Freelance hourly rate for first time freelancer

Hello! I need some help here!
Slightly strange situation:

So, I just finished my Industrial Design degree, and have moved to a new country, trying to learn a new language, etc. I just got an internship with a company here, although for graphic design (it’s okay, I’m into graphic design as well).

Well, the way things work at this company, is that every recent graduate first starts as an intern for three months, and only gets paid 400 euros a month. That’s okay with me, too…since I’m not fluent in the language yet - I’m just happy to have a start somewhere.

I don’t start this internship for another three months, but they just called me today to see if I would be interested in doing some freelance work in the mean time.
Now they are asking me how much I would like to be paid.

So, my future hourly rate as an intern will unfortunately be about 2.50/hour (sucks), but there’s no way I’m going to do freelance work for that.

How much do you think I should ask for? I’m afraid to ask for too much, because I will later only be an intern, but I also don’t want to ask for too little because…well, that goes without saying.



400 Euro’s takes the piss, is that after tax? Isn’t that less than minimum wage? A graduate design job is normally around £18 - 20k, placements/interns around £12-14K per year…this might have gone up as I graduated 4 years ago.

I would find out what the work they want you to do then work out how long its going to take you. Looking at the design week article from last year the rate for a freelance junior designer is £13 per hour around £100 per day

thanks for the reply.

yeah, the pay really does suck. the worst part, is that i already have 1 year of internship experience already from the states. i’m allowing myself to be seriously underpaid, but it’s just really difficult getting a job here (munich) without knowing the language so well. sooo…

but 13 euros an hour sounds pretty fair.

thanks again!

When I was an ID student I did some freelance graphics work. Pretty simple stuff but I charged £35 per hour - about 45euro?. But I guess it depends on the size of the job etc. If they want you in full time you could work out what you would want annually in a job then work out the hourly rate from that.

There are also likely to be many international companies in Germany where, although a German company, the official business language is English. It can take a lifetime to learn a new language and design is visual anyway so if you can get thrown in at the deep end I’m sure you’ll cope.

£13 = 16.54 Euros

Have you tried contacting BMW they take a couple of UK students every year on placement? Why did you pick Munich out of all the places in Europe?

I haven’t even talked to other companies - mistake, I know. But, I’ve been really timid about getting into real life here in Germany. I have a connection that helped me get into this company where I’ll be working.

I was very shy to show my portfolio because I didn’t know what the expectations would be in Germany. I ended up finding, though, that the woman who interviewed me was really impressed with my work and offered me the job right away. It made me wonder if I am aiming too low. Perhaps I should just seek out a real job by now and quit it with these internships.

It probably helps for all of you to know that I moved here for my boyfriend, and he is more than willing to sort of support me during the three months of earning 400 euros.

I think I will just continue to hunt for jobs, and if I have to leave the internship early, so what?

As far as BMW goes, I really should look into it. I’m not sure if it would be a good fit for me, as I’m really kind of into girly design (shoes, furniture, etc), but perhaps car interiors would be good. any thoughts?

sounds like your in a tricky one indeed. I would take do your placement and build up your confidence to approach other company’s of the back of it…kind a like a snowball effect. Alot of design is about networking so it might help to go to some design events meet some fellow designers.

you have plenty of time to get your rate up. Make your money in hours because ‘no one cant take away from you what you learn.’