From an engineer in Utah
If you have time to answer. Do you do much consulting? Was your fee schedule an attempt to eliminate non-customers?
Here in Utah Many engineers (P.E.) have a hard time charging over $125 per hour.
I give away a lot of free advice as long as it's easy, I can point to answers on the website and I don't have to spend much time on it.
I rarely have to do more and I guess $200 an hour does scare off some. Usually, however, I can save my customers my fee many times over by getting them to use the right size flues, sequencing intelligently, interpreting the code correctly and dealing with issues like make-up air before it causes a problem. Besides, I'm not too careful in clocking my time. My last consultation took me several hours last night and I only charged $200 and my advice was happily accepted and paid for - insignificant compared with the several hundred thousand dollar job and my advice probably saved my customer many thousands of dollars.
Finally my fees are an accurate reflection of my "opportunity costs". If I spent an hour calling my dealers or architect customers or updating my website what would that be worth? Probably the part of our company's gross anual income for which I am responsible divided by the hours I put in which comes up to about $200 an hour. If I spend an hour on your problem that's an hour I don't spend bringing in $200 working on something else.
Let me leave you with a story: A man hired a plumber to fix a leak and after about an hour on the job the plumber handed him a bill for $400. "Geez" said the customer, "I'm a lawyer and I don't make that much an hour." Yeah", said the plumber. "When I was a lawyer I didn't make that much either."
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