Contract computer programmer’s bill anywhere from $30/hr. to $65/hr. and more depending on the location, programming skill sets, experience, size of project and the market demand for the programming skill sets in question.
- Experience: The more experience a programmer has in a technology, the more the programmer gets paid. Note that contract programmers are not paid based on their general length of experience but on their experience in programming languages in high demand. So, you can a programmer with 20 years of experience in 5 different programming languages earning less than a programmer with 5 years of experience in a hot, in-demand programming language.
- Location: Some cities and countries pay more than other cities and countries.
- Market Demand: Some programming languages command more money than their counteparts. For example, Visual Basic .NET programming skills commands more pay than Visual Basic (Classic VB) programming skills.
- Negotiation Skills: It is perfectly possible for two computer programmers with the same years of experience in a hot programming skill like C# to bill widely different rates. The more confident programmer may bill $45/hr. while the less confident programmer bills $35/hr.
- Client: Clients accomodate different billing rates for similar solutions. For example, while one client may pay $40/hr. for a senior c# developer, another client may pay $50/hr. for the same C# skills.
In this tutorial, I reviewed some of the reaons why computer programmers earn widely different salaries. In estimating how you want to earn as a computer programmer, use this as a guide to come up with what is a fair and reasonable billing rate or salary for your services