View Full Version : freelance rate

10 October 2005, 04:42 PM

I've worked in a graphics job before, but never freelanced. I've just about landed my first freelance gig, but before everything moves forward I need to lay down an hourly rate.

The job is creating medically accurate illustrations for a text book (things along the lines of this ( I'd like to hear what someone with more experience freelancing would charge per hour. Right now I'm think about $20US.

Thanks for taking this time to read/reply.

10 October 2005, 06:10 PM
I recommend you take a look at some salary surveys to get an idea what you should charge. The AIGA Survey ( one is good, and if you can pick up the Graphic Arts Guild ( book from your library you'll find averages of all kinds of freelance rates for various projects. I think you'll find $20/hr to be low.

Ian Jones
10 October 2005, 12:08 PM
Yes $20 US an hour sounds too low... I'm a student in Australia and considering the exchange rate and the fact I charge on average AU $25 / hr your rate sounds low. Of course its up to you what you think your work is worth and what you need as income. There are always considerations like tax, costs, insurance etc... and the managerial work you will now be doing yourself which used to get done in your previous studio environment. Don't forget to factor them in and don't forget that you should re-calculate costings if your client adjusts the brief significantly.

For the type of work you would be undertaking I'd expect a higher than normal rate for such scientific accuracy. Scientific books like these usually sell for a lot of money, so with that in mind your value to the whole process is important and thus deserves greater compensation. Well that's my opinion, realistically you may want to just tread lightly to begin with until you get a good footing with freelance work and the expectations. As always these things are highly subjective.

10 October 2005, 08:56 PM
Honestly (and this is depending on what part of the country you're working in) asking anything less than $40/hr for professional technical/medical illustration is cheating yourself. Base your hourly rate on a combination of things.

Let's say you made 50k/year as a full time, salary graphic artist. That breaks down to around $25/hr if you just do the math. However it doesn't include the overhead needed for you to produce your artwork (computer, software, internet, phone, power, etc), nor does it include any other benifits you might receive from a full time job (health & life insurance, etc).

10 October 2005, 10:31 PM
for a project like this i would charge per illustration an not per hour.

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10 October 2005, 10:31 PM
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