A typical contract will range from one to six months, although contracts often run longer. You will either be paid hourly, daily or in lump sums at project milestones.
As a contractor, you are selling your particular skills, for a particular project and your reputation will live or die on whether you can deliver.
The benefits of becoming an IT contractor
Higher pay rates. Contractors are paid more than permanent staff. This is due to the temporary nature of the work, the specialist skills a freelancer has and the difficulty of finding experienced staff in some sectors.
More freedom. Contractors choose their clients and can turn down jobs if they feel they are unsuitable. When negotiating a contract, you can often specify working times or a limited number of hours.
Broader experience. By frequently working on new challenges, in new sectors, with new people and in new workplace environments, a contractor’s skillset can develop much more quickly than a permanent employee’s.
Less tax. By taking advantage of the tax breaks available by operating their own Limited Company, professional contractors find that not only do they get paid more than permanent staff, they get to take home more of that money as well!
What are the benefits to client?
Flexibility. A client can hire contractors as needed – some projects and responsibilities don’t justify the hiring of a permanent member of staff, but are ideally suited to engaging a contractor, for a few months a year.
Lower risk. If the worker’s performance isn’t satisfactory, it is easier for a client to fire a contractor. Most freelance contracts have short notice periods and no redundancy pay – compared with a permanent contract, which can be extremely costly to break (especially for senior staff).
Greater skill pool. Professional freelancers have a wide range of experience and qualifications. If a project requires a specialist, a client is far more likely to find one in the contractor pool than in their own organisation.