How Much Do Software Developers In Bulgaria Really Earn?

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There’re around 30k IT specialists employed in Bulgaria, earning an average of €1.4k per month, shows the annual IT sector report of the Software Association. Now, there’s quite a lot of mythology about the size of wages in the fastest-growing and most hyped sector in Bulgaria. Are there really fresh out of school junior java developers who are not ready to start at €1k a month? Who is really getting €5k cash?

To answer these questions Trending Topics teamed up with Noble Hire, the new generation job and hiring platform that is focusing on tech talent and works only with companies that are transparent about the way they work. Based on the job posts of their clients, we put together a table of what companies are currently offering.

Senior back-end developers are the most sought after talent on the market currently and employers are ready to pay up to €4k for the luxury of hiring one. Juniors start at as much as €515 monthly. 

The data, however, is not representative for the whole sector. It’s a snapshot based on the current postings of 51 tech companies on Noble Hire. Among the companies, we find startups like Endurosat and ClaimCompass, but also more established players like Bianor, Smule, or Siteground.

Seniority Classification Salary range/gross per month in EUR Salary range/net per month in EUR
Intern (0 to 1 year) Data 663 – 918 515-712
Junior (1 to 2 years) Data 663 – 1275 515-990
Full Stack 1020-1632 792-1280
Middle (2 to 3 years) Back-End 1020-3612 792-3062
Data 918-1530 712-1187
Front-End no salary mentions
Full Stack 1275-2122 989-1720
Mobile 1785-2236 1162-1913
QA 1020-2601 792-2150
Senior (3 to 5 years) Back-End 1275-4182 989-3574
Data 1479-2346 792-1922
DevOps & Sys Admin 1020 – 2142 792-1738
Full Stack 1275-3825 989-3253
Mobile 1683-4177 1325-3569
QA 1122-3366 870-2839
Expert (5+ years) DevOps & Sys Admin 1997-4233 1608-3620
QA 2125-3400 1722-3380
Back-End 3570-4947 3023-4263
Data 3188-4037 2679-3444


Do developers want more?

Meanwhile, the developers’ media is also conducting broader research where we find different numbers. Devstyler’s team has asked for opinions of their community on how much should developers earn. So far, in the middle of the survey period, close to 8k developers have filled in the form. 

According to the preliminary results and what have said a bit under two-thirds of the participants, a senior developer should earn on average between €2.5k and €3.5k. One-fifth of the respondents say the range should be between €3.5k and €5k. A minority of 16% agree that €1.5-2.5k is enough. 

Better off than Western Europe?

In its annual report, the software association BASSCOM also tries to compare the standard of living of developers in Bulgaria and in Western Europe, using the Purchasing Power Parity Index of the World Bank. According to its evaluations, the average salary of a software engineer in Bulgaria (around 46k BGN or €23.5k) is an equivalent to £49k in the UK and €53k in Germany yearly. The median salary there is however lower. 

Gross annual 2018 Compensation
Average for Bulgaria 45.9k BGN
Equivalent to Bulgaria in the UK (through PPP*) 49k GBP
Average for UK (software engineer**) 34.6k GBP
Equivalent to Bulgaria in Germany (through PPP*) 50.8k EUR
Average for Germany (software engineer**) 50.6k EUR


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