Apple fan or not, there’s no denying the worldwide appeal of iOS products. Apple have managed to carve out a niche as arguably the most user friendly, intuitive, and stylish company within the mobile space. As of June, 2018, iOS devices makeup over 50% of the Australian mobile operating system market, and capture around the same market share in the US.
What does this mean for someone interested in a role as an iOS Developer in Australia? It means that they are job opportunities aplenty with room to grow, both here and overseas.
iOS developer: role, responsibilities & tools
The responsibilities and workflows of an iOS developer role are very similar to other developer roles, such as Windows applications development, web development, and systems development, however they use a different toolset. You’ll need to have the basics down, such as Agile, MVP, versioning, design patterns, experience with RESTful APIs, test frameworks, continuous integration, etc.
The majority of iOS roles are heavily focused on front-end UI development. App users want something shiny and intuitive – so that’s where a lot of efforts are focused. If you end up working in a smaller startup you could be doing back-end development for the project, too.
If you want to specialise in iOS development, it’s time to get familiar with the toolset.
The native languages used in iOS development are Objective-C and Swift, although these aren’t typically taught in mainstream coding courses. Alongside these languages are various libraries and frameworks to assist development, such as Cocoa Pods, storyboards and UIKit.
iOS developers generally will work using Mac machines with the XCode IDE.
There’s a very healthy market out there for hybrid app developers. These developers use technologies such as React Native to build apps for both iOS and Android devices with minimal actual native code needed. A hybrid mobile app developer will need to have native experience across both iOS and Android, as well as a grip on the technologies used for hybrid development.
iOS developer careers in Australia
iOS isn’t going anywhere soon. Apple has an established audience who will continue to purchase their products due to the closed (comfy) iOS ecosystem. This means that a future as an iOS developer in Australia is fairly stable.
Even if you don’t think you’ll be keen being a senior iOS dev forever, and not you’re interested in hybrid or Android dev, there’s plenty of room for movement.
Here are some roles that established iOS developers move into:
- Other forms of software dev, such as web dev, systems, machine learning, etc.
- UI/UX designer
- Software architect
- Project or engineering management
- Software analyst
- Tech startup founder
Knowing where your strengths and interests lie will guide you towards the next best step in your career path.
iOS developer salaries in Australia
In terms of iOS Developer opportunities, these are mainly based in capital cities, concentrated in Sydney and Melbourne. Some regional centres may have roles pop up every now and again, however these will have reduced salaries.
Each iOS Developer Salary in Australia below taken from Payscale.
iOS Developer Salary in Sydney, NSW
Starting salary – AU$46k – AU$82k
5yrs experience – AU$61k – AU$110k
iOS Developer Salary in Melbourne, VIC
Starting salary – AU$43k – AU$77k
5yrs experience – AU$64k – AU$114k
iOS Developer Salary in Canberra, ACT
Starting salary – AU$45k – AU$81k
5yrs experience – AU$65k – AU$118k
iOS Developer Salary in Brisbane, QLD
Starting salary – AU$43k – AU$78k
5yrs experience – AU$63k – AU$112k
iOS Developer Salary in Perth, WA
Starting salary – AU$45k – AU$81k
5yrs experience – AU$63k – AU$114k
iOS Developer Salary in Hobart, TAS
Starting salary – AU$42k – AU$75k
5yrs experience – AU$57k – AU$102k
iOS Developer Salary in Darwin, NT
Starting salary – AU$46k – AU$83k
5yrs experience – AU$64k – AU$115k
Comparatively, an iOS developer with 5 years experience can expect to earn between $127k-$237k in Mountain View, California (for those that make the leap to Silicon Valley).
9 companies hiring iOS developers
Canva is one of Australia’s biggest startup darlings. Canva has built their brand on allowing non-designers to build beautiful graphic designs in minutes, without the hefty price tag of products like Adobe. The Canva family now has an iOS app, and are currently looking for an iOS engineer to join the team at HQ in Sydney.
Tinybeans is the number one family photo sharing app on the market, giving users a chance to document their young one’s complete early life journey. It’s kind of like the scrapbooking of the digital age. The company itself carries across these family values through to their work environment. Headquartered in Sydney, but with a base in New York, their iOS developer role offers time-friendly working conditions, such as flexible working hours and a work from home policy.
This one could be a great opportunity for those looking for a seachange. CartonCloud is a stock and logistics management system aimed at SMBs. The company, based in Burleigh Heads, Gold Coast, is on the lookout for a range of developers. If you are looking for an iOS role, you might be tempted to check this one out – it’s also open to junior applicants.
Want to be a part of one of the world’s foremost professional services companies, connecting blue-chip clients with services strategy, consulting, digital, technology and operations? If you’d like a foot in the door at a massive multi-national company, this could be the chance. Accenture is currently on the look out for a Mobile App Developer (iOS/Android).
5. Motorola Solutions
Work with one of the world’s most well-known communications brands on solutions that span situational awareness, communications and business data solutions. As an iOS developer with Motorola Solutions you’ll be working on new and existing iOS apps that help people do their jobs more effortlessly. The currently advertised position is based out of their Melbourne office.
Centelon are a technology services company that offers clients enterprise-level software solutions across a range of business domains, such as AI development, Salesforce supercharging, and other digital solutions. They’re currently on the hunt for experienced iOS developers to add to their team, based out of their Melbourne location.
7. Domain Group
Domain Group have recently split from Fairfax Media and have gone public, which speaks volumes as to what’s in store for the country’s most recognizable property brand. Want to work on their iOS app? Domain currently has an opening for a senior iOS developer with a “keen eye for design”. The position is open now within their Sydney office and comes with plenty of perks.
The best thing about getting involved in a startup is the chance to be really involved in shaping a company, and aligning yourself with something you really believe in. Sydney-based Bountyre is a second hand goods marketplace startup that seeks to eliminate the huge amount of waste from always buying new. If you’ve often looked at Gumtree and thought of a better solution, you might like to jump on Bountyre’s senior iOS developer opening.
Outware are the makers of a range of innovative mobile solutions for big name companies in Australia (ANZ, Village Roadshow, Coles) across a range of platforms including smart TVs, wearables, and more. If you want experience in developing cutting edge iOS apps for some big-name enterprise companies, then check out Outware’s iOS Mobile Developer role at their Sydney location
How to level up? 5 courses and 5 sites you can follow
1. iOS App Development with Swift – RMIT (online/in person)
Get the skills in Swift you need to get iOS dev approved in just a few months. RMIT pairs with Apple to present this short course for budding iOS engineers. You can either attend through their Melbourne campus or via their self-paced online course. It’s the first legit uni-run iOS development course in the country!
2. iOS Development for Creative Entrepreneurs Specialization – Coursera (online)
This course is comprised of 6 units which includes going into learning Objective-C, UIKit and SpriteKit, networking and security, and culminates in developing your own game for the iOS platform. The course is self-paced, with most people completing all units within around 6 months. While it’s aimed at entrepreneurs, it’s a great crash course for anyone interested in getting up to speed with iOS dev quickly.
3. Intermediate iOS 11 – Complex and Advanced iPhone Apps – Udemy (online)
This 4.8 star course on Udemy is a good way to boost your iOS knowledge if you’ve progressed from a beginner course – without having to shell out a lot of moolah. In the course you tackle things like TouchID and FaceID, machine learning with CoreML, and ARKit for augmented reality apps. Sign up for Intermediate iOS 11 and get coding.
4. Mobile and Web Application Development (BSc) – Murdoch University (online/external)
There’s no question that many jobs call for a university degree. Developer jobs often seek computer science graduates or those in related disciplines. If you don’t have a uni degree under your belt and want to specialise, check our Murdoch’s Mobile and Web Application Development 3-year Bachelor of Science degree.
5. The Odin Project (online)
The Odin Project is a free, online, comprehensive full-stack coding curriculum that’s had over 80,000 students sign up. The project is open source and comes recommended by plenty of previous devotees. Designed for those without the bankroll to do a paid course, it’s comprehensive but not iOS-specific.
1. Ray Wenderlich
The Ray Wenderlich site is a treasure trove full of tutorials, videos, podcasts, forums, and more, all organised into areas such as Swift, iOS, macOS, and Unity. There’s also course books to download and the videos are actually enjoyable to watch. Check it out.
2. Codementor community – iOS
Hear about cool new projects that people are building in iOS, discuss frameworks, pose curly questions, and learn about new features in the Codementor iOS community pages. You’re bound to stumble across useful implementation tricks and advice from senior coders.
3. Official Swift blog
The official Swift blog from Apple. Learn all about the latest and greatest in Swift straight from the horse’s mouth – enough said.
4. NS Screencast
Into your resources in video form? Check out NS Screencast for iOS developer videos covering a huge range of topics such as streaming logs, testing view controllers, setting up Xcode, and plenty more.
5. iOS Dev Weekly
Get a curated list of the best iOS dev-related links every week from the folks at iOS Dev Weekly. It’s a good jump off point for finding new resources, news, events, bugs, and videos, all with a opinionated intro.
iOS development in a nutshell
Choosing a career in iOS development can be just the start of journey into software and beyond. With iOS products in demand both in Australia and overseas, the market for jobs is ripe and salaries are generous. To make it as an iOS developer you’ll need an eye for detail, an analytical brain, an understanding of the software development process and techniques, plus domain-specific knowledge in Apple languages, and associated tools and frameworks. With a background in iOS development, you’ll have plenty of room to climb the career ladder in tech.
Looking for jobs for an iOS developer in Australia, mobile development positions, or other software openings? Head over to our job search and see what’s on offer.