Setting an Hourly Rate

When you program, you usually charge your clients in terms of dollars per hour. How do you get the hourly rate you will charge?

If you look on the web, you’ll find ASP programmers out there charging as little as $10/hour. You have to ask yourself just how good they could be if they are valuing their coding time at a lower rate than McDonald’s offers for people to flip hamburgers. ASP coding is far more complicated and when done properly, far more difficult.

Writing poor ASP code can cause code that eats up memory resources, slows down server speed and corrupts data. These could cause actual harm to a user’s website. It is well worth it to give explicit information on your background, your training and your skills – and to charge a fee that matches that experience. It helps your potential customer know that you are worth the money, and that your product will be high quality material.

Most ASP developers charge between $20 and $30 an hour, while a person with advanced skills can easily charge $80/hr and up. Programmers charge more for projects that require quick turnaround or complex coding. If your task is to create a new application, be sure to build in time for the initial design work and discussions. If your task is to work on an existing project, be sure to include time to weed through that code (which could be VERY complicated) and figure out just how it worked (or didn’t work).

If the customer ends up going for the cheapest programmer instead of the one most suited to the task, they will end up with shoddy code and be paying twice as much to get it fixed later on. So don’t sell yourself short! Lay out your credentials, and give a price that fairly recompenses you for your knowledge and time. Your clients will respect that and will be willing to pay for a job done properly the first time.