Despite rates of pay falling during the recession, most top contractors working in IT can still command high fees, however web developers have seen their rates of pay fall by around 36 per cent since the dotcom bubble burst.

In general, a freelance web developer can expect to earn from £40 to £45 per hour whereas ten years ago, the same worker could have been earning £60 per hour. A decade ago, web applications and e-commerce had to be rebuilt from scratch following the introduction of Java software. However, most web design solutions are now available to buy as complete packages and there is therefore a lesser need for programmers.

APSCo, who issued these figures, commented:  “Huge numbers of developers jumped on the web development bandwagon just as the market nosedived. The skills shortages that existed back in 2000 are nowhere near as acute 10 years on, so rates have never really recovered.”

Speaking to Contractor UK, Gerald Morgan from Ready People stated his belief that the “sky is still the limit” if you are a skilled and qualified IT contractor. This sentiment was echoed by APSCo who said that there was still a great demand for freelancers with expertise in Java, flash development skills and iquery as demand is being driven by the emergence and popularity of social media.

JMK recruitment added: “The emphasis is much more firmly on interactivity rather than plain information. New roles such as ‘Information Architect’ and ‘User Experience Specialist’ have been created as web design has become much more of a science in recent years.”

Mr Morgan concluded: Many of these companies have plenty of venture capital backing and a lot of these are profitable within just a couple of years of forming. Compared with the ‘get-rich-quick, short-term contract mentality’ of the original dotcom boom – they now represent a real career choice for IT professionals.”

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