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Re: Poll: Hourly Vs. Fixed Price which do you prefer?

Community Guru
Tiffany S Member Since: Jan 15, 2016
21 of 58

I strongly prefer fixed price jobs. Outside of Upwork, I am willing to work hourly if the client feels strongly about it, but I don't think I would ever work hourly through Upwork unless the way time tracking and payment worked changed radically. I'm not able to use the time tracker, since much of my work involves research, paper notes, etc. and am not willing to leave all payment to chance simply because my work doesn't involve constant keystrokes.

Active Member
Muhammad Inam U Member Since: Feb 19, 2019
22 of 58


 I worked for my first client about 4 hours. And it is showing 'You got 5$ bonus'. My hourly rate was 5$. So what now? will i get 25$(including bonus). Or bonus is my total amount if not when i will get 25$. Does upwork deducts money counting clicks?

    Thank You

Joanne Marie P Moderator Member Since: Nov 26, 2017
23 of 58

Hi Inam,


Yes, the $5 bonus is an additional amount your client submitted. You will be receiving $25 in total. To learn more about how the weekly billing cycle works, please check out this help article. Thanks!

~ Joanne
Community Guru
Giorgi N Member Since: Dec 5, 2015
24 of 58

I prefer hourly jobs. 

Couple of days before client asked me for an estimate. I initially thought about 3 hours, but I asked the client to change to hourly as I was not sure and it is often hard to estimate in my category. I spent about 12 hours on this project...


But I do a lot of fixed priced contracts. Some clients just prefer fixed prices(including me), some jons are quite straightforward.


And it so nice to look at report tab as you work on an hourly job!

Community Guru
Kat C Member Since: Jul 11, 2016
25 of 58



Assessment writing is fixed rate.


For writing, I prefer hourly contracts because they curb scope creep. However, I negotiate based on the client's preference. I always present them with the two options, and lately, they've been setting up hourly contracts.


The only reason I am NOT fond of hourly is due to the reason Petra stated above. 

Community Guru
Jennifer M Member Since: May 17, 2015
26 of 58

I do both. I don't really care that much. I tell people how much I will charge them anyway, which I know defeats hourly but hourly is kinda nice cuz they can just say "can you get this done" and I give them a time frame instead of them creating a milestone without asking

Community Guru
Christy A Member Since: Dec 30, 2015
27 of 58

I only work hourly and, to throw an additional wrench in the works, I only use manual time. Because I trust my clients and have been working with them for a while, I feel like the risk level is acceptable.


I'm on the phone approximately 50% of my work day and the tracker isn't built for that sort of work. 


I'll echo Petra and say that I would really appreciate it if the security hold could be shortened for client/freelancer relationships that have been in place for a while. 

Community Guru
Mary W Member Since: Nov 10, 2014
28 of 58

I very seldom do fixed rate jobs.  Paralegal jobs are much more compatible with hourly work.  


The time tracker doesn't bother me a bit because in most law firms everyone tracks their time, sometimes manually and sometimes with a tracker.  This includes attorneys, of course.  I don't like manual tracking as I've found over the years that I actually lose time with manual tracking.


I doubt that I've ever had a client who actually looked at my screenshots.

Ace Contributor
Mohamed H Member Since: Oct 23, 2016
29 of 58

I prefer hourly jobs but I usually pick fixed price ones. Allow me to elaborate.

Ideally, I think of hourly jobs to be the default logical option and to be my base reference for a certain job. Getting paid for the exact time you spend while working seems fair for all parties.


Keeping that in mind, fixed price jobs should be an equivalent amount of money for an estimated number of hours before that job become completed. I would call it a very strict maximum number of hours per week/job, so if I misjudged the time required then it's my fault and I am okay with it. Clients like this.

However, the said fixed price may sometimes fluctuate.
It may become less than that of my reference if I am seeking to secure a relatively long job. In that case, I am sacrificing a small amount of money for the sake of commitment. This usually happens when I don't want to continuously look for new job opportunities without any success in landing even one of them.

The main problem with hourly jobs is that most of the time I spend during a job is wasted in learning how to actually do it. Don't get me wrong but this fact applies to some of the web scraping jobs I have recently completed. I had to lookup too many things before I could write a functional code that can be used with the job's website.

This view of mine is affected by the fact that I work part time and is also affected by the job category I look for.


I am glad both contract options are available anyway.

Community Guru
Virginia F Member Since: Feb 15, 2016
30 of 58

@Lena E wrote:

Hey everyone!


We wanted to check in with our users to find out which job type they prefer hourly or fixed price, and why? 

If you prefer fixed-price, what would encourage you to work hourly?

If you work hourly, what would encourage you to work fixed-price jobs?



Thanks for asking this question, Lena. What will Upwork do with the information?


After working a few hourly jobs in my early days on Elance, I said enough. First client kept asking "what are you doing, what are you working on", why can't I see anything? I'm drawing … on a pad, with a pencil … remember pencils … remember pads?

I didn't know I was going to be spied on. When that thingy taking screen shots came up, like Nichola, I froze. Hated every minute of it. Keystrokes, shmestrokes … it sucks having someone look over my shoulder. The freedom of freelancing means no more punching a time clock. Been there, done that … don't need to buy the t-shirt.

Much preliminary work cannot be measured by keystrokes. When I'm working on more than one project at a time and have multiple windows open, I don't want clients to see each other's projects.


As Preston suggests, I'm selective about what I include in my bids. I have always gotten paid - always. There has never been a time I've worried about not being paid, because I work with clients I can trust (yes, you can lol at that if you want). I've never been scammed. Have I had clients who have given me pause, of course … who hasn't? But I have always been paid.


Flat rate does not mean you have to limit anything, it just means you (and the client) have to be sensible and set expectations up front. It's not that difficult.


Keep the "free" in freelancing is my mantra.