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I'm working as an engineering contractor for a company. I'm doing this part-time. We have an agreement that I let them know a week in advance whether I'll be at college taking courses or working on the company's project. The project is long-term.

Recently, I've taken a lot of extra courses and the split between school and work has been about 50/50. The company would like me to spend more time on the project, making hints about monetary incentives. However, a flatout raise was refused, since they feel that it won't really make me put in more hours. They're right.

Here's an arrangement I have in mind: For every week spent at the company, my hourly rate goes up a notch. E.g. I charge $5/hr for 40 hours, $6/hr for 80 hours, $7/hr for 120 hrs and so on.

Would that make sense? Am I even approaching this from the right angle? This is my first serious job, input from those with more experience would be appreciated.

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    Aren't you actually asking the opposite question. I mean, you titled it "how to encourage a contractor to spend more time on the project", but it sounds like you actually want to ask "how to encourage a client to pay the contractor more money for more time" – Brandin Jun 7 '15 at 19:32
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    This isn't an answer to the question, but don't forget that five years from now the money you earned on this job will be spent. But the good grade you didn't get, and the stuff you didn't learn in class, will always be gone. – DJClayworth Jun 8 '15 at 3:18
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Would that make sense?

It makes no sense to me. But you only have to convince the company.

To me, it would make more sense to set up a timeframe for completion of project milestones, with bonuses for achieving the milestones, and a give-back for missing them. That's what I've done with contractors and important, deadline-driven projects in the past.

You also have to consider what the company's alternatives are for getting this project done. They could probably hire other contractors to speed things up, in addition to you, or instead of you. What would they have to pay these new contractors?

Personally, I've never tried to incentivize a college student to spend more time working on a part-time job. I feel that is counter-productive to their main goal of doing well in their studies. Typically I would never put a part-time college student on a critical project.

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