What Are You Worth In The Web Industry?


I am guessing most of you freelancers out there have not asked yourself this question recently; but I think that it is important.   When you have been employed for a number of years, or owned your own business for awhile you forget how far you have come.

If I take myself as an example,  I can see how much I have grown as a developer since I started.  The problem I have is that I am not sure my rate has increased at the same rate as my growth.

What determines your worth?

The following list is what I see as the most common factors for most businesses:

  • Experience
  • Education
  • Skills/Technologies

I would argue the following are usually overlooked:

  • Time Management
  • Availability
  • Passion

These three separate the “great” developers from the “ninjas”.  The problem for most employers is that they are the “intangibles” of a developer.  You don’t know whether a person has them until you have worked with them for a couple projects.

What should your hourly rate be? ($60, $80, $100)

This really is a loaded question.  What most people will do is see what local companies similar to you are charging.  Of course urban companies charge more than rural companies; and companies in New York can charge more than Winnipeg.

All of that aside I think it really boils down the following question:

How much quality work can you get done in an hour?

It is so simple and yet it makes sense.  If I can do double the work of you in an hour, shouldn’t I get double the pay?  This doesn’t always happen and other factors limit you, but your worth can be different from your rate.

Can I be too good at my job?

A bit of a dumb question as you always want to improve at your trade, but I do ask myself this sometimes.

  • For hourly contract, Do I get things done too quickly?
  • For quoted work, Do I quote based on how long it takes me now with my extensive library, or when I did it completely from scratch.
  • How much is steady work worth? Do I go down to $25/hr,$35/hr?

I haven’t told you what you are worth, but I hope I have given you some rulers to measure yourself by.

Respond with your thoughts in the comments on this, or anything regarding freelancing.

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Written by brenelz

Hello everyone, I'm Brenley Dueck or better known as Brenelz. I currently run my own business called Brenelz Web Solutions which focuses primary on winnipeg website design. The web technologies I most specialize in are CSS, jQuery, AJAX, PHP, and the MySQL database. Please make sure to follow me on twitter.


2 Responses to “What Are You Worth In The Web Industry?”

  1. Scott Says:

    February 10th, 2012 at 5:15 pm

    For early developers here there is an additional question:
    “What do I have to be worth”

    The “have to be” is your rent, car payments, groceries, and whether you are a swinging single or support a family (which is like paying for you plus an employee).

    What you “have to be worth” is a good rule of thumb for your first rate. If you can’t charge that rate (ie your quality of work or current or lack of professionalism that enables you to demand that rate) – the sky is the limit from there! :)

    Personally I’ve only been driven by what I have to make! :)

  2. brenelz Says:

    February 10th, 2012 at 5:42 pm

    excellent points! You have to be aware of what your cost of living is, monthly expensives and the like to judge what rate you need to get.

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