What hourly rate for a 10+ year UNIX (Linux) admin in Bay Area?
February 9, 2011 3:32 PM   Subscribe

What hourly rate for a 10+ year UNIX (Linux) admin in Bay Area? This is for maybe 2-3 visits a month, each 3-4 hours in duration.

I've seen the various posts here and in google space regarding charging hourly rate. One site says $55/hr but this seems low compared the doubling salary method (I'm currently at 120k/annual).

I have a full time job already so this isn't so much about the money but 1) building rapport with the company in case I want to switch to a consulting mode 2) helping them out 3) getting the experience with this sort of gig. Ultimately, I do need to make it worth my while.

I'm considering throwing $95/hr and if they balk I'll adjust and move on. But does this seem obnoxiously high?

I consider myself fairly experienced with the salary negotiation game but this one is entirely different.
posted by uhom to Work & Money (6 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
75-100/hour for scheduled work, 150-200/hour for unplanned, after hours, or emergency work

Volume drives you down to the lower numbers and predictability drives you down to the lower numbers.

You can certainly go higher, and I have in the past for complex networking stuff, but so often these places are just looking for a hand and not really asking for anything terribly complex so Ive felt bad charging them near the higher range.
posted by iamabot at 3:42 PM on February 9, 2011

$100/hour is not obnoxiously high. I've seen that rate in Ohio by someone with considerably less Unix experience than what you're describing.
posted by chengjih at 4:30 PM on February 9, 2011

$95/hr is not obnoxiously high. My rule of thumb is salary-thousands-per hour for bench (random freelance) rate. Under 15 random hrs/month I'd say gets them the highest possible rate unless they want to go retainer or something. Depends on how predictable the work is and what your skills are, ultimately.
posted by rhizome at 4:31 PM on February 9, 2011

I dunno about unix admins but most very good (not necessarily OMFG awesome) developers I know can command $125 an hour in SF. I'd assume your level of expertise would put you in the same ballpark. When I started consulting I was told to never take less then $100 an hour.

I'd start at $125 and see if they blink.
posted by bitdamaged at 4:38 PM on February 9, 2011

I wouldn't ask for less than $150 - anything less than that makes you look like small potatoes. So-called "professional services" consulting firms start at about $180.
posted by deadmessenger at 5:40 PM on February 9, 2011

Response by poster: Wow --thanks for the excellent responses everyone. I really appreciate it.
posted by uhom at 6:45 PM on February 9, 2011

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