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I am a 20 year old Computer Science student from the UK who has decided to do some freelance web development for a local company.

A description of the system would be an online website and reservation system. The intention is for the user to browse their online store and reserve items for collection.

The system has been developed using Java complimented by the Spring Framework and MySQL database. The content of the site is split across 7 pages that are available to the public. In addition to an Admin Panel/CMS which i've implemented so that the business can manage the site by them selves. This admin section consists of another 6-7 pages.

I have worked around 6-8 hours a day for a duration of about 4-6 weeks. I calculated a price of around £900-1100 for the hours that i have worked at minimum wage around £5/hour.

I would like to know if this is a reasonable price for a system such as this one, or for the work that I have put into it. As this is my first, I am unsure whether this is over or under charging. Thanks

  • Possible duplicate of How much do I charge? – user152 Jun 20 '16 at 6:13
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    Your rate is crazy low! Even developers from 3rd world countries charge more than you do. – Apfelsaft Jun 20 '16 at 18:15
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I'm in the US.. so I think in US wage terms...

£5/hr is roughly $7.30/hr US

By law in the US, no one can be paid less than $7.25/hr. Most states actually set the minimum wage higher. For example in my state it's over $9/hr minimum.

You're basically working for bare, minimum wage. If you feel what you are doing anyone off the street could do with absolutely zero special education or knowledge, then okay. And I mean anyone. If they could poke their head out the door and grab the next person walking by to do your job... then maybe its a minimum wage job.

Remember an employer also generally covers things like paid leave/sick days and holidays, electric bills, price of equipment and it's maintenance... none of that is covered if you are a freelancer. You must cover of all that as well (In the US it would include healthcare, but I know that's not an issue in the UK). So, even IF you feel the work is only worth minimum wage.. what about all the additional expenses you have that are required in order for you to do any work, let alone this client's work?

However, if you think your work requires any special skills or knowledge, you are greatly under paying yourself.

See:

  • Thank you and the below response for a swift constructive viewpoint. It has been very helpful. I do have one thing to add which complicates my situation a little bit. As I'm unexperienced in dealing with clients. (This client is an old friend) There was no set payment method discussed at the beginning of the project. Therefore I feel slightly hesitant asking for an hourly wage like that incase it takes him by surprise. Is there any additional advice you could give? I understand i screwed myself a little bit here. Thank you – DevTony Jun 20 '16 at 14:57
  • Hi @DevTony Yup, sounds like you've kind of done a disservice to yourself. It's always hard to try and raise pricing after its been discussed. It's not impossible, but it generally doesn't work out. At this point, if he's a friend, all you can do is imply that you underestimated the project and gage the reaction. If it is one of interest or even maybe concern you may be able to discuss it. But if your implication falls on deaf ears, you're better off just sucking it up in this case and learning from it. – Scott Jun 20 '16 at 17:37
  • Cheers Scott, thanks for the reply. We haven't actually discussed the price at all as of yet. Therefore, it may proceed with more ease. Your response is extremely helpful. I have considered sucking it up. I think I may just have to gage his reaction like you said and see how it goes from there. I really appreciate your time. Thanks again. – DevTony Jun 20 '16 at 19:10
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That is selling yourself short, big time.

As a freelancer you get to decide what your rate is and if you're only worth minimum wage then you're not worth any company as a dev. That sounds a lot more rude than it is.

You're saying "My work is worth £5/hour" (about $7.25/hour). The average Jr Dev in London makes around £22,451/year if that's 40 hours a week that's about £431.75 a week or £10.79/hour. Keep in mind that's for Jr dev's and that's not solid research but it is comparable to averages I know of here in the states.

You're getting paid less than half of what a Jr dev employee would make.Personally, my dev skills are about what a Jr dev is worth (my focus is SEO) and I successfully charge $30/hour (about £20.71) for development work.

To me, it seems like they're looking to save costs and pay you less than what you're really worth.

Here are the key take away points

  • Minimum wage is not what freelancers should me making. Freelancers have special skills that not everyone can do.

  • You need to do research. Find other freelancers and see what they charge compared to your skills.

  • Consider what the project is worth to you. Are you doing work that's worth more than £5/hour? I know you might not yet be clear on this so, research.

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