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From "Richard L. Goerwitz III" <>
Subject Re: [OT] Re: What hourly rate to charge for programming?
Date Wed, 03 Oct 2001 16:38:48 GMT
> > > Now take the amount you want to make and divide it by the number
> > > of hours you came up with above ($40,000 / 1,000).  You get $40.
> > > That's your target hourly rate.
> >
> > $40K as a consultant is much less spendable money than $40K as an
> > employee.
> Yes, that's an additional 7.5% for social security. In addition, you
> have to take care of your own benefits, etc.
> I'd recommend that you start to inch up your rate with new clients,
> and that you try and see what your market will bear.

I agree with this; but at the same time take your own circumstances
into consideration:  If you're young, don't live a profligate life-
style, and like people and work, then don't worry about the money
so much.

Someone suggested charging $100/hour - more for mod_perl work.  I
have a different slant.  I like mod_perl and like to encourage its
use.  I charge the same rate to everbody whether it's mod_perl or
not.  And I also usually try to work training into contracts; i.e.,
I try to work things out so that I not only cut mod_perl (or Emb-
perl) code for clients, but also get to train their people on what
I'm doing, if they aren't already intimately familiar with the tech-
nology.  Sometimes, actually, training is all the client wants.

Another thought:

For clients who keep coming back for more work, and who are flexi-
ble about schedules, you should consider charging a lower rate.  It
is extremely valuable to have clients around that you can go to when
you're "between" other jobs.  Hang onto them.  Give them a break if
that helps.

My _family_ actually sometimes pressures me to lower rates.  I've
been doing work lately for (among others) a big environmentalist
nonprofit near Washington.  My fifteen year-old son, who is a rabid
environmentalist, said I should charge them less because the work
they are doing is so valuable to the community.  I told him it meant
less money in his pocket as well as mine.  He said he didn't care,
so I dropped my rates ten percent :-).

The bottom line is that it's really not about the money.  If you're
good and you like people, and you don't think God put on earth to
drive a BMW and eat out every night, then you'll find you can get
along quite well charging reasonable rates.  Your clients will love
you.  You'll be a happy guy.  And you'll help spread open-source
technology all around.


Richard Goerwitz                               richard@Goerwitz.COM
tel: 401 438 8978

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