Wednesday, 16 January 2013

The Disparity Between Effort And Your Daily/Hourly Contracting Rate

When you're a contractor, there's no hiding that you're in it for the money. I mean, we all work for the money anyway, but when you're a contractor there's no shame in admitting it. Actually, you might be wanting the experience too, but it's just a given that most contractors are trying to earn as much money as possible.

So it all come down to your rate.

Rates are usually quoted as an hourly or daily rate. £13/hour is roughly equivalent to £100/day.

Now the thing is, rates vary wildly.

For example, a Helpdesk (first line) role may pay around £8/hr. Any lower than that and you can't survive in London. But sometimes they pay as high as £12/hr. A second line or general IT Support role (e.g. mixed role in a small company) can pay as little as £9 or £10 per hour but it can go much higher.

Before the financial crisis, you used to be able to earn more than £200/day working IT Support in a bank. Those days are almost over because rates crashed and £150 is probably above average now.

Now here's the crazy thing. You can work your butt off at one company for £12/hr but get paid to twiddle your thumbs at another for £13/hr!

Right now, I'm working in a nice place for around £13/hr. From a workload point of view, I'm only doing slightly less than I would somewhere else but the pressures on me and the expectations are very low. I don't have to work crazy shifts, the people are nice and I can even wear casual clothes.

Sure, I could go get a job paying maybe £15 per hour but I would have to dress smart, put up with demanding people and get stressed out every day. It's just not worth it.

So the rate isn't everything for a contractor, much as people like to think. It's the bigger picture that counts.

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