What are you guys paying these days for contract PCB layout?
And as long as I'm asking, how about FPGA design? I'm getting quotes in the $125 to $175/hour range.
John Larkin, President Highland Technology, Inc
jlarkin at highlandtechnology dot com
Precision electronic instrumentation Picosecond-resolution Digital Delay and Pulse generators Custom laser controllers Photonics and fiberoptic TTL data links VME thermocouple, LVDT, synchro acquisition and simulation
Most layouters prefer fixed bid. Eye-balling the work they sink into projects I'd say $30-$40 is typical. Bay Area can be higher :-)
This assumes that the super-tough stuff such as switchers and RF circuits are prescribed to the layouter. In other words where the layouter does not have to be a seasoned board level design engineer. Although one of my layouters is, he just likes doing layouts a lot (I don't ...).
For cutting edge high speed stuff where they have to juggle things at the gate level that sounds about right.
Keep in mind that the self-employed pay for their own office space, the lab gear, computers, supplies, 100% of the health care Dollars (VERY painful expense), full FICA taxes, insurances, and so on. Oh, and there ain't no such thing as sick days or paid vacation time for them. You get sick, you have no income.
Understood, if they have their own facilities. I thought John liked people working in close proximity ("engineering is not a non-contact sport", or some such). Almost all the jobs I've looked into are the same; on-site. None at those sorts of rates (most now are in the $60-$65 range, with some weirdos trying to find people for $40.
As far as "sick days" go, I haven't had such for five years[*] (PTO only). Five years ago I had no paid days at all and I was making half that ($75/hr). I'm "contracting" (a contract-to-hire gig) now but do get PTO (only 10d/yr).
[*] Actually, I've never had such a thing as "sick days". At IBM, if you were sick you stayed home. Period. I can count the number of times I was sick on one hand and I missed an average of less than two days a year (hard to get into work when you can't walk).
$65/hr No fixed quotes. I estimate and follow up with intermediate gerber files and time spent as the design progresses. More often than not the customer wakes up screening in the night because they realized that something has to be changed. No biggie. The clock is ticking.
On-site can be different. However, major difference: Those people are often essentially like employees. Meaning they get paid 40h/week. True consultants do not. We have to do our own book keeping, marketing, tax prep, and a big one is continuing education. All considered overhead, meaning hours spent at zero Dollars revenue. I had that a could weeks ago where I needed to bone up on how a bus worked. That was non-billed time.
Careful. The company is walking a rather fine line here between what is deemed contractor status and what is not. Can have unpleasant consequences a few years down the road.
Same here. I only bowed out if there was a serious chance that I could infect people with some bug. International travel has its risks in that area. Sadly, one guy returning from Africa died from a virus. Before they had the lab test list worked off he was gone :-(
When I was at LM, I got paid straight contract price, though it was W2, not
1099. Everything I did, from the minute I got there to when I walked out the door (usually 60-80hrs per week) was chargeable. That's the common mode, these days. Government has made paying live-in contractors on 1099s as rare as hen's teeth.
Yes the government is into every part of our lives but they do it regularly. There are dozens of contractors now and only one is what I'd call a real "contractor" (a layout guy).
Same here, though if I caught the bug from work, they're already infected. It's usually those with children in school who are the typhoid Marys. My wife works in a bank so gets sick fairly often (money is filthy with disease) but if I catch a cold from her it's minor and lasts maybe a day.
It doesn't have to be Africa. The last time I was out sick I caught the flu on the train from Tijuana back to SD (the guy sitting across the aisle was hacking up all sorts of uglies). That was a nasty one.
Thats really low. I know some freelancers in NL charging that kind of rates for EE work. Crazy unless you don't have to pay for mortgage or rent.
Perhaps. But getting it done right and in a way someone else can take over a piece of software is even more difficult :-) In one of my previous jobs it was up to me to get software written by externals to production grade (fix bugs and fix potential pointer & memory leak issues).
Failure does not prove something is impossible, failure simply
indicates you are not using the right tools...