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Catalpa_Joe

Any Contract Engineers Out There???

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I got a surprise phone call today from the company I retired from several months ago. They've got a project with a short delivery date & nobody in house to the 3d mechanical design. They hired a replacement for me but he/she isn't up to speed yet. Good help is hard to find were the words they used!! So they want to talk to me about coming back for a while to get them out of trouble. So my question is this. What am I worth with no beny's. 20% more, 30% more, 50% more? What's the going rate for contract work these days? I don't want to bend them over too bad, but gas is supposed to be $4.50 soon & it's a 45 minute drive each way on a good day, close to an hour when the roads are bad. The money would be nice but I'm real content sleeping in until 8, then lunch & the afternoon nap too. :rolleyes:

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Do you have the neccessary hardware/software at home? Sounds like a good opportunity for them to have a temporary remote office. Saves you time and gas money, so you could keep your price down a little and negotiate it as a benefit for both of you. Less pay for them and you could sleep through your commute, still get up at 8 and be to work on time, and get to work in your skivies. Lunch in the recliner, and use what would have been your evening commute to visit the local fly shop and spend the money you just earned.

 

Deeky

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Since you are retired you may want to check with Social Security, I believe there is a limit on what you can earn without impacting your benefit. I believe this is also somehow tied to age too.

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Cool phone call to get! :)

 

When determining what their cost for your service will be, consider the liability issues. I'm not sure if you're a licensed Mechanical Engineer or if your stamp would be required on the work product. I'm a licensed Civil Engineer and for any work product requiring my stamp I would require professional liability coverage (Errors and Omissions, E&O). That coverage can be very spendy. If your old outfit is going to cover your liability then it should not factor into the cost. However, you need an agreement with the liability issues expressly addressed as well as the other conditions of your service. If E&O is required and they will not provide it you should factor that into your rate. This should be considered especially if the amount you are expecting to be compensated or the value of the work warrants it.

 

If the aforementioned is not of any consequence then I would find out what they billed my time out at, knock a little off that for their profit and overhead, and call it good. Everyplace I've worked for billed my time out at twice my rate. Unless you're feeling generous, I would go no less than 50% more. Can't say this is the case for your old place but I've seen benefits account for more than 50% of an employee's billed rate. So without the beny's they should still be making some $ on your time as well as your work product. Which is cool, they need to pay the light bill too. Also, if they are not doing any withholding or are contracting your services they don't have a tax liability with you.

 

The short of it is you are worth whatever your old company will pay you. See what they offer then negotiate that turkey up. You want to keep your relationship good with them but they're going to do okay too with your help.

 

The telecommuting thing can be nice. I did it for about three years and all the things Deeky mentioned were true for me. In addition, with computing and the internet the way it is I found myself working from some wonderful locations. It's great when your office can be in any town or near your favorite fishing hole. There is a tax advantage with working out of your home to consider as well.

 

There was a downside for me though. I'm the kind of person who thinks a lot about the projects I'm on. So if something occurs to me in the middle of the night I would fire up the computer and do some work. I don't know if you would have that problem but that part of it sucked for me. One thing about working outside the home is you have a better chance of leaving the work at "work." With the computer in the same building or room with you all the time it's hard to not think about it, especially with fast track projects. That may be what you need for this project though, just something to think about. I still remote log in to my work computer from home at times even though I already gave 8+ hours of work at my office.

 

It was cool with the any town or near your favorite fishing hole office though. :D

 

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Great ideas everyone. I've thought about working from home but the 3d software requires way more computer than I've currently got or need for anything else. I'll check it out to see what it requires & price a new one just to check that box. The SS income limit for me is $14160 before I lose part of that benefit. I know they bid this project at $90-$100 for engineering hours. But with automated assembly equipment, which this is, for the automotive folks, there's usually a penalty fee for late delivery, usually 1% per week. So on a $750,000 system that's $7500 per week. I'm pretty sure that's what they're up against. So maybe I'm worth just a little bit more to them than I originally thought. Do you think I could really get $7500 per week? :blink: I was originally thinking $3k, but who knows. I'll bet they hope I've forgotten it was over 6 years since my last raise!! I'll find out next week!!

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Great ideas everyone. I've thought about working from home but the 3d software requires way more computer than I've currently got or need for anything else. I'll check it out to see what it requires & price a new one just to check that box. The SS income limit for me is $14160 before I lose part of that benefit. I know they bid this project at $90-$100 for engineering hours. But with automated assembly equipment, which this is, for the automotive folks, there's usually a penalty fee for late delivery, usually 1% per week. So on a $750,000 system that's $7500 per week. I'm pretty sure that's what they're up against. So maybe I'm worth just a little bit more to them than I originally thought. Do you think I could really get $7500 per week? :blink: I was originally thinking $3k, but who knows. I'll bet they hope I've forgotten it was over 6 years since my last raise!! I'll find out next week!!

 

Good luck,

 

I don't know about the 7.5k but you should get more than your final rate. See what they offer then go from there. If they will not move well on the rate try for an early delivery bonus. You are already retired so my suggestion would be to keep it lighthearted and worthwhile. Especially if this is just gravy for you. At the end of the day you need to feel good about it.

 

Of course these are just my opinions and I may take to grand or minimalist view of things. Depending on your perspective. I have negotiated from all sides of the table; representing employers, employees, employee groups (bargaining units), and myself. Me personally, would never want to be unfair or take advantage of any party. However, I have seen negotiators that were incredibly full of crap. To them it was a sport and they wanted to win regardless of the necessity of the outcome. Even though I did pretty good I always dreaded negotiations. It seems to depend mostly on the relationship with the other party.

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Thanks Cencafly, the 7500 was said in jest, it's not even in my wildest dreams. When I left they said if I ever wanted to come back or work part time to let them know, but they called me!! I've got several good friends there & I want them to have a long & fruitful future. It's only been a couple of months & haven't tied the first fly yet, something I really wanted to do a lot of. Before retirement I often thought if I could just work Jan & Feb, when I don't get outside much, would be the perfect situation. Maybe I'm getting my wish. I checked further into the SS. They say the 14160 is prorated to 1180 per month. So if I earn over 1180 per month I lose that month's SS payment. If the price is right I'll give it a go!

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