Contract computer programmerâ€™s bill anywhere from $30/hr. to $65/hr. or more depending on the location of the programmer, the programmer’s skill level, the programmer’s experience, the size of the software project and employers demand for the computer programming skill in question.
- Experience: The more experienced a programmer is in a specific programming language, the higher a salary or bill rate the programmer may command. Contract computer programmers are not paid based on their total programming experience but only on how recent ot cutting edge their programming experience is. So, a contract programmer with 20 years of experience in 5 different programming languages can earn 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. For example, programmers in the U.S. tend to be paid more than those in third world countries.
- Market Demand for Programming Skills: Some programming languages command more money than others. For example, Visual Basic .NET programming skills commands more pay than Visual Basic (Classic VB) programming skills or Microsoft Access (MSAccess) programming skills.
- Negotiation Skills: It is possible for two computer programmers with the same years of experience in a hot programming skill like C# to bill two widely different rates. For example, the more confident programmer may bill at $45/hr. while the less confident programmer bills at $35/hr.
- Employers: The pay a programmer gets is set by the employer. For example, one employer could compensate programmers at $50/hr. while another employer wants to compensate programmers for the same skills at $30/hr. , difference of $40,000 in annual compensation.
In this tutorial I reviewed some of the reaons why computer programmers earn widely different salaries. In estimating what you want to earn as a computer programmer, use this article as a guide to come up with a fair and reasonable billing rate or salary for your programming services.