How can I make 729 an hour

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What about IT freelancers in Germany? The Freelancer-Kompass 2018 surveyed 1,092 self-employed persons about their income and order situation.

Freelancer salaries continue to rise. That is one of the main messages of a current market study (link to the study) among 1,092 self-employed IT specialists. For the third time, the project platform Freelancermap.de took a close look at IT freelancers and determined important trends on the financial situation and order situation, job description and demographics of the freelancers in the context of 66 questions. There is also an outlook for the coming year.

The study shows: IT experts are better than ever in business. The hourly rate of freelancers and self-employed in the IT sector rose by almost 4 euros in 2018 compared to the previous year to an average of 91.05 euros. Gross sales are also increasing: 60.07% exceeded the magic limit of 100,000 euros. Almost every fifth person even generates more than 175,000 euros gross per year. This means that the industry has been able to look forward to a continuous increase in sales since 2014. "Benefiting from the shortage of skilled workers and the 'war for talents', freelancers are more than ever an option for companies," says Thomas Maas, CEO of Freelancermap. Large companies in particular rely on the flexible IT experts. Almost 40% of freelancers work in a company with more than 5000 employees.

Specialize in SAP now

Above all, freelancers with a focus on SAP earn the most: the industry experts earn 110.19 euros and, according to the survey, are at the same time most satisfied with their income situation. In contrast, there are professionals from the fields of graphics, content and media, who only receive an hourly remuneration of 62.35 euros. They are also the most dissatisfied with their income.

Married academics, from 40 the cash register rings

The demographic analysis by Freelancermap shows: Freelancers are on average 48.45 years old, have an academic degree, are married or in a permanent partnership and are primarily male. Before retirement begins at the age of 66, freelance experts experience increased leaps in income, especially in their 40s. Between 40 and 49 years of age, the hourly rate averages 95.09 euros and is therefore the highest among all age groups.

The most important data at a glance. (Graphic: Freelancermap.de)

Bavaria and North Rhine-Westphalia remain the home of freelancers

Bavaria and North Rhine-Westphalia are at the top of the places of origin throughout Germany. Almost half of the flexible experts come from the south and west of the country. Bayern and Westphalia earn € 90.59 and € 89.91 an hour, respectively. Saarland leads the way with 101.30 euros. The new federal states are still the most unattractive place to live for freelancers, and the hourly flat rate is well below the standard in the rest of the republic.

Less women, less money

The proportion of women among freelancers remains low at just 11.54%. In 2017, every 10th freelancer was female. In terms of salary, there are more significant differences than ever: While men are paid an average of 91.93 euros per hour, women receive almost 7 euros less at 84.28 euros. Last year this difference in income was three euros.

Although almost 60% of freelancers are involved in a project for up to 12 months, many solo self-employed still see themselves confronted with challenges. Constantly acquiring new projects is the greatest task for more than 62 percent. More than 20% speak of a difficult order situation. Nevertheless, 64% of freelancers believe that they are paid better than permanent employees. Almost 80% want to continue working as a freelancer. Almost every second person even plans to increase their hourly rate in 2019.

More on the subject:This is how freelancers should calculate their hourly wages

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