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I am a 21 year old recent graduate with some Python knowledge. My goal is to become a freelancer, to support and help myself financially, as I don't want to rely on my parents for everything.

Is there a specific amount of skill and experience in Python that would be needed before I could expect to make a reasonable living out of freelance contracts?

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The answer is: not much

You need to know the bare minimum to accomplish the tasks, the more you know, the more you charge.

Experience: I've got an hourly rate based on my experience, I'm a very seasoned person with cloud, security and development experience, so I'll be able to spot errors and avoid some paths that would lead to disaster. Therefore, by base hourly rate is 35$

Timeline/Urgency/Stability: If the project is very short in duration, prices go up, a lot. I'll probably charge 70-80$/hour just based on that. The longer and more relaxed the schedule, less stress I'll get, more sustainable the project is, the cheaper it gets.

Technologies and my experience: The more I know about a skill, the more I charge. That translates into me being able to solve problems using python in a minute that would probably take you an hour to figure out. Also, I will be able to provide a better solution based on my experience, which will also make my projects better and future proof.

Technologies and my likeness: I know PHP, but I don't like it anymore. I know python and I like it. I don't know go, but I'd like to know. So, I'll probably charge more for a PHP project then for a Go project. Even though I know more about PHP, I won't be learning and enjoying my work. So, I'd consider the go project cheaper as an investment in training.

Some people don't need a 12 year grizzly software architect + devops + cloud specialist to get their project and most of them don't even have the budget for my 50$+/hour.

That's where you come in, charging a lot less for the hour but getting experience in process. Experience that will help you learn and get and deliver harder and better projects, and that will also allow you to charge more.

So, you can start now, with whatever knowledge you have. Regardless of your experience, you must learn to be honest and transparent with your client. That's the key to a good project, let them know from the start: "Hey, I'm a beginner, and I'd like to take on your project for x$ per hour"

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Actually, it depends on the skills you currently have and your area of interest. You surely need to improve and learn a major skill in order to get into freelancing. You have to excel in one of the major fields in Python in order to be a good freelancer and to get good projects. If you have covered the basics in Python, and you are interested in Web development, there are some great web development options that you can learn and can get multiple freelance contracts. For instance, you have Django, Flask, Bottle & Pyramid, etc.

If you are interested in Game Development or AI & Machine Learning, you can also excel in these using Python. We have game development libraries in Python like PySoy & PyGame that you can master in order to get into game development.

Python provides multiple packages for ML & AI as well. We have, SciPy, Pandas, Seaborn, NumPy, etc. It also provides multiple packages for Desktop application development as well.

Summing it up, you need to master one of the major fields in Python in order to become a good freelancer, and to earn something good for yourself.

Hope this helps, if still any queries, feel free to ask!

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    Can you address whether OP (as a recent graduate) is likely to have the skills to pay the bills with their present level of knowledge?
    – Valorum
    Jul 14 at 22:03
  • @Valorum that's what I've explained. As a fresh graduate, you don't have enough skills to dive into proper freelancing. There's always space for improvement.
    – MurtazaA
    Jul 20 at 7:59
  • I beg to differ, as a fresh graduate you have enough knowledge to acquire experience, so he should be freelancing. He obviously won't be able to develop a banking software, but he's good enough to deliver websites with some added features.
    – Magus
    Jul 29 at 16:20

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