The Difference in Skill Levels in the Philippines, Russia and the US


How do the skills match up between the U.S. (a high income country) versus Russia (middle income), and the Philippines (a lower income country)? The results might be surprising to some of you!


First, how different are pay rates between these countries?

You can hire a Philippines based web developer for example for a salary of anywhere from $3 per hour to $14 per hour. (Around $5,000 to $25,000 per year).  The equivalent “range” in the U.S. would be $50,000 – $150,000 per year. For Russia, it would be $20,000 to $60,000.

The range varies widely depending on experience and the city the person lives in. However, this doesn’t tell you very much as you need to compare the skill level of the people you are hiring.

Ideally you want to compare people with similar skill levels. Check this out:

The Difference in Skill Levels of Web Developers in the Philippines, Russia and the US

Are skills of US developers higher than those in Russia and the Philippines?

On average, yes, but you don’t want to look for an average person! You will want to find the sweet spot, an area of overlap where salary offsets skill level. In our chart, that would be a high level person in the Philippines. You have to pay more than the Philippines average, yes (for example $15-20,000 per year instead of $5-10,000 per year) — but the increased experience more than makes up for the increased cost, and this also means less time managing this person.

What the Ideal Team Composition would be…

You  might want a team leader based in the U.S. and working with 2 – 4 people in Russia or the Philippines. This way you combine the benefits of a highly skilled technical team lead with a reliable but lower cost supporting structure to accelerate development speed.

About the Author:

Rob Rawson is a co-founder of, a global recruitment platform where you can access very talented staff at affordable rates. They also have a technology called Time Doctor which is software to improve productivity and help keep track and know what your team is working on, even when working from home.

Rob resides in Sydney, Australia but can also be found in major cities around the globe, like Paris, Kiev or San Francisco.

Find Rob on Google Plus



  1. admin says:

    I would add also a caveat that these salaries are rough ranges and vary widely depending on the region (for example salaries in Silicon Valley are higher than other parts of the US), length of experience etc. There are definitely people above the top and below the bottom of these salary ranges. Also skill and pay don't necessarily go together. In general it is true that higher paid developers are more skilled, but it's not true in all cases.

    Also we didn't put India in the graph, but I would put it somewhere between Philippines and Russia. There are a lot of VERY good developers in India, but also an even larger number of low skilled people.

    • Maxim Bobrov says:

      I can add that salaries in Russia are also vary widely depending on the region. Usually salaries in Moscow region 2-3 times higher than in the other parts of the country. And the chart above shows the average state of things.

Leave a Comment to Maxim Bobrov

* Required Fields

About is time tracking and time analytics software for the workday. We'll show you exactly where time is spent in your business and give you the answers to questions like:

  • Which departments or employees are the most productive?
  • Which websites & applications are the biggest time-wasters?
  • How much time is spent on which projects & tasks?
  • Much more...

Get started with a free trial today.