freelance rates?

i just graduated and right now i’m just doing random jobs for people I know. I just did the design and concept for vinyl graphics on a scion Xb that building maintenance company is going to use for their utility vehicle. What should I charge? What’s the norm for a new, unofficial freelancer? What’s the etiquette? I spent about 8 to 10 hours on it. I’ve only done one other freelance job for a nursing student association and they offered to pay more than I was even thinking of asking.


Figure it this way. You are paying all your own taxes (including all Social Security… if you were full time your employer would pay some of that.) You pay for you own health insurance. your vacation pay, supplies, electricity, equipment and whole host of other benifits. Figure half of what you make is going to taxes or benifits.

So if you are charging $20 an hour you are really only making $10. Unless you are really really slow or a lousy designer I would say that is much too low for a degree/educated designer regardless of experience.

hmm…appreciate it…puts things in perspective…
anyone else?

ya, i just graduated also and have been in same situation. i think $20 an hour is fair but no lower. and i don’t think it means your lousy or slow. i mean common freelance is tax-free, its a side-gig unless you have your own business. i think what’s more important is the experience you get. thats just me.


From what I understand in a simple manner, if you bring in over $400 per year on any side projects it’s supposed to be reported and you pay taxes on it. It’s only not a “business” if it’s a sporadic and periodic type of activity like once a year you dj your friends wedding for $200. In general it’s something like that so count on taking out 1/3 of what you’re billing and having that go straight to the taxman.

20$ an hour but in what city? And freelance is not tax-free.

First off, freelance is NOT tax free. Freelancing IS a business, whether you set it up formally or not.

Secondly if you make less than $600 from any one company in a given tax year, THEY, AND YOU, are not required to report it. If they DO report it though, I think you have to as well. (not sure about that) Mind you, if you make even $1 more than the allotted $600 from a company over the given year, you MUST report it to the IRS. You could feasibly work for a bunch of companies over the course of the year on small projects and as long as the total from each company is less than $600 you wouldn’t have to report anything.

Thirdly, you should really try to work out the compensation details BEFORE you do the job and hand over the deliverables. Clients don’t like sticker shock. It’s best to find out if you’re on the same page from a monetary standpoint before any project starts…

Best of luck.

$20 an hour is way too low IMO! Its too low for graphic design too.

$100 is a fair professional rate since you have no benefits and health insurance etc.

I was obviously misunderstood, i meant that freelance pay does not get tax deducted. I know that if you make over $600 its supposed to get reported, but it sounded like a smail job, thats why i said what i said.

Are you serious for someone right out of school?

Are you serious for someone right out of school?

Are you serious for someone right out of school?

Are you serious for someone right out of school?

I was on an interview yesterday for freelance (graphic design.) I told the guy I wanted $35 an hour. He said it was within his budget… I got the feeling I asked for too little. I’m about to graduate. Just have 1 class left next semester.

I’m in Chicago.

$20 is way too low.

i’ve seen temp service GD rates at $110/hr.

What kind of experience do you have? I just moved here and I graduated about 3 months ago, and probably should charge more now that i hear you say that. Salary wise, what do you ask for??? Just out of curiousity.

$35 is a fair freelance rate for someone with less experience

i’m thinkin’ I’m gonna charge aroound $35…and yeah, this is for a company in san francisco.

San Francisco? then go $40…cost of living is high there.