Hourly Rate to Charge for Contracting as a PM/Scheduler
August 5, 2010 11:09 PM   Subscribe

What's the going rate for contracting in Northern California as a Project Manager and Scheduler?

I've been asked to do a phone interview tomorrow morning with a company that's putting together a proposal. It's not a guaranteed job, but they'd like to include my CV as part of the proposed team for the contract. I'd be acting in the role of Project Manager/Scheduler. They'll likely ask me what my hourly rate is and while I don't want to get knocked out of the running, I don't want to low ball myself.

At present I don't know the specifics of the client besides state government agency (so public sector client). One of my questions for them is whether it's a straight hourly rate or if there's benefits included. My thinking is that the rate would be lower if you also receive benefits. But in the meanwhile, what the Hell range to tell them? Besides being hands on with MS Project and Sharepoint, I'd imagine it also includes doing the following:

Work Project Breakdown
Milestone & Deliverable Tracking
Compiling & Following Up on Project Hit List
Planning & Scheduling Staffing Resources
Reconciling project plan/schedule with client's internal project plans, schedules & resource loading.

I don't have a PMP (I'm a librarian & I have OCD, so I've yet to have anybody show me a reason why I need to spend the money/time when I'm already a compulsive organizer) and do have experience working with the SDLC and Agile Development.
posted by gov_moonbeam to Work & Money (8 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
If you are being hired as a state employee, then you should be able to look up the salary if you know the official job position/title. It seems like all of the state jobs have publicly listed salaries.

If you are being hired as a contractor, I really have no idea.
posted by twblalock at 2:27 AM on August 6, 2010

Best answer: Don't know where you are, but I'm in Georgia. I'm not a senior PM but more like mid-level (~5 years experience, no PMP, prefer to work at smaller companies so I'm probably taking a salary hit, but whatever). I'm billing out right now at $28-30/hour, depending.

You can use salary.com to check out what the going rate is (sort of, it's an imperfect tool) in your area.
posted by Medieval Maven at 5:35 AM on August 6, 2010

Call one of their competitors/peers and ask. It's a matter of public record at any state institution anyway and most people would extend the professional courtesy.
posted by pjaust at 5:58 AM on August 6, 2010

Best answer: Glassdoor.com is another place for comparing salaries.
posted by CathyG at 6:04 AM on August 6, 2010

While this is not in the exact environment/situation you describe above, it might give you a data point/help you triangulate: web project manager/producer types at interactive studios/agencies are currently making in the $60-100/hour range in San Francisco, doing the same types of things that are on your list. The rate varies, obviously, depending on client, budget, etc. Oftentimes clients will either want or are willing to negotiate a fixed weekly or project rate as well, so that might be something to consider. Pro: you know exactly how much you'll make over X period of time; Con: if you end up working a ton more than previously estimated, you will not be compensated for that additional time.

As far as benefits go, while I'm sure there are exceptions to this rule, in general, contractors do not receive benefits.
posted by hapax_legomenon at 7:46 AM on August 6, 2010

Might be too late to help you, but you can search for state job descriptions and salaries here.

posted by elsietheeel at 10:21 AM on August 6, 2010

Response by poster: Thank you so much! Especially for the salary information sites.

So it was a phone interview with an IT vendor for the state. And while I was told I'd be speaking with one person about a specific RFP, it turned out to be a group/conference call to vet me in general. They asked me a whole bunch of other questions, but the hourly rate question was never raised. Still, I'm glad I asked because I'll have these sites to check if I get in the same situation again.
posted by gov_moonbeam at 4:46 PM on August 6, 2010

PS. I'm totally voting for you in November, dude!
posted by elsietheeel at 5:03 PM on August 6, 2010

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