Is IT contracting worth it? Five reasons to get started

Adam Shapley, Managing Director for Technology Solutions at Hays ANZ

In today's challenging economic climate, navigating digital transformation is posing problems for organisations worldwide. This means employers are turning to IT contractors to add technical skills in areas where they’re lacking. Their flexibility mean employers can typically spend less as they enjoy their expertise when needed. 

But what are the benefits of IT contracting for the professionals offering their services? In this blog, I’ll be diving into the advantages of switching from a permanent role, and helping you decide whether it’s the right move for you. 

What are the advantages of IT contracting?  

1. Being your own boss  

A poll on the Hays LinkedIn page of over 3,000 people revealed flexibility as the greatest advantage of becoming a contractor. For those outside of office hubs or with commitments outside of the workplace, this autonomy is hugely important. A perk of many contracting jobs is the increased likelihood of working remotely or flexible hours. Overall, IT contracting is great for achieving a better work-life balance.  

Similarly, another advantage of IT contracting is the ability to choose which projects to work on. This can change between contracts, too – one month, your focus might be on higher daily rates, while your next decision might be based on the client’s prestige.  

My colleague, Travis O’Rourke, has hosted a webinar in which he discusses this in more detail. He also explores the things to consider when becoming a contractor and advice on managing your business. 


2. Potential for higher pay 

Greater demand for IT contractors means the potential for higher remuneration. Organisations need specialists to help solve problems over shorter time frames, who in turn can command larger fees. Additionally, many contracting roles will also pay overtime and could be more tax efficient depending on your location. 

How much does an IT contactor make? That, again, depends on your location, as well as your area of expertise. 

For example, our Australia IT Contractor Rates Guide reveals that Business Analysts can command over $1,100 a day, while a Project Manager would earn up to $1,300 daily depending on their seniority. For those working in cloud solutions, engineers can expect anywhere from $720 to $1,200, with some payments even reaching $1,400 per day. 

Meanwhile, a DevOps Engineer in the UK will typically earn between £425 and £625 based on their location. A Salesforce Technical Architect would receive around £815 a day. You can find specific figures for a vast range of IT contractor roles in the UK Tech Contractor Rates Guide here

3. Upskilling on different technologies  

In today’s rapidly evolving tech landscape, staying relevant is vital for success. With this in mind, becoming an IT contractor gives you the possibility to learn a lot in different areas – and fast. You’ll have access to a range of technologies in areas that will broaden your skillset. 

Contractors often need to hit the ground running, rather than undertake a longer onboarding process. While it’s true that you’d be brought in for your existing skills, there's still an emphasis on gaining new knowledge and rapidly upskilling within the role.


4. Less workplace stress  

Working on contracting jobs also means freedom from workplace politics and the stressors associated to a traditional career. For many, climbing the corporate ladder will entail sweating over performance appraisals and even grafting extra hours in the hope your boss will notice and promote you at some point. Alternatively, you might not see eye to eye with colleagues, stakeholders or even your manager. These things can make work less enjoyable and simply feel like a step on the career path to get through. 

These pressures are removed in IT contracting. When you’re brought into a project, you’re there to do your job to the best of your ability and leave once the assignment is over. As a result, you don’t need to worry about the long-term game-plan for moving upwards within an organisation. Likewise, if you don’t get on with anyone during the project, you only have to tolerate it for the remainder of your contract. 

5. Greater networking opportunities 

Due to the number of IT contracting jobs you’ll work on, you’ll have more opportunities to build professional relationships and make valuable connections. By ensuring you make a good impression during your contracts, you’ll find it easier to keep the door open for future openings there. Likewise, key stakeholders are more likely to recommend you for other IT contractor roles in the future – or at least give you a good reference. 

Interested in the switch to IT contracting jobs? Next steps  

Still wondering whether IT contracting is worth it, or whether it’s right for you? I’d recommend reading this blog by James Milligan, who leads Hays’ technology business globally. He outlines the things you need to consider when you get started, including setting up your business, promoting yourself and, of course, finding IT contractor jobs that are right for you (something Hays can assist you with). 

If you haven’t thought about IT contracting before, this can see like a daunting step. However, there are plenty of advantages for skilled tech professionals.

Search our opportunities here.



Adam Shapley
Managing Director for Technology Solutions at Hays ANZ

Adam is responsible for the strategic direction and operational performance of our Hays Information Technology business across the ANZ region.

During his time with Hays, Adam has held significant multi-office and cross-specialism leadership roles in Australia and New Zealand. He has a strong track record of building great teams and working collaboratively to deliver outstanding results.