Mobile app developers in Maine have been riding a wave of expansion in recent years, and this trend is projected to continue due to a booming app economy and the state’s fertile infrastructure.
Between 2007 and 2014 the number of app developers in Maine grew by 360. The Maine Center for Workforce Research and Information forecasts that in the decade leading up to 2022 there will be an additional 40 app developer jobs added to the total workforce each year, an overall growth rate of 15 percent. That’s a strong figure, especially compared with Maine’s average job growth rate for that same period of just 2.3 percent.
Besides an optimistic employment outlook, app developers will also find the state wants to attract members of their profession. That’s in part due to revenue brought into the state by app developers. The wireless industry association CTIA estimated in 2012 that Maine’s app industry was generating $25 million every year. That comes out to over $18,000 generated by each app developer on average, who themselves earn an average salary in Maine of $83,540.
Maine’s App Infrastructure Development
In some sense Maine has been preparing for its app boom for the past decade, steadily increasing wireless network coverage as well as speed. According to a report released by the FCC, in 2009 there were just 370,000 residential internet connections in Maine, and access for many rural residents was an issue.
By the beginning of 2014 the FCC reported the number of residential internet connections in Maine had grown to 894,000, and in a more recent 2015 report it said that 72.9 percent of all Maine residents accessed the internet via a broadband connection.
While most population centers have access to at least three different wireless providers, the sparsely-populated rural northwest regions of Maine still lack wireless network coverage. However most rural Maine residents do have internet access, and some of the fastest options available to boot. According to a 2013 report released by the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, up to 80 percent of rural Maine residents have access to broadband internet connections that are at least 25 Mbps.
The fertile ground laid by network speed and coverage has led the FCC to report that as of today there are more than 586,000 smartphones and other mobile devices in circulation throughout Maine