As a new FM software developer.. what salary range do you think a developer should start off with?
Gosh, this is almost impossible to answer--- there are so many variables, geographic location being the greatest consideration (the closer you are to large water, the higher the salaries [Atlantic coast, Pacific coast, Gulf coast and Lake Michigan]). Consult an IT recruiter, they will have a better approximation, including geographic considerations.
What do you think is the salary range maybe?
How long is a piece of string?
I suggest you actually answer Tim's question. The fact that you have not answered it is in itself an indicator.
It really is all over the board kojack. It depends on the depth of the job, location ( as was mentioned ), in-house developer vs being in a firm of developers vs independent, the business culture in the area, etc.
Watch job boards to see the going rate for your area. Check in with an IT Recruiter...that is probably your best bet to get a clear picture of the job market where you are.
What is your skill level? beginner, intermediate, advanced? Are you certified? Other software experience? An entry level position usually means a lower skill level and a lower salary.
It might help if you expand on what you mean by entry level salary.
But ultimately, I agree with Joshua - talk to a recruiter who can evaluate your skills, or at least other FM developers in your geographical area - user group meeting?
Thanks..Karen..I'm entry level right now..just wanted to know the ranges from some experienced FM developers..to look at my career goals.
Whatever anyone does, do not give out any actual dollar figures, even for a single hypothetical example. It's all TOP SECRET.
It's all TOP SECRET.
fmp, you gotta be kidding! Right?
Here, this might help: http://www.lmgtfy.com/?q=average+salary+filemaker+pro+developer
And like others have said, it varies greatly on your geographic location, experience, etc.
Well, this certainly is shaping up as a fun topic, huh? The others are correct as there is no explicit answer to your question.
Like you, I too am an FM newbie. However, as a veteran RDMS developer of 27 years now with a thorough understanding on database design, constructs, relationships, ERDs, abstract normalization, etc., for better or worse, I only have to learn about the FM language, its nuances and all the work-arounds that others have learned and use. That, in and of itself, is consuming a lot of time and effort as most any other user will attest to.
Case in point: Screen Flashes In Large Text Field: Why? Man, I've always used Windows and had no idea that the OS would cause this issue but, a lot of lessons were learned from several other very helpful users.
So, my first question to you is: Are you new to RDMS development or only new to FM?
From there, and if "fmp" doesn't "beat me up," I'd be happy to reply again to share some business lessons and "salary" ranges that have been personally experienced and observed in the database development industry.
Well that's a slick link! Thanks for the info, which should answer the question.
Yet, there are other aspects to how to earn an income as a RDMS developer if "kojack1976" wants to go out on his own.
I look forward to his reply on his database development experience.
I couldn't resist. :-)
On a serious note, my answer to the question would be: "It doesn't matter." If you're looking for a job to make lots of money and that's your sole concern, then there are plenty of other things to do that are a lot more fun than sitting at a computer banging out code. Now, if you love database/software development and have a passion for it, then it doesn't matter how much you make because you love your job.
I'd rather do something I love and make less money, than do a job I hate that makes more money.
Let's move this conversation beyond "it depends," eh? I'm gonna throw some numbers out there to give us a starting point to work up and down from; I don't intend to provide a definitive answer so much as spur others to more concrete answers.
Start with the median household (that's household, not individual) income for your area.
If you're in an area with a particularly high cost of living (San Francisco Bay area, anything within commuting distance of New York City or Washington, D.C., etc.), take 20% off that.
If you have less than 2 years of exprience at least tinkering with FileMaker, take 20% off; less than 4 years, 10% off.
If you have at least 1 year of web programming experience or your first FileMaker certification, add 5%.
If you have a 2- or 4-year degree, put it on your résumé and don't bring it up again. No one cares unless this is your first job out of school and your degree is in a STEM field, and even that's only going to help get you an interview at best. (One of the nice things about the FileMaker job market and programming in general is that there isn't much credentialism.)
So, starting with the U.S. national median of ~$51k, assuming you live in a median kind of area and have ~2 years of experience with FileMaker, shoot for ~$40k/year. May the adjustments (in concrete terms) begin!
I totally agree with your entire post as I have ventured into other endeavors these past 27 years once "DataEase For DOS" was retired in 2001: SalesLogix CRM, Rhythm-based Team Building/Leadership Training workshops and developing investment trading indicators and strategies for daytraders these past 8+ years.
Being a life-long drummer, I loved doing the rhythm-based workshops but the income was non-existent. In that case, "do what you love and the money will follow" failed.
Due to the economy, the development projects for traders truly has dropped off, not to mention all the new "regulations" in that now very corrupt and manipulated industry.
Not that I like "banging out code" all day long, but my RDMS corp client projects were fun and paid very well as I do enjoy and take great pride in "building quality stuff" where, in the end, the customer likes it and appreciates all the "attention to detail" they receive... which seemingly hardly exists any more in this crazy business environment where software is "kicked out the door" before adequate QA has been performed... All in the name of the Execs wanting to lure in more customers (read: more income) with new fancy-dancy features and benefits that are "half-baked," don't work and waste everyone's time.
I say add 5% if you have a college degree. It shows that you bring more to the table than just "knowing how to script, etc." Just because you can code it, doesn't mean you can communicate it effectively to customers or other members of the team. If you have a degree in Business or Marketing add another 5%. You are much more of an asset to the company as a whole at this point. Making great software isn't as hard as getting people to use/buy it.
Add 5% if it's a telecommute job. You're using your own gear and space, which means the company isn't paying for those things.
Those are the ones that come to mind first. Should we keep going or does anyone actually care?
Great info, JB. Since you might be able to tell that I, too, am in the "investigation mode," gotta a follow up question for you.
If one has 20+ years in RDMS design/development working first-hand on CRMs, ERPs, GAAP Standard Double-Entry Accounting Systems, etc. but is learning the FM platform as I've noted herein, what percentage income addition/subtraction might be appropriate to the national $51k median figure that you cited above?
Back in 2001, I was charging and receiving $125/hr for corp database projects. Today, it has been learned from talking with several FM consulting firms that they are getting $150-180 per hour for project work. If there are 2080 working hours in a year but only 1040 billable hours in said year, that's $156k.
Please, I would be most interested in your thoughts on this. Thanks so much, Jeremy.
Edit:PS: I have an Engr degree, been in sales and marketing for 37+ years and was "chief cook and bottle washer" for all my previous database projects; IOW, I had to "do it all" ~~ marketing, sales, development, installation, support, maintenance, admin, etc.
Here in Germany a young developer with just a few years working could be 40000 Euro/year.
A senior developer could easily surpass 100000 Euro/year.
PS: You can google some statistics for IT jobs on the web.
Here you go for anyone that wants to add a degree to there resume. lol
Oh Joshua, that is the funniest thing I have seen! That's even better than the "Learn FileMaker In A Week" book!! Seconds to a Ph.D.! WOW!
As of two minutes ago, I now have a Ph.D.
Please refer to me as Dr. Shoshin.
Thank you. :-P
eshoshin wrote: I say add 5% if you have a college degree. It shows that you bring more to the table than just "knowing how to script, etc." Just because you can code it, doesn't mean you can communicate it effectively to customers or other members of the team.
I say add 5% if you have a college degree. It shows that you bring more to the table than just "knowing how to script, etc." Just because you can code it, doesn't mean you can communicate it effectively to customers or other members of the team.
I disagree. Undergraduate-quality communication skill (which isn't really saying much, and is aquired outside school as often as not) is a prerequisite for an entry-level developer position, not a differentiator. This is more important for FileMaker developers than other breeds of programmer because there are usually fewer links in the chain of communication between a customer and the developer, usually just the one direct link between the developer and the end user.
The challenge is that an "entry level" developer will have to be working with a more senior developer to be able to deliver anything moderately complex. That means woring in-house in a rather large house, which limits the opportunities.
In order to getinto the good money you'll need to be able to develop with FileMaker Pro, PLUS do business analysis, project management, end-user training and codumentation, sales and marketing to get new work.
This thread started as a discussion of entry-level salaries, which I interpreted as what someone with demonstrable programming aptitude but little exprience could expect to get at their first job working as an employee of some other company. Results diverge wildly as careers progress, and even more wildly when you talk about contracting rather than what you expect to get from an employer. You may be relatively new to FileMaker, but you are not an entry-level developer, by the sounds of it, which puts your question beyond the scope of this thread. You might want to start a new one for going transfer rates, which might attract more attention from people with more experience in it than me.
My experience has been a little different. Entry-level developers will of course need mentorship from more senior developers, and that mentorship can readily be found in many small consultancies, which will have the highest-quality early experience due to the combination of involvement that will be required from even entry-level developers and the diversity of projects that are likely to be encountered. Advancing in a career in FileMaker will indeed require many non-programming skills, and it will need those skills whether a developer sets up their own shop or works in-house for a mega-corp. Continued advancement as a programmer requires not only skill telling the computer how to do what it does, but skill knowing what to tell the computer to do to fit into a bigger picture of interacting with people and busness processes. That second part becomes a bigger determinant of compensation after a developer gets past being "entry level." This holds for all developers whether they work with FileMaker or C++, though perhaps results start diverging faster with FileMaker due to its relatively easy technical learning curve.
You get what you negotiate.
Stephen gave me that on the FNC last week. lol
LaRetta wrote: Oh Joshua, that is the funniest thing I have seen! That's even better than the "Learn FileMaker In A Week" book!! Seconds to a Ph.D.! WOW!
Hello..all, my background is Web Development..I've been hired by a company to learn and impalementking FM..this is the first time I'm really dealing with this software. I do have experience in SQL dealing with databases so I'm just getting use to the software and how it works..I was just curious about FM due to the fact the software has a lot of potential.. Thanks for all you'll feedback this is turning out to be a great discussion.
Yes, you appear to have a lot of background that will be advantageous to "FileMaker-think", though many things will be different. If you are familiar with ACCESS (interface and database in one) the similarities are closer. I also work in Web development and SQL and tend to design from that perspective.
"a lot of potential", yes, and then some!
If you go through the tutorials and get the basics, then plan what you want to do. I suppose I spend more time planning that doing, but I do it correctly the first time. But you'll learn that because FMP does what the client/boss wants, they always want MORE! All the planning in the world is only good if the changes are not so radical. And I'm sure you found all this to be true with web development and working in other databases.
Looking forward to what you come up with,
Thanks for the Link ! Very interesting
everyone else here should run for office !
most dodged the question quite well ...
> Here, this might help: http://www.lmgtfy.com/?q=average+salary+filemaker+pro+developer
When negotiating salary -- ask for what you want, but be prepared to justify that figure. If you can't justify it, you probably won't get it.
I've been hired by a company to learn and impalementking FM..this is the first time I'm really dealing with this software.
I am intrigued with the idea of being an Impalement King of FileMaker, but am a bit afraid of what the duties might entail.
Thanks for starting a fun thread. I recall more than a decade ago, when I was asking $75/hour for FM development work, being stunned that there were people bidding to do FM work for under US$20 per hour -- outsourcing it all to unknowns in India. I often wonder what got built if one hired the lowest bidder.
PS: some typos are just more wonderful than others. I wish all of mine were fun.
I'm probaly at the intermediate level..if that make sense..
Thanks for breaking that down..good summary..
It sounds like you are implying an "in-house' developer job since you used the word "salary". It depends on the size and scope of the solution of course but probably $45 to $60k depends on benefits of course. If you are an independant consultant like myself then the numberfs are totally different.
How long have you been using FM?
How long did it take you to learn FM..it's seems like alot to learn. I have the design part down..It's just getting use to scripting and calculations is my weak point. What books can you recomend that will help me in that area?
Hard to say I am still learning and don't know much about 12 yet since it has too many issues that I don't want to deal with yet. Buying the training series books would probably be best and a FileMaker Bible. I haven't pick u a book in years on FileMaker nor am I certified so I'm not the best person to ask about resources. Going to Devon would be good idea if you can afford it.
I am going to go out on a limb here, the fact is that there are simply NOT enough good FileMaker developers out there. If you are talented, you will find that you could literally write your own ticket. This is the first time in the 15 years I have worked with FileMaker that it was a skill that seems marketable to the mainline. These days, it's not uncommon to have recruiters call you asking if you are available if it's on your LinkedIn profile. Although I am not available, I have been called by a few recruiters and I have asked what the salary range was (just for fun) a few times. In one case it was a beginner to intermediate positon that seemed to be in the high $70s to low $80s and another time someone was looking for someone more advanced in the $80-90K range. In both cases, there was a bonus structure and billing hours dertermined the final salary. These were for two totally different companies on opposite ends of the country, one was a telecommute, another in Atlanta. I would also note, I have talked to a few folks at larger FileMaker shops that have expressed frustration with the supply of good, entry-level developers.
This is a case of simple economics, there is simply not enough supply to meet the demand, so the price is going up. Next year, you will have had a number of new developers start out chasing the dollars and the salaries will again drop to the $60-70K range I would expect.
Good luck and I hope that helps!
Sent from my iPhone
This helps a lot..I thought there were a lot of them..
There was a post recently on Hacker News titled "Don't learn how to code, learn how to make things" and I think the title sums up what's required to become a good database developer. (TBH I've never read the full article I just liked the title.)
Don't just learn how to define fields or make scripts; learn how to make it easier for people to get their work done. This involves knowing how people do their business. This is domain knowledge.
You'll get domain knowledge in the course of developing a solution but that's often slow and painful (for both developer and client). Consider doing short courses to get some knowledge of accounting or book keeping so you know what's right and wrong.
I've just generalised the rules for developer pay and come up with these three levels:
Know how to code
Build solutions to solve client's problems
Find clients who want to have solutions built
Thats food for thought.. I like that Vaughan!
Jbante well written, I have never been asked for a degree just as long as the customer is assured I know what I am doing from experience and through people talking I often get referrals. I have used MS Access for years and now FMPA...love it its great.
I only do SME's within ISO compliance, In Australia to put an hourly rate on a project is not really feasible for the client(s), they get the feeling of high cost if they are told $150 per hour, so I offer them a couple of different versions with no frills or ongoing development ( the way they want it) with an all up amount. If I know I can not resell the solution to others I will not do it..so...A developer akin to me in my opinion should look at the business working of mass market penetration or a singular market with lots of scope to supply many customers within the one market, this is probably how a developer will make money is with tangible assets ....
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