How many working hours does a typical month have?
I asked myself this question after seeing a trashy video in which a guy claimed a yearly salary of over 150k EUR for freelancing software engineers would be easily possible.
I have the impression that freelancers / freelancer wannabes sometimes romanticize it. People get excited about it but ignore important aspects.
How much work has a month?
- Let \(d\) be my hours per working day.
- Let \(h\) be the holidays.
- Let \(v\) be the vacation days.
- Assume you're not working on Saturday nor on Sunday.
- Let \(s\) be your sick days
So the working days in a year are:
So 210 working days in a year or 17.5 working days in a month in average. This leads to 140 hours per month in average.
This means you would need to make
- 12 500 EUR per month
- 715 EUR per day
- 90 EUR per hour
to make the claim come true.
As a freelancer, you need to find clients. This takes time. Time which is work, but not paid. This means you have to make even more per day / per hour to compensate for this. Or simply work more.
I'm not sure how much this actually takes more. My guess is that for a highly skilled person (both, technically and socially), this will more or less be a one-time investment. If you keep doing a good job, big companies will keep you. But then, events like Corona might simply make it impossible for you to keep your clients. I'm also uncertain how easy websites like upwork.com or simply LinkedIn might make it to find new clients.
When you are employed, your employer pays a part of the cost for the healthcare and maybe some of the social security. I actually don't know how much (or if at all) this distorts the image.
Gross vs Net Income
Don't forget that everything here is gross income. This means before taxes and social security. My guss is that you are left with about half of the gross income.
Yes, it is actually possible to get more than 150k EUR per year being a freelancer in Germany. But I imagine it to be pretty hard.
Getting 50k EUR per year should not be too hard, though.