In my last article, I discussed the importance of your odesk profile picture, and how to upload your best photo. In this article, I will talk about setting up your hourly rate.

Your odesk hourly rate

So, how do you decide what your hourly rate should be like? For every skill that you have, I can guarantee that their are hundreds if not thousands of other people who possess the same skill, and their hourly rates range from $5/hr to $100/hr. Here are some factors that you should take into consideration while setting your hourly rate:

  1. Experience: I’m talking about general work experience, as well as your odesk experience. If you’re new on odesk, but have been successfully freelancing for 15 years, then you can afford to command a higher rate than someone who is both new to odesk and to the freelancing world.
  2. Portfolio: The stronger portfolio you have, the higher rate you can command. Are you a web developer who has created a Facebook application used by millions of people? Employers would want you to develop their Facebook application, and will gladly pay you a higher rate.
  3. Certifications: Are you a certified PHP developer, or a certified Linux system administrator? When an employer sees your certification, he will trust your skills even more, and would prefer to hire you over a non-certified contractor. That would also justify your higher fee.
  4. Location: Your own location and your employer’s location both count. For example, my current hourly rate sits at $45/hr. I tried raising my hourly rate to $60/hr, but I didn’t get much jobs, so I got it back down to $45/hr. I mainly deal with US-based employers, and those employers have told me that they can hire a local developer for $60/hr, who has similar skills. If I was US-based, I would have been able to get paid $60/hr. If the employer was based in my country, Lebanon, charging $25/hr would have been really high, because local developers do not get paid that much.
  5. Supply and demand: If you’re getting more jobs than you would like, and feel overwhelmed, then it’s time to raise your hourly rate. If you’re not getting any jobs at all, then lowering your hourly rates might be an option, unless you aren’t applying for any jobs of course!

In any case, do not be afraid of testing, but be careful. Don’t test with an important client of yours who sends a decent income towards your way. I personally prefer to test with new clients, whether I’m raising or lowering my hourly rate.