Freelancers open to sharing hourly rate?

I am a full time, female, independent contractor and was wondering if anyone would be open to sharing their hourly for work in the ecommerce/ digital marketing space! I am currently at a corporate type company that is doing well despite the pandemic and feel as though I am being underpaid. would like to get a sense for what others are making!


YES! I maxed out at $40-$50/hr (depending on the company)as a freelance patternmaker in LA, before newsom outlawed working freelance. I mainly did first patterns, and most clients didn’t care that I had decades of experience. I also did some tech design and production, but it didn’t really pay more. I lost out on a lot of jobs at that rate, though. in SF it seemed brands were even bigger cheapskates, I’d see jobs listed trying to pay an experienced patternmaker or tech designer $30/hr! In SF!

I have friends in NYC who won’t work for less than $60/hr I think (BEFORE COVID). At least there you can still freelance!

Also, being in LA, you’re SOL right now. Nobody will hire you except through an agency. Look at the details behind AB5. It was meant to force rideshare companies into being more responsible, instead it’s put a massive chunk of California completely out of work. My story is here, do a search for “susanna”. I left California in January and although there will be recessions all over the world, at least I’ll be able to WORK!

Not true. Freelancers are being destroyed in New York. Hourly wages have been halved and there’s very little work. Don’t spread misinformation and propaganda.


I’m so sorry. I was recalling pre-COVID stuff my friends told me. I’ll correct it. But at least you’re still allowed to work freelance without some agency gouging you.

In Los Angeles, $35-55/hr. Freelance textile design and CAD (sketch) work. The highest paid was through a previous boss who knew my work.

1 Like

This was 6yrs ago but I freelanced for 35hr (Pd/production)in nyc for a big company through a big agency. I knew it was lower than it should be but I was able to get some benefits from the freelance agency and I got time 1/2 over 40hrs so I was still able to bring in 100k year and did this for a little over 2 years while looking for another full time job.


I’m an experienced design freelancer in NY and I had been talked down so many times by placement agencies that I was doing techpacks for 30/hr. After looking at some rates on upwork and hearing more people talk, I think 30/hr is way too cheap for 10 years exp. I am going to experiment with raising my rates to 35/hr but I’ve heard people going up to 50/hr and more.


I was briefly freelancing before covid at a mens bottoms company in nyc and the rate was 25/hr. I have 4 years of experience but not all of them is in men’s or apparel.

I am a fully fashioned sweaters/knits designer (senior level) and worked directly with the company owners. I charged $55/hour pre Covid. Pretty sure, that was the standard rate, infact some other sweater designers with similar experience as mine even charged $75/hr… Lately, after the pandemic, I have heard freelance rates have dropped to $30-35/hr.

$75 is more like it. The agencies charge at least that to send inexperienced designers out. I am.alsona FF knit designer and do tech mostly now @60-75per hour.

I’m charging $60 an hour for tech design work - total 15 years experience. Thankfully still have my side job since my full time closed in the beginning of April.

1 Like

@designerperson for 10 years even $35/hour is very low. The agencies are most likely charging the client $70+/hour. Don’t undervalue yourself

1 Like

Your rate should be much Mike your salary. Look at your yearly salary and do the math. I don’t go for hourly in house jobs. Those are the ones that apply to my formula the most.

Thank you. I really had no idea!..My agents always make a huge fuss when I ask for more…My first job was so severely underpaid years ago and I think I have been taking underpaid things unknowingly for my entire career since.

Corporate Recruiting individual here- with 10+ years of in-house recruiting experience at various NYC based Fashion Companies and agency recruiting prior to that.

For any freelance or temp opening we will be hiring for, we applied a simple formula- target annual salary divided by the number of working hours in a year (2080 hours when working 40 hours a week for 52 weeks in a year) and got the ballpark hourly rate. That was the bottom of our range then the top was 10%-20% above. So if I am looking for a position that typically pays $100,000/year and I am seeking someone with 10 years of exp, the formula would be: $100,000 divided by 2080 = $48.07. So the hourly rate I would be looking to pay a freelancer with the appropriate skills and years of experience would be approximately $48-55 per hour. If I wanted to hire this level of candidate through an agency, the hourly rate they would charge the client (i.e. me and the company) would probably be $80-100/hr.

I recommend this similar formula to individuals trying to figure out their own freelance hourly rate. Determine your annual salary (recent salary or desired annual salary based realistically on your level of experience), divide by 2080 annual working hours to get your hourly rate, then multiple by 20% to account for lack of benefits (no health insurance, PTO, Paid Holidays, etc. So to use an another example- if you want to make $75,000 a year, your base hourly rate would be $36/hr. I would recommend the range you consider is $35-45/hr but it would also be realistic for you can target $40-45/hr when asked your hourly rate (by a company or an agency) but maybe have some flexibility down to $36/hour.

Some companies or agencies will try to pay or offer less per hour and you can decide what makes the most sense for you individually but I think that having this math formula makes it a bit easier to compare and contrast plus understand how an hourly rate translates to annual salaries.

Hope that helps!


That is golden information. Thank you. I undercharged hourly until this year, when someone requested a project and offered $20 more per hour than I usually charged/was paid. I was stunned. I’ve lived, I’ve learned.

1 Like

Please keep in mind that you are paying your own taxes and health insurance and this should be considered when deciding your hourly rate! In NYC, hourly rates have gone down but I am sticking with my pre-Covid rate due to the fact that my health insurance premium is going up and I still need to pay self employed taxes. In fact, I really should be charging a little more since my insurance is going up but I will be a little bit flexible here. I remind companies/clients this if they think I’m charging too much. In the end I am actually saving their company money by not hiring me full time, even if they think my rate is high. You get what you pay for!


Note that in my previous message about freelance hourly formula- I was ONLY speaking about someone freelancing on a company’s payroll, in which case one doesn’t need to worry about taxes (as you would be paid regularly like a regular employee with taxes taken out of each paycheck!). However, if you freelancing as a 1099 Contractor (when you would be invoicing the company to pay you), then yes you need to increase your hourly rate to account for taxes. We rarely paid something this way as it was only if they wanted it this way and they already had an LLC set up or had been freelancing this way for awhile. If you are considering this, do research to determine how you should increase your regular hourly rate to reflect the tax piece.


** I just saw your update. Btw, on site, on W2 is not technically freelance, it’s temp. If the temp has to pay their health insurance and put $ away in a retirement account, (which they should) it’s still more than the above calculations,

With all due respect that formula is off. It should be average salary divided by the hours + 20% at least. What the hiring company is not paying is sole proprietor/ LLC taxes, insurance, worker’s comp, equipment. Office space, travel. I just bought a new computer that can handle 3d and it was 3k ! The Graphics Art Guild has an excellent book about freelancing, and figuring your rate. It’s not exactly apparel, but it definitely applies.

I’m highly experienced and I ask for $75 and hour for anything from tech to design, to start up consulting. I go as low as $60 for a ongoing gig. In California, we cannot work on site by law, and I rarely do. Freelance salaries should start at $30 for a couple years’ experience and go up from there.