• I want to thank all the members that have upgraded your accounts. I truly appreciate your support of the site monetarily. Supporting the site keeps this site up and running as a lot of work daily goes on behind the scenes. Click to Support Signs101 ...

What am I worth?

SignBoi

New Member
3M and Orafol certified installer, I run 3 HP latex 570's, HP Scitex flatbed, plotters, laminators, 4x8 CNC. I have 8 years of real world experience. I'm the first one in (usually 6:30am) and often the last to leave.
I work and live in the Southeast.

What am I worth? (Hourly/Annually)

Just want to know what the industry and market will/can bear right now.

Thank you and Happy Thanksgiving
 

Gino

Premium Subscriber
It really depends on the end results. One can be certified and still do a hack job. If you're in a shop that doesn't offer the things you seem to know, not much. Are you looking to relocate or just get better pay ?? What are you making an hour now ??
 
Last edited:

SignBoi

New Member
It really depends on the end results. One can be certified and still do a hack job. If you're in a shop that doesn't offer the things you seem to know, not much. Are you looking to relocate or just get better pay ?? What are you making an hour now ??
My shop has a lot of capabilities but could be managed better. I'm not looking to relocate just interested in what another shop or someone with similar experience is making... I'm making $24/hr with occasional bonuses. To be honest though it's not enough to keep me here.
And if the industry can't bear it then I suppose I'll transition into another industry that can.
 

Johnny Best

Active Member
A good shop with that many printers and equipment should be making at minimum $300,000 a year.
If you do most of the work you should be up to $45 and hour, or they lose you and have to hire two people to take your place. If they do pay you that much as you ask they will tell you you need to "step it up" to earn that much.
 

jfiscus

Rap Master
I think your problem may be that you're "too diversified" in your skillset. It is not a problem in itself, but if you stuck to one aspect of your skillset and mastered that, then this particular specialty can pay higher than a person that can do a bit of everything "decently". (If that makes sense) It can also go the other way, as some shops are looking for employees that can do anything, like yourself. But, in my experience, those shops generally are smaller and pay less.

It also all depends on what type of shop you're working for, what they're looking for out of an employee. I "can" do "everything" here at the shop and often assist in every department whenever necessary, but my primary job here is the lead designer, and my pay is based on that "position", and with also the knowledge that I can step in and assist wherever necessary. We have "department leads" in each department who manage the others and direct them to which projects they work on based on their skillsets, and those leads make a decent deal more than you're talking about. Everyone here works in a specific department/function 95%+ of the time, so their pay is based on their skills in that dept/area.

The other problem I see in our industry is keeping up with competitive wages, we have had new employees come in making the same as tenured employees due to the rising costs we are facing and competition for employees. We are in a large city and there are places/factories everywhere who are hiring on for around $20/hr+, so getting anyone in the door for less than that is very hard to do.

It can also have a lot do do with your location in this case, as larger cities definitely pay more, but then you have to deal with all the other things that go along with that like commuting, increased living expenses, etc. So, the pay may be higher, but everything else there is percentage wise higher, so there are still no gains made after expenses.

Points to ponder - How large is your current employer? Is your shop actually really busy, or does the workflow kind of ebb and flow? What is the cost of living there compared to other areas?
I also hear of shops in Florida that have a very cost of living in the area that pay less than rural shops, so you never know...

FWIW, I would say around $30 or more would be fair for your skillset, but a lot of that you can't just state on the internet, your employer has to see the value they get out of you on the job.
 

myront

CorelDRAW is best
Hmmm, beginning to realize I'm underpaid. 18yrs with this company. Trouble is we're not a large company so, yes, we have a slow season (now thru Jan) and we have a busy season (Mar-Oct). My income is also offset by my military pension. I've never brought up anything about a raise at any time during my tenure.
My official title is Lead Design but I fill in wherever I need to. Production, installs (offsite, as well as, onsite), printing/laminating, walk-in customer service & calls, open the shop daily, etc.
 

Texas_Signmaker

Very Active Signmaker
Don't forget to consider independent contractor. For installation I charge $185 an hour and average net after overhead, taxes and expenses about $75-$100.
 

James Burke

Being a grandpa is more fun than working
First of all, you need to honestly establish in your mind what you're really worth, and that goes way beyond your work skill set. This may seem totally off point, but take a look at this amazing resource to get a bigger picture of what you bring to the table. Then you'll have a baseline by which to evaluate offers.



JB
 

SignBoi

New Member
Thank you for your responses! I agree with everything said. Although I do work all over the southeast it's always a fluctuating market. I just bought the book on Amazon. Thanks to everyone for their input! Happy Thanksgiving!
 

victor bogdanov

New Member
To find the answer you have to figure out how much can you produce for a business? are you making $1000 of product per day, 2k, 3k? etc.

How much revenue do you think you help make possible and how many other people are involved in producing that revenue?
 

Boudica

Rallying the penguins
To the op... I have had that unanswered question for years. If you're unhappy where your at, it becomes more of a question of, can you sell your talent's to make a living, and be happy. I would always choose a good situation, over a higher pay check. I'm not a salesperson, especially when it comes to selling myself. For those who can, good for you. I just want to be comfortable, and great full in my situation/Job. As long as what I bring to the table is appreciated, and needed, I'm happy.
 

Borge

New Member
Our installers make $4200-$4500 / month
Freelance installers charge $50-75 / hour. Amazed to see texas_signmaker charge $185 / hour - are you a lawyer?
 

Bengt Backhaus

New Member
Our installers make $4200-$4500 / month
Freelance installers charge $50-75 / hour. Amazed to see texas_signmaker charge $185 / hour - are you a lawyer?
I'm in your neighbouring country Sweden, and we have slightly lower numbers here.
But every swede knows that it's expensive in Norway ;)

I have no empirical proof, just a feeling, that prices in the US are quite a bit higher than here in northern Europe.
This is based only on the few prices i have seen on this forum.
 

Texas_Signmaker

Very Active Signmaker
Our installers make $4200-$4500 / month
Freelance installers charge $50-75 / hour. Amazed to see texas_signmaker charge $185 / hour - are you a lawyer?
I find the average install rate is $125 on the low end, to $200 on high end. Not sure anyone here can run a bucket truck and be insured charging $400 a day.

Lawyers are $500-$1000+ an hour.
 
Top