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#1 grandwheatgrass  novice

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Posted 13 January 2010 - 03:06 PM

Hello all.

I am putting together a proposal for a company that I work for to get a raise. I work in the healthcare industry and we have a small 150-200 person company that offers assisted living for seniors.

I am the major database manager and filemaker engineer. In this company we have built our information systems around filemaker. All of their maintenance and growth needs depend upon someone knowing filemaker, or scrapping the system and going with another software solution.

I have worked for 3 years with filemaker and am very capable in working with it. I have other responsibilities in the company (sales and web maintenance). I was wondering what premium I should add to an hourly wage for my filemaker expertise.

My Real Questions is...

What have you guys charged when doing consulting for companies as a filemaker specialists? Do any of you work for companies currently and your job administering the database? If so, what premium do expect you receive on your compensation based on your filemaker abilities?

Thanks...any help would be appreciated!
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#2 Josh Ormond  Director of Structural Entropy

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Posted 18 January 2010 - 07:27 AM

It is as wide and varied as the solutions themselves.

Some don't get paid any extra because it is consider part of the job. Some get paid $85 an hour to be an in-house developer.

Independent Developers, at least from what I have seen, typically charge between $50 - $150 per billable hour.

It all depends on the complexity of the system, the value of the system to the company, the financial status of the company, the skills of the developer, the relationship between developer and company, the color of the developer's socks.
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#3 aquaman  novice

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Posted 14 June 2010 - 07:30 AM

$50 to $150 an hour? Someone has to tell me where these jobs are. On top of being near expert level FileMaker Pro Developer I am also a Software Engineer, certified UNIX network administrator, and various other certs I own I see no need to go into. Yet, with all this, and over 20 years experience in my field and LAMP technologies I am lucky to crack $20 an hour. Suggestions? My ears and mind are listening...
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#4 James Gill  journeyman

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Posted 09 February 2011 - 03:06 PM

$50 to $150 an hour? Someone has to tell me where these jobs are. On top of being near expert level FileMaker Pro Developer I am also a Software Engineer, certified UNIX network administrator, and various other certs I own I see no need to go into. Yet, with all this, and over 20 years experience in my field and LAMP technologies I am lucky to crack $20 an hour. Suggestions? My ears and mind are listening...


Wow, there is no way in heck that 20 dollars an hour should even be CLOSE to a competitive wage in a computer science related field, especially with your certs. Where do you live?
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#5 Wickerman  apprentice

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Posted 21 April 2012 - 09:15 AM

I made $20/hr tutoring high school kids in spelling as an undergraduate in 1984, which back then was a very handsome rate, it seemed to me. (Campus min rate was like $7.50 but you could get $15 nude modeling). RJ -- I think you're underselling yourself. Are you sure that your clients wouldn't pay more if you demanded a higher rate?

I do occasional freelance Filemaker work, typically perhaps $10K - $15K worth per year. When asked, the rate I quote is $65/hr. I feel I'm quite good with interface/graphic design, but I do desktop / small network jobs only (I don't have any PHP or custom web publishing skills).

The notion of hourly rates seems very arbitrary to me. I get a lot more done in an hour today than I did even 12 months ago -- and if I had to work for say 6 hours to design a really useful feature the first time, but can then deploy it on further contracts in 30 mins, it seems crazy that the first client might have to pay 12x what the second client does. Conversely, if a bug takes me 2 hours to sort out and it turns out I was overlooking something really really basic, should that cost my client anything at all? THe concept of a "billable hour" is I guess what's at issue -- I'd be interested to hear how others determine what to charge with relation to actual clock time.

I've moved toward negotiating a flat rate for an entire solution. I try to weigh how much real value the solution will provide to the client, what their resources are likely to be, and roughly how much time it will take me to do the work. Basically, it need to be an amount that will be both "worth my while" for me and "worth the expense" for them. I collect 25% to start, 50% when a substantially complete real data-ready solution is delivered, and the final 25% after final tweaks / bugs documentation is done.

I've gone this way with my last 5 projects and have been happy with the result. They are all fairly modest projects by Filemaker standards though, I suppose, with Solution costs between $2000 - $7500. I'm not exhaustive with requiring specs before the contract, but do write out a fairly concrete summary of what the main Table Structure and functionality will be. I've tried to keep rough trek of the actual hours I spent on these projects and it's generally worked out between $45/hr and $75/hr by the *actual* clock.

I think the clients have been happy too -- they can budget for the actual cost, and we don't run into awkward / bad feelings when hours start to get near the estimate. It's obviously important though, to have documented agreements about what you will deliver, so that you can gently but firmly pint out when the inevitable "feature creep" goes "beyond the scope" of the contract.

I wish there were more frank discussion here about rates and billing practices.
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#6 Vaughan  Mostly Harmless

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Posted 21 April 2012 - 04:17 PM

Hello all.

I am putting together a proposal for a company that I work for to get a raise. I work in the healthcare industry and we have a small 150-200 person company that offers assisted living for seniors.

I am the major database manager and filemaker engineer. In this company we have built our information systems around filemaker. All of their maintenance and growth needs depend upon someone knowing filemaker, or scrapping the system and going with another software solution.

I have worked for 3 years with filemaker and am very capable in working with it. I have other responsibilities in the company (sales and web maintenance). I was wondering what premium I should add to an hourly wage for my filemaker expertise.

My Real Questions is...

What have you guys charged when doing consulting for companies as a filemaker specialists? Do any of you work for companies currently and your job administering the database? If so, what premium do expect you receive on your compensation based on your filemaker abilities?

Thanks...any help would be appreciated!



What gets charged for hourly consulting needs to be about DOUBLE the comparable salary, to make up for non-billable hours, loss of benefits like holidays, and on-costs of being a consultant (insurance etc).

Being able to "do" FileMaker Pro is a small part of being a successful consultant. :D

You need to look around at other similar jobs, do interviews, and get offers to work out what the market will pay you. (Just finding good paying FMP jobs is not a good measure because you have to know what part of the pay scale you are at, and you do that by getting job offers.)

The take the offer to your current employer and ask them to match or better it. If they don't then take the other job.
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Vaughan Bromfield
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#7 LaRetta   Lifelong FM Student

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Posted 21 April 2012 - 04:31 PM

Being able to "do" FileMaker Pro is a small part of being a successful consultant. :D

:iagree:
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#8 jbante  

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Posted 22 April 2012 - 08:54 AM

You need to look around at other similar jobs, do interviews, and get offers to work out what the market will pay you. (Just finding good paying FMP jobs is not a good measure because you have to know what part of the pay scale you are at, and you do that by getting job offers.)

The take the offer to your current employer and ask them to match or better it. If they don't then take the other job.


I agree, and I disagree. Do test the market. Don't take an offer to a current employer and ask them to match it. If your current employer does make you an offer that you accept, you now have a history as the guy who backed them into a corner. I don't think it's healthy to have an adversarial relationship with your employer — prospective employers, sure, but not current employers. If you get a fully better offer from someone else (not just better compensation, but also better role or a better company), just go with the better offer. If you still want the choice to stay with your current employer, get the offer (any offer worth taking will give you a couple days to accept or counteroffer), then tell your employer you want a raise and make your case without mentioning any other offers (if you still want to). Then you can take your favorite offer without incurring ill will. This also gives your current employer the opportunity to overbid whatever raise they can afford and think you're worth, rather than simply match your outside offer.
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#9 RodM  journeyman

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Posted 07 June 2014 - 03:33 PM

My thoughts.. long ago when I was in a large city.. i hand a handful of clients that needed coding and support.  The internet is so flooded, competition, over seas coders, Since moving, kind of starting over, a smaller city, my thoughts the last 20 years is writing a application for 1, 2 or more niche industries... continue to be a expert in that field, supporting one or several applications.. more so working for myself, writing my code.. not getting paid.   Applications always needs adding, can it do this or that,   but clients want it free, find other means sometime and I am loosing the account..  program goes dead!   or as the creator keeps coding to finish it if legally pos...     So doing my own thing.. maybe driving taxi a couple days to get away, have fun, non related to coding.. best job I ever had btw.. in college town makes a difference too.. Anyone want to add my apps to your repertoire :)   Love it or List it?


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#10 Helpful Harry  enthusiast

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Posted 07 June 2014 - 08:18 PM

$50 to $150 an hour? Someone has to tell me where these jobs are.

I only charge NZ$18 (approx. US$15) per hour for any work I do, which includes non-Filemaker work. :) It's the same price I charged when I started my own part-time self-employed business about 16 years ago. Like most independent workers, I usually charge a set fee to create the initial work (including fixing any hiccups), than then an hourly charge for any adjustments, add-ons, etc. Most of my work is for non-profit community organisations and individuals at home (either self-employed or personal), so much of the time my "hours" are under-charged as well.

Then of course there are places like these forums, Usenet Newsgroups, etc. where we help others for free.



It all depends on the complexity of the system, the value of the system to the company, the financial status of the company, the skills of the developer, the relationship between developer and company, the color of the developer's socks.

Yep, there are lots of factors involved ... wait, colour of the socks?!? Geez, NOW you tell me these bright pink socks with yellow polkadots at the reason I charge so little. Time to start wearing those flourescent green socks with the flashing LED lights that say "Filemaking is Fun" that Grandma bought me for Xmas. ;)
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#11 Fitch  Imaginary friend

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Posted 11 June 2014 - 09:37 AM

This thread is four years old.


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