Contractors are like rockstars

You’ve all seen that immaculately dressed person walking along the high street. They have an air of sophistication about them, they’re confident not cocky, sure of themselves. You stop to ask yourself “Is that an Espresso Martini in their hand?”. No you don’t ask that. You ask, “I wonder what they do?”. The answer my friends is they’re a contractor. If the recruitment world was the Top Gun movie, contractors would be Maverick, Goose, Iceman. Ok, maybe not Goose, he died, RIP Goose Man.

So you want to be a contractor? Cool. Buckle in, grab some popcorn, a Gin and Tonic, and I’ll explain what are the most common contracting jobs in our world, how much moolah you can expect to make, the benefits and pitfalls, and lastly how to manage being a contractor.

Common contracting IT roles and what they pay

Project Managers $100-140 per hour
Business Analysts $85-120 per hour
Project Coordinators $65-85 per hour
Programme Coordinators $75-90 per hour
Testers $70-95 per hour (higher end is Senior and Automation can increase rate)
System Engineers $75-100 per hour
Architects $120-150 per hour
Developers $85-120 per hour

Common contracting Finance roles and what they pay

Financial / Management Accountants $60-90 per hour
Financial Controllers $80-120 per hour
Accounts Payable / Receivable / Assistant Accountant $25-35 per hour
Finance Partner $80-90 per hour
Payroll $45-60 per hour

Note – the above roles are based on what we are seeing in the market and the hourly rate is what we place candidates for. Rates are based on experience and also client budget. They also vary depending on location ie. higher rates in Wellington.

The biggest benefit of contracting hands down is… drum roll… the money! You can earn a lot more money contracting than you can in a permanent capacity. “Sign me up”, cool your jets. Whilst money is a big driver, there is an element of risk involved in contracting. There might not be any work after you finish a contract. Contract lengths tend to be around 3, 6 or 12 months. Good contractors will bounce from contract to contract or they’ll get extended in their current role. But for some contractors, they may have a break before they can find their next piece of work. This will add stress and you’re effectively applying for your next job all over again. Rinse, repeat.

Another benefit includes what you pay in tax and how you shape your own business. I’m not going to get in to this in detail, but ask your local friendly accountant or our friends over at or CXC Global. Whilst this is a benefit, paying your own tax can be a major pain in the ass! It can also be seen as a disadvantage. Seek advice!

Variety is the spice of life. Being in a contract usually means that you’re there to complete a project. This means that your work will stay fresh from contract to contract. High five!

Don’t forget your Recruitment Consultant is here to help you. Whilst we can’t give financial advice, we can point you in the right direction and who to speak to so you can manage being a contractor.

So should you become a contractor? That depends on you. Do you have the skills to pay the bills? You have to be at the top of your game and be able to hit the ground running for any contract assignment. Also, make sure you have some funds in the bank to cover the down times, a war chest so to speak. No one wants a desperate contractor.

Ready to be a contractor? Search our contract roles here, buckle in, enjoy the ride!