There are various factors that determine freelance and consulting hourly rates. Here are the most important ones, ordered by level of impact:
- Skill level and experience
- Education level
According to the Payoneer survey, which covered 150 countries and over 7,000 freelancers around the world, freelancers on average make $21/hour.
Freelancers around the world charge the following hourly rates:
- up to $5 - 16%
- $6-$10 - with 24%, most freelancer fall under this category
- $11-$15 - 17%
- $16-$20 - 13%
- $21-$25 - 9%
- $26-$30 - 7%
- $31-$50 - 10%
- $51-$100 - only 4% command these hourly rates
Hourly rates by industry
Hourly rates vary across industries, from $28/hour for the Legal field, to $11/hour for the Customer & Administrative field. Here's what the hourly rates are for 8 prominent industries:
Multimedia & Design - $21
- Graphic Designer - $19
- Illustrator - $20
- Web designer - $19
- Multimedia production - $25
Legal field - $28
- Fraud analyst - $27
- Professional in charge of contracts - $28
- Paralegal - $28
- Legal consulting - $29
- Tax lawyer - $30
Management & Finances - $23
- Accountant - $20
- Human resources - $19
- Project manager - $28
- Financial analyst - $23
- Business manager - $20
Writing & Translation - $18
- Content writing - $18
- Web content manager - $19
- Translation - $20
- Sales content - $16
Marketing & Sales - $20
- Social media manager - $16
- CRM - $20
- Sales - $25
- SEO analyst - $19
IT & Programing - $22
- IT Support - $19
- QA engineer - $20
- Web programmer - $21
- Database programmer - $24
- Mobile programmer - $26
- Developer - $23
- Game programmer - $24
Manufacturing & Engineering - $27
- Telecommunications engineer - $31
- Product designer - $25
- Hardware engineer - $25
Customer & Administrative support -$14.5
- Data entry clerk - $13
- Virtual assistant - $15
- Administrative assistant - $16
- Customer service agent - $14
The most profitable industry is the Legal field, with all 5 of its listed jobs being in the top 5 best paying freelance jobs. The freelance job that pays the most is Tax Lawyer ($30/hour).
The least profitable industry is Customer & Administrative support, with all 4 of its listed jobs being the bottom paying freelance jobs. The freelance job that pays the least is Data Entry Clerk ($13/hour).
These industry figures include freelancers all over the world, and as a comparison, here are the higher end minimum hourly wages for full-time employees around the world:
- Switzerland - $20
- Australia - $15
- Luxembourg - $13
- Monaco - $12
- France - $11
- Ireland - $11
- San Marino - $10
- Canada - $10
- Germany - $10
- Netherlands - $10
These figures show us that, apart from Switzerland's minimum wage (which is only applicable to one part of the country), freelancer average figures are mostly higher than the minimum wages in countries with the highest minimum wages - one survey shows that freelance work in general pays off more than full-time employment.
Remote and temporary workers
Certain jobs in certain industries are more likely to involve special parameters, so according to these parameters, we also distinguish between:
- Remote employees
- Temporary workers
Remote positions don't involve commuting and other activities that require additional expenses for the employer, so people usually think these positions pay less.
But, there are some remote positions that actually pay well, according to this report on remote work trends, that discloses the following figures:
- LSAT instructor - up to $100
- Back-end developer - $58
- Technical writer - up to $50
- Bookkeeper - $23
- Talent Acquisition Associate - $21
- Medical coder - $17
- Administrative assistant - $15
- Customer Service Representatives - $14
According to the report, the highest paid remote freelance position is a post-secondary, LSAT instructor, a position that can earn up to $100/hour; the lowest items in the list are Customer service representatives, with $14/hour on average.
Effect of COVID-19 on remote work
With the Covid-19 crisis in the first quarter of 2020, there has been a resurgence in the number of remote employees. In a study conducted by Upwork, there has been a staggering 87% increase in telecommuters from the pre-pandemic period. As they assess, remote work will only continue throughout 2021.
The contracts of temporary workers involve a limited period of time, usually based on the requirements of the company who is performing the hiring. These temporary employments include:
- temporary summer jobs
- temporary winter jobs
They also include certain jobs from the following industries:
- Administration & Business
- Construction & Manufacturing
- Shipping & Transportation
The most profitable temporary job from each category is:
- Application Software Developer (IT), with $48/h
- Management analyst (Administration & Business), with $39/h
- Adjunct Professor (Education), with $37/h
- Travel nurse (Healthcare), with $32/h
- Relief Postal Carrier (Shipping & Transportation), with $27/h
- Editor (Communication), with $27/h
- Festival organizer (Summer job), with $22/h
- Heavy equipment operator (Construction & Manufacturing), with $22/h
- Ski Instructor (Winter job), with $20/h
When it comes to temporary positions, the position of a Application Software Developers (IT) pays the most ($48/hour) - this industry is also the most profitable one in terms of temporary employment.
The least profitable temporary job from each category is:
- Resort staff (Summer job) - $10
- Santa Clause (Winter job) - $10
- Home Health Aide (Healthcare) - $11
- Data Entry Clerk (Business & Administration)- $12
- Substitute teacher (Education) - $13
- Construction laborer (Manufacturing & Construction) - $16
- Copywriter (Communication) - $19
- Heavy truck drivers (Shipping & Transportation) - $20
- Software tester (IT)- $22
When it comes to temporary positions, a Resort staff member and Santa Clause position pay the least ($10/hour) - Summer and Winter jobs are also the least profitable categories in temporary employment, most likely because they are strictly seasonal jobs, with no possibilities for contract extension beyond their seasons.
For more details on temporary employment and its hourly rates, visit this report.
Factors that impact hourly rates
Industries are the main factor that determines freelance/consulting rates, but there are several other factors that modify rates per industry:
The world region and country you're living in are one of the biggest factors that determine your hourly rates.
Hourly rates by world region
The regions where English is a native language are usually in advantage when it comes to hourly rates. This is especially a factor in the industries that require fluency in the English language - clients are more likely to hire professionals whose native language is English, so these professionals are in the position to command higher rates.
This is the case with developers -according to a survey of freelancers around the world, workers from the United States, Australia, New Zealand and Canada command the highest rates, while developers from North Africa get paid the least:
Disclaimer: The data validity was checked on several different websites. It is important to note that hourly rates differ vastly between different states (like in the U.S. or Latin America, for example). We've presented the average here, but the exact rates will vary based on the state, education and seniority level.
- United States - $51 ($56 in California and $44 in Texas)
- Australia and New Zealand - $30
- Canada - $43
- Western Europe - $67 ($56 in Germany and $82 in France)
- Eastern Europe - $32 ($25 in Croatia and $40 in Poland)
- South Africa - $40
- Latin America - $45 ($30 in Bolivia and $55 in Argentina)
- Asia - $25 ($25 in Bangladesh and China, and $30 in Malaysia)
- USSR - $32 ($28 in Belarus and $37 in Ukraine)
- Northern Africa - $25 ($20 in Egypt and $40 in Nigeria)
Hourly rates by country
Apart from the world region, the country you're living in determines the hourly rates as well. Again, English speaking countries usually reign in terms of the highest hourly rates.
Analyzing the same survey, France is the country with the highest hourly rates, with United Kingdom as a close second; the country that has the lowest hourly rates for developers is Kenya, with $25/hour.
- France - $82
- United Kingdom - $71
- Sweden - $67
- Netherlands - $60
- Germany - $56
- Argentina - $55
- Costa Rica - $40
- Hungary - $39
- Ukraine - $37
- Peru - $35
- Belarus - $28
- China - $25
- Kenya - $20
The reports by PayScale show how the hourly figures for most of the same countries (no data available for Serbia and Ukraine) stack up, for graphic designers:
- Sweden - $59
- Switzerland - $48
- France - $35
- Germany - $23
- Australia - $18
- United States - $17
- Israel - $16
- Ireland - $15
- Canada - $14
- UK - $13
- Pakistan - $13
- Lebanon - $10
- Argentina - $8
- Russia - $7
- India - $4
The figures for graphics designers show that Switzerland($48/hour) and Australia ($28/hour) are once again high on the list, while Sweden ($59/hour) offers the highest rates. In comparison to its position on the developers' list, Pakistan has a better position, and evens with the UK ($13/hour). Russia is once again low on the list ($7/hour), but it's India who offers the lowest rate ($4/hour).
Hourly rates by skill level and years of experience
Skills and experience are a vital factor in determining your hourly rates - as an example, here's how the figures unfold for developers and graphic designers across various experience levels:
Entry-level/Junior (0-1 year)
Entry-level employees have up to 1 year in experience - because they lack extensive professional experience, their hourly rates are typically lower.
For example, entry level developers earn $29/hour on average, while graphic designers just starting out earn about $15/hour on average.
Intermediate developers usually have up from 1 to 3 years of experience, and, on average, make the following figures:
- Full stack - $46
- DevOps - $54
- iOS - $40
- Android - $30
- Full stack - $34
- DevOps - $41
- iOS - $34
- Android- $38
- Full stack - $41
- DevOps - $49
- iOS - $45
- Android - $47
Intermediate designers, on average, make the following figures:
- Graphic/Logo - $31
- UX/UI - $55
- Product Design - $53
- Graphic/Logo - $41
- UX/UI - $32
- Product Design - $25
- Graphic/Logo - $20
- UX/UI - $30
- Product Design - $24
Senior developers have 3 to 5 years of experience, and make the following average figures:
- Full stack - $69
- DevOps - $82
- iOS - $84
- Android - $86
- Full stack - $49
- DevOps - $55
- iOS - $ 52
- Android - $52
- Full stack - $58
- DevOps - $61
- iOS - $61
- Android - $65
Senior designers, on average, make the following figures:
- Graphic/Logo - $30
- UX/UI - $30
- Product Design - $84
- Graphic/Logo - $38
- UX/UI - $49
- Product Design - $49
- Graphic/Logo - $23
- UX/UI - $44
- Product Design - $42
Lead and Senior Staff Specialists
Developer Lead and Senior Staff specialists have 5 to 10 years of experience, and, on average, make the following figures:
US West coast:
- Full stack - $150
- DevOps - $130
- iOS - $130
- Android - $130
- Full stack - $216
- DevOps - $190
- iOS - $178
- Android - $140
- Full stack - $114
- DevOps - $114
- iOS - $84
- Android - $69
Designer Lead and Senior Staff specialists make the following hourly rates, on average:
Us West Coast:
- Graphic/Logo - $50
- UX/UI - $90
- Product Design - $110
- Graphic/Logo - $64
- UX/UI - $89
- Product Design - $140
- Graphic/Logo - $38
- UX/UI - $38
- Product Design - $69
Consulting positions (10+ years)
Developers usually move to consulting positions after 10+ years of experience, and, on average, make the following figures:
US West coast:
- Full stack - $150
- DevOps - $170
- Full stack- $191
- DevOps - $191
- Android $191
- Full stack - $130
- Android - $115
Designers on consulting positions, on average, make the following figures:
Us West Coast:
- Graphic/Logo - $70
- UX/UI - $90
- Product Design - $150
- Graphic/Logo - $89
- UX/UI - $89
- Product Design - $115
- Graphic/Logo -$53
- UX/UI - $53
- Product Design - $69
According to the Payoneer survey, developers who have the knowledge in a particular developing language have the following years of experience in developing (though not necessarily in the language listed):
- C# - 10.4
- MySQL - 10.2
- Wordpress - 10
- PHP - 9.9
- Server 9.9
- AWS - 9.6
- C++ - 9.6
- JQuery - 9.5
- HTML/CSS - 9.5
- Amazon - 9.5
- Ajax - 9.2
- Java - 9
- Node.js - 8.9
- C - 8.9
- Ruby - 8.7
- Ruby on rails - 8.5
- Python - 8.4
- Django - 8.1
- Android - 7.8
- Objective-C - 7.6
- iOS - 7.5
- Swift - 7.3
This table shows that all the surveyed developers who have knowledge in a particular language, have more than 7 years of experience.
Additionally, in Payoneer's most recent survey the rising popularity of IT freelance work doesn't necessarily mean high pay rates. In fact, the market is slowly becoming oversaturated, which affects the mean hourly rate.
Hourly rates by education
Education can be an important factor for clients who are looking to hire a freelance, but the most recent Payoneer report shows that clients actually value experience and competence more than education.
According to them, there is little difference between the earnings of a freelancer with a high-school diploma, and a freelancer with a Bachelor degree - surprisingly, freelancers with only a High School diploma out-earn college graduates with Bachelor degrees.
College makes a difference only at later stages of your education - freelancers with Master's and Ph.D. degrees command higher hourly rates than other freelancers:
- High school - $19
- Bachelor's degree - $18
- Master's degree - $21
- Doctorate - $21
If you're still haven't earned your high school diploma, freelancing isn't out of reach - but, as you're probably still learning your freelance skills and don't have an extensive portfolio, expect to make around the equivalent of the minimum wage in your country.
For specific rates per field of study, you can visit Payscale.com and their thoroughly-researched archives.
Hourly rates by gender
Although the idea of closing the gender pay gap is a popular one, the results of the Payoneer survey indicate that the gap persists despite many who speak against it - men still outearn women in all surveyed industries.
On average, freelance men earn $21, and freelancer women earn $18, though the actual figures vary by industry once again:
IT & Programming:
- Men - $31
- Women - $17
Design & Multimedia:
- Men - $25
- Women - $26
- Men - $26
- Women - $14
Engineering & Manufacturing
- Men - $22
- Women - $19
- Men - $34
- Women - $19
Marketing & Sales
- Men - $22
- Women - $26
Writing & Translation
- Men - $15
- Women - $16
Administration & Customer support
- Men - $11
- Women - $8
The table shows that men outearn women for $3 on average across industries - the only two industries where the difference is minimal ($1) are Design & Multimedia and Writing & Translation. The biggest difference ($14) is in the field of IT & Programming, where men earn $31 and women $17.
However, it also shows that women earn more than men in Marketing and Multimedia Production.
However, despite the gender pay gap being a norm in most of the world, the percentage of hourly pay women earn seems to vary significantly.
- North America - 44% freelancers are women with 69% men's pay rate
- South and Central America - 31% freelancers are women with 78% men's pay rate
- Europe - 28% of freelancers are women with 77% men's pay rate
- Africa - 22% of freelancers are women with 77% men's pay rate
- Middle East - 28% of freelancers are women with 77% men's pay rate
- Asia Pacific - 17% of freelancers are women with 87% men's pay rate
Concerning the estimates when the gender pay gap might finally close, one study shows that women will start earning the same in the USA decades from now, with the gender gap being the slowest to close in Wyoming (144 years from now).
In addition, the World Economic Forum estimates that women around the world will have to wait 217 years for the gender pay gap to fully close.
The difference between the highest paid surveyed industry (Legal) and the lowest paid one (Customer & Administrative support) is $13 on average. The difference between the highest paying job (Tax Lawyer) and the lowest paying jobs (Data Entry Clerk and Virtual Assistant) is $15 - but, even the lower paying jobs mostly offer better earnings that minimum hourly wages in the higher paying countries for traditional jobs.
Remote positions and temporary jobs offer substantial income, with the IT industry once again coming out on top (with remote back-end developers earning on average $58/h, and Application Software Developers being the highest paying temporary positions, with $48/h).
Again, Customer Services come out at the bottom of the list, with the lowest ranking for remote positions (Administrative assistant - $16/h; Customer service representative - $15/h). However, this industry ranks better in the temporary jobs category, with Summer and Winter jobs taking last place (Resort staff member and Santa Clause - $10/h).
Location is a vital factor that determines hourly rates: for developers, the difference between the highest paid (France) and lowest paid region (Northern Africa) is $62.
Having the right skills and experience is more important than education - the difference between people who finished only high school and those with Doctorates is negligible, being only $2. Bachelor degree doesn't up the hourly rates - they are actually lower than for high-school graduates.
The difference between what freelance men and freelance women earn is smaller, but still unfortunately present worldwide - on average, it's $3.
The difference between pay for experience levels is substantial, and may actually be the most important one - for example, the difference between full stack intermediate and consulting developer in the US West Coast is $60/hour, and all the figures vary noticeably.
What I should I set as hourly rate UpWork? ›
No matter what your hourly rate is, always make sure you're providing quality work that meets or exceeds the client's expectations. If you do that, you're sure to find success as a freelancer on UpWork. In conclusion, as a beginner on UpWork your hourly rate should be between $20-$35 per hour.How do I work out my hourly rate as a freelancer? ›
- Put your experience forward. Just because you're going freelance, doesn't mean you're starting from scratch. ...
- Look at your freelance expenses. ...
- Compare against your salary. ...
- Ask other freelancers. ...
- Set a benchmark. ...
- Time-based Pricing. ...
- Project-based Pricing. ...
- Value-Based Pricing.
Calculate day rate using your most recent permanent salary
Take your most recent salary as a permanent employee, add in all benefits, and divide by 250 (number of working days in a year). This provides you with a 'base rate' on which you can add a 'freelancer charge' for operating independently.
Consider giving a salary range, not a number
If a job post asks applicants to state their expected salary when applying for the position, then give a range — not a specific figure — you're comfortable with. Answers like “Negotiable” might work, but they can also make you look evasive.
The best way to answer desired salary or salary expectations on a job application is to leave the field blank or write 'Negotiable' rather than providing a number. If the application won't accept non-numerical text, then enter “999,” or “000”.Is $100 and hour a good rate? ›
“Being able to get $100 an hour is rare,” said Al Lee, the director of quantitative analysis at PayScale.com. The median hourly wage in the U.S. is $16 an hour, he points out, so earning $100 an hour would be more than six times what the average worker makes.What should I charge as a consultant? ›
To calculate your hourly consulting rate from your working week salary follow these steps: Determine what salary you'd like to make. Take that number and divide it by 52 (number of working weeks), then again by 40 (number of hours each week). Take that number and mark it up by 25% to 50%.Is day rate better than hourly rate? ›
Contractors are usually able to charge a higher rate and earn more money than if they were charging by the hour. Many clients favour daily rates as it makes calculation and budgeting easier, allowing them to commit to a certain amount no matter how many hours are worked.How do you say the hourly rate is too low? ›
Maintain a respectful tone and tell the hiring manager how much you appreciate them for taking the time to interview you. However, make it clear that the salary they're offering is too low for you to accept — that you know your worth and you're willing to stand by it. This is important.How do you answer salary expectations question? ›
Rather than offering a set number of the salary you expect, provide the employer with a range in which you'd like your salary to fall. Try to keep your range tight rather than very wide. For example, if you want to make $75,000 a year, a good range to offer would be $73,000 to $80,000.
What is an example of hourly rate? ›
For example, if you work for 38 hours and 30 minutes, they pay you 38.5 hours within that work period. If your hourly rate is $20.00 per hour, you'll receive $770.00 before taxes and deductions based on the 38.5 hours you worked. Your paycheque depends heavily on the number of hours you work.Is $50 per hour a lot? ›
Is 50 an Hour Good? Yes, $50 an hour is actually good pay. To put things into perspective, $50 an hour is almost seven times higher than the federal minimum wage. As of 2022, the Federal minimum wage is $7.25 per hour.How much is $200 an hour? ›
Convert $200 per hour to an annual salary. You work about 1,927 hours a year. At a wage of $200/hr, this totals about $385,400 per year. If you work a 40 hour a week job, there's an easy way to estimate your annual salary.How can I make $200 an hour? ›
- Dentist - Pediatric Specialist. Children's Dental Clinic & Orthodontics. ...
- Flooring Installer. National Floors Direct4.4. ...
- Locum Tenens Radiologist. ...
- Sales Telemedicine Master Affiliate (Insurance Agents Preferred) ...
- Professional Salesperson. ...
- Part-time IT Sales. ...
- Truck Owner/Operator. ...
- Drilling Consultant.
If you're just starting a consulting business, the best way to determine your rate is to divide your former salary by 52 work weeks and then divide that number by 40 (the number of work hours in a week). This will give you the hourly rate you were making before.What is a typical consultant hourly rate? ›
Keep in mind, if the average consulting fees are around $100 per hour, your experience and track record will need to be taken into account. If you are a brand new consultant, you may be charging closer to $50 or $75 per hour. With 20 years of experience under your belt, you may be charging $150 or even $200 per hour.How much do small business consultants charge? ›
How much do business consultants charge by the hour? On average, small business consultants charge $75 per hour, with costs ranging from $45 to $150 per hour nationwide.Are hourly rates negotiable? ›
It's normal and acceptable to negotiate your hourly pay with employers. Go into the negotiation with confidence (and solid research), be polite but direct/firm, and find out what the manager can offer.How much more should I charge as a contractor? ›
Regardless of the pricing model they employ, most contractors aim to charge between 20% and 30%. Before you can decide on a price for a project and what percentage you expect to earn, you'll need to determine how much it will cost you to complete that project.What are the advantages of working for an hourly rate? ›
Hourly Wage Advantages
Paying employees by the hour can save you money because you can schedule only the number of hours and employees you need. Hourly employees also typically cost less since they're not eligible for certain benefits. Employees may prefer the flexibility.
What is a standard day rate? ›
A day rate is usually based on an eight-hour workday. A worker who is paid a day rate is entitled by law to time-and-a-half for work beyond a 40-hour week. In the U.S., a company paying a day rate is required to pay overtime if the individual works more than 40 hours a week.How do you calculate daily rates? ›
Identify how many days or hours a full-time employee would have worked during the same period. Divide the earnings by the total days or hours worked. This is the average daily or hourly pay rate.How do you calculate daily rate? ›
Daily rate of pay for a monthly-rated employee is calculated using the formula below: Regular Days Rate of pay = Employee's Monthly Rate of pay / 26 days.How do you calculate daily charges? ›
To calculate a day's finance charge, multiply your customer's balance that day by the daily rate. For example, a customer with a balance of $1,500 would incur a charge of about 49 cents a day.What is an ordinary hourly rate? ›
The amount of money an employee would get for the hours worked. This does not include any additional overtime payment. Subscribe to Ordinary pay rate.What is the minimum wage 2022? ›
Almost 400,000 people working for over 11,000 real Living Wage Employers throughout the country are set for a vital cost-of-living pay boost, as the new Living Wage rates rise to £10.90 an hour across the UK (£1 increase), and £11.95 an hour in London (90p increase), supporting workers and families.How do I calculate contractors daily pay rate? ›
- Salary ÷ 260 days (working days) = Daily Rate.
- Daily Rate (total above) ÷ Number of Working Hours, Per Day = Hourly Rate.
- 260 (working days) – 28 (holiday days) = 232.
How to convert a monthly salary to an hourly rate. To calculate your hourly rate based upon your monthly salary, multiply your monthly figure by 12 and then divide it by the number of hours you work per week and again by the number of paid weeks you work each year.How is basic salary calculated? ›
The basic pay is usually 40% of gross income or 50% of an individual's CTC. Basic salary = Gross pay- total allowances (medical insurance, HRA, DA, conveyance, etc.)What is the monthly percentage rate? ›
To convert an annual interest rate to monthly, use the formula "i" divided by "n," or interest divided by payment periods. For example, to determine the monthly rate on a $1,200 loan with one year of payments and a 10 percent APR, divide by 12, or 10 ÷ 12, to arrive at 0.0083 percent as the monthly rate.
How do you calculate per diem hourly rate? ›
To calculate the per diem rate, divide the annual salary by the number of workdays in a year and then divide by five.