State what work you do, where you are based, where your clients are based and what type of rates you are charging at the moment.
- don't mind disclosing their salary in public
- don't have any co-workers, employers, or clients who read this site
- have a single fixed rate that they charge everybody
- don't plan to change their rate in the future
- make enough to not feel silly disclosing their rate in public
- don't make so much that they'll feel like they're just bragging
Which is a pity, because I think this is likely to systematically put a downward bias on answers you get back. These issues don't bite quite so hard when you're charging $20 ~ $60 an hour. If one hypothetically had weekly rates in the $8k to $24k region, they start to matter more. I'd hate for impressionable consultants reading the poll results to think that $20 ~ $60 is reasonably achievable and $8k to $24k is not just because only one of those was written in the results.
P.S. $8k to $24k is not my range. I just 10X and weekified the "relatively inexpensive programmer" numbers I picked out of nowhere.
For eg. I know that atm iOS developers based in San Francisco or the valley can charge out around $1500 per day.
I also know that on-site web development work in Australia (Sydney) can fetch $150+
These are both from friends of mine who are experienced developers and who can work and complete a project on their own.
I also learnt today that the discount on working remotely can be large in some instances. (30%)
I am getting back into the market after a few years of fulltime employment and taking time off, so I am trying to get as much information as possible in order to get back up to speed.
What makes things worse for employers are that changes to UK immigration laws implemented last year, make it even harder to employ people from outside the EU. There is now an annual cap of 20,000 work permits, except if it's an inter office transfer.
The consultants who get this typically do more than just code. Often (usually) you'll end up needing to travel. I run in to a lot of talented freelance developers who 1) vow to never travel outside their hometown and 2) wonder why they can't charge high rates.
I'm not saying you need to fly overseas 3-4x per month, but part of being able to charge the high rates is providing value to clients commensurate with the price you charge. Providing value encompasses things like meeting the client in their office, even if it's 7 hours away. Arrange your own flight, charge it back later, etc. Make solving their problems first and foremost.
There's load of other stuff to say on pricing, and there are few universal rules on pricing. I do know that one of the things that's allowed me to charge what I charge is that I'm willing to go out of town to people who need what I offer.
I'm not saying these are my numbers, but if you're charging $30/hour now, but could make, say, $90/hour by going onsite to clients - being willing to travel to other cities for days at a time - would you do it? I'm actually a bit shocked at the number of people I meet who tell me "no". I realize not everyone has the same priorities I do, but still surprising.
Where in Asia? That rate could go a long way in the Philippines or Thailand, or not very far in Hong Kong or Singapore.
Typical rate is $75/h. I also do project quotes that work out to be more or less. Through BidOnMyDay I've been working for less but meeting some great people (shameless plug):
I'm US based. Currently a nomad living in hostels, hotels, and couch surfing.
I DGAF if people know what I make. I've never understood apprehension with discussing income. If you have coworkers it could make sense but this is for freelancers. Also, if you think a freelancer makes RATE * FULL TIME HOURS you've never been one.
The consultants who make the best living also have a spouse who works and provides health benefits.
Two of my favorites for figuring out an hourly rate or how much to charge as a whole:
I'm looking to have my company do more consulting as a way to raise short-term revenue, and as a way provide my employee(s) a way to do higher value work (and thus earn more money) without leaving my company for more profitable employers.
Ideally, I'd personally do about one day a week of contracting like this, and as employees become more experienced, slowly transition them from support to consulting.
As far as I can tell, rates depend as much on the client as on your skill level. I've had some clients laugh at my rate and offer /more/ - while others do the opposite.
I'm considering retainer type deals, and I'd be interested to hear how retainers have worked for other people.
edit: attempted a less-objectifying reword.
The plans I always presented were multi-tiered. I always found that companies were more open to talking numbers when then felt that they had options. I also only do retainers on a month-to-month basis. I tried a yearly retainer once and it did not work out for me or the client.
Basically, my retainers worked like this:
* The client pays for X amount of hours a month
* The size of X determined many factors of the relationship
- how much they pay per hour
- how their work was weighted against my other work
- whether they paid after-hours rates or not (typically, I charge double for calls after normal business hours)
- whether I would guarantee same day/24/48/72 hour service
- how much they paid for hours over X
- how much they paid for phone/remote support and if those hours were included in the monthly agreement or not
* X hours were guaranteed to the client each month and we generally set a schedule weekly. If they paid for 24 hours a month, I would be at their business 6 hours a week, no matter if they called or not.
I billed monthly, and the client was expected to pay within 10 days. Some wanted to pay me up front, but I never worked well that way so I discouraged it. The clients that I still do work for started off as retainer clients. Since that time, I have structured my work-flow to only include them and we no longer need an agreement. Many monhts, I have made more than I would have had we maintained the retainer (because of discounts) and most months it's about the same.
> I'm looking to start renting out my apprentice for around $50/hr, and pushing my own consulting.
> (as my current one is clearly at least 'journeyman' level at this point, and as such will likely leave me soon.)
Maybe your apprentice would be willing to stick around if you didn't think about them as someone you can 'rent out for around $50/hr'.
I'm not trying to be offensive or objectifying, but yeah, re-reading it, I can see how a person might take it that way. Sorry. The actual plan is to split the portion of what the customer pays that is over and above his salary between him and the company, so it would be a way for me to pay him the higher rate his new skill level deserves.
From my point of view? I'm happy to be rented out; I mean, for work I find interesting, as long as the rates keep going up. It's not something I find offensive. but yeah, I need to watch the intonation of my language, as some people do find speaking of things in that way offensive.
Thanks for the clarification, it seemed a bit strange to see you 'commoditize' (sp?) another person like that. Of course it is common practice elsewhere, the whole body-shop scene revolves around that but you made it sound pretty (im)personal.
But people who are wired the way I am don't stay employees. Or at least, we don't stay good employees. Employees seem to genuinely love the company. They have loyalty, and expect loyalty. Hearing someone say that about my company actually makes me feel a little uncomfortable. It's one thing to be engaging in mutually beneficial exchange of value; it's another entirely to manipulate someone into producing value for you because of how they feel about the company. (Of course, I'm not trying to manipulate anyone's emotions, and I don't imagine I'd have the skill to pull it off even if I was.)
Paradoxically, as far as I can tell, most employees like to feel that they are working out of a sense of duty or love towards the company; they can feel offended when I approach employment as the mutually beneficial exchange of value; like I'm accusing them of being greedy sellouts or something. It's foreign to me, because I always scoffed when the companies I worked for talked about loyalty. I felt like they were treating me like a child. The boss I thought respected me the most would give me my performance review and then say something like "But that's just talk. Your raise this year is X%" - meaning he understood, as I did, that while there were non-monetary aspects to our relationship, it was primarily about the money.
But yeah, If I'm going to continue managing other people, this is something I'm going to have to come to understand.
If you have a good working relationship with the journeyman person why not discuss that with him/her openly? After all you're already reconciled with losing them anyway so there is absolutely nothing to lose, and who knows how much to gain. You might even find a worthy partner there.
I think it makes a lot of sense for SysAdmin type work; there are times when you really need me /right now/ - waiting for me to clear my schedule some time next week is not going to work.
I think maximum value would be achieved if I put your stuff on my pager. when something breaks, I go fix it and let you know what happened when you wake up; This is a lot of value for you, but for me to be effective at this, I need to know a lot about your systems, and as such, I'd want some sort of monthly money to pay to hold your system in my brain and my notes (and to answer my pager when it goes off at 6am.)
It seems to me like this sort of relationship would work best if it was very long term; you'd keep paying me the retainer until you can afford to hire your own SysAdmin.
I'm just starting out on this route and seeking advice overall on this.
Based in UT, clients in DC.
$60-$80 depending on the project and the schedule.
I'm a student and only do 20 hours/week, but I'm kept pretty busy from one long term contract I've got.
BUT, I'm undercutting. I have a day job that pays me significantly less, but affords me plenty of PTO to do work like this.
I've done work with a local company that charges $95/hr. I've also been told by businesses that they pay $75-150/hr with other consultants/businesses.
I am semi-retired now, and enjoying work is a higher priority than maximizing income.
Mostly remote work from Portugal
Going rate is roughly 1000€ a day, charge less and you won't be taken seriously.
you are definitely right about the 'not taken seriously' part - it is a good tip for those starting out
And turning down enough business to employ someone else full time.