What is the average pay per hour for UE4 freelancers?

Hey, I was wondering what other people here who freelance earn on average per hour in $.

I know it varies by project and role, but I’m specifically interested in what other programmers here working on medium sized projects earn hourly.


Generally I don’t change per hour but by commission based on fair market value based on the requirements to fill the quote.

If it’s something simple that takes 100 hours to make and the fair market price of a like product is $50 then the commission would be $50 dollars. This is assuming that I would still own the works as intellectual property and free to sell to any other market as I see fit.

If the commission is based on work for hire where the client would own the IP in full then things gets a lot more expensive as a one off and as custom work would require a contract (aka work order) outlining the details and the same 100 hours could be as high as $10,000 dollars.

A reason to go freelance is to profit from your own work and make 100% (mostly) of the full retail value that you don’t get as work for hire.

Interesting. So in relation to the “Got Skills? Looking for talent?” forums, your first example would be [PAID] and the second would be [CONTRACT]. Am I assuming this correctly?

Well more or less.

The art of freelancing is equal to saying that your self employed and free to take advantage of any free market for your skills.

Could be [PAID] , [CONTRACT], or [COMMISION]

or even [BARTER] but don’t tell anyone I told you that. :wink:

Both would be as [PAID], it mostly depends on the terms of the deal, like being cheaper if you can then reuse the code to sell at marketplace.

P.S. The only contract that is of no benefit to you is [Work for hire] as this is in most cases an employee/employer contract, aka working at MacDonald, as what you make 100% becomes the property of the company you work for.

OK, well can you please explain the difference between the [PAID] and [CONTRACT] options, as the descriptions in the sticky thread are not very in-depth whatsoever. Thanks.

[PAID] Generally means paid per item. You make a door, you sell the door, you get paid for the door.

[CONTRACT] Is generally term based as to the requirements of the client/employer based on the project in hand. You making a house and part of the requirement is you need to make 100 doors, windows, put in the plumbing and generally get paid bi-weekly until the project is completed.

Okay, that makes a lot of sense. Thanks for clarifying :slight_smile:

There is no such thing as an average for UE4. There are numerous different jobs that can be applied to the pipeline. Then you have to factor in that you’re talking about a globalized marketplace. An individual from the Ukraine will be willing to perform the same operations for a different pay scale than a person from the USA. Therefore it comes down to individual negotiations of what the buyer wants, what the seller wants, and how the seller compares to everyone else the buyer is soliciting.

Most I speak to for jobs try to charge around 50 dollars an hour which is insanely high and a bit ridiculous. I can’t tell no one what to charge but in my own personal opinion that is crazy high and I would stay away from hiring people in that forum lol

Also to a high degree it depends on the artist’s portfolio and their art. We can’t say for example modeling is $50 per hour. Because quality also plays it’s own role here. When I first started doing freelance work I was doing it for $5 an hour and I raised as I did better work for the clients.

Not really.

The hourly rate depends on the turn around time and is not really intended for over the counter products and is usually an amortized cost of being able to do bread and butter work much quicker at much higher level of quality as compared to someone who does not have the skill level to complete the same task in the same amount of time, (AKA false economics).

As the client though you do have the right to see a portfolio of their past work and ask for the turn around time of X element that you like which is usually less than what it would cost you based on an hourly rate.

As always it’s about knowing what you are buying.

Well I am speaking on what I know from speaking to a good amount of people on here and getting quotes on certain things. as i said it was based on my opinion but in software development freelancing I rarely see prices go insanely high like that. on rare days I see the ocassional 20 and 25 dollar an hour people but usually its much lower as there is mad competitive rates. But for people who can do this it seems there is a limited number so they charge far more outrageously high(again my opinion) prices for there work.

Remember hourly freelance rates have to be much higher than hourly rates for an internal employee in a studio, a freelancer has to pay for their own

Software/hardware support
Downtime between jobs
Vacation time
Time spent looking for more work
Time spent working with clients outside of 3d art
Accountant/Tax Accountant
Time spent training/learning/researching outside of clients
Costs of setting up a business
Office space

If you were an employee for a studio, they are paying for these things directly or indirectly, $50 an hour for lead artist quality work isn’t crazy. Also experienced freelancers are more reliable, quicker, and professional, you get what you pay for when it comes to freelance work (or anything in general).

Not only is that absolutely none of a consumer’s worries to care about, it is not actually accurate. I’m always getting better financial deals working with freelancers than agencies. What work with an agency gives me is better guarantees of quality, timeliness, and financial compensation should they fail to meet contractual obligations.

Besides you have to remember the freelancers are not in competition within their local marketplace. They are in competition with the global marketplace. There is next to zero chance that I’d ever outsource to a Western freelancer as I can get the same quality with far lower cost hiring someone from region with better exchange rates.

Looking at this as a automotive body designer. Wages get up to 50-125 bucks a hour when freelancing which is very comparable to working thru a contract shop, designing auto parts in cad with all aspects of manufacturing in mind when delivering the product or parts they asked for. For a stylist in the auto field they get up to 75-250 a hour delivering the artistic characteristics of what the customer wants to see or feel etc etc… Playing the Engineer role or lead on jobs becomes like a highly paid lawyer. Could be a simple Consulting fee of 250-500 a hour. All these numbers are based on Freelancing work.

However the numbers will drop drastically when working for a Organization because the organization is picking up additional costs such as health care, Vacation time, Sick days etc etc. And they want there profit so they will charge the same price as the freelancer and capitalize on there work. Pays then would be like so

Automotive body designers top wage could be 36- 42 (Bill rate is still something between 50-125 bucks a hour the agency pays you out of this)
Stylist pay would be 50-75 only (Bill rate is still something between 75-250 bucks a hour , the agency pays you out of this)

Its sad to think of game development wages are less then the auto designers, But there is safety measures and that makes a difference.

So looking at numbers like this and that, I can see why the Developers of this game have decided to put a Small team in play , and USE the community to make there money on the game.

Sorry I meant what they would be paid hourly within a studio, not agencies. A studio might be paying an internal artist $30 an hour, but they are actually spending $45 an hour on them after if figure in all those extra costs I mentioned.

that is the most absurd thing I ever heard in my entire life…

Here, if I earn a cup of coffee for hour, is good enough for me.
I already have nearly 300 years of caffeine in my veins.