Just wondering if anyone knows the average rate for Industrial
Designers/Solidworks modellers/Maxwell Renderers in the UK. I only have
3 years experience, but I'm pretty quick with Solidworks modelling and
perfecting the renders. I'm getting a bit fed up with working for =A38
and hour and thinking of going freelance... any ideas?
Tough one to answer - I suppose it is what you can get away with :-)
When pitching for jobs - often the rate does not come into the
equation but if you want to have a comfortable figure - go for £20/hr
and don't go below £15 or above £50.
The whole issue of design rates is getting very clouded by the global
market , where basic drafting and modeling is now available in the far
East at a fraction of the cost it is here in the UK! so we have to
major on ideas and problem solving and making the design process as
painless as possible :-)
Those figures sound about right to me - it depends what the client
wants - draughting and detailing jobs usually pay towards the lower end
of the scale and the more challenging jobs towards the upper end of the
It's not unusual for clients to outsource both the mind numbing jobs
and the b@stard jobs that no one else wants!
However, location also plays a part - usually if your London based for
example the rate is usually higher than say Yorkshire.
It peeves me though that people will pay Plumbers, car mechanics etc
=A350-=A3100 per hour but complain about paying =A325 per hour for a
Reminds me - once I offered to design a new set of products for one
company at £5 per hour less than they paid for the mechanics to
service their nice fleet of Beemers parked at the front. Needless to
say they did not see the joke !! Wwhen I went by a year latter they
were going out of business !! Probably would have been given a rubber
cheque anyway ;-)
Yep, know what you mean - at one company I worked for the MD would not
sanction =A330K for 1 seat each of SWX and a PC to run it on for 4
engineers - but he had no problem sanctioning around =A325K each for the
BMW's the dozen or so salesmen drove around in.
Funnily enough the same things happend to them!
Just curious as to what it costs to live there? 8GBP amounts to about
$14 which whould be high end at a retail store or quite common for a
manufacturing job around the midwest.
Litre of petrol $0.65
Average size of fillup 55 litres, frequency; once or twice a week
Loaf of bread $1.50
Litre of milk $0.65
Kg of beef $3.93 to $22.00 (hamburger to prime steak)
Lunch at a decent restaurant for two $22.00
Lunch at McDonalds for one $6.00
Monthly payment on a new car $250 to $600
Monthly rent on a two bedroom apt. $600
Monthly payment on a house $1,000 to $2,000 (for 30 years)
Sales tax nil to 7.25% depending on state. Food is usually exempt. Here
it is 6%.
Yearly tax on a house $3,000 to $7,000
Yearly tax on an engineer's salary ($50,000) $5,000 to $7,000
Insurance for the car $600 to $1,000 per year
Insurance for the house $500 to $1,000 per year
And the average credit card debt carried by the average American
My numbers are approximate - In general UK is expensive for housing,
cars, petrol and good food - in fact I think it is expensive for
everything !!. However you have to factor in, like most of EU, - free
health care and generous (?) state benefits for unemployed, low
incomes etc which are I believe not possible in USA. So we pay nothing
for health and education. University fees are small compared to US
and in Scotland they are still free. Signed up for St Andrews already
!! for my kids .
The cost of housing in UK should not be under estimated - we live in
small , badly build shoe boxes compared to US and Europe. However the
UK is infatuated by property and the average Brit will sell his shoe
box for a small fortune to move to the countryside at the first
opportunity, and preferably in France, Spain, Italy etc where the
weather and wine is good and the locals just don't seem to want the
the hassle of a house in the middle of nowhere :-) ( this used to be a
particularly English thing but I go to Scotland regularly to visit the
outlaws and Scots are now just as smitten with the property bug - you
can't buy a Scotish paper without the home and international 'property
section' falling out and breaking your toe.)
Minimum statutory pay in UK is 5.25pounds sterling per hour - so this
is what you get working in Macdonalds - Graduate engineers fare a
little better and start on about £25k pa in graduate engineering jobs
if they can find them !! :-)
£0.9 per litre - We regularly mix metric with imperial units ;-)
once a week although my Morris Minor is not as frugal as my US built
Honda Accord !
more than that ! - meat is expensive unlike Australia where it seemed
to be free !!.
Pie and chips maybe -- Bar meal possibly but bank on £15 per head at
a restaurant - Tip is optional.
Big mac meal is £3.50 I think - but this is not the supersize version
depends where - the above is not possible in London
No way - average house in UK is now touching £150,000 and that is for
something very very small. - 2 adults and small child if you can stop
it growing !! - so a mortage of £150000 is approx £1200 per month. -
but most families would need a £250,000 house to live in.
VAT ( or sales tax) - 17.5% on all except cold food.
Council Tax - £1000 approx ( depends on house value) + water and
sewage can add another £500
You can budget 25% of salary on all Taxes upto £40K when it goes to
40% on earnings above £40k
£200 for my 2litre honda, £100 for my Morris Minor.
I think that is about the same here in the UK.
Americans need a wheelbarrow of cash when visiting London. The dollar
rate is not good and London is just a fortune - full stop. I've just
come back from a weeks holiday in London taking my small kids around
the Museums etc - my God - the cost of a coffee - its outragous at
£3!! - but I was lucky to make one last trip on a Routemaster Bus from
Tower of London to Picadilly. Conductor said it was the last trip for
the bus and it was empty! There goes 50 years of heritage :-( to be
replaced by bendy busses which my 5yr son thought were fantastic !!.
The UK is following Ireland and going non - smoking so that will save
people money ? perhaps.
Drugs - don't know the street price but I believe it is falling or so
my 7 yr old tells me !!
Running through this list - I cannot think of one thing that that is
cheaper in Britain than else where except a proper warm ale, which of
course you can't get elsewhere anyway so it is not a fair comparison.
Drugs are cheap in the UK as Amsterdam and Belgium are close, but the
fall in price is due to the added impurities. We pay National Health
and then have to wait 3 years in pain for a operation (as I did which
is not a good situation to be in at 22 years old). We pay council tax,
but the fee's dont seem to add up for what you recieve. When your
parents die you have to pay 40% of the total cost of their estate in
Inheritance Tax which means that I have to sell all their property that
they have worked hard to build/buy/develop just to fund immoral
situations/activities which relate to the structure/operation of the
country and government. I'd also just like to add that a train fare
from my local station to London before 10am is =A389. The journey takes
I wouldn't exactly count street drugs in my cost of living. I did just
run across a court case in which the state attempted to levy a tax of
$750,000 on an individual for possesion of a controled substance (9
pound of Mary Jane from Mexico). Taxing criminal activities is a
particularly American activity and is done because, among other things,
taxes are settled in civil court where the burden of proof is not as
high as a criminal case.
Ah, the Routemaster. Fit them with snorkels and an upper floor drivers
position and sell them to New Orleans.
The costs I gave were for the Midwest and not in a major city. When I
started working I made it a point to stay away from California,
Washington D.C., NewYork, Chicago, etc. simply because of the high cost
of housing, commuting and crime. You will find engineer's salaries
typically follow the cost of housing so that California or Washington
D.C. will be in the $90k range while away from these areas will be down
to 40k - 50k.
If you have decent health insurance, which most engineer's have, you
will pay very little for health care and you get it when you need it.
The trend now is to health savings plans and then catastrophic
insurance for the rest. You can then balance the pain with the need to
see the doctor, but if you have a heart attack or cancer you are
Now if you go to Starbucks you can pay anywhere from $2 -$6 for a
coffee, but I'll take the McDonalds coffee for 50 cents.
I think you are saying you pay some kind of income tax in addtion to
VAT? We have a lot more hidden taxes, but everyone complains about
income tax forgetting to add up all the little ones. King George would
be jealous of the job Clinton did on us in that area.
The property tax we pay goes towards education, fire, police, roads,
local government, parks, water and sewer and boondogles. Education gets
the biggest share of that.
Tax on inheritance can be avoided legally for the most part and is
limited in cases of small estates (like most of us would have).
I could probably take a 2,000 mile train trip here for 89 quid but
probably not before 10am. The low fare and luxurious seating would be
courtesy of tax subsidies. The breakdowns and lack of punctuality
courtesy of not enough tax subsidies. :)
Our train system is a joke... I would love to right a book about it.
The trains themselves are one of the purist examples of bad
design/engineering in our country. Not sure about the tracks, maybe
Brunel's genius did not account for their heavy use. If you have time
to spare whilst on a UK train (which you will do because it will
probably be stationary and waiting for another delayed train to exit
the station) have a look at the mouldings of the seating and main
structure of the body. It will be bodged together. If you look closely
at the points where the doors open you will see areas where they have
cut pieces off the panels to make them fit and allow for the door to
I love the fact that a lamp is put on the table in first class and then
the price of that seating area doubles. I love the fact that when a
train is over 15 minutes late the friendly station speaker says "I am
extremely sorry for the delay to this service" instead of "I am very
sorry for the delay to this service"... and who is this single person
(I might try and track them down for the book). I like the way the
amount of delay increases gradually like the download timer on a
computer. I love the 'refreshments' trolley and the way it kneecaps you
if you are taller than 6 foot and the cleaners that wander round with
black bin liners, smelling worse than the toilets and collecting your
drinks before you have time to finish them. Train psychology is whole
subject on its own... leaving Kemble station you have the aristocracy,
very high paid London business men and mere factory workers all
competing for status. The factory workers will intimidate physically,
the business men by silently (eyes shifting to the side) comparing
laptop use/software and the aristocracy by mentioning land ownership
and polo. Occasionally these intimidation techniques cross these
'class' boundaries a whole new interesting situation arises. I could
bore you for hours on the subject of train journeys... but I wont...
dont even get me started on the automatic sliding doors which you can
isolate and the ligting system (for the entire train) by the door which
you can shut off with the flick of a switch to create the perfect
terrorist environment... or the safety instructions that take 1 hour to
read and understand... or the 'on' button for the water which is
positioned on the floor under the sink. I could even give you a 200
page instruction manual on dodging fares. There are so many
possibilities, inventions/gadgets to use etc etc. In fact I am going to
start writing now and then my next projects will be books based on the
NHS and education system.
Interesting Beemer comment, and there are a lot of anecdotes I could
recite from SoCal, including the recent driver of his Beemer, of
middle-eastern ethnic orgins, doing rally driving in through a parking
lot and killing someone.
I simply will not consider a Beemer, because of the absolutely regal
air that is maintained in the California Beemer Dealers who seem to
like to look down on potential new customers, as in "You know this BMW
is VERY expensive.", meaning "As a BMW superstar, you don't look like
you can afford such a vehicle".
Needless to say, my wife said no more and left.
probably, I did the commute to London for 2 years - the cost of my
mortgage plus travel costs were still less than the guys who lived
there and my 1 hour commute was not much longer than their tube journey