Free Lance Rates - interesting read

By tassschwab, 1 November, 2013
freelancentral's guideline rates for freelancers (2014) (31.10.13)

31.10.13  Freelancentral's guideline rates for freelancers (2014)  |  Following our recent Rates Survey, our team here at Freelancentral has put together guideline hourly and day rates for freelancers for 2014.

We know that many freelancers don’t charge per hour or day – many of you charge project fees; writers/journalists may charge per word; and some editors and proofreaders quote per page. We realise too that rates may vary across disciplines (e.g. a middleweight PHP developer is probably charging a lot more than a middleweight graphic designer).

But in the interests of simplicity, we’ve stuck to hourly and daily rates as guidelines. So here they are:

Years of experience    Level  Hourly rate range
(Corresponds with years of experience) 
Daily rate range
(Based on a 7.5 hour working day) 
0-3  Junior  R 150 – R 325  R 1,125 – R 2,500 
3-7  Middleweight R 350 – R  500  R 2,625 – R 3,750 
7-12  Senior  R 500 – R 700  R 3,750 – R 5,250 
12+  Heavyweight  R 700 – R 1,000+  R 5,250 – R 10,000 


Some notes:

  • Rates are guidelines only and may vary according to the freelancers’ experience, location and discretion.
  • Rates should correspond with the number of years’ experience a freelancer has. For example, a middleweight freelancer with just over 3 years’ experience should charge around R350/hour, while a middleweight freelancer with nearly 7 years’ experience should charge around R500/hour.
  • Specialist expertise can command rates in the upper ends of the levels (possibly even higher for very niche work). For example, copywriters with specialist expertise in the financial or medical industries can charge higher rates, as can proofreaders who specialise in annual reports.
  • Daily rates above are guidelines based on working for ONE day, from 9am to 5.30pm with an hour off for lunch. Clients can expect to negotiate discounts of up to 20% (max) for longer term contracts (e.g. 3 months’ or more, full time).

A note to freelancers: Standardising rates in SA

We strongly recommend that freelancers charge clients according to these rates above, to help set standards and precedents in our industry.

We had a couple of people respond to our survey saying ‘I don’t need the money’ and ‘I’ve been out of the workforce for a year so feel I can’t charge the going rate’. There will always be people who undercut and underquote, either out of ignorance, or as a tactic to win work. But the danger of this is that it undermines all the professionally-minded freelancers who are costing their projects properly.

Of course, if you feel these rates are too low and you want to charge higher fees, by all means do so, as long as you are comfortable that you can justify them to your clients.

A note to clients

Clients, we’d advise you to be a little wary of freelancers whose rates fall outside these guideline ranges. If their fees are too low, question why this is and what value they are bringing – you’ll get what you pay for and may well get your fingers burnt. And if a freelancer is charging way higher than our guidelines, you need to be assured that they are offering something unique, which will really add value to your project.




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