Online Calculator Helps You Figure Out Your Freelancer Rate

One of the hardest things about going freelance is figuring out what hourly rate to charge. Freelance Switch has an easy-to-use online calculator to helps you figure that out.

Input your costs by various categories, including personal ones, how much time off you’ll take, and how much profit you hope to make. Press the magic button and presto, you’ve got your rate, or at least a starting point for calculating it.

As the site warns, “Remember your hourly rate should always take into account factors like market demand, industry standards, skill level and experience – things that unfortunately we can’t put into a calculator!”

Hourly Rate Calculator [Freelance Switch]

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  1. ElizabethD says:

    This could not be more timely for me.

    • dabarak says:

      Same here. There seems to be a sudden increase in the number of people going freelance. It’s the only option left for a lot of us these days.

      Anybody need a freelance assassin? My rates are negotiable.

      • HogwartsProfessor says:

        I need one. I’m about to go freelance all over someone’s ass here.

        Thank you for posting this. I might need this calculator because if I don’t get out of here soon, I’m going to have a stress heart attack and die.

  2. a354174 says:

    Wow my break even is $50 an hour and my ideal hourly is $180

  3. smo0 says:

    I couldn’t click on some of the boxes, there’s a huge ad that over laps the first section.

  4. dragonfire81 says:

    I always thought there were quite a few industries within with freelancing was not an option.

    Am I right or wrong?

    • huadpe says:

      It depends. In many industries licenses are required to operate independently, so you may need such a license before you can freelance. Also, things where a security clearance is needed can be troublesome.

    • dabarak says:

      Space shuttle astronaut and nuclear waste management are two that spring immediately to mind. ; )

  5. iggy21 says:

    Hey, that worked pretty well. Only thing: It doesn’t help the most common problem freelancer’s face, which is finding a consistent flow of work.

    • YOXIM says:

      Haha, this is so true. If I only freelanced for a living, I’d starve to death in a month. : )

  6. sirwired says:

    A “starter” rule of thumb I read said that a good hourly billing rate was three times what you would get paid to do the same job under more traditional employment. Of note is that this formula doesn’t predict how many customers you’ll actually have, it is just a rough guess for what customers will pay, should you find some. The article also mentioned that the 3x amount should not cause dollar signs to roll behind your eyes like in a cartoon, as you are unlikely to ever actually bill 40 hours a week. Even a successful freelancer is lucky to bill half that, and then you get the joys of dealing with overhead costs an employer would otherwise cover.

    That article also mentioned you should not expect to make anywhere near what you would make as an employee for some time, as building a customer base takes a while. One BIG mistake a lot of budding entrepreneurs make is forgetting to set aside money to live off of during the inevitable money-losing phase of the business.

    • FatLynn says:

      That 3x rule is really helpful. I am about to leave full-time employment, and I know how much they paid to fill my job with a contractor during a leave I took, so that also helps.

  7. DanRydell says:

    Er… that’s not a terribly useful calculator. I guess it’s helpful for people who don’t understand basic math, but if you can’t do these simple calculations on your own you really have no business running your own business.

    • oloranya says:

      It’s less about it doing the math for you and more about what costs/etc. to consider when figuring out your rate.

      • DanRydell says:

        It fails in that regard as well, because things like the rent/mortgage on your home are not relevant to how much you can or should charge for work. It doesn’t even account for personal income taxes (unless you count that under the “anything else” category) or the tax differences between being a W-2 worker and being self-employed.

        • sirwired says:

          Amen! Cost has only the most tenuous relationship with price. Price is “whatever the market will bear”; it is none of your customer’s concern if that price means a profit or a loss.

  8. sonneillon says:

    All this has told me is that I need to make more money.

  9. Xzigraz says:

    my rate to break even is 586… wow, i didn’t know i worth that much. i must’ve did something wrong. lol

  10. sir_eccles says:

    I don’t think anyone will pay me a million dollars per hour