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Thread: Question for Canadian Freelancers

  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2001
    I was wondering what you think is a good hourly rate. Most of the information I've read is american and I know that you can't just calculate it by figuring out the rate of exchange, so I'm curious what you guys think is a good rate in Canada.

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2000
    There are just too many variables to be able to say that $XXCAD is a proper hourly rate.
    As with every job, experience and skill are factors. The level of service that the designer is able to provide is also a factor: can they do advanced programming, integrate databases with their work, work in various scripting languages (js,vb, asp, xml, etc)? Is their office fully equipped with hardware and software? Etc. etc. ...
    Then comes location. A designer in Toronto who works with some of the major publishing/design houses is bound to be able to ask more than someone in a small town doing mainly small sites for nearby businesses.
    I've seen advertised rates for Flash designers from as low as $10CAD (this was a Newfoundland high school student) to $150CAD for a top-notch full service outfit in Vancouver.
    As with most freelance work, you need to get an idea of what your clients are willing to pay and an idea of what you feel that your time is worth. Then, start from there.
    As a point of reference, I can tell you that jelve.com operates in Toronto and Southwestern Ontario. We serve clients locally and in the US. We offer about anything that the client could ask for and we charge $75CAD or US$50. However, and it's a big however, we seldom work by the hour. We generally try to agree on a price for a project before beginning and we contract to do the work for that price, regardless of the time it takes. Sometimes, this means that we make way more than our stated hourly rate. Sometimes, we run into a problem and we make far less than the hourly rate. Often, we're very close to what we shoot for. This way, we never have a client saying "I didn't think it would take THAT long!" They know what the job will cost and as long as they haven't requested 'extras', they have no room for any disputes.

  3. #3
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2001
    I knew somebody would say it's up to how much you think you're worth, what the client is willing to pay, etc.... Obviously I wasn't asking for someone to tell me how much I should charge, I was just looking to see if anybody could give me a little bit of an idea what the average fee was or some sort of range that is common just to steer me in the right direction. Thanks for your reply, it was very useful, but it's not completely applicable since you're talking about what you do as a company and I'm just an individual freelancer. You're right that it would depend somewhat on where the person is working, I should have stated that I'm just on the edge of the GTA. Also, I just do the design work like the front-end of HTML sites, logos, flash stuff (including actionscript) and other things like that, someone else is doing the database and programming stuff and charging for their part independently. I guess the reason for my question was because I tend to charge a bit low usually and I don't want to screw myself but at the same time I don't want to quote a price that the client will say "oh GOD, are you joking!". Oh and another thing, I agree with you that charging by the hour isn't necessarily the best thing to do but I've found that I often have to resort to that because there are clients that just can't decide on what they want and request a lot of changes, so it's way to protect myself...or at least give myself an idea how much to charge considering how much time involved.

    Thanks for your long reply though, I was sure I wouldn't get too many replies! Anyone else have some advice for me? It would be greatly appreciated.

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