How much should I charge?

Discussion in 'Professional Video Production' started by blackburst, Mar 23, 2006.

  1. blackburst

    blackburst Guest

    I have very good audio and video engineering skills. I've built several
    recording studios, radio studios, television studios, PA setups, etc.

    I was just asked to become the as-needed engineer for a semi-pro
    baseball team. I've never done a baseball stadium, but how hard can it
    be? They have an announcer booth with several mics, mixer, SFX/music
    from a computer, and a centerfield video screen fed by another computer
    and an ENG camera feeding back by microwave. I think I can handle it,
    but how much should I charge per hour?

    I'm thinking $25.00, but am I low-balling it too much?
    blackburst, Mar 23, 2006
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  2. blackburst

    Fletch Guest

    You're kidding, right?

    As a consultant on church PA setups I charge a hundred bucks an hour, plus any equipment costs to
    outfit the space, plus any assistant fees I might need if I have to bring another person in to do
    heavy lifting.

    And even that is cheap by some standards. Even though I've been doing this stuff a long time, I
    don't charge what I believe are outrageous fees. Some clients just can't afford the true cost of a
    person's experience and I would rather give them great services to be sure they get the right stuff
    rather than see them lose so much money on fees and have little left for the actual installation.

    Fletch, Mar 23, 2006
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  3. blackburst

    Paul Stamler Guest

    Where do you live? If you're in San Francisco, that's too low; if you're in
    Beaver's Pancreas, Tenn., it might be too much.

    Paul Stamler, Mar 23, 2006
  4. blackburst

    Larry J. Guest

    Waiving the right to remain silent, ""
    Offhand, I'd say you're underpricing a whole lot. I can't get a tree
    trimmer to my house for less than $50/hour.
    Larry J., Mar 23, 2006
  5. I charge 65$ a hour to instal 70 volt distributed audio systems
    and I do not live in a BIG city

    generally design work like that is done by a engineering firm, and you need
    to be certified and bonded
    if your doing this as ahobby(as in your not a full time
    designer/consultant/or related feild), large public spaces are way too much
    of a liability to take on

    if you have to ask "how much should I charge" that alone indicates to me
    that this job would be better passed to someone who already knows what work
    like this is worth
    George Gleason, Mar 23, 2006
  6. You probably already know this, but don't charge by the hour.
    You are not designing an audio facility or system.
    You are being asked to operate one.............
    BIG fucking difference in rates.

    Base your rate on a full or half day fee.
    You should know what CWA-NABET audio tech or engineering rates are for
    a company in your area.
    I am not going to do all the work for you, but it could be a less than
    the rate you mentioned.
    BUT you are not done yet..............
    Take that hourly wage and add 30% to compensate for the lack of a
    company benefits package that you will not be receiving but you will
    have to buy on your own. (that's why the networks pay freelancers more
    than staffers)
    Multiply that figure by ten for the full day rate. Or multiply that
    figure by 6 for the half day rate.

    That rate does NOT include any equipment. But, you could bring and use
    your own personal set of cans if you don't like what they have on

    BUT it is an ongoing project through out the summer. You can figure in
    a discount. And that should be totally up to you.

    Bill F.
    Bill Farnsworth, Mar 23, 2006
  7. WAY too low. I'd say from george's $65/hr. to $100/hr. is in the ballpark,
    so to speak. George gives lots of good advice - heed his remarks about
    bonding/insurance, etc. That gives a good reason to keep the price up, too.

    When you drop your price, it's puts downward price pressure on everyone
    else, too.

    Nova Music Productions
    Michael Wozniak, Mar 23, 2006
  8. Mike I may have mis-read the post
    it has been opinioned that he is NOT designing the system but only being
    asked to operate a existing system
    I totally read it as he was about to design this ballparks system

    and going rate in sysracuse for a trained op is about 175$/gig
    George Gleason, Mar 23, 2006
  9. blackburst

    blackburst Guest

    I guess I was not clear. They have an exisitng system, they have people
    to operate it. I'm being asked to maintain it, as needed.
    blackburst, Mar 23, 2006
  10. blackburst

    blackburst Guest

    Again, I'm being asked to come in and MAINTAIN and FIX the existing
    system, maybe modify it a bit. I see myself fixing cables, checking to
    see that levels/impedance/terminations etc. area all cool.

    In response to an earlier post, I do LOTS of work desigining
    facilities, and I do charge per job. This gig is a little unusual
    because I know the GM and live near the stadium, and I was recommended
    as a guy who knows audio and video. True, I'm not sure what one gets
    for an HOURLY MAINTENANCE rate, but that's why I'm picking your brains.

    Maybe this will blossom to something bigger, and then I'll already know
    what to charge...
    Or maybe I'll get a season pass with free hot dogs.
    blackburst, Mar 23, 2006
  11. Well your going to need insurance,1000$ a year
    no facility in their right mind would let you on the property as a
    contractor without insurance
    who is supplying the ladders/lifts? these will be needed to service the
    suspended gear
    minimum IMO for what your asking is 45/hour with clause they pay for any
    rental lifts or scaffolding, including set up/and removal
    I would charge 65/hour for this work with a one hour minimum
    I supply my own ladders suitable to 12 feet, above that I want a manlift

    George Gleason, Mar 23, 2006
  12. AHA!!
    That 'splains it much better.
    My bad.
    As you know, a customer oriented, walk in the door, non-emergency,
    "repaired in a timely manner" bench rate is between $65.00 and $75.00
    per hour. And that is with test gear and manuals accessible.
    But, that rate is NOT based on how much one could love baseball.
    If you love to watch the sport in small venues on warm summer nights.
    And the seats and food are free, then your $25.00 per hour is a pretty
    good deal for you and your friend, the owner.
    I say...."Play ball!"

    Bill F.
    Bill Farnsworth, Mar 23, 2006
  13. blackburst

    blackburst Guest

    Thanx for the info. Hope you're not trying to discourage me. I suspect
    most of the work will be in the control room. If I need lifts, the ball
    club has them. But I may look into the insurance. You did say one
    blackburst, Mar 23, 2006
  14. That's cuz down there in Scottsdale, you are asking them to cut away
    the only shade they have to work in!

    Bill F.
    (Oh, how I would love to live in AZ)
    Bill Farnsworth, Mar 23, 2006
  15. blackburst

    Fletch Guest

    Bill Farnsworth wrote On 03/23/06 11:49,:
    A secondary adendum: Just because you know the guy, he should understand that your fees are based
    on your need to earn a living at the prevailing rate for your services. If you wish to cut a deal,
    charging less, that is up to you. But it should not be his expectation that because he knows you,
    you should accept a lesser deal than is fair market value for the work. He knows he'll have to pay
    someone -- preferrably someone with expertise -- you, to do a more than comeptent job to be sure
    everything operates properly during use. That is the job you are taking on.

    Fletch, Mar 23, 2006
  16. my insurance is a 3 millon dollar general liability and costs me 885$ a
    it would cover me to 3 millon should I accidently break off a sprinkler
    head with my ladder and dump 1000000 millon gallons of water on the
    electronic gear , trashing all of it

    you need liability because , you never know
    George Gleason, Mar 23, 2006
  17. blackburst

    Larry J. Guest

    Waiving the right to remain silent, "Bill Farnsworth"
    It's big enough for ya, Bill..! But the prices have nearly doubled
    in the past 4-5 years.
    Larry J., Mar 23, 2006
  18. blackburst

    jakdedert Guest

    Agreed. I'd not give away much on the actual rate; but in a case like
    the above, I might be willing to offer some discount in the form of a
    free site survey, or to take partial compensation in some form other
    than strictly cash.

    For instance, a box seat (or any seat, for that matter) is a valuable
    incentive or perk to be able to offer to other clients...or employees
    for that matter.

    jakdedert, Mar 23, 2006
  19. I'm reading this as an operator's job, not a designer's. Have I
    missed something?
    Laurence Payne, Mar 23, 2006
  20. Yeah, yeah yeah. Talk to me in July. I won't be here.

    Nova Music Productions
    Tucson (75 degrees today - 100 plus every day in June, July August...)
    Michael Wozniak, Mar 23, 2006
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