When you are hunting for your next freelance construction or engineering job, one of your key considerations will probably be what kind of pay rate you will be receiving. However, how do you know what kind of rate to expect for different types of roles, and whether the pay you are aiming for is realistic?
How much could you earn?
Of course, the levels of daily pay you can command will vary widely depending upon your qualifications, experience and where in the UK you are working. Despite these changing factors, there are some guidelines to what you can expect to be offered at various levels of your career.
If you are just starting out in your career as a construction labourer, then hourly rates for temporary roles are likely to between £6 and £9 an hour. As you become more experienced and skilled, you can expect these to rise steadily; for example, a skilled experienced electrician could expect something in the region of £13 an hour.
For more senior roles such as Site Manager, where you would be expected to have significant prior experience and excellent references, you could expect a salary equivalent to around £50k per annum.
If you go into freelance construction or engineering roles after gaining relevant qualifications, then your pay should be higher, to reflect you credentials.
A site engineer carrying out a supervisory role would expect to receive around £26k to £30k a year, a sum which will rise considerably when you have gained experience and passed the Chartered Engineer exams.
Progressing in your career to gain professional construction or engineering qualifications will increase your earning potential significantly. For example, the average graduate starting salary for a Consulting Civil Engineer is around £24k, whilst the average basic salary of a member of the Institute of Civil Engineers (ICE) is around double that, with London weighting adding another £12k. The average basic salary of an ICE Fellow is £80k.
Having professional qualifications usually makes it easier to find freelance roles, as employers taking on freelance staff are normally looking for staff which bring extensive skills and experience, and are not looking to have to train staff on the job.
One key advantage of freelance roles is normally a higher rate of pay than could be expected in permanent roles, to compensate for the inherent lack of stability and security freelancing offers.