NOTE TO computerconsultantsforum.com and forums.techcareerfubar.com USERS: This is the same site. Your login will work here. Use the "forgot password" function if you need help recovering your password.

Get rid of this big black message box by joining here: http://mature-it.pro/register/

Obvious fact: You're not logged in.

Therefore, you're only seeing the tip of the iceberg of great discussion threads on this site. The frankest, most raw and truthful observations about employment and work life in the IT and engineering fields are in "members only" sections that are ONLY visible when you are registered and you log in.

If you're 35 or over, and work in IT, or are retired from IT, and you dislike the herd mentality and clueless, adolescent snobbery of forums such as "Hacker News", then you really should join this board. Why? Because you're too smart for Facebook. And everyone needs someone to gossip, commisserate, and chat with at their level.

Who we are:

A collection of IT, engineering and sciences professionals, in a variety of current circumstances with a variety of career backgrounds. Including:

  • System admins
  • Developers and programmers
  • Freelancers and "gig" entrepreneurs
  • Contract, job shopping and FTE-employed contract house IT workers
  • Web developers
  • Inventors
  • Artists and writers with tech backgrounds

This forum has its roots in the 1990s buildup of the IT field into what we know today and has been around since 2002. 10s of thousands of messages and threads about a variety of career, FTE, contract, and side gig issues and opportunities.

If you're as smart as the typical experienced IT professional, you have a critical mind that has a hard time staying engaged with pop culture and generic issues of the day. And you're WELL beyond the fanboy mentality of the young developer communities. Get some relief here.

Register on the board - your email is NEVER sold or provided to third parties. Then LOGIN FREQUENTLY to see new stuff daily. Note to long lost members: all politics have been marked as "opt in" only. You won't see anything political unless you ask for it.

Join by Registering here: http://mature-it.pro/register/

Author Topic: newb, FTE, independent contract, etc  (Read 711 times)

newb

  • Guest
newb, FTE, independent contract, etc
« on: April 01, 2003, 09:00:18 pm »
I'm looking to get a general feel for the situation at hand.

Currently FTE, 72k/year (34.62 per hour) getting decent benefits. The benefits that affect me are family health and dental insurance - cost me about 2k per year, and 50% 401k match - I'm only putting in 1% right now.

I might have an offer for 45 or 55 per hour as an independent contractor - the client determines which position I fit (normal dev vs architect). If I accepted this offer, I'd want to use an umbrella service of some kind (my family needs insurance, that is a must).

So, would accepting this offer be a good, bad, or neither as far as take home pay goes?  Again, I'm not looking for hard numbers, just whether or not this is a Good Thing.

The Gorn

  • I absolutely DESPISE improvised sulfur-charcoal-salt peter cannons made out of hollow tree branches filled with diamonds as projectiles.
  • Trusted Member
  • Wise Sage
  • ******
  • Posts: 22514
  • Gorn Classic, user of Gornix
Re: newb, FTE, independent contract, etc
« Reply #1 on: April 01, 2003, 09:23:38 pm »
45-55 per hour amounts to a before-tax income of $90K-$110K per year, assuming that you can stay billable for the entire year at 40 hrs per week, 50 billable weeks per year.

Right off the top, subtract about 7.5% extra for the employer's share of Social Insecurity that you must pay, being self employed. (This does not apply if the rates you quoted are W2.)

However, contracts usually aren't stable and you're gambling that you can stay billable as consistently as you can stay employed full time.Personally, I think that even $55 per hour is rather low compared to a salary of $72K. The equivalency most of us "expect" is $1 per hour contract per $1000/yr salary as an FTE. This is partially to help balance the extra risk of being a contractor as well as to offset the extra expenses of administration and benefits. So a more proportionate rate for your case would be $70ish/hr.


I do know that back when I started contracting in the early 90s I accepted rates around $30-$35/hr and I felt like I worked like a dog to maintain a yearly income around $60K. Yeah, $30/hr x 2000 work hours per year may *seem* like a FTE workload. But the 'problem' with contracting is that clients don't treat contractors as an FTE equivalent, rather they expect you to make every hour "mean something". The lack of slack means that the hours burn you out much faster than they do as an FTE where slack is expected by most concerned.

Bottom line - in the case you cite I probably wouldn't make the move if I thought my current job was OK. If the new contract has associated intangibles that make it a good career move, then that may be an offsetting factor, but you haven't presented that aspect in an emphatic way (yet).

My opinion - that rate isn't enough to offset the additional hassle and pressure of being a contractor compared to your current salary. I'd stick with the "stable known" you now have. It's truly a better deal, unless you have good reason to know that the new contract will be long term and very stable.

Hope that helps.
Gornix is protected by the GPL. *

* Gorn Public License. Duplication by inferior sentient species prohibited.

John Masterson

  • Guest
Re: newb, FTE, independent contract, etc
« Reply #2 on: April 02, 2003, 05:50:08 am »
It is currently the WORST market for contract work on 25 years or more. Some contractors have not worked for more than a year.

That should put things in some perspective.

It's not the current contract that counts...it's whether you can get ANOTHER...since mortgage payments and the rest go on forever...while new contracts may not.

datrix

  • Guest
Re: newb, FTE, independent contract, etc
« Reply #3 on: April 02, 2003, 07:27:25 am »
You asked for opinions. If you're enjoying your current job and the environment is tolerable, I'd say you're an absolute idiot if you jump to contract, given the market conditions.

I'd also say you're not being too wise if you're bypassing free money on the 401k match. Max that sucker out as much as they'll let you.


The Gorn

  • I absolutely DESPISE improvised sulfur-charcoal-salt peter cannons made out of hollow tree branches filled with diamonds as projectiles.
  • Trusted Member
  • Wise Sage
  • ******
  • Posts: 22514
  • Gorn Classic, user of Gornix
"It's whether you can get another"...
« Reply #4 on: April 02, 2003, 12:02:30 pm »
TERRIFIC point worth its weight in gold, John - the original poster needs to ponder your answer before mine.

I answered the question thinking only of the merits of the current deal being offered. I kind of took for granted that he would know that contracts eventually end.
Gornix is protected by the GPL. *

* Gorn Public License. Duplication by inferior sentient species prohibited.