Training your way to better pay

In the fast-changing and competitive world of freelancing, you need to be able to justify your day rate – especially if you want a rate that is higher than the norm.

Your freelancing day rate is a measurement of your value to the marketplace, which equates to how valuable your skills and expertise actually are. While experience is key to better pay, another way to demonstrate your expertise is through training.

Here are a few reasons why training could increase your rate of pay:

You can produce excellent work

Usually the standard of a person’s work reflects the quality of training they received. Anyone who has gone through professional training should be able to uphold the same professional standard in the service they deliver.

Experts, who usually offer the training, will often not only help you develop your skills, but also give you an insight into the industry and advise you on the best practices. This can then become your benchmark.

You can become a specialist

Bev James, the CEO of The Coaching Academy and Director of Mentoring for Start Up Loans says, “generalists seek clients, but clients seek specialists”.

Private physiotherapists, for example, can charge their clients more if they are specialists in a particular body area. It is similar to why a heart surgeon can earn more that general practitioner. According to Prospects, junior doctors earn a basic starting salary of £26,614 while a doctor in specialty training can expect to earn between £36,461 and £46,208.

A part-qualified accountant wouldn’t be able to earn as much as one who is fully qualified. In fact, according to Hudson’s Salary and Rates Guide for Accounting and Finance, a newly qualified accountant earns more than double a part-qualified accounting professional.

You can become more credible

There are several professions where having certain qualifications or professional certifications will make your CV or LinkedIn profile look much more credible.  

For example, a project manager would probably not be taken seriously if they didn’t have a Prince2 or one of the other recognised project management certifications. The Prince2 qualification, according to reed.co.uk, “has become an essential benchmark of capability within the industry, and is considered a key qualification for those looking to progress their project management careers”.

You can develop a diverse skillset

IT is a good example of this, because in this sector in particular, the more skills and training you have, the more valuable you are to a project or client.

An IT professional who has a range of front-end as well as back-end skills is more likely to be able to wear different hats during a project’s lifecycle. Clients generally appreciate broad skill sets and versatility because it means IT contractors are more likely to be able to help throughout a project. As a result, developing a diverse skillset can lead to a higher rate, a longer contract and better recommendations.

In every industry, there are a range of skills and training options that are likely to lead to better compensation. It is not enough to just be good at what you do: you need to have an edge and learn skills that are valuable to your market. There are many sites online where you can find information about the skills and training that are currently in demand or a ‘nice to have’ in your industry.

At IPSE, we support our members across a range of professions by providing discounted training that could add to their expertise in their particular field. Visit IPSE Academy for more details on the available training courses. 

Meet the author

Olaitan Ajimobi

Education and Training Officer