What is the going salary rate for a CAD specialist using [fill in the blank] software package?

26 Jan, 2006 By: Robert Green

Robert Green replies: Good question. The quick answer is you’ll have to do some research in your specific area to get a good answer, but I can help you with your research.

I’ve found the best way to get a salary target is to contact a few temporary labor firms in your area and ask them what they would charge to place a contract labor person who has the expertise you need. Tell them you’d be interested in long-term or transition-to-permanent contract arrangement so you can get the benefit of a longer-term rate, which is typically much lower than that for shorter-term assignments.

Now simply take the hourly rate quoted by the temporary agency and reduce it by 25% to 30%. That should give you a fairly good range of the rate you’d pay a direct employee. The reduction reflects the cost of overhead such as Social Security taxes, unemployment, insurance, record keeping and profit for the temporary agency. This approach has worked remarkably well over the years, and compared with salary surveys, tends to provide a much better reflection of the higher rates going for current hot software products -- such as Autodesk’s Civil 3D or Land Development Desktop at the moment -- which are months or even years behind current market trends.

Of course, the more temporary agencies you contact, the more accurate your overall picture, but the methodology is the same nonetheless. I hope this helps.

About the Author: Robert Green

Robert Green

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