BetterWay Devs – Attracting Top Talent: Salary Ranges for Software Developers in South America in 2024

By: Paula Tellez, Inbound Marketing Manager, BetterWay Devs

Traditionally, many US companies have outsourced their development needs to Asia. However, this approach comes with significant challenges.

Fortunately, South America offers a compelling alternative as a nearshoring destination. It has important advantages, including being in the same time zone and providing cost savings in salary expenses of over 50% compared to salaries in the US.

Furthermore, South America has a pool of highly skilled talent who have gained valuable experience working with the region’s unicorns or high-level companies worldwide. This further enhances South America’s appeal as a destination for topnotch talent.

In this blog post, we explore the salary ranges for English-speaking software engineers in South America and compare them to those in the United States. We also provide insights on how to access this talent pool. By understanding the salary landscape in both regions, companies can make informed decisions to attract and retain top talent in the industry.

Why South American Talent is a Game-Changer?

One advantage of tapping into the South American talent pool is the opportunity for software engineers in the region to work on projects that cater to both local and international markets. This exposure allows them to gain diverse experience and expand their skill sets. Additionally, South American countries are actively working to close the tech gap by promoting engineering careers and implementing extensive training programs to educate and develop new developers. South American countries are focused on increasing the number of skilled software engineers in the market, ensuring a growing pool of talented professionals.

Another benefit of hiring software engineers in South America is the comparatively lower salary expectations compared to North America. Despite their high level of expertise, software engineers in South America generally have more reasonable salary expectations, making them a cost-effective option for companies. This can be particularly advantageous for startups and smaller companies with limited budgets.

Moreover, there are other advantages of working with South American talent. Time zone compatibility is one of them. South America shares similar time zones with North America, which can improve team management and facilitate real-time collaboration. This alignment allows for smoother communication, reduced latency in decision-making, and increased productivity.

While South America offers cost-effectiveness, a growing pool of skilled professionals, and time zone compatibility, it’s important to consider that hiring offshore developers in Asia or Eastern Europe can sometimes provide even greater affordability. Therefore, companies should carefully assess their specific needs, budget constraints, desired skill sets, and time zone requirements when exploring their options for software engineering talent. By doing so, they can make the most advantageous choice for their organization.

Data on Salary Ranges

Please note that the salary ranges provided here are based on our collected data for salary expectations in the region for 2024. These ranges are specific to developers in South America who have a good command of English. It is important to note that these ranges may differ from other sources that consider average salaries in local markets for developers without English skills.

Regarding seniority levels for software developers, they can vary across different organizations. However, the general scope is as follows:

Junior Software Engineer

Experience: <2 years

Salary Range: $30,000 to $54.000

A junior software engineer has a basic engineering and programming background, spends time learning about code and development best practices, can contribute to specifications and participate in code reviews, and has developing expertise to resolve routine issues. They can independently complete small tasks with guidance from a senior engineer.


Experience: 2+ years

Salary Range: $54,000 to $78.000

Mid-level engineers have some experience and can work independently. They write code, use tools to fix problems, create plans, review code, and test things. They are skilled at communication and problem-solving. With guidance, they can complete small to medium-sized tasks. They make valuable contributions to development.

Senior Software Engineer

Experience: 5+ years

Salary Range: $66,000 to $108,000

Senior software engineers are experienced professionals with advanced technical skills. They handle complex programming tasks, participate in code reviews, and guide junior engineers. They communicate effectively, collaborate with technical leads, and focus on critical aspects.

Lead Software Engineer

Experience: 8+ years

Salary Range: $84,000 to $132,000

Lead Engineers possess extensive knowledge of development best practices, handle advanced programming tasks, and demonstrate leadership skills. They support developers through mentorship, coordinate interdisciplinary teams, and promote collaboration. In the chart below, you can find a comparison of salary ranges for different roles and engineering levels in South America and the United States.

Comparison of annual salaries between different roles and engineering levels for English-speaking software developers in South America and the United States.

Source: Salary ranges in South America, based on BetterWay Devs’ salary aspiration data for 2024. Salary ranges in the United States according to GlassDoor for 2024.

Based on the previous chart, it is clear that salary ranges for software developers in South America still provide the opportunity to reduce salary expenses by over 50% for most positions. This presents organizations with the chance to optimize their budget while attracting skilled professionals in the region.

How to Hire Software Developers in South America?

When hiring software developers in South America, you have a few options:

  1. Publish positions and hire contractors directly. This gives you more control and direct interaction with candidates.
  2. Use an Employer of Record (EOR) like Deel. They handle legal and administrative aspects such as payroll and compliance.
  3. Engage a recruiting or staffing firm like BetterWay Devs. They specialize in sourcing and vetting candidates, saving you time and resources.

Recruiters and staffing firms charge fees based on a percentage of the candidate’s salary or a set amount per hire. Discuss and negotiate the fee structure to align with your budget and needs.

Evaluate your options based on skills, experience, budget, and time constraints. Partnering with the right solution increases your chances of finding top talent while optimizing your recruitment process.

Tips for successful hiring in South America

To create an appealing offer, in addition to mandatory benefits, you should include some benefits that are common in the region for software developers. These can include providing a computer, private health and life insurance, study time, and the opportunity to enjoy local holidays.

Another effective strategy for companies looking to achieve even further cost savings is to consider reducing the English language proficiency expectations for some team members while ensuring bilingual leadership. By doing so, companies can tap into a larger talent pool and benefit from lower salary expectations, especially in regions where English proficiency may not be as high. This approach not only allows for cost optimization but also promotes diversity and inclusion within the team.

In conclusion, employers can attract and retain top talent and ensure competitiveness in the South American market by understanding average salaries and the factors that influence them. In addition to the relatively lower salary expectations, companies can benefit from other advantages such as time zone compatibility, which facilitates seamless collaboration and communication with teams in North America. By tapping into the talent pool in South America, companies can optimize their budget while accessing a growing pool of skilled professionals and enhancing productivity through improved team management and real-time collaboration.

BetterWay Devs is an experienced IT recruiting and staffing company specialized in connecting North American companies with great Latin American engineers.

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