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IT Contract Rates - Can you really earn more as an IT contractor?

Last updated on Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Written by Alex Cadman

We look at the current trend in IT contract rates and compare them with the rates of permanent roles to answer the question: can you really earn more as an IT contractor?

Demand is currently high for IT contractors, as firms move to increase their cyber security and up their competitiveness in the age of technology. IT is in a completely different league than other sectors, so we decided to look at the rates of various IT roles so you can find out if you can truly earn more as an IT contractor.

We’ve compared the mid-range weekly rates of IT contract roles in London, the IT and tech hub of Europe, to generate a good comparison of what’s available for IT professionals:


IT Contract Rates Table 


Weekly Rate

Weekly Rate

Test Analyst



Technical Architect



.NET Developer



JAVA Developer



Support Engineer



DevOps Engineer



Please note that these are before-tax rates of IT roles in London, found on

The comparison of IT contract rates to permanent roles is shocking; the same roles are offered as contracts at double the weekly rate for some IT jobs. However, keep in mind that rates are dependent on a number of different factors:

  • Economic conditions – if there is demand for a certain type of contractor or role, the rate is likely to be higher to attract applicants. The demand for IT contractors is currently high for various roles, therefore IT professionals have the opportunity to increase their earnings by becoming a contractor.
  • Skills required – Different roles ask for different skillsets, and companies will set salaries and rates accordingly. The more sought-after skills you have, the more you can expect your average rate to be.
  • Experience – contract rates are also dependent on your experience. If you have less industry experience, you may potentially be more suitable for a permanent role as clients who are hiring for contract roles are taking a risk, and generally look for applicants with higher levels of experience. This depends on the role though, as there are still plenty of graduate contract roles out there.
  • Location – London and the South East generally offer more lucrative contract work than any other area of the UK. And with London being the tech hub of Europe, IT contractors can expect to find higher weekly rates in the big city. This is not a rule, however, as cities such as Birmingham, Manchester and Leeds have been known to offer competitive contractor rates.

Based on the above comparison, it’s safe to say that you really can earn more as an IT contractor in the UK. Read more about becoming a contractor and finding new contracts on our blog. We also provide some great advice on how to optimise your IT contractor CV.

If you’d like to discuss your payroll and accountancy options as an IT contractor, contact us on 01707 871622 for a free consultation, or request a callback.

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