All Collections
For Developers
How to set your hourly rate
How to set your hourly rate

Learn more about setting your hourly rate on Moonlight including guidelines and calculations.

Philip Thomas avatar
Written by Philip Thomas
Updated over a week ago

Moonlight lets you specify your hourly rate and it should reflect the value you offer based on your skills and experience. Most developers on Moonlight charge somewhere between $80-120 USD per hour and a minimum of $50 per hour is a good rule of thumb. All rates on Moonlight are listed in US dollars. We invoice in US dollars, and Stripe converts to your local currency at the time of payment, if applicable.

Why your rate matters

Whether you are looking for hourly contract work, project-based work, or full-time employment - your hourly rate helps hiring managers quickly figure out if you have enough experience and fit into their budget. Companies that view your profile in Moonlight will see an amount based on your hourly rate inclusive of the platform fee.

How to calculate your rate

Calculating your hourly rate is a mix of how much you want to work, what you want to make overall in a year, and how much the market will pay. This method will help you balance work-life preferences, market rates, and financial goals for a realistic hourly rate:

  1. Annual Work Time: Consider how many weeks per year you want to work, factoring in vacation time. For example, if you plan to take 2 weeks off, you'd work 50 weeks in a year.

  2. Weekly Working Hours: Determine your available hours per week. This depends on your other commitments and energy levels.

  3. Utilization Factor: Account for downtime between projects and administrative tasks. A typical utilization rate is around 80%.

  4. Annual Hours Calculation: Multiply your work weeks, weekly hours, and utilization factor. Example: 50 weeks x 20 hours/week x 0.8 = 800 hours.

  5. Annual Earnings Goal: Decide your desired annual income from contracting. Add an additional 20-30% markup to cover benefits and overheads you'd otherwise get in employment but as a contractor will need to pay for.

  6. Hourly Rate: Divide your annual earnings goal by your calculated annual hours. Example: If your target is $75,000 and you plan to work 800 hours, your hourly rate would be $94.

If you are interested in reading more about setting your rate, here are some useful articles: Hello Bonsai and PayScale.

How to set your rate

When first setting up your developer account on Moonlight you will be asked to set your hourly rate. You can change this later by going to your profile from Settings, selecting 'Edit Profile' and then scroll down to the hourly rate section. Changes take effect immediately to your profile and will be used for any jobs that are confirmed subsequently. This does not affect any ongoing jobs - if you need to make a change to the rate on an existing job please contact

Did this answer your question?