I have been designing machinery and parts as well as programming machine tools for 20 + years now. Recently I purchased several Cad Cam systems and a work station. I do a good bit of my work from home. I have decided to try to do some freelance work,but I really have no idea what people are charging for these services. Can any one offer any advise as to what is fair market value for this kind of service? I don't want to price myself out of the market, but also do not want to sell myself short.

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Jack, create some part and send that file to other vendors RFQ.
Compare their price to your own time, and make a decision if it is worth it for you
Thanks , thats a good, simple idea, don't know why I didnt think of that!
Jack, use what you have been paid by employers as a starting point, then triple it to figure what they actually value your services at. You can see this in action at the local garage, where the mechanic makes $25/hr & the garage bills time at $75. Your overhead is a bit lower, unless you are paying solo rates for health insurance, so maybe you can come down a bit.
Thank you, I have quoted several jobs at 50 to75/hr. , and include any design iterations up to a working prototype in the price.
So I dont think I am too far off base.
Jack:

Becuase of your low overhead; Quote at $75 per hour, but offer first time customers a 50% discount. Once you build a solid(pun intended) customer base, you can choos to stop discount. A limited time offer might help speed things up too. "Hot July offer, 1st time customers get 50% off". Just an idea.
Thanks for the ideas, I am going to try running some ads on craigs list and may very well implement your ideas
Jack ... take your annual salary on your "normal" job. Divide that by 2080 ... the hours in a "normal" American work year. Take that rate and multiply by 1.5 ... most companies these days carry about a 50% overhead rate ... which means the cost of having you around is 1.5 times the hourly rate they pay you. Then add whatever profit margin you think you will need. A good working number for a profit target is 25% ... BUT, most companies actually see between 6 - 10% after it's all said and done. 

Check your local goverment for what they pay for your expertise.  In Florida, the billable rate for engineering ranges from $55 to $115 per hour.  

 

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