Hourly rate for CAD drawings in the US ??

I have been asked to do some drawings by a structural engineer in California. I will be using ArchiCAD, and tranferring through FTP and
getting them marked-up (redlined) on the web using a particular feauture that ArchiCAD has.
What I would like to know is what the typical hourly rate for CAD drawings is in the US?
Cheers
ss.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Synapse Syndrome wrote:

Since your question is quite vague, your drawings likely will be too. Suggest you work for free.
--
Black Dragon

The two things that you should never lend out are your car
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

What specifics did you need to know to answer what the typical hourly rate for CAD drawings is in the US?
ss.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Synapse Syndrome wrote:

Location (ie. competition with local rates), type of drawings and complexity (residential, commercial, etc.), and other factors. The US is rather large and does not even remotely approximate a "market". It is comprised of many markets and they all have their peculiarities.
FWIW, I've seen CAD drawings offered for anywhere from ten cents per square foot to nearly ten times that. In other words, why don't you contact some local drafters in the engineer's neck of the woods and ask them what they charge. Then, remembering that the engineer is outsourcing to save money, and how far outsourcing can go nowadays, ignore what you learned in the first investigation and just come up with what you think is a fair price.
As an alternative, ask the engineer expects to pay, and then act surprised and ask for triple that. Compromise at double and you'll probably both be relatively happy.
R
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

Do you need a chance to show what you can do or not? Are you a known "thing"? $35 per hour is a starting basis. What constitutes an hour is another thing. Do you have special skills and timesaving programs or is this routine - copy the pencil trash - is this a finished product or are several reviews by other required?
TT
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Thanks for your answers. I am good with ArchiCAD, and this guy seems to have contacted me through the Graphisoft forums where he could have deduced that I am quite advanced with it. My problem is that I am a bit of a perfectionist and take longer than I should to do drawings. From the examples of the type of drawings that he wants me to do, some of of which are complex, I think that in time I can reduce the amount of time required by building my own library parts.
ss.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Mon, 10 Jul 2006 16:13:37 +0100, "Synapse Syndrome"

To work well with a str eng you will certainly need to have a good understanding of structures and designs. Are you good in physics, trig, vector math and perhaps even a basic structures class. Not that you will be doing any of this but you will be able to follow and correctly detail what is going on - as somebody must do on every single job. Perhaps the guy only wants help on the cad side with automation. $ and thoughts of $ is for peasants. If you are really good people will pay ANYTHING for competence. If you can't be trusted to do work by the hour then certainly only a fool would want you for piece-work or by the job. An employer wants SOLUTIONS and problems to go away. You absolutely never know but this could be the start of a long happy relationship. Good luck, TT
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I used to know how to figure all that, then I got going with acad & I can draw a line or 2 & pick dimension & the pc does all that like magic.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

As much as you can get !!! EDS
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Synapse Syndrome wrote:

Interesting permutations. Outsourcing from California - where presumably the labor rates are high.....
You know, I get different feelings based on where it is going to. Paying the Social Security tax of the self employed is always a good idea. Try to not forget it.
But assuming everything is on the up & up, your labor rate should be as least as much as you could get where you are, and up to whatever he is willing to pay. The things that make prices in California high the Californians have done to themselves over the years. Aligator tears.
But the structural engineer is either a cheapskate, or stupid. Unless you know what it is you are drawing you will either be slow or prone to the kind of mistakes that are costly - his liability. That's why we have that pesky "under DIRECT supervision" requirement for drafting for an engineer in Missouri.
Doesn't seem like HE is the kind I would work for, but it's your choice. Hard up?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Heh, well I was hoping to sort not mention this extra work to the taxman, but that's about as far I will go with fraud.

I live in the UK, and if anything it looks like we get paid as much or possibly more here. However, I am in need of some extra money to get some money together for a mortgage.

He says he likes the idea of the time difference with me in the UK, allowing him to red-line drawing that I out on a java webpage at the end of my day. I personally think that I am one of the best people that he could find for working in ArchiCAD in this way as I know how to do it, and have never met anybody else that has. I do think that he is looking to do this on the cheap, but in my circumstances I want to go as low as I can to make this deal.

It's not ideal, but I'll see how it goes.

Yep.
ss.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
>

You seem like an honest soul. I am rather pissed at our govenment today.
(I just edited out serveral line of exactly why.)
That being said, I charge $50 / hr. I am cheap, but I don't get many jobs from situations similar to yours. I offered to draw simple surveys for an engineer out of state once, but he never took me up on it. I have been a surveyor, and house on lot surveys are cake. Could have been a sweet deal.
May have been that pesky direct supervision.
Good luck to you.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I've worked remotely, mostly with successful results. I had one firm in Israel that paid me all but the last payment, so be wary of that. Maybe consider escrow if you're unsure, but trust is a two way thing.
This guy is probably contacting you to work remotely because he can't find anyone to do it locally. Don't forget that. Have you tried asking HIM what it's worth to him? People tend to forget that a negotiation is not a fight, it's a discussion between two parties with the aim of acheiving a common goal. A win-win situation for both. He (hopefully) doesn't know how much you need the money, so don't let him.
My advice would be to quote what you 'usually' get for this kind of work in the UK. Make it whatever you ~want~ within reason. Then ask him how that suits him - at least you'll find out just what he is prepared to pay.Tell him you are unsure of the going rate in his area, not only will it build trust through honesty, but it will give you room to negotiate. Let him know that you are open to negotiation, but make it very clear that you do look forward to developing an ongoing and mutually rewarding relationship with him. Basic negotiation - always keep the goal in sight and work towards it. Be sure to sell yourself the whole time. People mistakingly think that they can just quote a number and expect someone to react to it positively. It's quite the opposite - in fact if anything people should belabour the point on why they are worth what they say. You've got to prove that you are good at this work, quote a (negotiable) figure, then explain why that is a good price and how it will benefit him. Give references even and offer a money back guarantee - sounds crazy, but it has been proven that only about 1% of people will take you up on it, even if they are unhappy, and it doesn't mean that you have to refund ~all~ the money [have you noticed how many money back guarantees are out there? Don't even start me on rebates!]. Tell him you'll even some knock off your 'usual' price, as a sign of good faith, even if you arrive at your normal price. You have to make him think he's getting a deal, and then you have to back it up.
My opinion is that per-diem is for suckers. It's a very poor way of charging, whether by time or by amount. What you need to charge for is a service. A complete package - a solution. Sure every job will change in size and complexity, but you should charge accordingly on a job-by-job basis, also giving you room to become more profitable. Don't get greedy, but if you have or will create an efficient system to produce his drawings, you should be rewarded for it. That is what business is all about.
I have my own very successful ArchiCAD (on-site) consulting business and have used these principles and others to further my success. I have benefitted from such books as 'The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing' by Al Ries & Jack Trout, How to Outnegotiate Anyone (Even a Car Dealer!) by Leo Reilly, and The Apostle's Creed, by Ian Brooks. I can highly recommend all of them ( and even some basic consulting books whose titles I can;t recall right now), and if I were you I'd get the negotiation one quick smart. It's good for any kind of negotiation in life. Very powerful stuff that will pay for itself over and over with each new job.
Good luck.
Cheers, Link.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I've worked remotely, mostly with successful results. I had one firm in Israel that paid me all but the last payment, so be wary of that. Maybe consider escrow if you're unsure, but trust is a two way thing.
This guy is probably contacting you to work remotely because he can't find anyone to do it locally. Don't forget that. Have you tried asking HIM what it's worth to him? People tend to forget that a negotiation is not a fight, it's a discussion between two parties with the aim of acheiving a common goal. A win-win situation for both. He (hopefully) doesn't know how much you need the money, so don't let him.
My advice would be to quote what you 'usually' get for this kind of work in the UK. Make it whatever you ~want~ within reason. Then ask him how that suits him - at least you'll find out just what he is prepared to pay.Tell him you are unsure of the going rate in his area, not only will it build trust through honesty, but it will give you room to negotiate. Let him know that you are open to negotiation, but make it very clear that you do look forward to developing an ongoing and mutually rewarding relationship with him. Basic negotiation - always keep the goal in sight and work towards it. Be sure to sell yourself the whole time. People mistakingly think that they can just quote a number and expect someone to react to it positively. It's quite the opposite - in fact if anything people should belabour the point on why they are worth what they say. You've got to prove that you are good at this work, quote a (negotiable) figure, then explain why that is a good price and how it will benefit him. Give references even and offer a money back guarantee - sounds crazy, but it has been proven that only about 1% of people will take you up on it, even if they are unhappy, and it doesn't mean that you have to refund ~all~ the money [have you noticed how many money back guarantees are out there? Don't even start me on rebates!]. Tell him you'll even some knock off your 'usual' price, as a sign of good faith, even if you arrive at your normal price. You have to make him think he's getting a deal, and then you have to back it up.
My opinion is that per-diem is for suckers. It's a very poor way of charging, whether by time or by amount. What you need to charge for is a service. A complete package - a solution. Sure every job will change in size and complexity, but you should charge accordingly on a job-by-job basis, also giving you room to become more profitable. Don't get greedy, but if you have or will create an efficient system to produce his drawings, you should be rewarded for it. That is what business is all about.
I have my own very successful ArchiCAD (on-site) consulting business and have used these principles and others to further my success. I have benefitted from such books as 'The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing' by Al Ries & Jack Trout, How to Outnegotiate Anyone (Even a Car Dealer!) by Leo Reilly, and The Apostle's Creed, by Ian Brooks. I can highly recommend all of them ( and even some basic consulting books whose titles I can;t recall right now), and if I were you I'd get the negotiation one quick smart. It's good for any kind of negotiation in life. Very powerful stuff that will pay for itself over and over with each new job.
Good luck.
Cheers, Link.

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

hi Link, a belated thanks for your reply, which has been very helpful.
I was at the recent ArchiCAD university in the UK and somebody mentioned you as probably the world's most competent ArchiCAD user.
ss.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
In my opinion, it is irrelevant how much it costs for him to get it done locally. If he can get it done for $1 an hour where he is, or by going to India for the work, are you going to drop your price to the point where you can't feed yourself or your family, and lock up your time so you can't get other work?
Similarly, if you ask a rate that is comparable to the rate he pays locally, but is higher than what you really expect just to get a windfall, he will probably find someone local to do the work, or will never use you again once he is out of his current situation.
Ask a price that you can live with and either stand firm, or inflate before quoting to allow for negotiation.
And if you are looking to ripoff the taxman, this is an easy time to do it, since what are the odds that this transaction will be reported to your local government? You are also not within reach of his local government. However, if you aren't looking to cheat on taxes, you need to verify what your tax situation and paperwork will become as a result of this transaction.
Synapse Syndrome wrote:

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
The world's most competent user, hey? Well I wonder who said that? I will have to send them a check;-) I always cringe when people refer to me like that! I would much rather say that I was up in the top 5%, as there are many excellent users, I just like to teach people how to be the best they can be. I was actually on a job in the UK during ACUE, but was unable to attend. It was really unfortunate, as I think it is a great event.
I am glad you got some value out of my advice. It is the basis of how I run my business, and has worked very well for me. Of course you have to use common sense with it. Like if the local rate is only one bloody dollar, you'll need to take a different tack! Jeesh! And if you ask for too much, you obviously won't get the deal, but it is a successful system. And you can eventually weed out the people you don't want to work for.
I don't think you'll have too many problems;-)
Cheers, Link.

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I think that is not a good thing to do at all as some of the drawing are far more complex than others, and with the scalabilty of CAD drawings the size of the printed output seems irrelevant. Cheers.
ss.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Sun, 9 Jul 2006 18:07:02 +0100, "Synapse Syndrome"

I do an increasing scale rate, if its something I've never worked with or drawn before I charge 35.00 per hour (requires more over the shoulder checks) once used expectations are understood and the logic are understood my fee increases to 50 per hour and 100 per hour plus travel expenses (set cap) if I do site work / administration.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Modat22 wrote:

How does the customer react when you charge 50% more for the same work? How do you explain your rationale (to them and to me)?
R
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Polytechforum.com is a website by engineers for engineers. It is not affiliated with any of manufacturers or vendors discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.