Hello! I'm a programmer that mostly just writes code for operating system kernels, and device drivers. I was wondering how much most people would get paid for doing so.

I'd suggest you look into a salary comparison tool that can adjust for cost of living and wages local to your area. It is highly dependent on where you live, your experience, and your education[1]. There are also labor statistics available if you can learn to navigate them.

Unfortunately, there is no one-salary-fits-all answer to your question...

[1] Education can take many forms: traditional university; work experience; training; certification; etc.

If you are working as an independent consultant doing this, and you are in the USA, then if you are experienced and good at this, you can command around $200USD per hour for short-term assignments, and $100+ for long term ones. Remember, you have to pay your FICA (social security), deal with health insurance, and subsidize an office with good internet connectivity, not to mention business phone, cell phone, etc.

In many areas, there are IEEE consulting networks that you can join which will provide a lot of support and guidance. Here in the Chicago area there is the Chicago-Rockford IEEE Consultant's Network (about 200 engineers) of which I am a past board member and president. One of our founders, Dr. Gary Blank, was last year's President of the IEEE-USA.

As a senior employee of a major tech company, I get paid about $60 per hour, but then I get paid time off, holidays, sick leave, health insurance, stock options, performance bonuses, paid home-office expenses (internet, phone, cell phone, toll-road transponder, company credit card) and such (I am a "remote" worker - glorified consultant). It adds up, so don't low-ball yourself. If you are good, you deserve what you ask for - just don't ask for too little! :-)

Edited 1 Year Ago by rubberman

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