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How do you determine your freelance rate?

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A coworker that recently left to work for a startup. He reached out to me and asked if I was doing some freelance work for him. As of right now, he is asking for somebody to help review schematics and layout. I'd be happy to do it but I do now know what to charge.

I am about 2 years out of school and in the southern US. Currently at work, my hourly rate is $40. I "feel" that is too much to charge for freelance but perhaps I need a confidence boost, I don't know.


For the same work, freelance rate is typically higher than employee rate since the freelance has to pay tax, etc, that the employer would normally take care of. Also holiday pay, equipment, job security, etc.

Freelancing is typicaly about 2 times the rate of employed.
The reason for this is the freelancer will have to tax.
If the freelancer have specialized high value skills the rate might be 3-4 times of an employee.

And if you are in the US, also consider cost for healthcare insurance. I've read that this can be extremely costly for people working for themselves.

For this specific situation, if you are friends with the guy and the work is interesting and something you want to be involved in, then just pick a number that everyone is happy about and don't sweat it too much. 


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