I occasionally get offers to consult, usually followed up by a question about my rate.
Seems like it is pretty easy to find salary information about a particular job, but not so much the corresponding contractors rate.

So, all other things being equal, given job X that has a mean full-time salary of Y, what sort of differential would you expect as a typical (i.e. average) consultant for the same job? TIA

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    it's about double – Fattie Jul 3 '17 at 18:03
  • Don't forget other potential factors. Do they need you for a few hours? or a couple of years? Are they paying you in advance? Are you on a retainer? Do you need special equipment, professional insurance, a bond? It would help if you told us the field this is in and the geographical area of the contract. – Stephan Branczyk Jul 4 '17 at 11:00

For US W2 contract (usually you go through an agency that handles your benefits and sells your work on a contract basis to a client), get your annual value and divide by 2000 (like 100k = $50/hr). That's your equivalent rate, provided you have the same benefits. If on 1099 (which you get from a company you work for on a contract basis, without becoming an employee), add some 20-30% to cover for the benefits, including ~1k/month for health insurance.

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    These sound like pretty concrete numbers - can you provide sources? – David K Jul 3 '17 at 17:08
  • OP is not asking "how to convert annual amount to hourly amount". OP is asking "by what factor more to 'consultants' get paid". The answer is "about double". – Fattie Jul 3 '17 at 18:04
  • Only adding 20% for a self employed contractor 1099 is far to low and even double is a little low. – Neuromancer Jul 3 '17 at 22:24
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    I actually concur with this post, I was about to post the same answer. I've heard quite a few times a rule of thumb in the us for W2 employees - where you're considered a full-time employee and your taxes are withheld from your pay normally, may or may not have benefits as well - , but with a higher threshold for 1099 employees - who are 'independent' contractors and who must pay taxes as if they're self-employed. 1099 / independent contractors I think should add 30-40% to offset the tax liability, and make sure they also come out ahead compared to the W2 after taxes as well for the hassle. – schizoid04 Jul 3 '17 at 22:41

You should charge a lot more to cover the lost benefits and to allow for down time between contracts.

The common rule of thumb used in the UK and else where for self employed contractors is 3x the rate for a full time employee and work out you day rate from that.

eg assuming a full time employee is on £45k and assuming there are 260 working days in the year (45000 x 3) /260 this gives a day rate of approximately £500.

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