RE: Asking The Billing Rate?

Subject: RE: Asking The Billing Rate?
From: "Wilcox, Rose" <rwilcox -at- ssqi -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 5 Oct 2005 12:53:20 -0700

> Rose
> Can a TW contractor win? $30 per hour on a W2 contract
> equals $30 K per yer as a permanent employee with benefits.

Well, actually many of these contracts do give you varying benefits ranging from health & dental insurance, matching 401Ks, some even give holidays. Extrapolating you will work 50 weeks (2 weeks off) at 40 hours a week your gross take home would be $60,000 K and most of the permanent jobs here have $60K as a the *high* end salary.

So technically, if you are well and do not have a lot of sick days, you can enjoy a 2 week vacay and still have the same life style as a permie individual if you get $30 an hour and a comparable benefit package. However, I do feel contracting should pay *higher* to make up for things like down time, the risk of not finding an acceptable assignment, providing one's own training, etc.

I don't generally accept technical writing assignments that pay so low as $30 an hour myself. I could barely make ends meet on that with my outgo at this time. The things I would have to give up would indeed make my lifestyle less than middle class at that point and my family would suffer. However, each person has a differ situation -- someone whose spouse makes a good salary or someone with lesser bills than I might be able to do well. And for a long time we didn't have any work around here, so someone hurting might really rather have some income rather than none. That said, I think the rates will go up a bit if people stop being able to fill the positions to match requirements at those low rates. The low rates exist simply because SOMEONE qualified WILL take the job at that rate. It's that simple.

I think the math for $30 per hour is $30 K per year is a bit simplistic at best, though. Do you have a link for this Contractor's Handbook? It seems to contain some misleading advice.

Note: I rarely experience down-time between contracts. Last year I had probably about 1 full week without work. I worked three contracts as a Business Analyst and this current contract as a Sr. Tech Writer (obstentively with some BA duties required, but they haven't asked for those yet.)

Rose A. Wilcox
Senior Technical Writer
480-580-0530 (cell)
Rwilcox -at- ssqi -dot- com
Writing is the hardest work in the world not involving heavy lifting. - Pete Hamill


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