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Rate per hour
If you all don't mind telling - how much do charge per hour for your QA services? I'm curious as to what the range is.
One report I saw said the average was between $60 to $65 - but I've seen and heard of MUCH higher.
Your title would be helpful too - obviously an engineer will be higher than a 1st year manual tester.
As I said - only answer if you don't mind, I don't want to make anyone uncomfortable!
[This message has been edited by digits71 (edited 06-28-2001).]
Re: Rate per hour
That number is accurate as of last year. This also depends on what you know and where you are...
In Silicon Valley for example, It was not uncommon for a QA engineer with automated testing experience to get $85-100/hr last year. This is not so common this year I'm afraid.
On the average last year though the median rate for QA was around 65/hr. This year it may be lower. (Somewhere around 50/hr)
Re: Rate per hour
I do freelance contracts as a general rule and, being in Chicago, I tend to go for around $40-65 per hour given the current "tightening of the belts" going on. It also depends on what I am doing for a company. If I am doing full capacity planning methodologies, I tend to go at the higher-end of the scale. If I am simply doing some basic performance analysis and mentoring thereof, I tend to go towards the lower. I also, of course, factor in my own experience and what benefits I can bring to a company. For example, I do "planguage" requirements training at some contracts and, for this, I charge at the high-end because this takes a lot of time and effort to do and requires great commitment on the part of the organization.
The range, however, can be dependent upon a lot of factors. If you work for a strict consulting group, you might have your base salary and your variable salary derived on billable time - thus your rate is more a function of the consulting company. If you do contract work with an organization that specializes in outsourcing its talent, you are working with their basis as well.
With freelancing (which is true independent contracting!), you can pretty much set your own rate such that you just make enough to put food on the table or that you do really, really well. It depends. When I started doing freelancing, it was touch-and-go and I had to lower my price just to get in the door and get a name for myself. Once you start building up your reputation and your portfolio, your prices can go up.
As far as title, I tend to avoid using a strict title as I find it lends itself to many preconceived notions before you even get in the door. If pushed, I generally say that I am an independent Quality and Process Engineer. If nothing else, it makes people stop long enough to say: "A what?!?" However, I generally avoid a strict title and rather sell people on what I can do for them based on my experience and skillset, rather than get hung up with a title. (Also: some places, when they hear a title, automatically bracket off a salary range that they think fits what your title is.)
It is also is hard to convey everything you do in a title. For example, I can do capacity planning, requirements engineering, automated tool evaluation and use, etc. To fit everything us QA people can generally do in one title can be difficult at best, misleading at worst. (Again, I am speaking strictly here of when you are freelancing.)
Re: Rate per hour
It all depends on what job you're performing as a QA or Test Engineer. I've paid $17/hr for novice testers to bang on multimedia CD's and $100/hr for a good test manager. A decent Tester with a couple years experience who can design test cases, write some automation, and who has the required interpersonal skills might get $50-$60/hr.
Author of "Software Testing" - The book for new or aspiring software testers.