Making manager money without managing

Many technologists reach a point in their careers where they crave a manager’s salary but have little interest in actually being a manager. The responsibilities of personnel management, navigating office politics, and getting bogged down in meetings don’t appeal to everyone who excels at hands-on technical work.

So what’s the solution for those who want to maximize their income potential while staying close to the technology? For an increasing number of experienced technologists, the answer lies in becoming an IT contractor.

The Contractor Path Rather than ascending the corporate ladder into management, IT contractors leverage their deep expertise by taking on project-based roles for different companies. This allows them to continue doing the hands-on work they enjoy while commanding high hourly rates that can meet or exceed what managers make.

The typical contractor day rates are £500 depending on their skillset, location, and the client’s needs. For a contractor billing 253 days per year that translates into an annual income of £126,500 before factoring in expenses.

The most in-demand contractor roles align with the skills that are scarcest in the job market. Popular contracting niches include cybersecurity, cloud architecture, data engineering, and software development for industries seeking to build new digital products and services.

Building up a specialisation in an area like cloud computing or cyber security for instance, can put you in a stronger position to market yourself as a contractor with an expert skill set.

Of course, the contractor lifestyle isn’t for everyone. In addition to being responsible for your own benefits like health insurance, you’ll need to get comfortable with a steady inflow and outflow of project work. There can be “feast or famine” periods.

But for those who thrive on hands-on technical variety and value making manager-level money without manager headaches, contracting could be a long-term career solution.

Let me know you are ready to find out by taking my quick online quiz with no commitment

Look forward to hearing from you

Neil Millard

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