Electrical Engineering Consultants
Q: I am trying to find out information about the pricing policy(ie hourly rates) for Electrical Engineering Consultants specialising in: Installation Design. Project Management, Training, Surveys. If anybody can point me to to a suitable source of information I would be most gratefull.
A: Your charges will depend a lot on your experience and reputation; and on what the market will bear - I do some work below cost because the customer won't pay the full price but I expect it to lead to other work which I can charge properly for. You also *must* know what your actual hourly cost is. At the risk of stating the obvious, you should do a projection for, say, the first twelve months, which will allow you to calculate your hourly cost; I recalculate mine every year with a notional salary for myself, so that I can check whether I need to adjust my charge-out rate; if I can't because it would be uncompetitive, then I know I have to reduce costs. As your minimum figure, I suggest you add a 10 or 15% markup to your hourly cost, to reflect the additional risk of running your own business; if the market rate is higher, then increase it; if lower, then you don't want to be working for yourself too long. The IEEE (if I have the acronym right) should be able to give you both the notional salary figure and hourly rates, certainly if you're a member. If not, you could ask them what the recommended rates are for nominees for commercial disputes and arbitration; they are often asked to nominate experts in the areas you mention.
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