP developers average is $45.
We can conclude, the average hourly rate of a PHP freelance developer with a few years of experience in 2020 is in a range of $40 to $50.
How PHP Developers can make Better Hourly Rates
There can be tons of stats that show PHP developers make better money as a freelancer but the main question is how you can make such kind of hourly rates programming in PHP.
So let me share ways to demand better hourly rates from your clients.
1. Develop CMS Plugins (Or Themes)
There are tons of CMSes in PHP. The most popular of all is WordPress but there is life beyond WordPress as well. CMSes like Drupal, Joomla, XenForo, OpenCart, etc. exist and are doing ok.
Choose one and add some extra functionality into the CMS with a plugin.
Once you have a plugin for CMSes, the support and extra development of the plugin is more likely to come to you only. Moreover, using the plugin as a sample of your expertise, one can demand better hourly rates from clients on freelancing sites like Upwork as well.
It is one of the better and most efficient ways to demand better rates. I started freelancing doing the same and recommend the same to anyone who is willing to increase their hourly rates.
2. Develop Functionalities in PHP Framework
CMSes aren’t the only arena where one can work as a PHP developer who wishes to be a freelancer and looking to increase the hourly rates.
The next option can be to work on some of the top PHP frameworks like Laravel, CodeIgniter, Symfony, CakePHP, YII, PhaconPHP, Zend, etc.
Choose any PHP framework and build some functionality for it. One can look to build a blog functionality or an eCommerce store add-on for the framework if it is not yet available.
Choose anything that is useful for others as well as help you project as an expert for the use of Framework.
The add-on itself can drive clients or it can be offered as free to clients and they will be more than happy to hire you for customization. In either case, the developer who has such a ready-made solution will make a lot more than others.
3. Riches are in the Niches
There is a vast difference between the job world and freelancing when it comes to dealing with the compensation.
As an employee working as a PHP developer, one can fetch more salary if one has more experience.
In the world of freelancing, a PHP developer can demand better rates when one has more relevant experience. So if a developer has relevant experience in CakePHP, he can demand better rates for a CakePHP project. Similarly, if one has experience with eCommerce in CakePHP, he can even demand better rates.
As a freelancer, if one chooses a specific niche, he can demand much better rates and can make a lot more money as a PHP programmer.
Experience does matter but what matters more is relevant experience. The main reason being the client who is outsourcing the project often isn’t a very technical person. So the choice of the freelancer is based on the relevant experience than going with a general developer.
4. Get Certifications
In the world of freelancing, the riches are in the niches for sure. The main reason being, clients aren’t in a position to be able to judge the skills and caliber of a developer.
As a developer, I am sure you will agree the same task can be done in many ways. Clients know this the hard way by wasting a lot of money.
They realize the developer with past relevant experience is ought to do the jobs in a better and stable way than a person who is trying to do it for the first time.
The certifications can help build confidence in clients the same way a sample can.
Imagine, on Upwork a proposal with the sample will have the upper hand but what if one doesn’t have a specific relevant sample. The next best thing that can work is certification. If you are a certified professional, it can add some value to your proposal for sure.
5. Work on Building a Product
As a PHP developer, the aim is to make a better per hour rate for expertise.
As a developer, do you find a gap where there isn’t a very good solution for something?
How about building a product and provide a solution.
The best example that I can think of is Sendy which is a great tool for email marketing. I use Sendy on all my blogs (including TastedRecipes.com). It is a great replacement for AWeber for me.
All the email marketing tools cost a lot of money but Sendy along with Amazon SES makes email marketing almost free for any blogger who is just starting out.
What is the starting salary of a PHP developer in India?
The salary will vary considerably from one region to another. Still, Indeed’s ₹20,000 which is the average salary of PHP developer in India as a good starting estimate. So ideally starting salary of PHP fresher should be a little less than the average and around ₹12k to ₹15k.
Is PHP good for a Career?
Yes, I think it is an awesome career choice. The reason one has doubt is because of the popularity of some of the common JS frameworks like NodeJs or AngularJS.
According to BuiltWith
- PHP is the 2nd most popular in India in the Programming Language category.
- The most popular on the Entire Internet in the Programming Language category.
- The most popular in the Top 10k sites in the Programming Language category.
So, I think there is a long-time before PHP will be replaced by something better than PHP.
Is PHP better than Java?
It all depends. One is trying to compare apple with oranges. I have done a very detailed comparison of PHP, Java, and C++ here.
The short answer is – Go with the one you love to code in.
Is PHP difficult to learn?
The answer will vary from person to person but my view is very easy to learn. I haven’t taken any official course of PHP and it was not part of my engineering curriculum either.
Again, others may find it tough as well. It all depends on your willingness to learn and programming expertise.
Can I learn PHP by myself?
Yes, you can. I learned PHP all by myself. One can use a better book in PHP.
If I have to pick one it has to be – The Complete Reference.
Where can I learn PHP for free?
Finally, even if you don’t want to spend money on buying a PHP book, try out the W3Schools Php Tutorial.
It starts directly from the Hello World program and slowly takes you over to the PHP Advance, Object-Oriented Programming in PHP, and Finally dealing in Database with MySQL. The online version of the site is as good as a book and the best part is, it is totally free.