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Advice: Hourly Rate

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Andrés RicardoAdvice: Hourly Rate
by on Jun 8, 2011 at 2:22:40 am

I need some advice. Please forgive me if this is not the correct forum to post this question, but:

I'm a recent grad and have a job interview lined up at a post-production facility in LA. The position requires me to do relatively simple work, including rotoscoping, motion tracking, sky replacement, rig removal, and beauty work; I'll be working primarily in After Effects, which I have about 4 years of experience with.

The company has asked me, pre-interview, what my hourly rate is (I would start as a freelance artist). They've seen my reel and résumé and have liked them enough to schedule an interview. My question is: what is a reasonable starting rate to ask for?

Thanks for the insight, and again, I apologize if this is not the correct forum (re-direction to a more appropriate forum would be equally appreciated!).

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Jonathan ZieglerRe: Advice: Hourly Rate
by on Jun 8, 2011 at 10:46:47 pm

Hmmm, tough one. Always.

Depends on how much you want to make, really. Are you a shoe-in or are you gonna have to compete with others? Are you feeling lean and hungry or do you have specific financial needs that need to be met?

Will you be using your equipment or theirs? If its yours, charge more than if you are using theirs. Consider all your costs: rent/mortgage, utilities, phone, internet, computer, software, various peripherals, furniture, car, gas, insurance, food, entertainment, etc. Total all of that up for a year and divide by about 2000 (hours). Now double it. There's your hourly rate - the first number is the lowest you can take. The doubled number is the number you want. Remember that you may not be working 40 hours a week and adjust the 2000 accordingly (40 hours a week times 50 weeks is 2000). For example, they want you to work only 40 hours a month which is 480 hours a year - your hourly just went up.

Think of this, too: if you ask too little and get it, you have nobody to blame but yourself. If a company is just looking for the cheapest person, they aren't looking at dozens of other factors and you don't want to work for them - they'll just cut every corner they can and make you miserable.

Jonathan Ziegler

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