How much should I charge for computer repair.
February 8, 2006 4:20 PM   Subscribe

How much should I charge per hour as a computer repair person? How much should I charge to set up a website for someone?

I recently went to an interview for an office assistant job, however when i got to the interview the lady wanted me to become the IT person for the office. She specifically wanted me to prepare a presentation for her with the answers to the following questions.

how much would i charge per hour for computer repair

how much would i charge to set up a website (domain and hosting) and "maintain" it per month

how much would i charge per month to "maintain" her website.

this is for a large real estate company so i figure i wouldn't have have to charge bare bottom prices also for the startup websites they would be for Realtors entering the field. The reason I ask is because I want to get an average, I live on Cape Cod, so figure "Boston" level prices. They currently have a IT guy but i guess they don't like him much and are looking for someone new. I put "maintain" in quotes because what they really want me to do is once in a while add some content, and give them weekly stat updates as well as do a little SEO.
posted by stilgar to Computers & Internet (17 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
What would you make in a salaried position, including benefits, vacation, 401k, etc? Divide by 1000.
posted by acoutu at 4:25 PM on February 8, 2006

Mainline pricing would be somewhere between $40 and $125 an hour, depending on the compexity of the work and the chutzpah of the repair person.
But beware of working for someone who wants an IT support person at admin asst prices.
posted by pessoa at 4:42 PM on February 8, 2006

For a top-tier PC tech...this means 5+ years experience, A+ Certification at a minimum, preferably more certs, and lots of happy client references...

A top tier tech can demand $35-50/hr offsite and $45-65/hr onsite.

Someone a little less experienced, or less credentialled should charge accordingly.

Sounds like you're more of a software guy, though, and I'd guess that PC hardware is doable for you but not your strong suit. Better charge for the programming and site maintenance and throw the PC stuff in as a spiff.
posted by SlyBevel at 4:57 PM on February 8, 2006

Response by poster: I am a+ certified and am just fine with the hardware, i have simply never done any of this stuff for money before. so i was wondering what i should tell these people i am going to charge them. if you are curious i have been with AmeriCorps the last couple of years doing volunteer work. so this is my first steps into the "work for money" world.
posted by stilgar at 5:04 PM on February 8, 2006

It looks like they want to exploit you. Sorry to be cynical, but I've seen this too many times. Since you're just entering the working world, I'd say ask for $60 an hour, let them undercut you down to $35-40, and stay in the job just long enough to learn the skills and buzzwords to move elsewhere. Do not believe them if they say that they will promote you after a certain period of time. This never happens, since they know they can get you cut-rate. Your confidence and acting like you deserve what you are asking for will make a big difference.
posted by matildaben at 5:28 PM on February 8, 2006

I too have been wondering this. I tend to fix people's computers for free because it's usually a very simple, five-minute job. Someone once suggested a flat fee of $35 for up to one hour and then charge per hour after that.

I am curious about web design charges. I recently set up a full site for my church on a volunteer basis, but someone said that was at least a $1,000 donation. I don't know for sure. I have thought about setting out in web design for myself, but these kinds of cost uncertainties have made me hesitant.
posted by jxpx777 at 5:29 PM on February 8, 2006

I did freelance web design for a couple years before I opted for the comfort of a salaried position.

"Mom'n'Pop" sites (one template, around 5 pages) I would charge about $500. Took me about 10 hours from start to finish so I guess that's $50/hr. Installs of extra web-based software (blog, gallery, forum, etc) were extra, since I usually spent time training them to use it.
posted by nessahead at 5:37 PM on February 8, 2006

Definitely, definitely go back and tell her that you need more information. Tell her that the jobs are very different, and, though you're glad that they'll be using more of your skills, that you want a new interview "to get a better picture of their current setup and requirements."

Really, you're doing this second interview so that there's a difference between the two jobs, in the hiring person's head. You need to make it clear to her that "being the office IT guy" is not the same job level as "being an administrative assistant." In other words, it's going to cost a lot more (but, hey, you're going to be providing a lot more productive work for the company and be under a lot more stress).

Also, it sounds like your job just went from a full time gig, to an hourly and definitely part time gig. That is very different from your perspective as a worker. A per hour contractor will not get benefits like health insurance, 401k contributions, etc. Since you will have to (ok would... ), nor will you have any job security and you'll need to look for other work, which takes time (which is money). All of these extra expenses, on top of what an hour of your time is worth need to factored in. Say that you think the job is worth $30 or $35. With those other costs and lost opportunity costs, you're looking at $50 per hour at least.
posted by zpousman at 5:41 PM on February 8, 2006

jxpx777, that's called a bench fee.

My standard bench fee is $45. It's what I charge to look at the PC, and if the work I have to do on the PC is under one hour, the bench fee covers it.

But if the work goes over one hour, the bench fee is waived and I charge hourly instead.
posted by SlyBevel at 5:58 PM on February 8, 2006

Regarding the web design question, I've heard anything from $35-$100/hr. My business' standard rate is $75 an hour, but that's more for custom web software solutions, instead of just slapping together a few pages of HTML...

Also, don't "ask" for a price. Tell them what your rate is. And don't let them undercut you at all. If you do that, they'll wonder what else they can get out of you. Explain that you're a business, and that your rates are as follows.
posted by disillusioned at 6:37 PM on February 8, 2006

Every now and then when I'm low on flow I'll throw up a few adverts at the local laundromat and supermarket for pc repair and website design. I'm decent at both, but not a |_337 h4x0r, so I keep my fees low. $20 - $25 for most pc repair, and $200 - $250 to build a small to moderate sized website w/ little or no flash and cgi scripting. Pretty much straight up html/dhtml, but I can usually assure them of a high page ranking on google because I also know seo.

Oh yeah, if I don't fix their pc, I don't charge them money.
posted by rinkjustice at 6:37 PM on February 8, 2006

I'd definitely ask her for more information. And get the details in writing before you take the job.

I work in Boston and have done freelance web work. I've charged between $20 to $40/hour. The lower end was for non-profits and simple work. The higher end usually included more programming,but still nothing too complex. I know a database guy who charges roughly $75/hour.
posted by jdl at 6:47 PM on February 8, 2006

Just don't make the mistake of charging a flat rate. Make sure they know you're charging them every time they get a brilliant idea and "just want to see how it looks". That stuff adds up to hours and hours of time, and it should be billable.
posted by Hildago at 7:24 PM on February 8, 2006

i do free lance web design work and pricing is more of an art then a scince, you have to look forward and try to invision how much time this client is going to take of yours, what features they want - number of pages, etc etc etc, I have one client thats DRIVING ME CRAZY comparing her 275 dolalr site to 400,500,1000 dollar sites, but I digress. I just do this on the side.. mostly for actors but i've done some real estate as well.

cheers! good luck!
posted by crewshell at 4:04 AM on February 9, 2006

What will people pay?
posted by ewkpates at 5:59 AM on February 9, 2006

Response by poster: thats kind of what i am trying to figure out ewkpates...
posted by stilgar at 6:59 AM on February 9, 2006

Enough with the subtitles. The most important factor here is "what will they pay now?" The second most important factor is "how good are you... can you leverage your contribution into above market raises?"

I would put a call in to your potential competitors in the repair and web services industries. This way you can slightly undercut them with an eye toward the future when you start putting the screws to your new employer.
posted by ewkpates at 7:23 AM on February 9, 2006

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