General discussion

  • Creator
  • #2192372

    Do a lot of IT workers have side jobs/businesses?


    by guttersnipe ·

    My wife and I both work in IT. She is in sales and I am a network admin/programmer. The other day she made a comment that really got me thinking. She said that I am about the only IT person she knows that does not do IT work on the side. Now I keep questioning how much ambition I have.
    Do many of you have side jobs? Or is this just a ploy to get more money and me out of the house?

All Comments

  • Author
    • #3092966

      Jobs for employees

      by trek05 ·

      In reply to Do a lot of IT workers have side jobs/businesses?

      I’ve offered my service, a paid service, for the needs of employees at the company. They bring me PCs, or I go to their house, troubleshoot them and do any necessary repairs.

      Aside from that, I’ve done some side projects for outside businesses, as time permits.

      Good profit.

      • #3093871

        Same here, it started more because…

        by scmgithd ·

        In reply to Jobs for employees

        I was sick of handing out free help/advice. I talked to the Administrator and he told me to go ahead and charge whatever I wanted.

        The cash is nice but you do end up running into those with the endless inane questions and they think they own you because they gave you $50.00 to reformat their computer.

        • #3093850

          This is the real problem!

          by cweb ·

          In reply to Same here, it started more because…

          Everyone I know who does this sideline work to individuals has this complaint. Setup and replace some hardware for someone for $50 and then 6 months later you get an irate call because they downloaded some program or tried to install something and believe you did something wrong. “You need to come back out here and fix it”
          This is why I don’t do sideline work.

        • #3093798

          Beware of problems…

          by mobill122 ·

          In reply to This is the real problem!

          We work as volunteers for a Senior Center that has a computer lab we maintain.
          Over time we’ve been asked to fix a few computers for people who find out about us there.
          Last year a lady brought in a computer, that would fail to boot 50% of the time. We fixed it for her and I took it to her house and set it back up for her. All for $75….
          Three weeks later, she called telling me that the computer I took back to her was NOT her computer.
          Four months later, we were in court over a computer that was worth perhaps $100 on the market. She sued for $1100, that she paid for the system five years ago.
          We lost the case… cost us the time…and a $100 settlement, mostly because the judge didn’t know a thing about computers.
          By the way…according to this lady, we changed the bar codes on case…replaced the motherboard with a new one… put a slower cpu in it… stole her bank account numbers, which she later recanted… so BEWARE !

        • #3093716

          Reply To: Do a lot of IT workers have side jobs/businesses?

          by mmanning ·

          In reply to Beware of problems…

          Thats pretty dumb. I do the same line of work and now I am trying to think of a way to prevent this from happening. Anyone have any ideas? How about taking pictures of the product before taking it from the persons house? Law suits have gotten rediculous nowadays.

        • #3093671

          After hours is for me

          by dnelson ·

          In reply to Reply To: Do a lot of IT workers have side jobs/businesses?

          I am on call 24/7/365. We are shorthanded and I currently do not have a backup. After finishing work at the end of the day, I have trouble turning on my PC at home to check my email. The last thing that I want to do is work during my free time.

        • #3253686

          …. and don’t forget your health

          by c.walters ·

          In reply to After hours is for me

          …. also there is a health issue to concern. In our job we sit a lot. According to the heart association we need to exercise 30 minutes a day, eat two fruits and vegetables, use less fat (animal fat). If you don’t invest in your health all the money you build up working the extra jobs is for nothing when you are 60 and have an unhealthy body and can not enjoy the money.

        • #3092210

          Get it in writing!!!

          by mschachner ·

          In reply to Reply To: Do a lot of IT workers have side jobs/businesses?

          When I used to do the same thing (not any more with 3 kids and wife) I would have the user sign a buyers order and an orientation sheet ( a check list of ?this is how you do this?).

          And, I was sued because the user believed the systems were bad.

          Basically, she couldn’t figure out why the printer didn’t print from a network machine when her personal machine was off (two system office). The printer she had was a multi-function and not network capable (~6 years ago and needed the taskbar widget to work). She didn’t want to buy a print server or a basic printer to print from. So, I noted that on the buyers order concerning the refusal to purchase the items suggested and setup it the best I could. The printer connected to one machine and shared.

          I faxed a copy of both the buyers order and the orientation sheet. She tried the ‘I need to reschedule the court date and the judge said it’s okay’ letter. For which I replied, in writing, the judge said it’s still on such-such date.

          I won by default. She didn’t show up.

          Lesson learned ? get it in writing and get them to sign it. Give them a copy of anything you have them sign. Give them a proposal for their needs. Let them refuse to purchase needed goods. This avoids the ?why didn?t you say we needed this or that?? and the ?that?s not what I wanted!?.

          That?s my hind-sight suggestion.

        • #3092186

          protecting yourself

          by idts ·

          In reply to Reply To: Do a lot of IT workers have side jobs/businesses?

          I’m enrolled in a nine-month computer forensics course which is instructed by a member of the Washington State Patrol.

          As there are few standards for computer forensics he advised us to take pictures and make notations of any damage upon receipt. This is specifically to avoid something like his customer stating he swapped things out and changed the barcode stickers. It’s especially handy if you have to go to court to prove anything. You can use your pictures and documentation as evidence and the court can accept it.

          It might be a good idea to have a pre-made worksheet that has an area for you to write down the problem the customer states s/he is having. If you have to remove the computer or any other equipment, write down the SN# and any other unique information on the worksheet. Then have your customer sign the document; give them a copy and you retain your copy. (don’t forget to have your DISCLAIMER listed above the customer’s signature).

          I hope that helps.

        • #3092092

          One evil word “Documentation”

          by pipe guy ·

          In reply to Reply To: Do a lot of IT workers have side jobs/businesses?

          I’m currently working on a “side customer’s” computer… this afternoon.
          I’ve written down on a scrap of paper the model number of the motherboard, M756mrt-matx, the processor… P3 600-133-256, the pc100 64meg dimm.
          etc. I eventually put it on my calendar for future references. If you do switch out the motherboard or a processor or you add memory or a harddrive. Write it down. If you change the 64meg dimm of pc133 with a 256meg dimm of pc100, document it.

          I usually give the customer an invoice (from excel) which outlines their model number, serial number and relevent details. It takes 5 minutes to do this. You may even use short forms like.
          P3-600 256meg, 12gb, soundpro, usr56, hplj4, win2k And above all identify the problem the customer was experiencing. (The computer shuts down for no reason)
          Also spell out the charges, 2 hours at 25.00 per hour. Don’t fail to mention that you worked 4 hours at it, but didn’t think it was fair to charge for the extra time because you were able to do other things while the computer was scanning for viruses or spyware.

          Its also good to have a clear policy and show the customer a working computer when they take it home. Call them the next day to make sure they set it up right and ask them. Is it working ok?
          Did you plug all the wires in? It doesn’t hurt to complain abit that you had a bit of trouble figuring out why the computer keeps shutting down.

          When you work with windows it is inevitable that the customer will come back with a problem. This is usually called “repeat” business. Not a pain in the neck.

          Now this sounds like a lot of work for a measily 50 bucks. But consider that you may have enjoyed fixing it and that they consider you to be genius and they realize the commitment you have made to helping them as a friend or a neighbour. And that the reason they gave you the work in the first place was that you did get a referral.

          These are all good reasons to find some extra pocket money for gas or beer. Its not the same as building a network of small business servers for a retail outlet where the customer sets the policies. This is your little kingdom where you get to help out people that would normally be thrown to the wolves at the local “Betterbuy” computer repair store.

          It also lets you do some valuable research and testing on a much wider range of computers than we get to see in the business environement. Not to mention a great source of new MP3’s.

          The mistake most IT people make is not explaining the situation to the customer. Explain more to them and they will be happy, even if they don’t have a clue what you are talking about.

        • #3092086

          The big companies get it in writing!

          by dbrown ·

          In reply to Reply To: Do a lot of IT workers have side jobs/businesses?

          I provide home computer services — part-time. I used to be in IT fulltime, but now I’m a full-time dad.

          The only way to protect yourself is to get it in writing and make sure your clients understand the limits of what you can do for them.

          Look at the GeekSquad’s TOS:

        • #3092033

          Hardware identification

          by theantimike ·

          In reply to Reply To: Do a lot of IT workers have side jobs/businesses?

          Are we not able to use the same hardware identifying string that Microsoft uses for activation. I have used aida32, a hardware inventory program, to document this information. It protected my interests on a number of occasions.

        • #3103022

          My opinion on sidejobs

          by weisey9 ·

          In reply to Hardware identification

          I’m from the Bahamas….while there most likely isn’t as much law suits over side jobs (at least in my opinion), I highly suggest drawing up contracts. It may sound stupid but think about it. If you have a proper work order to record the person’s serial numbers and everything on, as well as a well drawn up and revised contract to be signed in acknowlegement that the person agrees that xyz is their system, the fact that xyz was discussed about what would have to be done, etc. Alot of complaints here are “my programs are gone” or “I was writing a book and now it’s gone” very well knowing that A: it was discussed that there would be possibility of format and ONLY documents would be saved, and that replacement of software would be solely their responsibility; and B: Anyone knows that if you’re writing anything (ESPECIALLY A BOOK) you should have a backup of it and / know very well that there was never one to begin with (something ot laugh at but so true. So in short although some people would prefer a side job always remember it’s a risk for yourself so protect yourself legally and save not only money but prevent alot of gray hairs :D.

          Let the person sign both a work order stating what they wanted done and what was authorized & / discussed; also a contract stating they agree to whatever terms the contract would state (Remind them that technicians are NOT responsible for ANY type of data loss, we just do backups as a favor), and finally make sure you show them the final product after you’re done and they sign a work completion form or something to acknowledge the work done to their acceptance / satisfaction.

          Though strenuous being the reason most of us don’t bother with side jobs, if it’s something you want or have to do, then I strongly suggest taking the proper precatuionary steps, hope it helps.

          P.S. You may want to have a filing system for these things if you do sidejobs even if not alot, also a computerized database.

        • #2489924

          Legal Disclaimer Needed. That’s what many PC repair shops do.

          by why me worry? ·

          In reply to Reply To: Do a lot of IT workers have side jobs/businesses?

          They won’t even touch your PC until you sign a legal form and acknowledge that your HD may be formatted and that you agree to waive your rights to suing them after you receive your machine after repair. The company guarantees its work, but it will not be held responsible for stupid user misuse such as downloading viruses or malware from the internet, which will later break the machine after the fact that it has been repaired by the shop. It’s like taking my car to the tire shop to get new tires, driving out of the shop and running over a pothole, blowing out one of my tires, and then blaming the tire shop for the damage. This is what people are trying to do and are getting away with it because the judges are just as dumb about computers as the idiots who bring about these lawsuits.

        • #2841626

          Consult an Attorney

          by dmhamel ·

          In reply to Reply To: Do a lot of IT workers have side jobs/businesses?

          Get a contract made up and have them sign it. Also Write down the serial numbers, on the case, Monitor, Keyboard etc. Put that on a work order and have them sign it. A little pre-planning goes along way.

        • #3090938

          I was accused of breaking the camera!!!

          by jaker5mi5 ·

          In reply to Beware of problems…

          In my case, the client was unaware the new digital camera he bought required the supplied software to be installed into his PC so as to view/edit the pictures taken. Once I installed the software it worked fine on the PC and then… suddenly the client went beserk and accused me of busting his camera (at the same time refusing to allow me to handle and operate the camera to examine the fault…perhaps flat battery etc…). It was a ploy to avoid paying me the AUD$45.00 for the service which I was able to withstand, but not without some discomfort.

        • #2489932

          That’s why you have the idiot customer sign a legal disclaimer

          by why me worry? ·

          In reply to Beware of problems…

          stating that you cannot be held liable for any damages as a result of user misuse and that the customer agrees to not hold you liable. You will need a lawyer to draft such a contract, but the cost is worth it and will save your behind if some douche-bag decides to take you to court on such ludicrous charges as you mention. Such people will think twice about signing any legal disclaimers because they know their cases will be thrown out of court due to legally binding contract, but those are customers that you would rather avoid having than to deal with being dragged into court. I used to do freelance PC repair work as well, and even though I was never sued, I did get a lot of annoying calls from people who would download some crap off the internet, infect their PCs’ with viruses and spyware, and then claim I ripped them off by not fixing their PCs’ from the beginning. Customers will always be a–holes, but it’s the litigation happy a–holes that you want to avoid.

        • #2509314

          Do you sell OEM with your PC’s

          by now left tr ·

          In reply to That’s why you have the idiot customer sign a legal disclaimer

          If so you are Legally Bound to support them by the terms of selling an OEM licence!

        • #2490532

          I repaired PCs’, not sold them

          by why me worry? ·

          In reply to Do you sell OEM with your PC’s

          I didn’t sell custom built PCs’, so I didn’t have to deal with any of this OEM nonsense.

        • #3093795

          side work for individuals

          by tomh ·

          In reply to This is the real problem!

          I learned a long time ago NEVER to do side work (or any work) for individuals. People seem to believe that if service is done by a friend or or some one at work, they get a life time guarentee for the work and all related problems.
          I do side work on the condition that it is only for that particular problem and usually try to service “customers” that are companies.
          The best side work is small companies that cannot affort a full time IT staff and don’t want to pay for consultants that are part of a large consulting company.
          One thing, when doing side work you should have a “service agreement” on exactly what service you provide, how long your guarentee is, you hourly rate (including week-end and night rates). Side work should be done as if you are a full time consulant with all the same ASSURANCES AND DISCLAIMERS.

        • #3093775

          side work

          by anthonydaramola ·

          In reply to side work for individuals

          I started out doing side work small jobs. They usually turned out to be more trouble than its worth. So then I decided to do work for small businesses with no IT staff. The money was very good, but then I would get calls in the middle of the day because the email is down or something important is going on which causes me to stop what I’m doing at my regular job and work on this other stuff. The money kept getting better and the situation really got out of hand. I ended up having only 3 major clients and a couple of residential clients (who had money and didn’t really sweat the petty stuff). I’ve just started a new job and I plan on cutting back on all the side work, I will however attempt to keep a small amount of residential clients who have money where I can make easy cash on the side. I plan to keep it at word of mouth though.

          Anyways, lessons learned, be very very careful as you take on more responsibilities, it can make you suck at your daytime job if you aren’t giving your daytime job 110%. Also, don’t be afraid to be a little bit of an asshole when dealing with clients. And while you offer services and advice to your clients, you should regulate their access to you, for example, say something like, I respond to emails once a day and I do side work on every Saturday so I?ll have to schedule you for this time. And one other thing I never got good at is rates. In a lot of situations, you end up doing more work than originally anticipated, so make sure that your task are clearly laid out and if it deviates from that then the fee and time on completion will change.

        • #3093750

          you almost have it right

          by tomh ·

          In reply to side work

          The only thing missing is a service contract that spells out your responsibilities and the customer’s responsibilities.
          If your customer must contact you during your regular working hours, make sure thay know that your rate is the same as a SAP consultant on overtime. And if they do contact you during those hours, make sure you bill them for it.
          Remeber, make companieshave no problem telling you how poor they are, so don’t hold back when it comes time to let them know your rates and don’t short-change yourself when you invoice them for your services. It is better to bill too much and lower it later than to bill to little and never raise it.

        • #3253915

          I have had my own side business for 13 years.

          by x-marcap ·

          In reply to side work for individuals

          I charge the same as Rennaisance Does/did for my time. $100.00/hr.

          If I do a favor and look at someones computer I either do it gratis, and then extort cookies, homemade, home kneaded bread, or other delicasies.

          If someone does still want to pay, They get the same invoice as my corporate clients.

        • #3093701


          by rkendsley ·

          In reply to This is the real problem!

          Ditto……. And when you put in 50 to 60+ hours a week sometimes, who needs the extra headache.

        • #3093677

          easy money

          by fmulder2911 ·

          In reply to Exactly

          here in scotland my job intales ADSL, configuring routers {wireless} etc for the biggest ISP in the world. I went into doing jobs in my spare time because its easy and i spell out to the customer my time and advise is for this job only. I get ?70 to setup a wireless network takes 30 mins. Not bad money for half an hour. You guys in the states dont seem to charge that much for jobs.

        • #3093627

          Love doing the work, not just about the money

          by damunzy ·

          In reply to easy money

          I will charge 95 USD (55 GBP) for regular customers and 50 USD (29 GBP) for friends and associates for computer services for an hour of work. I live in the Philadelphia, PA area. I could charge more but I am not trying to get rich off of this yet. 😉 I also charge my church for work to be done on computer. I charge them the 50 USD rate and a lot of times I won’t charge for every single time I come out for 15 mins but will lump all those times together.

        • #3093606

          Make it strictly hourly

          by arpboy ·

          In reply to This is the real problem!

          I also do side work, but I stress that my fee is an hourly rate. If they need follow-up, it will cost them whatever time I put in. So I get fewer six-month follow-up calls, unless they’re ready to pay. That usually avoids the “cup-holder” type calls, but when they call, they’re truly stumped and ready to pay.

          I don’t say I’ll charge $100 to format and reload their drive; I say it will between one and three hours, but that’s an estimate, not a guarantee…

        • #3092151

          Hourly is best

          by will_eaton ·

          In reply to Make it strictly hourly

          I agree. I used to do flat rate jobs…ended up only making 50% of what I should have. Now everything is hourly. Don’t like it, too bad. Go pay $80+/hour elsewhere.

          William Eaton, MCSE

        • #3092191


          by ali40961 ·

          In reply to This is the real problem!

          That’s why I charge $150 -$200 to reformat, reinstall and tell them when they pick up their machine that my work is guaranteed up to the FIRST point they successfully boot that machine. I inform them that ANY installation after that point eliminates my guarantee (and I explain WHY). I have had several people come back later telling me “I didn’t INSTALL anything!” at which point I show them what has been installed AFTER I worked on thier machine. Trust me I work with PLENTY of people that know just enough about PCs to be dangerous. I learned a LONG TIME ago, the ones I gave “deals” to turned out to be the BIGGEST pitas. So now no one (including FAMILY) gets deals and I get a lot less frustrated.

        • #3133839

          That’s not reasonable

          by founder ·

          In reply to Disclaimer

          I don’t feel that you are being reasonable. For one I feel that reformating is a lazy technicians way out of a problem. Not giving any warranty and charging them up to $200 is not reasonable. That’s like a mechanic telling a customer that the warranty is void as soon as you start the car.

          John Francis, Founder
          Computer Medics of America, Inc.

        • #3101091

          I agree completely

          by dm935 ·

          In reply to That’s not reasonable

          Not warrantying the work after the first successful reboot is crazy. I do this stuff all of the time and only occasionally get calls about a corrupted OS, Spyware infections or viruses. I don’t care about the support because I keep an image file of their system on dvd and just write it back to their machine. Usually, they will bring the machine back to me but if not, I’ll run over there with my portable drive and do it. It’
          s no sweat and keeps the good word of mouth and easy money coming.

          Now if people did their own backups none of this would be necessary but that’s a whole other story.

        • #3092188

          Need clear rules

          by kujo1us ·

          In reply to This is the real problem!

          I always follow this line of rule, I charge $50 per hour, I only work on people’s home computers on the side, mostly on weekends, no home visits unless absolutely necessary, i have the client bring their computer to me at work or home then when fixed, I return it to their place of business,or they can pick it up from me at home, I try to keep my job and my sidework as seperate as possible as most of the sidework is from My company’s clientele(with the Boss’ permission of course), I found that doing it this way gains me maximum $$ with minimal hassles from the client.

        • #3092087

          What do you do in business?

          by carlheydman_jr ·

          In reply to This is the real problem!

          I notice your a consultant. You must get these types of people too. It’s YOUR fault my computer doesn’t work the same after my employee downloaded “Hot Tool Bar”.

          How do you deal with these or prevent this from happening?

        • #3253912

          Take a ghost image of the machine where you stopped.

          by x-marcap ·

          In reply to What do you do in business?

          Any serious problem you can re-image the machine.

          After that then when they install stuff, and it doesn’t work and you look at it they’ll beg you to “just fix it”.


        • #3253865

          Do real IT people have time for outside work?

          by emmbee ·

          In reply to This is the real problem!

          I don’t know of any IT person who does not work at least10 – 11 hours a day. How do you still have time over for extra work after travel time etc.?
          Just asking?

        • #3091061

          Do real IT people have time for other things?

          by ickesk ·

          In reply to Do real IT people have time for outside work?

          Of course “real” IT people have time for outside work. 10 or 11 hour days are only part of the time you have available. Career and professional opportunities abound outside of the work day. I routinely put in 10 hour+ days and commute 2 hours. I work with clients in a side business in my “off time” and am on a board of an IT business. I find that it makes my 10 hour days less long in the sense that I have the ability to use different skills, sharpen skills that are out of use, learn new skills and problem solve at different levels and perspectives. In other words, having the ability to work with other people with problems and skills that my “day” job doesn’t makes me all the better for it!

        • #3090926

          I still don’t have time for extra work.

          by emmbee ·

          In reply to Do real IT people have time for other things?

          I work (At customer sites) full time at a HECTIC PACE for between 8-10 hours. I travel 2-3 hrs home. I then log all my daily reports (from home) and trawl the internet for patch level updates, download them, liaise with oveseas due to 24/7 support and then wearily try to feed the family, clean, check homework, and all the normal things a mother has to do. You can kill me but I don’t have one moment spare!

        • #3077886

          No Sleep

          by ali40961 ·

          In reply to Do real IT people have time for outside work?

          It’s called No Sleep. I too work 10-16 hrs a day at my IT Day job. I just happen to love playing with pcs on my off time. I also am a single mom with 2 kids so there’s homework, baths, dinner, etc in there somewhere.

      • #3093771

        Side Job Rules

        by tomh ·

        In reply to Jobs for employees

        I try to have a set of rules when it comes to doing side work for other companies.
        1. I explain to the client that I do their work part-time and have a full time job.
        2. Don’t call me at my full time job unless the SKY IS FALLING.
        3. Because they are getting a very good reduced rate, they should call my cell phone and leave a message and I’ll get back to them as soon as time allows (usually during lunch).
        4. Don’t interact with side clients during your regular working hours, except for lunch or before starting to work.
        5. If possible, let the upper management know that you have to have side clients in order to maintain a good life style. This could lead to a raise in pay.
        6. Make sure your side clients have some sort of seervice contract and there a re disclaimers in it. Your side work has all the same rules as any other service company’s rules.
        7. Try not to every do work for individuals, because they beleve they get a life-time guarentee.

        • #3093652

          Words to live by ^

          by pmajon ·

          In reply to Side Job Rules

          I follow the same ethical standard. I couldn’t have said it any better.

      • #3093753

        Me Too

        by johns ·

        In reply to Jobs for employees

        It started out in my own neighborhood fixing the neighbor’s computers. Then a few of the office staff asked me to work on their machines…..

        I have two hard rules….

        1. $50.00 an hour or any part thereof.
        2. If I can’t fix it, you don’t owe me anything.

        It usually ends up being maybe an extra couple of hunderd a month, cash.

      • #3093611

        Side work very profitable

        by mlcaldwell ·

        In reply to Jobs for employees

        While working at a large telecom a co-worker asked if I would take a look at the server at his church (a large church in a wealthy community). That turned into a part-time job which eventually replaced my fulltime job. The church administrator (my boss) referred me to her friend at another church and now that church is my part-time gig. I have 2 other churches that I do on a contract basis. These I have all setup so I can remote to them. Now working in this community I have a built in clientel of high income customers. It involves a lot of weekends and nights but my mortgage, my son’s private school tuition, and my daughter’s college finances all come from my side jobs. I actually have it real good right now but there are headaches involved too. My rate is $75/hr and many of my residential clients tell me that isn’t enough and pay me more. My wife complains about my nights but when I was at the telecom I often did over-nighters and was on call 24/7.

    • #3092955

      Not unusual, but the jobs may be

      by leee ·

      In reply to Do a lot of IT workers have side jobs/businesses?

      Can’t tell you what your wife’s motives may be, but it is not out of the ordinary at all for IT people to do side jobs–particularly for friends or friends-of-friends. But those I know don’t necessarily work their “day jobs” during moonlight hours, but do things closer to their personal interests, such as art or acting, either for little money or pro bono. For example, I have a friend who spins records at a gentleman’s club for extra cash and, presumably, the view.

      • #3093783

        IT Side Jobs

        by darrell ·

        In reply to Not unusual, but the jobs may be

        Like many of you, I do side jobs. The money is welcome, and it also give me an opportunity to learn about different technology solutions thus keeping my skill set more current. I have however encountered the same problem of the lifetime guarantee, or those that know me personally, do not expect to be charged. I early on, I made the mistake of providing free service to a couple of friends. And they spread the word that I was a computer wizard.

        But I have a standard rate now for every service call. At first it was $50.00 per call for individuals, and $50.00 per hour for businesses, plus parts if needed. I also have a few annual retainers and it is nice to get a lump sum up front. But make sure you spell out specifically what it covers. Though my wife does not like it when I tell her I have a job to do after working a full day, she never complains when I give her the check to deposit in the bank.

        As with any thing, it requires a level of balance that is not easy to obtain. So for the time being, I will listen to the complaints, and keep watching as she spends the money.

      • #3093721

        Side job

        by jamesbynum ·

        In reply to Not unusual, but the jobs may be

        I started a business as a Personal Trainer. It gives me a diversion from the IT rat-race. I am a server admin and the last thing I want to do is fix or build PCs when I get home. My trainer bus. keeps me from burning out.

        My $0.02.


    • #3092946

      side job

      by jodym1 ·

      In reply to Do a lot of IT workers have side jobs/businesses?

      I take care of the LAN at my family’s glass shop after hours and at lunch and I also do sandblasting and sandcarving as my art and as a side business. I also help my friends and the rest of my family with their computers. Its not always a good thing as I sometimes lose out on my personal time. Ok. I often lose out on my personal time, but the extra money is very nice.

    • #3092938

      I used to do side jobs.

      by faradhi ·

      In reply to Do a lot of IT workers have side jobs/businesses?

      I used to teach IT courses at the local community college. Ultimately, I had to make a decision of either being with my family or working. So I decided that my family was more valuable than teaching, which I loved.

      I used to do a lot of work for family and friends. And while I will do some now, I have cut it back a lot because I felt it was being abused. When asked by others like coworkers or acquaintances, I tell them I charge $100 per hour. When questioned about the high price, I respond that that is how much I value my personal time. Usually, I am not asked again.

      I feel blessed that I work in a field that I seem to have a talent and I love. But I love billards as well but would not want to spend 80 hours a week doing it.

      I hope that this helps.

      • #3093817

        There’s a fine line…

        by maxx57 ·

        In reply to I used to do side jobs.

        There is a fine line between the time you think you will spend at someones place fixing/setting up systems. It all seems to come down to what you value more. If you like the money, you’ll do it a lot. But if you have a family and you like to spend time with them, then you’ll find ways to do that more. People do what they want for the most part.

        I’m a full-time student, have a full-time job and a family. I still do side work, but I find that I under charge all the time. I think I like the idea of higher price, since I would really like to spend more time with my family.

        Computer Graphics Education:

        • #3093640

          Just say NO

          by rkendsley ·

          In reply to There’s a fine line…

          That’s all it really takes. They will be mad that you will not work on their computer. But tough cookies……..

    • #3092927

      I’ll work for cash

      by mjd420nova ·

      In reply to Do a lot of IT workers have side jobs/businesses?

      I try not to do any work for friends, relatives etc. because then they would call anytime
      and expect me to respond. I get $175. to show
      up and $125 an hour with a one hour minimum.
      For that I’ll be there at 3AM if needed, and
      often do get them. (usually about twice a month.)
      But I don’t wish to get involved with software
      as that can lead to the ways of the foul mouth
      and crappy disposition. Each machine is different and needs someone who really under-
      stands how all the pieces fit and load drivers
      in the proper order. I do my own family hardware
      and software but that’s why I’m bald.

    • #3133114

      I have two small companys and one midsize

      by zlitocook ·

      In reply to Do a lot of IT workers have side jobs/businesses?

      That I have on call contracts with, and one non-for profit. I am paid a nice sum for these except for the non-for profit it is a free service (a tax right off). The wife is a programmer that now works for a local book Arthur; she is the PA and dose every thing from web pages to setting up movie deals. I am on call for them.
      I am a computaholic I like all things about computers and helping others to like them too.
      Most of what I do takes a few minutes using remote control, Remote desktop, VNC or other software.
      The wife makes a lot more then I do so I can have fun with what I like.
      But I also like to take a weekend day off to watch bad movies (Army of darkness or some thing like that);)

      But every one is his own person.

      • #3093894

        Where to begin

        by samuknow65 ·

        In reply to I have two small companys and one midsize

        I have been doing “side” work for years. I setup the network at our last church and have repaired and new built probably over 100 machines on my time….I do charge but I love to do it…

        The extra money comes in handy especially when I want to upgrade one of my computers at home.

        I figure if you love the craft do the extra. If you would rather not the don’t.

      • #3090729

        If you like computing, you’d love this….

        by stoppedtowatch ·

        In reply to I have two small companys and one midsize

        Hi there
        So glad to hear that I am not alone in being glued to this machine (and the other one – I work two at at time – its sort of aerobic!)

        The only thing that stops me working on the computer is exercise, else I’m sure I would go down with the DVTs and getting a MOCHA.

        I have just finished my new book and you can get a free version here – but let me warn you – that if you want to change career, work a ‘bit’ on the side or leverage the one you’ve got – it will have you SUPER-glued!

        Bright Blessings


        (the site is normally at but the server seems to be dickie today for some unfathomable reason)

    • #3132872

      Think about what she said

      by m_a_r_k ·

      In reply to Do a lot of IT workers have side jobs/businesses?

      You BOTH work in IT. She does not have a side job. You do not have a side job. She said that YOU are about the only IT person without a side job. Apparently she doesn’t include herself in that group of IT people with no side job. This is none of my business but you shouldn’t be asking US about your wife’s motives in saying that. That’s a question that you need to pose to your wife. I think you need to have a serious discussion with her. Or hire a private investigator to try to determine why she wants you to spend less time at home. ?:|

      • #3132838

        2 sides

        by tink! ·

        In reply to Think about what she said

        I agree with Mark in that you do need to approach your wife about her reasons for pushing you to do side jobs. However, in the wife’s defense, you did not tell us if she does anything on the side, IT or not. As well, it seems to me that when it comes to side jobs, it is primarily men that you see doing it. Possibly due to a misconception that men are [b]THE[/b] IT people, and/or possibly because husbands aren’t as comfortable with their wives visiting other people’s houses/businesses all the time. [i]I know mine wouldn’t be although, he was ok with me teaching a one-day lesson on Access at large factory where my co-worker’s husband worked.[/i]
        And one more thing, just because you don’t do side jobs, doesn’t necessarily mean you lack ambition. If you don’t already have people approaching you with requests, you would have to “advertise” to get side jobs which takes extra effort and time that a lot of us don’t have. I think many start doing side jobs simply because they have friends and family who request their services in the first place. and then they spread the word….

        • #3092405

          It depends on the profession

          by m_a_r_k ·

          In reply to 2 sides

          If both spouses are in the same profession, it may end up as a coin flip if only one needs to take a side job. Or like in this example, sales vs network admin. Probably not many side jobs for a sales person (unless you work a side job as a telemarketer?). Totally different industries for the spouses make a difference also for which will work a side job. My ex is in health care. There are tons of opportunities for part-time or weekend jobs in that profession. Those side jobs are easy to find and you don’t even need to advertise for them. Hell, she even had people calling her out of the blue to work weekends for them.

        • #3093862

          Helloo…. read ALL the posts first.. .They have KIDS

          by ruthie56 ·

          In reply to It depends on the profession

          he explains in one of the posts that they have 3 kids and she homeschools them. She’s plenty busy IN the home. And besides… if you read closely she’s in SALES. It’s not like there’s alot of extra IT Sales things you can do off hours…

        • #3092040

          Read ALL the posts?

          by m_a_r_k ·

          In reply to Helloo…. read ALL the posts first.. .They have KIDS

          Hell, there’s way too many for me to read. Thanks for pointing out that they have kids. That changes everything and should make a decision on which one takes a side job much easier. I didn’t read that post of his. How does she homeschool the kids if she works in sales?

          And yep…my previous post pointed out that she is in sales and it’s probably easier for a network admin to get a side job. Note my reference to a telemarketer job. :p OK, so it’s decided. He has to work the side job. She has the unpaid job of taking care of the kids while he’s working the extra job. Which has the easier job, though?

        • #3253659

          Hellooo— Where does it say he has kids?

          by betsam ·

          In reply to Helloo…. read ALL the posts first.. .They have KIDS

          Guttersnipe has only done the one post at the top. There is post further down that addresses Guttersnipe and says “assuming” he has kids. This is totally off the subject, but in defense of the other responses, it may just be the two of them. Maybe all the wife is doing is making an observation with no “hidden agenda” whatsoever.

          In any case, Guttersnipe, I don’t think it has anything to do with ambition. If you work IT all week, why would you want to do it on your free time? I agree with the number of posts that say it can lead to burn out and problems with clients. I personally stay away from my computer when I go home…

        • #3091134

          Thanks for following up for me, betsam

          by m_a_r_k ·

          In reply to Hellooo— Where does it say he has kids?

          I was too lazy to even check if gutter made any other posts (even after I read ruth’s reply to me). I wonder why ruth.inman made that up about gutter having kids. How in the world would ruth know such a thing? And why in the world did she blast me for not reading all the posts before I replied when even if I’d read every one of them a dozen times standing on my head, I still wouldn’t have any clue as to whether or not they had kids? ?:|

      • #3093668

        RE: Think about what she said

        by bobbyajr ·

        In reply to Think about what she said

        Dude, That’s just mean. . .

    • #3092538

      Man, it sounds like a trick

      by kgilbert ·

      In reply to Do a lot of IT workers have side jobs/businesses?

      Lots of IT guys do work on the side, because people look at us as a resource they can tap. I used to, but found the headaches too much to take (“Ever since you installed that RAM, I cannot change my home page”). I very occasionally do side work now. Service providers around here charge $85 – $100 /hr. I charge $50. Generally, I never charge the real time it took, and many users think they own me just because they gave me $100 once.
      If she insists, make a deal. You start doing tech stuff on the side, and she can start selling on the side (I don’t know, magazines or something). I mean, fair is fair, right?

      • #3093857

        …and you sound young.

        by ruthie56 ·

        In reply to Man, it sounds like a trick

        He never said if they NEED the money. And with 3 kids, it’s very possible.

    • #3092445

      Does an online business count?

      by tfitzpatrick ·

      In reply to Do a lot of IT workers have side jobs/businesses?

      My roommate and I have created an online business. I am a programmer and he is a graphics designer so we are both IT people who share a passion for vintage costume jewelry(buying and selling it, not wearing it). We generate great income from this side job and it does not affect our regular jobs in any way.

      • #3092427

        What does everyone charge per hour?

        by xyza ·

        In reply to Does an online business count?

        I usually decline all side jobs because my free time is important to me. Once in a while, I will help a friend in need.

        I did a full system restore on a friends computer and told her it would be $150. Never saw the money. It wasn’t worth losing the friendship over, but I won’t do work for her anymore.

        My grandma needs me to do a full system restore also, and doesn’t want her money going to someone she doesn’t know. She told me that she’d pay whatever it would cost her to take it in somewhere to have it done. I am guessing 3-4 hours of work, depending on problems in the process. What could one reasonably expect to pay for 3-4 hours of PC work? It would help me out so if people do want me to do work and keep begging me, I can quote them a price higher than if they took it in somehere!

        • #3092421


          by tink! ·

          In reply to What does everyone charge per hour?

          I think most places generally charge around $150/hr. At least it is for unhijacking and virus removal. And that they figure takes about an hour.

          You should just call a cpl places in your area and find out what they charge.

        • #3093890

          Friends and Family

          by zozuk ·

          In reply to call

          I have 2 very busy companies. 1 software house, 1 service. When family and friends ask me to fix thier systems, I tell them I will get there as soon as I can, then make them wait 5 weeks. They always get someone else and pay them. Works for me, I even make the kids wait weeks to fix thiers. One of my kids was so bad, crashing win2k PC constantly, I sold it on him, told when he can pay me the 65 /hr to fix it, I’ll get him another one.

        • #3253945

          What planet are you from?

          by gaijinit ·

          In reply to Friends and Family

          Are you for real? You tell your own kid (I assume since you said ‘kid’, this is one of your younger children still at home or at least not yet earning an income)that you don’t have time to fix his PC unless he can pay you $65/hr? What a b****head! I’m sure all of themembers of your family speak warmly of you when they talk about those in the family who support others. Hope you look forward to a lonely retirement.

        • #3253721

          What planet

          by zozuk ·

          In reply to What planet are you from?

          Earth, my 16 year old son, has a job and money, and thinks he can do whatever he wants to his pc and I will just fix it. Working was how I bought him that PC, not fixing systems all over for nothing. Rule no 1 in my house is “life’s not fair, get used to it”. The discussion was “Side jobs, and fixing families, relatives etc systems”.
          I’m telling you, if you don’t toughen up and and say NO or make them wait. They will walk all over you, and when you do fix it, they will blame you for it getting a virus, even though they removed the AV.

        • #3100518

          Work on the kids’ system

          by zentross ·

          In reply to Friends and Family

          I was taught this lesson early on when staying with a relative. He had a 386 and some great DOS games and didn’t mind me using the system. When I crashed it for the second time, he took me aside and told me to watch what he did and learn how to clean up my mess or stop using his system. Turned out I liked fixing them as much as I like using them.

          With my daughter, I’ve done the same thing. She loves to get cool games and other crapware off of download sites (usually virus or hijacker ridden). When she was without a system for 4 months and told to pay attention, she hasn’t advertised a problem to me for the last 8 months. I still check on my own for the stuff, but she knows the tools and keep them updated. She’s even learned that it’s not a good idea to let your ‘friends’ know that you can fix a system.

        • #3092273


          by frosteddark ·

          In reply to What does everyone charge per hour?

          I work at a local computer shop now… here are our prices (very reasonable.. best in town.. Bremerton, WA)

          In Shop (Only charge one of the following)
          Diagnostics $40
          Virus / Spyware Removal $50
          System Reload or Restore $65 (Save Files +15)
          Laptops always add $10 to above prices

          In Home / Business
          $75/hr with 1 hr minimum billed in 1/2 hr increments

          When I worked for the Best Buy Geek Squad…
          $60 Diagnostics + Cost of Repair
          $60 Reload then we tried to charge another $30 for system optimization and another $30 for system customization… totally pathetic what we charged for

        • #3092225


          by bizzo ·

          In reply to What does everyone charge per hour?

          I really do hope that you’re not going to charge your Grandma for a few hours work. I know that some IT people can be a little mercenary sometimes, but I do think that’s going a little too far!

        • #3093911

          You fix Grandma’s for free

          by baw_carolina ·

          In reply to What does everyone charge per hour?

          Why in the world would you even consider charging your Grandmother. Come on….
          Hard for me to believe
          If I do a side job, I usually tell them $75.00 per hour.

        • #3253761

          Don’t tell Grandma it’s free…

          by sloan ·

          In reply to You fix Grandma’s for free

          … tell her that if it hadn’t been for the support and love that she and your parents gave you, you wouldn’t be able to do the work you do for others, and that it would give you great pleasure to use your talents to help someone you love.

          That way, it’s not charity, it’s you paying her back — something our grandparents understand and appreciate.

          Usually the offer of payment is because they respect your time, and want to be treated seriously. If you take it on, make sure you treat it like you are being paid a premium rate.

        • #3093896

          Wow! – you would charge your Grandma

          by daverl ·

          In reply to What does everyone charge per hour?

          Charging Grandparents or Parents to fix their computer is not a good idea (helping them should be considered a privelage)…You make SCROOGE sound like a nice guy!

        • #3093706


          by techniquephreak ·

          In reply to Wow! – you would charge your Grandma

          I agree that you should not charge parents or grandparents… but to categorize it as a privilage is just absurd.

        • #3093624

          might be an “arrangement”…

          by mikemajor3 ·

          In reply to whoa

          know my grandparents have oodles of boodle, and, in the past, they regarded this as a way to “help out” without anyone’s feelings getting hurt… maybe a similar arrangement is what they have

        • #3087883

          Not necessarily…

          by metalfr0 ·

          In reply to whoa

          I’ve done work for my grandparents, both pro bono & paid work. The 1st couple times I worked on my grandfather’s PC he didn’t pay me. The last 3 times, however, he insisted on paying me the same as I would charge anyone else for the work I do ($50/hr). I haven’t asked him why, & I’ve tried to argue w/ him, but he won’t hear of it. I consider that a privilege to have a situation like that.

        • #3092177

          Charge EVERYONE!

          by chance.platt ·

          In reply to Wow! – you would charge your Grandma

          Charge Grandma? Absolutely! I charge every one of my family members for assistance. IT is what I do for a living, I dont like to work for free, do you? At one time I used to hepl everyone for free and it got to a point where they refused to try and learn the simplest things, like how to save a file and re-open it at a later date.

          I got tired of the 10:00 PM phone calls asking me to help them log into their e-mail. I started to avoid answering phone calls from them because I knew it would lead to a hour long discussion on how to log onto the internet and get to XYZ site. It really started to affect my attitude towards them.

          So this is what I did. I told them that my typical consulting rate is $200.00 per hour. If they would like help from me this is what it will cost.

          The interesting thing is this: They started to LEARN! Soon they stopped calling me for computer help and just would call for typical family discussions. Crazy how a little motivation can go a long ways.

          And no helping these people is not a priveledge it is a PITA. Unless you are getting out of it whatever makes it worth it to you, be it money, emotional gratitude, a smile, or whatever just make sure it is worth it to you or you will end up not wanting to speak with them.

        • #3093881

          simple calculation

          by techniquephreak ·

          In reply to What does everyone charge per hour?

          One pretty popular formula is to find out what your services would cost as a full time employee using (or some other salary website) and divide by 1,000 to get your hourly rate.

          I’m not going to disclose what I charge, but suffice it to say that I stopped working at my full time job two years ago (where I worked 60 to 80 hour weeks) and I make almost twice as much money now (working 15 to 20 hour weeks).

          Good luck!

        • #3093878

          and oh yeah, don’t charge gramma

          by techniquephreak ·

          In reply to simple calculation

          I don’t charge my gramma or other close relatives and super close friends.

          And if you do charge family or friends, make them sign the same service agreement anyone else would have to sign to protect yourself. This will help set the tone, so they both a) take it seriously, b) have realistic expectations, and c) can have an appreciation for what your time is worth. If you are charging them, they are a client. If you feel to awkward making them sign a contract, they are either very close to you (and you should really help for free) or they are are probably jerks (and you should not mix business with pleasure).

        • #3093868


          by whollyfool ·

          In reply to and oh yeah, don’t charge gramma

          Every geek has a side job: family support!
          That’s enough for me! 🙂

        • #3092037

          Advice Needed

          by jraykc ·

          In reply to simple calculation

          Hi tech,

          I’m getting burned out on the 8-5 world and really want to go out on my own with a possible IT consulting business. If you would be interested in providing some of your expertise, I would be greatly appreciative. Please email me at if you would like to be a mentor to a fellow techie. Thanks.

        • #3093879


          by fgarvin ·

          In reply to What does everyone charge per hour?

          $150 for a reload? Maybe it’s where you live, but that is way more than anyone I know would charge. I charge $60 for a reload. The Customer is responsible for backing up all their data if it is possible for them to do so. If it is not possible, rates go up or nothing gets backed up and they start over from scratch.

          For Grandma, I would charge $20, and then only so she feels like she is paying for it. I woould do it for free, but she won’t accept it. God Love Grandmothers.

        • #3077879

          I think not

          by ali40961 ·

          In reply to Overcharged

          Guess it depends on what the consumer is willing to pay. I paid someone to fix my pc YEARS ago (at least 15 yrs) and was charged $60. (Was a simple reformat/reload before I became enlightened)

          I am located in Florida, have a TON of customers, all willing to pay my rates. In many cases, I have been thru several computers with these same customers.

          The way I see it, 150 -200 $ is well worth the time it takes to locate drivers, etc since MOST of them can NEVER find their original install disks.

          By the time I get their machines, using Ghost would only image the crap they screwed up their machine with in the first place. So I make it worth my time.

        • #3253609

          Not Overcharging

          by dmsco ·

          In reply to Overcharged

          $150 for a reload is actually fair. You have to remember that it is going to take 3 to 4 hours of your time. Do the MATH. In my area I charge $65.00 per hour for residential. Rebuild only comes out to $50 per hour so I am actually short changing myself. NEVER Charge parents or grandparents. You might as well forget the holiday gifts

        • #3093870

          Charging rates

          by newitguy ·

          In reply to What does everyone charge per hour?

          To me, it depends on who it is

          Family/friends: $20/hr

          Everyone else: $30/hr

          If i really don’t want to do the job, $50/hr.

        • #3092079

          Business or Personal Rates

          by pipe guy ·

          In reply to Charging rates

          Its a really good idea to have a pay scale that accomodates a variety of clients. When I charge a business for Training or a Service which requires a fair bit of preparation. I start at 125/hr. When its a business that expects to pay market rates, I charge $65-75/hour. When its friends or neighbours, I charge 25/hour (and I never charge the full number of hours) And if its grandma, I make a trade for cookies or babysitting.

        • #3093863

          Come on guys, lighten up!

          by dr. tarr ·

          In reply to What does everyone charge per hour?

          He didn’t say that he was going to charge her, he said that she wanted to pay for the labor. Fairly nice offer, from my little place in the universe where everyone wants my services for free.

          My solution with the one relative who insisted on paying me was to have hiom make a donation to my favorite charity. That satisfied us both, and actually raised our mutual respect level.

          If you want to highball your pricing, call sears, find out what their prices are, and over bid them. I spent a couple of years building decks and fences, and anytime anyone commented on my pricing I arranged for them to get a quote from Sears. I got most of the contracts.

        • #3093814

          What to charge??

          by sparker ·

          In reply to What does everyone charge per hour?

          I work in a large law firm and lawyers figure they own you (especially the partners). I work on personal PCs in the office and make occaisional home visits. I usually charge 65.00/hr for home visits and less if they bring it in.
          Try calling the local repair shops in your area to find out what they charge and price accordingly. Not too low or you’ll be up to your neck in PC’s and not too high (unless you don’t really want the work).

        • #3093757

          Reply To: Do a lot of IT workers have side jobs/businesses?

          by doug m. ·

          In reply to What does everyone charge per hour?

          I don’t do many side jobs, mainly because I don’t advertise. It’s all strictly done by referrals. I charge between $50-100 per hour, depending on the job, which may be a virus removal, or it may involve installing a new phone line and jack, etc. (I’m an old telco guy) One of my mentors who is a database admin charges $95 per hr. minimum two hours charge. Check your area to see what the local “geek squad” charges and adjust accordingly. You may get more business by undercutting the other guys by $20 or so.

        • #3093724

          Commercial Service Rates

          by tomh ·

          In reply to What does everyone charge per hour?

          If you want ot discourage people from asking you to do side work, quote them $100.00 for evenings and $150.00 and hour for weekends, with always a 2 hour minumim. That is about the same rates as a field service or manufacture’s service company would charge for on-site repair. If travel is requires, 55 cents per mile and the hourly rate also.
          I used to be a factory rep. for a computer company’s field service division a very long time ago. If the customer company didn’t have a annual service contract, the rates were $125.00 per hour during business hours, $175.00 after 5 PM, and $225.00 per hour on week-ends and holidays. If they had a service sontract, out of contract work (problems caused by the customer) was $85.00, $95,00, and $150 respectively.
          Best Buy has a in-store rate of $49.00 per hour and a “GEEK” home rate of $75.00 per hour (call Best Buy to find out the rate near you).
          Read a service contract from Best Buy or Office Max and adopt one for yourself.

        • #3093630

          cheap labor

          by mikemajor3 ·

          In reply to What does everyone charge per hour?

          average around her is about 60 an hour; we’re a college town, so there’s always a student willing to take yer case… I get most of my work right after that LOL
          I usually use three times my normal hourly as a baseline; seems like I stay busy, but not overwhelmed, at that rate. Mostly small offices and real estate folks at home, with the occasional consult with the plethora of “all services included” (phone/broadband/cable/whatever) that are popping up everywhere.
          Check around yer area; it obviously varies depending on size of city, part of country, and whatnot… these posts prove that

        • #3253900

          When my clients have someone else work on machines

          by x-marcap ·

          In reply to cheap labor

          It takes an hour or so just to figure out what was screwed up by the other people anyway…

          Since I am pretty good with hardware and software, after two or three times I fix stuff in 1/4 the time that their “Other” guy does my repeat business has climbed to where it affects my 8-5…

          Since I have flex time I can do work early morning, or late night, or all weekend…


        • #3253866

          I’m glad to see some people are having success

          by dbucyk ·

          In reply to When my clients have someone else work on machines

          I only have my A+ and Network+ certification and I am working towards my Server+. To this day people in the workforce don’t take me seriously.

          I have excellent people skills and equally good hardware, software, and network troubleshooting skills.

          So what’s the problem. I do not know. If anybody else have had similar problems, would they mind sharing their experiences.

        • #3253711

          Image and performance

          by x-marcap ·

          In reply to I’m glad to see some people are having success

          If you are unsure and you can’t make a decision when it is necessary, you limit yourself in the leadership end.

          If you dress outlandish, or dress California Surfer dude you will be thought of as a goof in Middle America. If you wear a suit and tie and carry a briefcase you may be thought of as an expert.

          75% is performance, 25% is image. I am not a great looking person, so I know that I need all the help I can get.

        • #3091221

          I’m glad to see some people are having success

          by banyangod ·

          In reply to I’m glad to see some people are having success

          Well unfortunetally some people only believe in the power of certifications and not in experience. This is a problem you will also run into at many HR departments. Especially when the people are not tech-savy.

        • #3092198

          What I Charge

          by roc riz ·

          In reply to What does everyone charge per hour?

          First of all, what I charge, depends on who I am charging. I guess I am an altruistic bleeding heart liberal, and this influnces my rates. Not that that is out of the way here goes.

          Basically I have a base price of $50/hr. plus parts.

          The base price is amended by my surcharges based on pretty much on what kind of car I see in the driveway, and/or what kind of house they live in. If they have money, I charge a little more. If it’s a single mom, with a few kids, that can’t afford her PC to go down, I might just trash the old PC, and give her a new one gratis.

          Family is generally getting free support at this time, since there aren’t many left.

          If it’s a non-profit business, that is concurrent with my views, I charge my regular rate, but give them a donation equal, or more than what I charged. If it’s a non-profit that I don’t care about, I charge the regular rate. If it’s a non-profit that does not concur with my views, I charge triple my normal rate.

          If it’s a for profit business, the rate is $100/hr, plus parts, plus transportation time.

          Occasionally, I have been known to barter for computer work. Being single, it’s an easy thing for me. Someone has a service that I need, we generally agree on equal time. If they have goods, it’s fair market price. That reminds me, the organic farmers down the road still owe me some chickens. Yep, I have worked for chickens. Fully killed, and gutted chickens, but free range chicken is tastier than any other.

          If there’s a job that I really don’t want to do, I will generally pass it on to a local guy, who charges a fair price, and does good work. I know of several. I just tell the person that I am too busy, or be honest, and tell them that I just don’t want the job at this time.

          I have a disclaimer that I wrote up, that generally says, that there are only manufacturers’ guarantees on parts. Work is guaranteed until it breaks again, at which time, I will determine whether whose fault it is, and either fix it free or charge appropriately. If they would like a statement in writing, it will be provided, upon request.

          I always write down what I did, and include it with the disclaimer. This way, if anything comes up later, there’s documentation.

          Oh, I almost forgot. If I am learning in the course of doing a side job, I generally split the difference with the person.

          I have been doing side jobs for a long time, and it took some time, but I believe that I am fair, as do my clients. They always come back, albeit rarely for the same problem. Explaining what you do to their machines in plain english goes a long way. As long as people have some understanding of what you are doing, they will feel as if they are being taken care of, and not taken. Always follow up with a call a couple of days later. It’s suprising how far this goes.

          Just my dollar three eighty and eleventy two cents.

        • #3092181

          charging grandma???

          by psk ·

          In reply to What does everyone charge per hour?

          i frequently format and reinstall windows, drivers, programs, etc and usually charge $200-250…but never charge immediate family!! i love what i do and i’m not that mercenary.

        • #3092155


          by will_eaton ·

          In reply to What does everyone charge per hour?

          $35 is my current rate. It was $30/hr about a year ago, then I added web and application development to my list of services, so I gave myself a raise :D. Local stores charge upwards of $80/hr for PC service/repair, and don’t make home visits. Many home users are not willing to pay that much, and don’t want to fool with hauling it to the store.

          William Eaton, MCSE

        • #3092117


          by frosteddark ·

          In reply to What does everyone charge per hour?

          Well… for grandma… maybe a nice hot plate of homemade cookies 😉

        • #3092109

          No, I’m not charging Grandma!!!

          by xyza ·

          In reply to What does everyone charge per hour?

          I am not charging my grandma, and I never have. She always tried to cram money in my purse as I am leaving. I never let her!

          I was just curious what others charge for side projects. I almost always turn them down because I don’t have any time. Occaisonally I’ll get a friend who begs me, and I wanted to know how much to quote them so they would leave me alone! Sometimes being honest with people and saying you don’t have the time doesn’t work! Plus, I’ve done work for people and never saw the money when I was finished. I’d much rather just NOT do it in the first place.

        • #3091990

          Don’t charge family members

          by necomputerpro ·

          In reply to What does everyone charge per hour?

          Don’t charge family members … not only didn’t I charge my Aunt and Uncle for any help (including hours of training), but I bought them a computer several years ago.

          For my friends, I charged them a home-cooked meal, since I don’t cook, but when they started getting greedy, I decided to charge them $50 / hour. That hasn’t affected our friendship at all.

        • #3253960

          Local computer companys

          by zlitocook ·

          In reply to What does everyone charge per hour?

          Like Geek squad or others can charge up to $ 150.00 an hour, smaller companys charge per job. I charge large to midsize companys $60.00 an hour small comanys $45.00 an hour. And after they call around they are vary happy to have me work on thier systems. Here in St Louis there are hundreds if not more companys that will not pay a full time wage for a tech. But they need one and I tell them that a person on staff will save in the long run.
          But for now I just watch my bank account grow and keep that 64 inch plasma HD TV in mind 😉

      • #3093690

        nice job on the website…

        by unclerob ·

        In reply to Does an online business count?

        I would figure that your online business counts, it generates extra revenue for you, it’s probably a smarter way of making money because you’re not travelling to other sites to fix hardware or software issues.

        I do some website work in my spare time as well although it’s not a regular source of income, whenever the opportunity makes itself available and I have the time. A little extra cash every now & then is alway welcome, kudos to you if your website is successful, I hope it is – it’s nice to see someone else from Winnipeg participating in the TR forums.

        take it easy…

      • #3093643

        I’ve created several sites

        by kaptkos ·

        In reply to Does an online business count?

        for friends and relatives and they pay me cash under the table (whoops, did I say that out loud)
        Here comes the IRS

        latest site I’m working on is for my cousin at (still under construction)

        I normally charge around $45/hr for my consulting services accounts and 25-28 to family/friends.


      • #3091046

        That’s the thinking!

        by ickesk ·

        In reply to Does an online business count?

        There you go. Of course it does. It’s an additional way to generate revenue doing something you love. Dead on.
        The whole notion of multiple income streams is useful for IT workers! Especially those people in areas where outsourcing has impacted their potential employment. You can look at extra work or part time work or home based or on line businesses as a way to pad the fall if there is a layoff or job loss. You can earn extra money to invest by having more come in than you need to spend. Without too much detail – I have several businesses – not all IT and a job. They are:
        a. Rental property – A house and an apartment. No brainer – long term leases.
        b. Horse boarding. I have a barn, I have horses, I have extra space, someone wants to pay for it – COOL! A little extra work every day generates another income stream
        c. An eBay business selling the outcome of my often prolific artistic endeavors
        d. A software development and consulting company.

        Each one of these has the potential to be “ramped up” if my job changed, or if I needed to make a switch. It’s nice to have developed some relationships and situations where an exit strategy is possible. In my earlier post, I mentioned that I learn new skills and sharpen my skills more through the extras.

    • #3092272

      No Moonlighting Allowed

      by goobie ·

      In reply to Do a lot of IT workers have side jobs/businesses?

      The company I work has a very specific clause in my employment contract. “No moonlighting allowed”.

      • #3092266

        Depends on who and when.

        by smogmonster ·

        In reply to No Moonlighting Allowed

        Family, OK but there are limits. Spending 45 minutes on the phone trying to tell your dumb brother in law how to remove a programme is stretching things a bit. I have been asked to do work by one of our hardware suppliers but this seemed to breach “keep suppliers at arms length” code we have.

      • #3093884

        You’d better be getting a decent premium

        by dr_zinj ·

        In reply to No Moonlighting Allowed

        if you have a no moonlighting clause in your contract.

        I get paid 50K a year to manage a database and pull statistical information out of it. What I do on my time is my business. I suppose I could manage the same brand of the database at one or two other competing facilities; but it’s definately not worth the boredom.

        • #3093700

          I agree…

          by unclerob ·

          In reply to You’d better be getting a decent premium

          what you do on your own time is your business, work or play. If your employment contract restricts you from getting part-time work after work hours, maybe they should add in a 2nd paycheck to cover the time between when your workshift ends & begins, if they assume to own your personal time, you should at least get paid for it.

      • #3093845

        A Bit Totalitarian

        by johnnysacks ·

        In reply to No Moonlighting Allowed

        Then they should pay you for 18 hours a day! Who the f%#k do they think they are. Maybe it’s just my blue state attitude thinking a demand like that crosses the line (assuming conflict of interest issues are not being flaunted – any ignorance and/or denial on your part are an unacceptable excuse) They’re just too lazy to define a proper conflict of interest clause. If I need to be a part time cashier or tech at the local CompUSA or Staples to make ends meet, my company has no say whatsoever in that decision. On the other hand, if I’m using my current position to scout up side work, my company should take recourse.

        Is this clause something any dirtbag company can legally enforce? (and your’s sounds like it passes the dirtbag litmus test with flying colors)

        • #3091157

          RE: A Bit Totalitarian

          by -loanman ·

          In reply to A Bit Totalitarian

          No, it’s a red state attitude too; that demand does cross the line.

      • #3093752

        Not Allowed

        by richard ·

        In reply to No Moonlighting Allowed

        A lot of companies have this clause and more.
        I would like to encoruage everyone to actually read these contracts and start objection and making changes.
        I know sometimes you need the job and have to do what you have to do, but we can start making an effort. I once had an employer impose a new contract on everyone, when read, I was not even to do any work on say, saturday or sunday, even if it was mowing grass / non computer related. AT that time there was a lot of work and I was in demand. I was a key engineer at the company.
        I had a good time telling him what I thought of them. They wanted to negociate new wording, but did say that moing grass was off limits unless they gave permission. I enjoyed telling them that I could not discuss it and could not work for anyone with attitudes like that.
        In most cases I would not be in a position to be so blunt with them, but there have been contracts that I have refused to sign…. sometimes you can agree on some changes and sometiomes it is take it or leave it. If you don’t try to stand up for yourself who will?

      • #3093711

        employment contract???

        by tomh ·

        In reply to No Moonlighting Allowed

        The company I work for had a clause similiar to a no moonliting clause. I argued about it, successfully. In IT work, most are grossly underpaid for the responsibilities we have. I argued that a no-moonliting clause is mostly for salesman, not IT staff. Change it to read no conflict-of-interest moonliting, and they did. You might request a raise of 15% to get peer salary and account for inflation and then bring up the moonliting clause and the reason you need such a large raise.

      • #3093705

        I don’t think that’s legal….

        by unclerob ·

        In reply to No Moonlighting Allowed

        it’s a restriction of your personal freedom, what you do when you’re off the company clock is your own business. No one can or should control what you do when you’re not at work, if you want to work part-time as an IT consultant or flippin’ burgers at McDick’s, that’s your choice.

        Don’t take my word for it, call a lawyer and ask for a free 15min. consultation on the subject and he’ll let you know if this clause in your employment contract is legal or not.

        However, if your moonlighting affects your existing job, ex. You call in sick for work or come in late to work because your 2nd job caused this problem, that could definitely be grounds for dismissal. This is what your employer is trying to prevent.

      • #3092204

        no moonlighting allowed?

        by marathoner ·

        In reply to No Moonlighting Allowed

        I don’t think they can make this stick. What one does in one’s off time is strictly private. Could they say you can’t eat ice cream off the job? would being a substitute church organist count as moonlighting? (That’s one of the things I do!) Could they limit you from playing video poker after hours? or trading stocks? or knitting sockx and selling them at craft fairs? or having a hobby of fixing computers, that complements someone else’s hobby of leaving money lying around when you fix their computer? I guess they can punish you if they find out. However I do think it’s fair for them to insist that you don’t get outside calls at work unless emergency from your family and that you give them your 100% when you are at work.

      • #3253847

        I would not work for that company.

        by stan20 ·

        In reply to No Moonlighting Allowed

        Also, when I’ve been asked to sign contracts that specified that whatever I produce is the property of the employer, I’ve added a clause stating that anything I do on my own time, unrelated to my job is my property. (A few places had to run it by their legal department, but no one I’ve worked for had a problem with that.)

      • #3253677

        one word

        by avid ·

        In reply to No Moonlighting Allowed

        GREED. if you are not stealing existing customers than you have every right to earn a little money. they do not have exclusive rights to the entire population. i am sure that you could “moonlight” and if it ever created a problem and they fired you, unless you were taking money from there existing customers you could sue their pants off.

    • #3092271

      Lucky you

      by simeon.paraschakis ·

      In reply to Do a lot of IT workers have side jobs/businesses?

      I do not have a side job. For many years I had I was overworked, tired, angry BUT It pushed me to seek God( the only good thing ).
      So be happy, spend time with you family and remember: Big incomes big expencies. /Simeon

    • #3092270

      unless forbidden in your contract…

      by chandraram ·

      In reply to Do a lot of IT workers have side jobs/businesses?

      I guess a lot of people do take on side jobs in IT – basically to help out friends, neighbours… its ok so long as it is not specifically forbidden to moonlight in your employment contract

    • #3092268

      Do you need a side job?

      by vijayaraghavan_g ·

      In reply to Do a lot of IT workers have side jobs/businesses?

      Any decent job must pay you adequately so that you can enjoy your own time away from the job peacefully and without further stress. If it doesn’t, well- then you have to look out for a job that does.

      If the reason is to earn more so that you can add to your possessions and comforts, then think again. How long would you want to do that and when would you really sit back and enjoy those possessions? May be I am able to say this because I come from a culture which attaches less importance to money and material goods (though the newer generations are more in tune with your cultures).

      • #3093903

        You can get used to the additional income

        by neil leacy ·

        In reply to Do you need a side job?

        The main problem with having a side job is you can get used to it being a part of your total monthly income and may suddenly realise that you can’t afford to not do it!


        • #3093892

          Every little bit helps

          by ornerdoug ·

          In reply to You can get used to the additional income

          I work for an environmental non-profit organization, which over the past 2 1/2 years I have come to realise that non-profit means I make no-profit. So I need the side jobs to keep my house and pay the bills. I am not use to the added pay because it can never be depended on.
          It’s really sad when an IT person loves what they do and know its making a difference but has to find side work to make a living.

    • #3092262

      You must be joking!!!

      by paulo.jorge ·

      In reply to Do a lot of IT workers have side jobs/businesses?

      Are you all super beings from the planet krypton or something? I just wouldn’t have the energy to do my regular job resolving IT problems for awkward monkey brained people and then go and get stressed out elsewhere.

      • #3093924

        No joke… I sew.

        by bree ·

        In reply to You must be joking!!!


        You are so right! I used to accept outside programming jobs and all they did was to push my stress limit over the edge. Since, like many of us, I am a workoholic, I found that it is enjoyable to do something completely outside the realm of IT as my side job. So I bought a couple of big industrial leather sewing machines and now I sew patches on jackets for bikers, do leather repairs and make items in leather to sell.

        I charge ridiculously high prices since I am used to having my time highly valued. And I couldn’t care less if someone wants to go elsewhere to get their custom made leather cell phone case or have their club rockers sewn on. I actually do quite well in this little niche. The beautiful thing is that if I get tired of my sewing side job, I can always do one of the other things I am good at and still keep IT in its place.

    • #3092259

      The money should be worth the free time you sacrifice.

      by evansm ·

      In reply to Do a lot of IT workers have side jobs/businesses?

      I used to do side jobs. It was frustrating for me because it took a lot of my time.Sometimes I would not be able to solve a problem after spending many hours on it.Now I have cut back a lot and use my free time wisely e.g studying. My advice, not all side jobs are worth your time. If the job pays to little or will take up too much time then skip it!

    • #3092253

      Unix Principle

      by kovachevg ·

      In reply to Do a lot of IT workers have side jobs/businesses?

      Choose one thing that you do well or you can easily get good at and do just that. If you are a web developer, offer some web development services. If you are a sys admin, offer building servers with special environmnets like sub-version or Tomcat, JBoss, etc. DBs are also a good hit but require additional skill. Top consultants charge $150 an hour. You can charge $60 and companies will be happy.

    • #3092252

      No Way

      by tags66 ·

      In reply to Do a lot of IT workers have side jobs/businesses?

      I avoid doing IT work on the side, they always come back to haunt you months or even years later. Remember me you fix my Pc back….. Now it doesn’t work – fix it!

      I keep my free time for me and the better half! Playing rudgy on a Saturday relives the stress of the week, I do run the bar for the club but that’s unpaid. Sunday is just a chill-out day for all.

      • #3092247


        by stephy ·

        In reply to No Way

        I wish I had time,

        I work between the US and the UK sometimes from 9am to 9pm or whatever it takes.
        If I did outside contract work I wouldn’t be able give it my all which would unfair on both parties who were paying for my services.

        I love my job but it’s nice to switch off and watch a movie and have a drink.
        When I’m on call I can’t even have a drink just in case 🙂
        Family and neighbours ask for help with their home PC’s, I don’t mind that so long as it doesn’t take too long and they don’t hit me up too often.

        • #3093891

          Reply To: Do a lot of IT workers have side jobs/businesses?

          by tags66 ·

          In reply to Yikes!

          I seem to have large family and friends how try and call on my services. I just have a small problem, hours later, tea, replacement parts, coffee. I cleaned thier PC from number one child internet browsing. Sorted a free anti-virus app etc. Just to the little brat come back from university with the same problem, turned off all the firewall measures because it slowed down his mp3 downloads!!!!!!

      • #3093797

        Right On!

        by gadkison ·

        In reply to No Way

        I take care of family and good friends computer issuses, but that’s it. I have done the part-time thing about 12 years ago, and decided I wasn’t making enough money to make it worth my while. After doing this all day, doing it at night doesn’t make sense. Very quick way to burn out.

        I’d rather be out in the boat, camping, doing home improvements or just goofing off. Life is to short to work all of the time. Did it, done it and got the T Shirt!

      • #3092083

        Remember you fix my PC …

        by too old for it ·

        In reply to No Way

        … heck, the local “run, run, run out and fix the PC” company I used to work for got that all the time.

        I think I hacked off the boss when I told a customer “I don’t do freebie warranty work” when presented with a new Dell in a box they wanted set up … on warranty from a year old NIC card installation.

    • #3092239

      it will only take a few minutes???

      by ramrod ·

      In reply to Do a lot of IT workers have side jobs/businesses?

      I have found that not all side jobs are so straightforward which normally adds to the time and stress in trying to fix the problem. How many of us have been confronted with a problem that has sometimes not even been resolved that same day you tried to fix it. I don’t think you lack ambition but you have naturally balanced yourself out and not want to spend too much time in the computer stress treadmill. My rule is close friends, family and (close) co workers only. Every other saturday night I work in a bar because it achieves a few objectives: instead of spending money getting legless I get a few free drinks, I meet new people every night I work there and I dont spend money (when most people are) but save and gain money, in the process. It’s up to you but remember all is not what it seems on the surface and I agree with previous posts that even if you do a great jobs don’t under estimate some peoples lack of understanding to screw things up so that they will be back to haunt you weeks, months or even years after you have helped them.

    • #3092238

      Define ‘side job’

      by allan.cass ·

      In reply to Do a lot of IT workers have side jobs/businesses?

      I do basic computer repair for friends/family/co-workers and aquiantences. Also, sometimes I will get people refered to me. I don’t charge per say, but rather work for tips. Mostly, I like helping people out and figuring out the problem with the computer. The tips are a nice bonus and usually more than I would ask for (which is way less than what repair shops would charge).

    • #3092231

      Time – None available

      by wesleymechler ·

      In reply to Do a lot of IT workers have side jobs/businesses?

      All the my positions I have held in my 42 year career have demanded on-call 24/7. So, to enjoy my family and community I only worked the 50-60 hours my full-time employer took from me. (I must say I did do some outside contract work during the 8 years I worked for the Department of Defense but that position was maximum of 40 hours a week.)

    • #3092226

      Absolutely – Who Can Afford Not To?

      by alan.mazer ·

      In reply to Do a lot of IT workers have side jobs/businesses?

      I am a professional engineer of multiple disciplines and have been doing engineering side jobs since graduation. They pay for the little things in life my regular job can not cover such as my Harley and generosity towards my children and grandchildren. I am working full time as a Network Engineer CNE & MCSE and do consulting for free or low cost to non-profits and community service organizations, family & friends…but my professional rate is the same as any full time consultant when working for small or large companies, $75-$150/Hr – minimum 2 hour per service call…who could say that they make enough these days without some extra income…? If you can, let me join your organization, I am worth every penny..!

      • #3093733

        I can afford not to…

        by middlingmgr ·

        In reply to Absolutely – Who Can Afford Not To?

        Depends upon where you are in life, Alan. I’m middle-aged, wife works, kids still home and younger, many projects with the house and yard yet, so our free time is worth a lot to us. By the time you both put in the hours for a professional career, then clean the house, grocery shop and do laundry, there isn’t much free time left.

        Not to mention having to rebuild my own PCs that the kids have trashed a few times! 🙂 I do freebies for one older relative, offer free advice when asked, and also help support the network at my church and a school they run. I wouldn’t think of charging them (and they’ve offerred some payment).

        If I was young, single, no kids, or older and the kids were gone, perhaps a different story. But I have other hobbies I’d rather pursue. Money isn’t everything….at least not to me. I don’t need a Lexus or $500,000 house to be happy. To each his own!

    • #3092223

      Time=Money – Ok, if you give up YOUR time

      by matthew hansel ·

      In reply to Do a lot of IT workers have side jobs/businesses?

      I am onsite tech, who goes to our customer sites to fix their issues. I do this for about 8-10 hours per day – plus drive time. I also have a family that would like to see me once in a while. And yes, I have done side jobs. For a while, I did them right away – within a couple days and I got them back. But, I sacrificed any and all of my free time, and could not put any focus on my family or on the new technologies my company was dealing with. It was computer work all the time. So, for a while I swore off side jobs. I have since picked up a couple – for my CLOSE family and for my CLOSE friends. I gave them a time frame of about one (1) month to get their machine back. I would work on it in my FREE time and would not sacrifice family time or any work time. If they agreed to that and to a reasonable fee, then I would take the job. I have only done 4-5 jobs since implementing this. I found that my time with my family was more important. If I happened to be in a position where I wanted some new gadget or had an unforseen expense, I would take on a job.

      My work has gotten me into a position where I am the lead tech, along with being a systems analyst / engineer type position, where I am designing customer’s networks, IP Telephony solutions, etc. This now is keeping me hopping and keeping me satisfied – always something new to do or “play with”. It fills the void that the side jobs sometimes filled.

      I hope this helps. I don’t think side jobs are bad, just not something that should take away from your job or your family time.

    • #3093919

      Just about every IT guy I know has a side job.

      by techrepublic ·

      In reply to Do a lot of IT workers have side jobs/businesses?

      My day job involves dealing with IT guys at all sorts of small, medium and large enterprises in the corporate, government and education sectors.

      Just about every IT guy I run into that works for somebody else, sooner or later fesses up to having a side job.

      Those that don’t are two categories:
      1. They have in the past and have made a lifestyle choice not to do so any more.

      2. They already put so many hours into their own business that they don’t have time to think about anything else.

      The side job needn’t be the same thing that stresses you out in the daytime. It could be interesting/fun/educational in some way, or, form the basis from which to execute your next career move.

      Myself, I do criminal forensics as a side job, as well as some network maintenance for clients I’ve had for 10 years. Both quite different from my day job of computer security.

      Is your wife’s statement a ploy? That’s for you to decide.


      • #3093902

        This IT “guy” has a side job, but……

        by knye ·

        In reply to Just about every IT guy I know has a side job.

        ….. it’s a jewelry making business. I find I need to balance things
        out and exercise my right brain a little! Beads require no electronics
        and I enjoy the interaction with my customers.
        That’s not to say that I’m not asked to help my family and friends. I
        willingly share what I know, but honestly, the last thing I want to do
        when I go home at night is work on anyone’s computer!

    • #3093918

      Oh, Yeah!

      by edeldoug ·

      In reply to Do a lot of IT workers have side jobs/businesses?

      Day job only pays so much… With a wife, a daughter who skates competitively, a special needs son, a golden retriever and a 2500 square foot mortgage, making $50/hr fixing home user’s problems is a godsend!!

    • #3093912

      No Way, No Time

      by fernbowers ·

      In reply to Do a lot of IT workers have side jobs/businesses?

      In spare time, I commit to just do continuous education practices; ie certs, degrees, etc.
      There is no time to do a part-time. With all the required tickets, an IT professional should be highly compensated for experiances/education.
      There should be no need to work, in a perfect world, if you are be treated really, really, well.

    • #3093910

      good to learn new things

      by rajeshthakur ·

      In reply to Do a lot of IT workers have side jobs/businesses?

      Doing part time job is exhaustive but it helps you learning different technologies and face new challenges. I am a developer since the days of dbase iii plus and clipper. At that time I was working for a manufacturing company’s EDP department and scope of full fledged software development was little. I went out and took part time projects. This I was able to keep myself uptodate with the industry standards. I did not go full time for software development due to certain reasons but kept on doing part time projects alongside full time job with that company. Then there was a crisis in that company and it went out of business, it was due to the skills and support of my part time business that helped me get a new job. But sometimes one feels like taking too much load and having a little or less time for family. Now being a little secure on the financial side, I have reduced part time working but still I work for friends and some selective good old clients. Bottomline is it is good to work in part time (financially as well as technically)

    • #3093908

      Work to live or live to work

      by c.walters ·

      In reply to Do a lot of IT workers have side jobs/businesses?

      My wife certainly don’t want me to have a job on the side. She says she might do something on the side too. I think all depends on the money you need to live. We both work and we have sufficient to come around. House-2 cars-kid-two times vacation a year-living on a caribean island-sun-sea-beach-nice friends and family around. The need is not realy there to do extra work.
      Also there is a health issue to concern. In our job we sit a lot. According to the heart association we need to exercise 30 minutes a day, eat to fruits and vegetables, use less fat (animal fat). If you don’t invest in your health all the money you build up working the extra jobs is for nothing when you are 60 and have an unhealthy body and can not enjoy the money.

    • #3093906

      Side Jobs – No Thank You

      by michael.dratwa ·

      In reply to Do a lot of IT workers have side jobs/businesses?

      After 30+ yrs, I do not more than 1 job. When I go home after work, I only want to fall into my recliner and turn on the TV for a few hours of mindless enjoyment.

    • #3093901

      Out of Necessity

      by bucksandchange ·

      In reply to Do a lot of IT workers have side jobs/businesses?

      I work about 45 hours a week at my primary job. I also have 4 kids and need to be able to put food in their mouths, etc. I need to make more money than my primary job pays so I also work in sales of electronics about 20 hours a week as well as fix, build, repair, and troubleshoot friends and families computers as well as side jobs for paying customers. I know that I am setting myself up for burnout, but I doo not have another choice until I get more certifications and have the experience necessary to land the higher paying jobs that will allow me the means to lighten up some.

    • #3093900

      Different side job

      by Anonymous ·

      In reply to Do a lot of IT workers have side jobs/businesses?

      I have I side job, but it’s not IT — I’m a blacksmith. I do custom metalwork, historical re-enactments, and volunteer work for a museum here in Tallahassee, and some of the state parks. I don’t make a lot of money, but enough to pay for the materials and other costs. There’s something kind of soul-satisfying about taking a piece of red-hot steel and punding the crap out of it. It also helps on the IT side of things — I have a 15-lb sledge that is very useful in aligning users properly.

    • #3093899

      Why dosn’t she get a second job?

      by f_omar ·

      In reply to Do a lot of IT workers have side jobs/businesses?

      If you are making enough money, why get another one. Maybe your wife needs to get a job.

      • #3093888

        If only

        by bucksandchange ·

        In reply to Why dosn’t she get a second job?

        My wife would get a job but she is taking care of our 3 children that re at home homeschooling them. I can make twice the money that she can with a part time job and side jobs. Babysitters are expensive.

        • #3093872

          In Other words…….

          by fgarvin ·

          In reply to If only

          What you should be saying is that your wife already HAS a job. Being a full time mother AND Teacher is a difficult task, and She deserves admiration for doing it.

        • #3093829

          I agree

          by bucksandchange ·

          In reply to In Other words…….

          I think the world of my wife and the mother of my kids. She does a fantastic job with the kids and keeping the house going. It was just suggested that the wife should go and get a part-time job by others, and I just do not think that that would benefit our situation. I am just more capable of making more money for less hours of work than she is

    • #3093897


      by irfan_718 ·

      In reply to Do a lot of IT workers have side jobs/businesses?


      have thought about doing it but haven’t started anything yet… basically it depends on how much you earn … if not enough for you then do it … otherwise chill.

    • #3093895

      Its a choice that takes discipline

      by andy ·

      In reply to Do a lot of IT workers have side jobs/businesses?

      12 months ago I started my own computer support company.

      Before that I did network admin and IT manager gigs and was getting asked all the time to do this or that for members of staff or their friends or the little guy down the road.

      As a network admin I had the time and the extra cash always came in handy, even though it was only a token amount.

      As an IT Manager I didnt really have the time but even then it took discipline to turn the people and the jobs away.

      Now I work for myself there is no side job, everything goes through the business and when I want a day off, clients permitting, I take one. Keeps burn-out at bay.

      If you enjoy what you do and want to do the odd-job then go for it, if its just a job to you then the chance of burn out is much higher. I always wanted to be my own boss so side jobs were a taster of what it would be like. If thats not you then dont sweat it, do waht makes you happy and be grateful you have the discipline to keep work at work and home at home.

    • #3093893

      Side jobs

      by hyperion127 ·

      In reply to Do a lot of IT workers have side jobs/businesses?

      I’m in the customer service/help desk side of IT and value my time. That’s one of the reasons why I only have one side job which doesn’t take a lot of time or effort (Webmaster for a church).

      Stating the obvious, it really comes down to what you want. If you get great satisfaction in making those extra bucks and your family situation permits it, then go for it. On the other hand, if you value personal time to kick back, be with family, etc. then don’t do side jobs. There are also shades of gray between these two polarities.

    • #3093883

      On Occassion

      by fgarvin ·

      In reply to Do a lot of IT workers have side jobs/businesses?

      I don’t go looking for side jobs, but will take them on occassion. I average maybe 4-5 a year. Depending on the difficulty of the job, it’s a nice way to pick up $60-$80.

    • #3093877

      The Manager’s View

      by ttrimb1e ·

      In reply to Do a lot of IT workers have side jobs/businesses?

      As a long time senior manager of IT teams, I feel there is a lot of difference between helping out friends with computer issues and having a side job or business. I think most IT people will help out friends, co-workers, neighbors, etc. for a small fee. However, having a side job can detract from your performance on your main job. As a senior manager, I need IT people to be available when they are needed for extra work or problem solving. Most good IT people are also somewhat underpaid for their skills. Talk to your boss maybe they can give you a few extra dollars to keep your wife a little happier.

      • #3093813

        Reply To: Do a lot of IT workers have side jobs/businesses?

        by huntr ·

        In reply to The Manager’s View

        I don’t know of any company that pays their employees for 24 hours in a day. What the individual does on their own time is their “business” and not yours. I know many managers want to make their own lives easier by having their employees available at all times (and even talk of it as policy sometimes). However, it is the manager’s responsibility to have contingencies in place when an employee is not available. It should be expected that the employee is not available when they walk out the door at the end of the work day. That said… most employees are more than willing to assist after hours when they are available.

        • #3092085

          Some think they do.

          by too old for it ·

          In reply to Reply To: Do a lot of IT workers have side jobs/businesses?

          Company I worked for circa 1999 was owned by a guy who thought his bottom-feeder salary meant he owned you.

          One guy there had a sports column in the local weekly paper. He was made to quit.

          Server Admin wrote code in 5 or so languages. This company’s owner was the only code slinger, but he didn’t want this guy to write for anyone else, so …

          I did a little charity work, and he was thinking that the time doing that was better spent on his stuff, or just sitting at home waiting for him to call. At least he was honest and consistant: He donated neither time nor money to any charity himself.

          (in case anyone is keeping score, this is also the guy who “couldn’t trust you” unless you belonged to the same parish of the smae church as he did)

      • #3093767

        Manager/Tech View

        by ctrimbath ·

        In reply to The Manager’s View

        I am currently an IT manager and have been a manager for several years now, but at heart I am and always will be a techie. I have had my own business since 1990 and I do consulting work, design, installation and repairs. I am very particular about the customers I take on and I do charge more to the customer I really don?t want, but insists on my services. I have greatly expanded my knowledge by having my side business. Once you have been in a job for a while you have learned just about all there is to learn about your internal systems, and having side work gives you some varied experience and knowledge. It has benefited me greatly in my ?Day Job? when new systems come in or new technologies I usually already have some experience with them.

    • #3093875

      The question is…

      by ruthie56 ·

      In reply to Do a lot of IT workers have side jobs/businesses?

      I think this is a 2 parter… it’s obvious that MANY IT professionals do offer their services outside of their job (self included), the question of SHOULD you depends on YOU.
      1) Does your ‘family income’ need it?… then yes.
      2) If you are NOT offering services outside of your job, what is the reason?
      – Do you spend more time with your family? (Good reason)
      – Do you spend more time at a hobby? (Ok)
      – Do you spend time spending money?…

      etc… etc…
      It all depends on your circumstances… your finances… your GOALS… and YOUR priorities. Discuss them with your wife.

    • #3093873


      by bill.beckett ·

      In reply to Do a lot of IT workers have side jobs/businesses?

      It sounds alot like your wife is trying to get you out of the house.

      • #3093860

        Grandmother of the IT world

        by grammybanshee ·

        In reply to Actually

        I’m almost 60 and have been working in IT-related jobs since the mid-80’s. I’ve always been glad to have a skill and experience that allows me to make a substantial second income doing something I love! Started doing basic word processing and now install networks, create websites, teach computer skills and fix the beasts (my least favorite thing). My “side business” kept me alive for a year after I was downsized from my Net Admin job. Now I’m working full-time again and still spend several evenings a week and usually at least a day of the weekend doing what I love best – working with computers and their people. Ah, by the way…. I’m single so no hassle about being gone too much (or not enough!). Fees? Corporate gets the bargain price of $85/hr; individuals only $45/hr. Flat fees for most repairs comparable with (but lower than) local repair services. And yes, I do pay taxes on the income.

    • #3093867

      Side Businesses

      by codebubba ·

      In reply to Do a lot of IT workers have side jobs/businesses?

      I wouldn’t presume to guess what your wife’s motives are – but IMHO, trying to run a side business or 2nd job when full-time IT just doesn’t work. For years I have thought about starting up something on the side but, at 48, I’m just plain “whupped” by the time I get home and have a bite to eat. Just about the last thing I want to do is write another line of code.

      I do occasionally handle some system maintenance for a friend’s business and I manage my LAN at the house – keeping the wife and daughter’s systems all running, but after a long day at the office I just don’t have any mental capacity left. Maybe I’ll spend an hour studying or something, but that’s about it.

      I keep *thinking* that I might want to do that but after years of thinking about it I finally realized that I just need to forget about it – my bandwidth is all used up by the time 7pm or so rolls around.

      No, I wouldn’t say you lack ambition. You just don’t want to burn out. Back when I was 23 years old I could work all day long at a job then come home and write assembly code on a PC until 3am, sleep 4 hours and get up to do it all over again. Not any more!

      I need a nap!

      -CB 😉

    • #3093861

      Side Jobs for IT

      by drmoo ·

      In reply to Do a lot of IT workers have side jobs/businesses?

      I am a woman and I currently have a side job which is not even related to IT. I work for a school system and as you know they don’t pay very much (less than $19.00 and hour), but on the other hand, you do have great hours (7:30-4:00), a stable job and benefits. I used to repair computers on the side, but it wasn’t profitable enough and co-workers expect it you to work for free. I only charged $35 for a complete system rebuilt.

    • #3093856

      I have 2 side jobs

      by jcritch ·

      In reply to Do a lot of IT workers have side jobs/businesses?

      I have as very small consulting business, word of mouth only type of relationship. 2 businesses furnish me with a key and alarm code so I can work after hours on their systems.

      My other part time job is Fire Fighting, I am a part time engineer for my Fire Department. I work 1 night a week doing that, and whenever we have a rescue or fire.

    • #3093855

      Affiliate Marketing – NO side IT work

      by trafficjon ·

      In reply to Do a lot of IT workers have side jobs/businesses?

      I have a small side business promoting a number of affiliate programs (No MLM or “Network Marketing”).

      It brings in a nice steady income, I don’t have to leave the house, and I don’t have to deal with people and their computer problems after hours!

    • #3093843

      It Manager with consulting contracts on the side

      by bag ·

      In reply to Do a lot of IT workers have side jobs/businesses?


      Not unusual at all, Like the title says. I have some consulting contracts on the side. To all the IT person here that have to maintain and support their “Familiy and Friends Systems”.(You never thaught you had that many friends) Choose the friends and family you want to help or some day 100% of your spare time will be dedicated to that and as you know this is not the best way to make a living. I am no saying to stop doing it. I do community service and help close friends and family but some of the spare time can be used to run a paying consulting company. Start small.

      My 2 cents from up north.


    • #3093839

      Moneh is Moneh but……

      by threv ·

      In reply to Do a lot of IT workers have side jobs/businesses?

      My time is my own. That said, I do do side work on Occaision. My wife likes the Extra money and the work always seems to come at rather serendipitous times. (You make you own luck I say..) However I scaled back the amount of work I do to basically 1 paying customer who owns his own business works form home and has had bad luck with unreliable techs. He never bats an eye no matter what the bill is and he even pays me for my time to drive to Best Buy or Tiger direct for him. (I’m probably one of the few techs who’ll work on Xmas Eve..and the day after Xmas or during Haunukka) My wife is Hot/cold about this She likes the money so she’ll put up with his “weekend requests”, But there will be some “Whine and cheese” at the end of it. Someone else mentioned that Home users are the worst to work for because they think they own you, yet balk at bill and call you all the time for advice.
      Now family is another matter….I take care of the computers for the whole family and some friends but not much mostly upgradea and installations or home networking. Despite what people say about the reliablity/security of Windows once I’v been to their home and setup their system they rarly have Virus/spyware issues or crashes. (Those are the least of my calls).

      My Wife and I also do alot Ebay stuff on the side too. But again thats our choice while we dont’ need the extra money (We both are well paid though in very different jobs)its nice and comes in handy.

      As for whether or not you are ambitious enough thats a question only you can answer. What is really more important questions are: Are you happy?, do you feel like you need more more money? Is there something special your wife wants and is she is being obtuse about it? (as most women usually are)

      Good luck!

    • #3093838

      Side Jobs – NOT!

      by jim_vander_noot ·

      In reply to Do a lot of IT workers have side jobs/businesses?

      This is absolute nonsense. What IT professional has time for themselves, let alone a side job?

      If you’ve got a family, the 4 or 5 hours you do spend at home in the evening are focused on cooking dinner, getting kids to and from basketball, music lessons, whatever…

      My wife and I get an hour or so of TV per night if we’re lucky, then about 10 minutes of reading before we fall asleep.

      And then it’s back to the office in the morning for another 9-11 hours.

    • #3093837

      Do a lot of IT workers have side jobs/businesses

      by webgordy1972 ·

      In reply to Do a lot of IT workers have side jobs/businesses?

      Yes, I do. I work as a Network Administrator at a small company and work many hours after on home system for extra cash. My reasons are although My title at the office is Network Administrator my PAY is not. My pay is about 10% less than your average Network admins. But at least I’m employed.

    • #3093836

      The 1st job is to pay the bills & taxes

      by alexp023 ·

      In reply to Do a lot of IT workers have side jobs/businesses?

      Yes I do have side jobs, and I’m working to get more of them. I make a good salary with bonuses and benefits. Unfortunately, that goes for the day-to-day living and college expenses for the kids. The side jobs are for me, “My mad money”, to do whatever I want.
      It used to be that people worked overtime to make some extra money. Today employers expect you to work an extra 10 hours a week without additional compensation. I guess we’re supposed to be thankful we even have a job.
      I have a very long commute 1 1/2 to 2 hours each way. I want to use that time to make some “Mad Money”
      Thanks, I hope you find what you are looking for.

    • #3093835

      That’s news to me!

      by swwbo ·

      In reply to Do a lot of IT workers have side jobs/businesses?

      I don’t have the stamina to have any side jobs! In fact, the company I work for forbids moonlighting jobs.

      Believe me, when you are on your death bed, you are not going to look back on your life and think that you should have spent more time working!!

    • #3093831

      Side Job

      by she geek ·

      In reply to Do a lot of IT workers have side jobs/businesses?

      I take as much “side” work as I can get, but as a single mom, I need the extra income. Besides that … I’m not constantly asked to work on peoples computers for free.

    • #3093827

      Teaching as a Side Job

      by professorcurt ·

      In reply to Do a lot of IT workers have side jobs/businesses?

      I’ve been an Adjunct Professor ay a nearby University for about 8 years now. I started teaching after I got my MBA because of the extra money, and I keep at it because I love working with college students.
      I had a boss at a previous job that did NOT like me teaching and made sure I knew it. He once indicated that if I had time to teach, I could/should spend more time at my job. I left the company shortly after that.

      • #3093695

        Teaching is Good

        by jbaxterjr ·

        In reply to Teaching as a Side Job

        I am a network/hardware administrator during the day. I also teach A+ classes at the local technical school at night. It is a great way to make good money and share your knowledge. I can’t make what the college pays me at a local computer store.

    • #3093825

      Not Just Side Jobs

      by wannabegates ·

      In reply to Do a lot of IT workers have side jobs/businesses?

      I did side jobs for a long time, and yes, the money is nice. However, this can take a ton of personal time. So… I came up the the idea of a side business instead. Now my new side business is involved in projects from simple hardware problems to full blown managed hosting. The money is much better and I don’t have to do all the work! It’s even looking like I may quite my day job because the “Side Business” is doing so well. A good problem to have…

    • #3093824

      im a side job whore :)

      by catfish182 ·

      In reply to Do a lot of IT workers have side jobs/businesses?

      Thats all i do along side my normal IT job. I put in abuot 70 hours a week total for IT work. It helps pay the bills but it has lead to getting other jobs and other bids. Its networking really but they get to see what i can do. (and i still get hired 😛 )

    • #3093823

      Starting My Own Micro-ISV

      by blackfalconsoftware9 ·

      In reply to Do a lot of IT workers have side jobs/businesses?

      I have been working in corporate IT for over 32 years and though I enjoy my current job, I am getting bored with the routine. With one product already out the door and enhancements on the drawing-board I began working on my own Micro-ISV several years ago. No money yet but I am still hopeful.

      I am doing it because I still love working with technology but want to do my own thing without anyone else telling me how… outside potential customers.

      It is a lot of work and effort, true. However, the IT field is not one where you can treat it like a 9-to-5 job without suffering serious long-term consequences to one’s employability. Whether we like it or not, this field demands a lot from technicians and the only way to keep current with the technologies is doing something on the side whether it is contracting, starting a business, working for fun such as with open-source, or simply studying.

      I have seen a lot of people weened out of this field for simply not using the initiative to go the extra mile on their own time. You may want more time with your family or to do other things and I am no exception. However, it is one thing to lose a job, quite another to lose a career. I would keep this in mind when making such choices.

      • #3093800

        I have a second job

        by johngaz ·

        In reply to Starting My Own Micro-ISV

        I got my MBA back in 92 and since then I have been teaching IT classes for several colleges. I started teaching because I needed to pay some bills and I really liked it. I keep teaching because, it forces me to stay current in new technologies, I pass on my knowledge and now I have a daughter in college! However, I will not do paid computer work for anyone because of the problems a lot of you have already mentioned.

    • #3093820

      send people to someone else

      by gsracer ·

      In reply to Do a lot of IT workers have side jobs/businesses?

      I use to do a lot of Tech support for friends, but due to issues stated in many of the reply’s (i.e. people wanting free support). Now I just send people over to one of my kid’s friends that started a computer business in town! He likes it and so do I.

    • #3093818

      I have a second job…

      by rjstein3 ·

      In reply to Do a lot of IT workers have side jobs/businesses?

      and it is unrelated to IT. I am a snowboard instructor at a local resort here in Vermont. Did it for several reasons:
      -I love snowboarding (22 years riding!)
      -I love teaching it
      -I make some extra $$$
      -I get a family season pass
      -I am a better rider for it
      -keeps me off the couch
      As far as doing IT related work, I help out a very small number of friends/family. Never charge. I also do some work for a charity that I believe in, strictly volunteer. Nothing too heavy-duty, though. I have resisted doing PC work for $$$, but if my health insurance premiums continue to increase, I may have to rethink it. Rural area and very low population density means few potential customers. I am aware of the few in the area who do it as primary work, and they are not getting rich.
      Can’t speak to your wife’s motives…..

    • #3093812

      Work or hobby

      by ed woychowsky ·

      In reply to Do a lot of IT workers have side jobs/businesses?

      I?m a part-time freelance writer, but I don?t think of it as a side job, to me it is more of a hobby. Of course writing a book ( has changed that outlook somewhat. A book, I?ve learned requires real work, with deadlines and editing. Nevertheless it does bring in some extra cash, always a good thing.

    • #3093810

      Side Work

      by tomh ·

      In reply to Do a lot of IT workers have side jobs/businesses?

      I have been creating a side company (.com) from software I have written for a company I worked for several years ago.
      About everyone I know in IT works side jobs, from reparing P.C. to writing applications. Isn’t this how IT workers keep pace with inflation,etc., considering that most employers view IT workers as a cost, not a profit center.

    • #3093806

      What people don’t understand…

      by leee ·

      In reply to Do a lot of IT workers have side jobs/businesses?

      People who ask us to do something and then gripe about the $50-150/hr. price tag don’t understand that what they’re paying for is (a) time, (b) expertise and (c) the ability to get someone to fix something they can’t. But underneath it all, it comes back to the attitude that since it’s computer work, it’s not “real” labor. They wouldn’t complain about the guys digging a hole for their swimming pools and charging big bucks, but if they know you they suddenly, albeit silently, disrespect your experience and education.

      If I need a task done and it is important to me, you bet I’ll pay for it. Like I could do any better? Like they could?

      (And how it relates back to the original question: If your wife complains that you aren’t getting enough business, you can argue that people would rather go the “cheap” route than the “well done” route, and you do have some dignity…)

    • #3093788

      Side Work

      by tomh ·

      In reply to Do a lot of IT workers have side jobs/businesses?

      I have been creating a side company (.com) from software I have written for a company I worked for several years ago.
      About everyone I know in IT works side jobs, from reparing P.C. to writing applications. Isn’t this how IT workers keep pace with inflation,etc., considering that most employers view IT workers as a cost, not a profit center.

    • #3093784

      Crazy NOT to

      by james speed ·

      In reply to Do a lot of IT workers have side jobs/businesses?

      I have been in IT since Bill Gates was eating cheeseburgers at Mickey D’s. I had my own company for 18 years, had a HARD time like everyone else doing everything. I gave that up and started working for other people. I have a great job, make fantastic money… and STILL do side jobs. Wouldnt you like to have an extra $200, $300, $400 or more a month coming in? Just putting together old PC’s and selling them to people who dont have one and cant afford a new Dell, HP, Gateway etc is really easy. Its a WIN/WIN situation. Just dont let it interfere with your day job and you’ll be fine.

      AND… DONT quit your day job even if you make some good money … unless its GOOD money consistently and future prospects show to increase it.

      Good Luck!


    • #3093777

      smack my B up

      by shraven ·

      In reply to Do a lot of IT workers have side jobs/businesses?

      She d*mn right, you lazy fool. Set that ho out on the corner and start pimpin. It’s never too late to get in the game.
      I’m not married myself so I sideline in setting up computer aided hydroponic grow systems… doing so well I’m thinking about quitting the day job stealing credit card numbers.

    • #3093774

      Carving away at a side business

      by swbradbury ·

      In reply to Do a lot of IT workers have side jobs/businesses?

      I’ve started my own side business but I’ve decided to go totally non-technology — Woodcarving… I’ve done the thing in the past of trying to help friends and family with computers but it always leads to a frustrated person. Whether it be me or the client.

      At least with woodcarving if people don’t like what you’re doing/done you don’t hear about it 6 months later. People also don’t like to argue with a guy with a bunch of sharp tools at his disposal. HAHA

    • #3093765

      Never had problems

      by will_eaton ·

      In reply to Do a lot of IT workers have side jobs/businesses?

      I started my own side business ( I do most of my work nights and weekends because I have a full time day job. Sure, I’d like my business to become my full time job, but that will take years. In the meantime it is another avenue for experience, and of course the cash. 😀

      I have home users and small business customers. I have a contract for small businesses to sign. Luckily one of my customers is a partner at a local law firm, so she reviewed the contract in exchange for some free labor. For things like that, bartering is the only way to go.

      Warranties (for parts only) are listed on my web site, which is noted on all estimates and invoices. Never had any problems in the 3 years I’ve had my business.

      Getting ready to open an online store soon so I can get some non-local customers.


    • #3093751

      Guttersnipe, I’ve read every post and most are getting off the topic, but..

      by techpro34yrs. ·

      In reply to Do a lot of IT workers have side jobs/businesses?

      Guttersnipe, I really don’t think your wife is trying to get you out of the house. I think she is just surprised that you haven’t done side work yet and if you have Kids she’s probably thinking that extra money would most likely come in handy. I work full time and run a side business and have done side jobs for 20 some years and believe me if you have kids the extra money is very helpful. Doing the side jobs can be a pain in the $%& and cause burnout -I know! but if you love computer work, go for it. Pace yourself especially if you have a problem saying no to people. I really got burnout working 14 to 16 hour days and the post by TechniquePhreak is a good one. Do take it seriously, use a contract and protect yourself. If you start doing side work, I can’t tell you how many time that contract saved my rear and some friendships. Also, you will have people come back at you for, what did you do to my computer because they didn’t know what they were doing to begin with and then messed up all the work you did – this will happen more than you think. After several of those customers, I always make sure to have them sit down while I’m there and have them go through all their computer programs and files to show them everything works and that it was indeed working when I left. That way if they screw something up they can blame themselves and not you. I do not get those calls anymore about-what did you do! Charging: depends on your area location and whether it’s someone you know or not. Close friends=free, so so friends=half price, strangers=$50.00 an hour plus parts, a-holes that constantly call at all hours=$75.00 an hour and if they try to help I tell them $100.00 per hour.
      Just remember, you can get burnt out very easily cause I’ve been there! and had NO life!

      • #3253832

        Totaly Agree

        by tags66 ·

        In reply to Guttersnipe, I’ve read every post and most are getting off the topic, but..

        Guttersnipe, You had replies from yes, from small jobs to running two or three other bussines’s and no keep you time for you family etc to trade the wife in!!!!.
        I think you can safey say the choose is yours. But if you do take on extra work, the level-headed info TechniquePhreak and TechPro28yrs supplied will point you in the right direction. Just don’t take too much, a burnt out can take a long time to recover from and eats into that hard earn spare cash you saved up for while buring the midnight oil. (Got the T-shirt).

        • #3253753

          I agree, but not totally

          by dbucyk ·

          In reply to Totaly Agree

          Some people have been trying to make a go ahead with side business for quite a while. Not everybody’s qualifications can help them start a side business.

          Competition is fierce nowadays and not everybody is successful.

    • #3093748

      Everybody has similar problems

      by dbucyk ·

      In reply to Do a lot of IT workers have side jobs/businesses?

      I know for myself, I never became Microsoft certified due to the fact that devoting time to schooling and supporting my family would be to hard.

      However, I became Comptia certified in A+, Network+, and I am working presently on Server+. This is all being home schooled with no correspondence.

      Even after all of this I am trying to get work in the field. It is equally hard because I never attended a formal school, but yet I do have the qualifications and I work daily on problems, read journals, and keep up to date as much as I can.

      I am trying to set up a sideline business because working for a company in the IT field I’ve tried to get in, but I was always refused because of my educational background.

      I do have right now one company where I live that I am supporting their computer.

      For the past few months, after I applied with my networking certification, did I only realize that I had to do this to earn a living.

      People in the IT field, depending on their home lives, do find that they sometimes put more and more of their time into their side work to make more money and yes to get a break from their home life.

    • #3093742

      Mental Diversity

      by mr. gillis ·

      In reply to Do a lot of IT workers have side jobs/businesses?

      I do a bit of IT work fixing computers for friends and family that can’t help but clicking on “that” link and hemming up their computers. It addition, I rehab houses and do minor repairs that always involve the use of power tools, of which I have a love for. This lets me forget about the programming/networking problems at work and get my mind in another gear. My out-of-work activity adds about 20 hours to the work week. I’ve only been married two months, so I don’t think my wife wants me “out of the house” just yet.

    • #3093740

      Been doing it for years

      by bobv ·

      In reply to Do a lot of IT workers have side jobs/businesses?

      Outside of the normal job, I also have a small company that deals primarily with small business networks, 25 users and less. They need the same IT services as my large company, but can’t afford full time IT people. It can be a hassle from time to time, and the candle gets a little short, but it allows me to broaden my perspective and keeps me sharp.

      • #3093708

        I love you, please don’t ever leave me.

        by techlizard ·

        In reply to Been doing it for years

        If you like hearing that from small business owners, side gigs are the way to go. They tell their friends about you and the next thing you know you have yourself a small client base.

        Basically I consider my side gigs a hobby I get paid for. I’m usually putzing around with IT projects in my free time anyway, why not get paid to do it for someone who needs you?

    • #3093712

      Choose your customers

      by randy.r.reveal ·

      In reply to Do a lot of IT workers have side jobs/businesses?

      I’ve only worked for someone I know at their residence. I charge cash and dinner for me and my wife. This seems to put the relationship on very friendly and personal terms. I’ve been called back to do other work but never blamed for any problems. I I don’t charge a lot because I work mainly for people that don’t have a lot of money, so they’re glad to get any help.

    • #3093699

      A Technician versus Smile and Dial

      by kingpoop ·

      In reply to Do a lot of IT workers have side jobs/businesses?

      Even though you are both working in the IT Industry, you’re jobs are completely at the opposite ends of the spectrum. You’re a technician, no different really from an auto mechanic who fixes engines. If your wife wants you work on the side, then perhaps she is willing to send a few of her many many contacts your way, since she is after all in sales and salespeople are suppose to have an endless supply of marketing contacts. How exactly does she expect you to build a clientele list anyway? So now you get to be a technician and a marketing pro. Tell you what – why don’t you start up an limited liability corporation or perhaps a C Corp and hire her as your sales employee and then demand that she increase sales of your company by 60% within the next 6 months or she’s fired. Good Luck (to her that is).

    • #3093698

      An encouraging word…

      by tekniculwiz ·

      In reply to Do a lot of IT workers have side jobs/businesses?

      I have had different opportunities to do side jobs over the 20+ years I’ve been in the business of computers, ever since starting in the military when I graduated from high school in 1973. I guess you could say I got my start in this business doing a “side job” while in the military in 1978 developing a billing application for cost accounting using punch cards to program the mainframe.

      Going to night school I eventually earned my BS in Computer Science and left the military and government service to take a job in the private that a headhunter found for me in 1987. Shortly after taking that position with a Navy contractor I began teaching Intro to Computers and Information Science and COBOL programming courses at a local community college, doing that for two years. Someday I’d like to go back to that part-time again or more full-time for “retirement” from business.

      I’ve always done consulting work for family and friends, privately and for business, since that time. I’ve even done side jobs for my employer at their homes though never for direct pay, sometimes other compensation I’d take baseball or basketball game tickets, etc.

      I’ve done professional mentoring jobs (paid) for companies, one for my brother-in-law who was a CEO and had a young man developing software for his non-profit organization and needed professional guidance in the project. I’m doing network consulting now on the side, e.g., setting up computers, upgrading systems, building networks, and troubleshooting problems (help desk).

      The side jobs aren’t anything I could launch my own business with per say, but perhaps with a good reputation developed I might see more referral business come my way that could lead to a full-time consulting business. I’m in no hurry though I’ve considered and would like a business of my own and have even talked to my sons about going into business with me. I have two sons in the military right now, a pilot and air crew chief, while another worked for Microsoft on FrontPage 2003 project and another Internet startup company. But time will see if there are more opportunities available–enough to actually start something more on my own.

      I work mostly from home now (telecommute) and have off and on for several years now. I’ve got a good thing where I’m at, so we’ll see how the “side jobs” develop since my wife and I moved to the mountains about 18 months ago. I’m looking for the opportunity to teach again and maybe do it over the Internet with the community college or university once I complete my masters.

      I don’t do the “side jobs” for money so much as the personal pleasure of teaching or helping others who feel overwhelmed by the challenge of technology in their business or at home. My greatest challenge though is trying to teach my wife how to more effectively use the computer, certainly the software on it. I tried in the past and didn’t do it too well, though fortunately it didn’t lead to a divorce (jokingly). But we’re trying again soon since she left her corporate HR job almost a year ago to stay home, take off from business to enjoy being a grandma, and learn more computer skills for probably a “lesser” local part-time job.

      My suggestion to you Guttersnipe, is to start small with friends and family doing what you do best or willing to do maybe get good referrals. I’ve always done side work by word-of-mouth and that can take time, but you could get more active or proactive with getting the word out too by other means. I’ve done charity work which has lead to other business and personal contacts or work. I hope my story has helped even in some small way to get you thinking about how to get started, if that’s what you want to do–start your own business or even have a little extra money.

      Good luck!

    • #3093694

      Side Jobs paid for my new car

      by jnasser ·

      In reply to Do a lot of IT workers have side jobs/businesses?

      IT people should perform services for small business. I?m a Network Admin and I do Network consulting for small accounting and law firms which is great!! Yes not all the work is easy but very profitable. I service between 5 to 15 nodes networks which I also supply them with email services and high speed internet. If they call me for any reason I am on the clock. I stay away from individual repairs because they are headaches. My side job has paid for a brand new car, big screen TV, brand new appliances and small trips fun parks. Use the gift that God gave you.

    • #3093689

      Hubby does odd side jobs

      by dmrjones ·

      In reply to Do a lot of IT workers have side jobs/businesses?

      My husband has been doing side jobs for the better part of 10 years. His side jobs consist of anything from building a pc to installing telephony systems. The side jobs he does enables him to network and he was even able to land a better-paying position because of it.

    • #3093688

      People need us…

      by bclark ·

      In reply to Do a lot of IT workers have side jobs/businesses?

      I’ve been doing work on the side since I started working in the field. I was encouraged to by the numerous people asking me if I would take a look at their computer at home. At first I declined, but after a while it was obvious that these people really needed some help and what type of American would I be to turn down easy money. Plus, it helps me stay sharp.

      • #3093678

        Side job is good business

        by haas ·

        In reply to People need us…

        Since I lost a good paying job as an IT Consultant, and after getting a low paying job at a College as Comp. Tech. I had no choice but to start doing side jobs to support my familly and compensate for the lost income. Since then I got many rquests for wireless networks installs, pc maintenance work, web stuff and much more. As a reults of this, I started thinking that if I can increase my side job by a certain number of customers and if I can support my family on that (would be stable customer base) income, I can focuse on going it alone. But you have to do it the right way, service agreement contract, disclaimers, cover your legal basis, have the customer sign the work order and make them understand what is included in the work scope, and then you can start doing the work.

    • #3093670

      Holes and Tricks I learned along the way….

      by jascc1 ·

      In reply to Do a lot of IT workers have side jobs/businesses?

      If you’re going to do side IT jobs, the trick is to balance it with the rest of your life and to set expectations. That’s it.

      I have to agree that I have found doing side work for individuals can be a headache. It depends on your tolerance level and of course TIME. The TIME you lose per hour can be much MORE than the cash you charge per hour.

      However, if you DO decide to do individuals, make them come to you. They would do the same thing if they were going to geek squad. I don’t even both going to people’s homes – WAAAY too much time. Get you a KVM switch and multi-port router so you can work on a few at a time if need be. Then I give them a 48-72 hour turn-around time so I can pace myself. If they are deseperate and need it the same day, then REALLY make it worth your time and charge $150-200. They will certainly pay it, if they are indeed desperate. And even then, you have to gage whether it’s worth it. I have found this to work VERY well.

      As an alternative, side work for small businesseses is ideal, especially if you’re a one-man shop. But you must have……

      A contract or service agreement or any other specific SLA is a must. In case you get burned later on a “gray” area, make sure you end the contract with this clause:

      “Any work not stated above, is excluded from this contract.” or something along those lines.


      Try this. Have a “Family and Friends discount rate”. This gives them an honest sense that they are getting a “Hook-up”.

      First of all – don’t charge your parents or grandparents or REALLY close family and friends. Similiar to time, that money is worth a lot less when you can’t cross the bridge you burned in order to spend it.

      As far as those friends who you are cool with, but not so cool that they get your services for free, give them the discount rate script.

      Here’s how that conversation might go:

      “Hey John – What’s up? Need your computer fixed huh? Okay…..well I usually charge $100 for that, but since I KNOW you…..let’s see….(make sure you throw in that fake thinking pause) …I’ll hook you up with my family and friends discount rate of $50.00.”.

      Better than doing it for free. If they are offended, then you can be re-assured they need to be charged.

      Last but not least, make sure you volunteer, no matter how small, some of your time and expertise to a needy group or humanitarian service. You’ll be surprised how much you’ll “earn” from doing that.

    • #3093669

      I would like to have a regular IT job let alone a “side job”!

      by bg6638 ·

      In reply to Do a lot of IT workers have side jobs/businesses?

      I have been involved in IT for over 30 yrs as a COBOL/Foxpro programmer, who moved into windows administration via DOS 1.0-6.0, Win 3.1, 95/98 NT 4.0, Win2k, Win2k3, Exchange, SQL, and ISA server.
      That is, until my last employer went bankrupt two years ago. I have been limping by with an infrequent small job, but it has hardly been lucrative! In reading the posts, I get the feeling that there are enormous quantities of IT work available. Well at least in the midwest US, this is hardly the case! There is a large amount of outsourcing. Myself and several of my friends in central Ohio can count the number of interviews that we have had COMBINED over the past year on ONE hand! Where are the jobs????
      The jobs that are advertised want a BS, 5+ yrs exp., plus virtually every cert you can get from Cisco, Citrix, Msoft and Redhat even for what I deam entry level jobs such as Help Desk I!!!!!! Why would an employer require a CCIE for a job where you answer the phone, do minor troubleshooting, and refer bigger problems to Help Desk II, or the network or system admin?

      Another thing that has hurt me in performing side work, was that I used to add memory, change hard drives/motherboards for very little. It is hard to get people to realize when your primary business is side jobs, that your rates have to be higher! And I point out that I charge less than half what Geek Squad and others charge, plus if I can’t fix it, I don’t charge. My two cents……

      • #3093642

        Take it when you can get it

        by mike ·

        In reply to I would like to have a regular IT job let alone a “side job”!

        This is an excellent point. I am fortunate enough to have regular work as a network / systems admin, but regulary do basic laptop repair on the side. When people ask why I do this (for significantly less pay) I always tell them you need to take the work when it’s there, cause you never know when it might not be.

        The only other thing I would say I’ve learned is that I use to take any and all comers, now I only take individual people based off personal recommendations and references from other people I have done work for. Those people usually want to maintain their relationship with you and are less likely to steer you toward the needy person

      • #3092112

        That’s what’s killing you…

        by marathoner ·

        In reply to I would like to have a regular IT job let alone a “side job”!

        ” And I point out that I charge less than half what Geek Squad and others charge, plus if I can’t fix it, I don’t charge.”

        You sound like a really nice guy. 🙂

        You undervalue yourself in the first place and then you undervalue information as a service. There is VALUE in you telling them… “Your power supply on your old Pentium I is blown up. I can fix it it will cost you $200 all told, but for that you’d be well on your way to a nice new computer.” Obvious to you but not to them. You spent your time on the phone with them, you opened up their box, I guess you killed a minimum of an hour on this and you get goose eggs? No don’t do it. $35 min just to look. Doctors do it. Car guys do it. Computer guys who make a living do it. And also there is a possibility to lose business by selling yourself too cheap. People think, gees only $15? he can’t be any good, I’ll go to the $50 guy, for that he’s sure to know his stuff. Also if your too nice and bend over backways for your customers they’ll think gees this guy must be hurting for business. So learn to be a bit of an a$$hole, I’m not saying a total jerk but just don’t do anything that won’t make $$.

        BTW re job ads: I’ve been where you are. Don’t believe it when they say they want a CCIE to do help desk. They SAY that in the first place because older people tend to believe job ads, and they hope you will be too intimidated to apply. If youre so bold as to show your wrinkled face anyway they use “no CCIE” to screen you for the hidden reason, (because your too OLD– read that: smells crap a mile a way and walks around it.) They can’t legally screen you because you’re too old. They CAN screen you for no CCIE if they had it in the job requirement. There is no law that says job ads have to bear any resemblence to what you’d actually be DOING. When the right youngster comes along they’ll either waive the CCIE or they’ll send him to one of those “schools” (read that: expensive camps where pound the answers into your head for a week via CBT guided handsons and then spoon feed you the exam at the end) because he has so much “potential” (read that: potential for eating crap and working 80 hrs a week for peanuts.)

      • #3253842

        You can make your own IT job

        by stan20 ·

        In reply to I would like to have a regular IT job let alone a “side job”!

        Four years ago I was “downsized”. Since I was the oldest person on the department (and probably the highest paid), I was the first to go.

        I had always done some work on the side because it gave me a chance to work on different problems and expand my skills. So after being downsized with no notice, I took 24 hours to feel sorry for myself, angry at the world, etc. Then I made my part time work into a full time job. I found an expert salesman, formed a partnership, and found a niche that was very underdeveloped from an IT perspective. And then started developing software 18 hours a day to get a salable product before starvation set in.

        Now, four years later, we have a business worth several million, six products, and expect to more than double the number of people in the company in the next six months.

        And, my partner and I are having fun, and doing what we each love doing.

        Its been hard work, with long hours, but I work from home most of the time, so there is no commuting time, and there have been lots of times when I wondered if it would ever be worth it. But we were determined to make it work, and overcame every obstacle.

        This year I’ll pay more in taxes than I ever earned working for anyone else. And I was tired of working for a chimp in a suit anyway!

        If there are no jobs available, make your own! You CAN do it!

      • #3253692

        Mid-West is busy enough

        by x-marcap ·

        In reply to I would like to have a regular IT job let alone a “side job”!

        If you have Certs and a decent personality you could be turning away business…

        I can tell you I have turned down business for years…

        My daughter and son are busy, too…

    • #3093660

      Side Job Services

      by tarajohnsonhar ·

      In reply to Do a lot of IT workers have side jobs/businesses?

      I get local fix/repair or setup gigs from OnForce – I can either accept them if they fit my schedule/locale or decline them. And I have my profile (anonymous) posted on HotGigs to check out contract gigs that might fit me. Both services are free to register and receive leads.

    • #3093658

      Outside work

      by jackuvalltrades ·

      In reply to Do a lot of IT workers have side jobs/businesses?

      I haven’t done IT work after-hours for years. Instead, I do theater and volunteer work for the local school. Not only is money not everything, but I think it is good to walk away from your daily life and enjoy something different in the evenings.
      I am kind of curious as to why anyone would want to the same thing 24×7……

    • #3093651

      Don’t do it!

      by hserv ·

      In reply to Do a lot of IT workers have side jobs/businesses?

      Rules for side jobs:
      1. They must never INTERFERE with your regular job.
      2. They must never COMPETE with your regular job (different from #1 above).
      3. They must never hijack your personal life. At the end of your life, I doubt that one of your regrets is going to be that you didn’t spend that extra Saturday or evening away from your family working at something that paid you no more than enough for a meal out. I rescheduled more than birthday celebrations for my first son due to something “important” – that was just plain stupid on my part!

      There is very little “work” that will fit these rules.

    • #3093620

      sticking to the day job hasn’t hurt ME any!

      by jennyn ·

      In reply to Do a lot of IT workers have side jobs/businesses?

      I really don’t have the inclination to do computer work more than full time. I’ll help out friends but that’s about it.

      Its a personality thing. The people who carry on outside hours are those that just get pure enjoyment from computing, and get to spend their evenings doing it as a paid hobby!

      It depends what you want: I’ve tended towards user support/business analyst/management type roles, so the people skills have come first in moving me forwards. It works for me.


      If you really want to be a high level geeky geek – the level of detail knowledge of obscure and arcane stuff comes from doing IT 24/7. So it depends where you want to go. When I need that level of detail, I just ask the really geeky geeks to supply it. I don’t feel like I have to learn it all myself. Like I say – it;s worked for me!

    • #3093613

      Show Me the Money!!!

      by rlandeo ·

      In reply to Do a lot of IT workers have side jobs/businesses?

      One day someone at work asked if I could look at their home machine. The hard drive had failed and he needed to get all of his pictures. At first, I told him to call a data recovery specialist, but they would charges at least $1000. He was shocked when I told him that amount, but asked that I look at it anyway. I took it home and slaved out the hard drive.

      Anyways, the next day he had his pictures and I had $400 for about an hour and a half of work. Some jobs you just can’t turn down.

    • #3092209

      jobs and more jobs

      by patrick.drew ·

      In reply to Do a lot of IT workers have side jobs/businesses?

      I have done side stuff for years. I felt it expanded my knowledge base on fixing and dealing with the common everyday user problems. however it is easy to get burned out because everyone wants you to fix there computer and network for practically nothing.
      Just the facts.

    • #3092185

      Not a good idea

      by delacyd ·

      In reply to Do a lot of IT workers have side jobs/businesses?

      I know some IT professionals that do paid work on the side and it does affect their “real” job.

      Tired from working late on clientx emergency after work.

      Personal time used to troubleshoot clientx emergency – not in office when needed.

      Personal cell phone buzzes all day long with messages from clients. Person checks caller ID in case its a “fire”. Does not respond, but its kind of rude.

      Now granted, one can use personal time for anything; they do their job well and they work 45 hours per week at primary job (but typically no more than that), however from an employee perspective they are less flexible, and do not appear to be a dedicated as others that do not have a side job.

      Two IT jobs is not a good idea. If they also worked as a cashier, I doubt they would be getting paged. If you want to help someone, do it for free and limit it, or strike out and be a consultant full time, one always expects consultants to be interrupted while on the job.

    • #3092180

      Who knows the reason…

      by mark ·

      In reply to Do a lot of IT workers have side jobs/businesses?

      But your wife is correct…most of the people I know have some sort of side business fixing people’s PCs…then again others are sucked into it. Oh, you know computers, can you take a look at…

    • #3092140

      Have a life outside of work????

      by bergy ·

      In reply to Do a lot of IT workers have side jobs/businesses?

      My wife would never ask me to do this as we have too many interests to keep me busy during the hours after work. I must have 7-8 hours of sleep a night, so I can’t work extra work in at all.

      Besides, if I try to touch the computer at home, the wife’s “bells and yells” begin because once I get on, I have a very, very, very, hard time getting off.

      This is not a desirable condition for me at all — so I try to get all of my computer fix at work and forget about it as much as possible when I get home from my job.

    • #3092125

      Alternative side job

      by papawhiskey ·

      In reply to Do a lot of IT workers have side jobs/businesses?

      I have also run into the problem of people expecting the world after you fixed their computer. So I don’t do computer side work anymore. Instead when I come home from my job as a network administrator, I do art and sell it. Oil paintings don’t need tech support, they don’t have an MTBF, and they are immune to trojans, worms, keyloggers, and other types of spyware.

    • #3092116

      My job doesn’t allow moonlighting

      by starderup ·

      In reply to Do a lot of IT workers have side jobs/businesses?

      So it isn’t a choice with me.
      But even if I could, 40 a week is enough of dealing with Microsoft junk.

    • #3092093

      Too Many

      by too old for it ·

      In reply to Do a lot of IT workers have side jobs/businesses?

      And too many of them abuse the help. For instance, after you’ve moved heaven and earth to get rid of all the spyware and whatnot, you hear “I could have done that myself.” Maybe these people think that they are the great negotiator, trying to leverage a lower rate after the work is done.

      Makes me want to re-install all the crap and say “go for it”.

      Local attorney had to have his projects on a flat-rate per-project basis. How everything is “warranty” or “add-on” or “the trustee requested”.

      A pox on all their houses. Let me find a full-time employer to pay me what I made form all sources on last years 1040, and they can all go drift!!!

    • #3092077

      by shortarmofjustice ·

      In reply to Do a lot of IT workers have side jobs/businesses?

      I’ve voluntarily helped some friends for a few hours 3-4 times/year, but nothing regular… I get so saturated at work that I use my home PC minimally.

    • #3092071

      Anything but I.T.

      by dc guy ·

      In reply to Do a lot of IT workers have side jobs/businesses?

      The last thing I want to have to do when the bell rings is more I.T. work. I’m good at it and they pay me well so I keep doing it as a day job, but it’s just not that interesting or fulfilling. Golden handcuffs.

      I have done I.T. moonlighting a couple of times when the money was irresistible, and I still write about it (maybe “complain” is the right verb there), but I’m rather relieved that my current employer doesn’t allow us to work for other clients.

      I play music, I teach music, I teach ESL, writing, and foreign languages, and we breed dogs.

    • #3092047

      Gotta sell mine

      by mp5150 ·

      In reply to Do a lot of IT workers have side jobs/businesses?

      I made the change from Consultant to Employee and need to sell off and/or make a drastic change in management so that my local on-site computer repair business does not impede on my employment. Any suggestions? Specifically, where would I start in terms of selling the service?

      Take care…

    • #3092034

      Then I must be insane!

      by it24 ·

      In reply to Do a lot of IT workers have side jobs/businesses?

      I have read most of these replies and realize that I must be insane! I have a 50k non IT full time job and my part-time IT company grossed 90k last year plus I teach IT at a local CC. I have 3 kids but I love my private company. If my day employer ever found out I would probably be gone despite not signing a moonlight contract, but it’s the chance I’m willing to take. When IT is your passion it’s not work.

      For the record I just raised my rates to $50/hr. and I have several non profits and medical offices that I manage networks for.

      Advice – get a good “Terms and Conditions” document, have a good monthly agreement and spread the word!

    • #3092028


      by darrell.jones ·

      In reply to Do a lot of IT workers have side jobs/businesses?

      Both for the money and for the breadth of knowledge I did moonlighting most of my career (3 decades). It is financially rewarding, and can be stimulating, but when you are working 3 jobs and something is going wrong at all 3 places at once, it can age you a few years. It’s nice to do these things voluntarily — good luck!

    • #3091949

      I Do! And It Can Lead To Better Opportunities.

      by logos-systems ·

      In reply to Do a lot of IT workers have side jobs/businesses?

      I started doing side jobs about 15 years ago. Over the course of about 5 years, I had built up enough clients that I dropped my permanent full time job and started doing consulting on a full time bases. Over the course of the next 10 years I found I had more income, as well as more free time that I could spend with the family. That is not to say there were periods where the family didn?t see much of me, at least awake. But that is a matter of learning to manage your priorities.

    • #3091942

      This is my business now.

      by fvrba ·

      In reply to Do a lot of IT workers have side jobs/businesses?

      I own a computer business with my daughter but when I started out, it was just a side line. I only wanted to make a little more money to help make ends meet. We’ve gone through the same problems as many of the respondants here. The ‘lifetime warranty’ on work performed and the ‘why don’t you charge me less because…’

      I learned up front, from a lawyer, to address the warranty on work so it’s on the invoices I print that there is no warranty on services rendered. Of course, we make sure the problem it came with is gone, too. For the people who want a discount because we’re related or friends, I always told them since we’re friends or related, I think it would be very considerate for them to offer to pay me more then the going rate. I haven’t been asked for some kind of better price for years.

    • #3091919

      Yes some of us I guess work that way

      by fybmik ·

      In reply to Do a lot of IT workers have side jobs/businesses?

      I used to be an employee as an IT too, but later on my boss give unpleasent condition to achieve my career, so the I decide to work free. Got many thing to do with “things”. I’m working as IT & Financial consultant now, sometimes developing website can be “a hobby” makes money 🙂 . I wanna try a typing job too from typeinternational , wanna join too?

    • #3253944

      Side Jobs

      by itguyinde ·

      In reply to Do a lot of IT workers have side jobs/businesses?

      I do side jobs all the time, but ever since I started doing side work earlier in my career, I’ve kept one strict rule – I do not directly perform any services that I do at my day job. I work at a web host during the day, so at night I will design websites, setup workstations and networks or troubleshoot all of the above, but I don’t act as a reseller for web hosting. Instead, I make the client get their own web host. If they ask who i recommend, I tell them I prefer the company i work for but don’t limit their choices. I also tell them that if they do go with the host I work for, I can’t help them with non-hosting related issues while I am there. I’ve been doing it for nine years and this has worked pretty good.

    • #3253911

      Where Do You Find The Business?

      by fmteter ·

      In reply to Do a lot of IT workers have side jobs/businesses?

      Those of you taking on side jobs…what methods do you use to drum up business?

      • #3077876

        Word of mouth

        by ali40961 ·

        In reply to Where Do You Find The Business?

        I have never advertised, or for that matter lifted a finger to promote my side business. The majority of my customers came from referrals from other customers.So far, I have all the work I care to have.

      • #3253615

        Finding Work

        by dmsco ·

        In reply to Where Do You Find The Business?

        Referals referals referals I have never had to advistise. If you are good at what you do your clients will sell you to their friends and family

      • #3253600

        one word

        by avid ·

        In reply to Where Do You Find The Business?

        name… your name is your best marketing tool. i moved here 3 years ago. i have worked for 3 different IT shops in that time and will be going completely solo in about 30 days. clients have followed me through each job move because they like my work and my work ethics. be honest, do not overcharge, be as timely as possible when they need a service call, and do not force them to pay for your education (meaning know what you are doing when you get to a site.. if you do not know ms exchange, don’t tell them you do and then try to figure it out while they are being billed for the deployment) follow these simple rules and you will soon have more work than you want.

    • #3253910

      Trade Her In

      by fmteter ·

      In reply to Do a lot of IT workers have side jobs/businesses?

      Guttersnipe, I think I’d considering trading in the wife…maybe for some nice woman you meet while working a side job!

    • #3253864

      After hours gives you something to fall back on

      by founder ·

      In reply to Do a lot of IT workers have side jobs/businesses?

      Most of our self-employed owners started out as after hours techs. Some got laid off and many more quit their full time jobs after getting tired of the office politics. A few others saw first hand that there surely is age/gender discrimination in the IT industry.

      I started my business after being unable to find a comparable paying job after relocating. I ended up falling back on my “after hours” work and have never looked back.

      John Francis, Founder
      Computer Medics of America, Inc.

    • #3253809


      by cameron taljard ·

      In reply to Do a lot of IT workers have side jobs/businesses?

      Sure, if there are not contractional limits; it should be the norm within our shere of infuence.

    • #3253790

      Most Do, I Would Bet…

      by your mom 2.0 ·

      In reply to Do a lot of IT workers have side jobs/businesses?

      I tend to give coworkers a break as far as how much I charge. My boss seems to be okay with it but warned that those people I service will make a pest out of themselves if I’m not careful, and that seems to be a valid point. Just because I repaired a laptop at some point years ago for someone that doesn’t mean that the user can foul it up and expect me to fix it for free. Most people understand that, but I’ve dealt with a few where I just tell them I don’t have the time when this comes up again. I don’t worry about offending people when they do that, because obviously they don’t worry about compensating me for my time and services.

      I have made some decent cash on the side working for other companies that need CAT5 ran and terminated, but I lay out my terms before beginning the work to make sure there won’t be “sticker-shock” and that I won’t be expected to do more than agreed to.

    • #3091175

      IT work is my livelihood, not my life.

      by rowdydave ·

      In reply to Do a lot of IT workers have side jobs/businesses?

      I love what I do for a living, but I found, from building and selling PCs from my garage in the late 80s/early 90s, that once you open the door, the floodwaters rise and never seem to recede. The expectation that if you built it or you work on it, you are responsible for it forever. I stopped doing that in the mid 90s. It became a lifestyle instead of a livelihood. Its ultimate cost to my personal time and mental health wasn’t worth the money I made at it, though it was somewhat lucrative.

      Now, I can count the number of people I help with computers on one hand. They are friends, and I don’t charge them. They know they are getting free help, they appreciate it. They take responsibility for their own actions on their computers and they don’t hound me all the time.

      I know some may condemn my providing free PC help, but I don’t care. If I feel the need to get a side job, I’ll get one outside the IT realm; one that ends when the shift is over, and doesn’t have any carryover. I hear bartenders make pretty good tips.

    • #3091122

      Oh Yes

      by robert4jc ·

      In reply to Do a lot of IT workers have side jobs/businesses?

      I have a company on the side and work it here and there for friends of friends and old business friends. They gert a good price and I make some good side money

    • #3091048

      Oh Yeah! I have side-jobs in IT

      by atsmar ·

      In reply to Do a lot of IT workers have side jobs/businesses?

      I work for a local ISP/CLEC. I end up taking quite a few side-jobs from folks who don’t want to travel away from their homes to have their PC’s/laptops worked on. I’ve also done a lot of take-home work where I pick up a computer and work on it at my home over an evening or a weekend. In this economy I’ll take anything I can get. ISP’s don’t pay a whole lot but it opens the doors wide to make some decent side-job money. Just a couple of weeks ago I did a job for a local Catholic Parish where they asked me to come in and set up an 8 computer network. I made enough to make my truck payment and it took just 3.5 hours to complete. If you think about it, the average household has 2 computers. Inevitably, they will need service, so someone has to do it. There’s plenty of work to go around.

      • #3077896

        That’s strange, a paying side job for a non-profit!!

        by bg6638 ·

        In reply to Oh Yeah! I have side-jobs in IT

        “I did a job for a local Catholic Parish where they asked me to come in and set up an 8 computer network. I made enough to make my truck payment and it took just 3.5 hours.”

        Hmmm, same thing hasn’t been happening for me! More like, can you come in, set the network up for FREE, maybe donate a spare computer or two, some spare network cards, cables, hub, router, etc., and come back to help train our staff for FREE too! Also, you won’t mind if we call you for FREE advice every couple of weeks? You know I also could use some FREE help with my laptop …

        I tried to see if I could get some contract work with the local library, after I noticed that over half of their computers had do not use signs on them. Well thank you for the offer, but Harry who teaches at the tech college comes in on weekends and donates his time to keep the computers running for us.

    • #3091026

      It becomes a question of

      by mikesf ·

      In reply to Do a lot of IT workers have side jobs/businesses?

      what you value more: Time or money?

      After having done the side job thing for years I find time is more precious.

      You decide.

      PS. don’t listen to your wife

    • #3077640

      I do

      by timothyrcullen ·

      In reply to Do a lot of IT workers have side jobs/businesses?

      I’ve always had little side jobs going on since getting into IT, as have most people I know. As long as it does not cause a conflict of interest with your current employer or interfere with your everyday duties, then there’s nothing wrong with it.

      I would not question your own ambition unless you don’t believe you’re ambitious enough. If you are happy with the money you make and need only one job to scratch all IT itches, then so be it. I left a career where I had three jobs in the same fiela at the same time and killed myself for nothing. I applaude those who can have one job and one job only. Just don’t let anyone… not even the perceived boss at home…stiff arm you into doing something. And as some people on this post have alluded to, if things don’t go right with a side job it can be VERY PAINFUL. Good luck in whatever you choose.

    • #3091811

      funny story

      by avid ·

      In reply to Do a lot of IT workers have side jobs/businesses?

      i just got back from lunch and noticed my boss was sitting at my pc reading this board and asked me why i was reading it. i told him that it was a good way get others views on such topics. his reply was “it sounds like a bunch of bullsh!# to me. i just thought i would share that..

      • #3091733


        by lumbergh77 ·

        In reply to funny story

        Ya better be careful from now on, he’ll be watching you like a hawk.

        • #3254670

          no kidding!!

          by avid ·

          In reply to LOL

          they already are watching me. i checked my employee file and noticed that my non-compete form is gone suddenly. i am sure that he is running it by his legal guys. no matter. my side business money has eclipsed my paycheck from him long ago. i am just waiting for the articles of incorporation to be drawn up to leave and start my new business with my finacial backer.

      • #3253247

        Ha Ha

        by roc riz ·

        In reply to funny story

        Since when were bosses known for their insight into such things.

        IMNSHO, the reason that there are managers, is so that there is less unemployment…
        But I babble.

    • #3091651

      Side Jobs

      by gosubdb ·

      In reply to Do a lot of IT workers have side jobs/businesses?

      I work for a large school district. With that said we stay on top of new technology. We have plenty of training available to us. So why not use your talents do side jobs in your spare time and make some extra money. So many people are intimidated at doing the simplest of things. So many people also think IT is rocket science, it?s really not. Or maybe I?ve been in IT & working on a Help Desk too long. I would encourage anyone to use their on job knowledge for self gain. Just don?t cross the line and use your employers supply?s.

    • #3091603

      I would like to do side work…

      by genehunter ·

      In reply to Do a lot of IT workers have side jobs/businesses?

      I would love to do side work.
      I am currently unemployed so it would actually be Primary work. I’m thinking of starting my own business. Any ideas on where I should start looking for reliable resources?

      • #3253240

        finding side work

        by tomh ·

        In reply to I would like to do side work…

        You probably worked for a company in IT before becoming unemployed. So put on your thinking cap. What companies were customers of my former employer. That is a starting point. Determine what companies are small, but require IT services, such as EDI, Database Management, programming, network maintainance, installation of computers, etc.
        Make up a business card and go to the companies, offering your services at a hourly rate of around $45.00 to $60.00 per hour for an 8 hour day. Find 5 companies that can use you one day a week, and maybe on a Saturday every now an then.
        This is what I did until one of the companies I worked for wanted me full time. I had 5 customers for Monday through Friday and 2 others for Saturday work every now and then.

        This works great, providing you have the skills and certs to demonstrate your abilities for the company.

        There are thousands of companies that cannot afford a full time IT staff or even one person, so show them how they can had the staff wothout the cost.

        Of course you need a contract to define what your responsibilities are and how they pay you. I insisted that each company keep me as a part-time employee and take out taxes, social security, etc. so I didn’t get stuck at the end of the year. Also make sure each customer knows that your other customers might call you while you are on their site.

        Good Luck

        • #3254572

          finding side work isn’t that easy

          by bg6638 ·

          In reply to finding side work

          I have 30+ yrs in IT as a COBOL/Foxpro programmer, plus I have spent a good part of the last 15 yrs working with MAC OS 7-9.X, OSX, DOS 1.0-6.X, Win 3.1, Win95/98, NT 3.5, NT 4.0, Win2k, Win2k3, Exchange, ISA, and SQL server. After 6 months of unemployment, I decided on using a strategy similar to yours. Unfortunately, finding 3-5 companies for Mon-Fri work has been problematic at best. First, even $20/hr makes them choke, let alone $45-60 as a 1099-misc contractor! Second, none want to offer a guarantee of one day per week, not even one day per month, however they want you at their door the SECOND they do have a problem! Also the idea of a “retainer fee” for that type of service has not gone over well either!

        • #3254479

          Type of company

          by tomh ·

          In reply to finding side work isn’t that easy

          I found that companies that were in retail and services were the worst to do business with. Small manufacturers were the best, followed by wholesale/distribution. Doctors or other professionals are bad also.
          Another thought is you might try to tie in with someone that has a small repair business, but not IT skills like you. I have a friend that services copiers and he refers his clients to my son for Visial Basic or other DB stuff.
          For myself, I have the full time job and 2 part-time mfgs. to take care of. One company makes springs for car engines and the other makes lockers for schools. I visit the about once a month, give or take a month.
          Look at small job shops too. They all have computer stuff to do, from A/R to Inventory.
          I hope this helps.

        • #3254473

          Type of company

          by tomh ·

          In reply to finding side work isn’t that easy

          I found that companies that were in retail and services were the worst to do business with. Small manufacturers were the best, followed by wholesale/distribution. Doctors or other professionals are bad also.
          Another thought is you might try to tie in with someone that has a small repair business, but not IT skills like you. I have a friend that services copiers and he refers his clients to my son for Visial Basic or other DB stuff.
          For myself, I have the full time job and 2 part-time mfgs. to take care of. One company makes springs for car engines and the other makes lockers for schools. I visit the about once a month, give or take a month.
          Look at small job shops too. They all have computer stuff to do, from A/R to Inventory.
          I hope this helps.

      • #3253188

        Small Business Administration

        by beads ·

        In reply to I would like to do side work…

        The SBA would be the first place to start. They (the SBA) has mentors, supplies and a wealth of information to get you started. Right down to applying for loans; writing a business plan; marketing strategy. Anything and everything you could possibly need to know but didn’t know you had to ask.

        I’m on my fourth new business myself. Two of which failed due to my fault. The third I sold before the bubble took off (ouch!) and this one that I will probably work till retirement, if not others.

        – beads

        • #3254476

          SBA – other definition

          by tomh ·

          In reply to Small Business Administration

          I’ve had bad luck with the SBA. Lots of time spent but no results. Maybe we should compare notes. I do have another side business I’m beginning to startup and could use a pointer or two navagating the run-around at the SBA.
          Check my web site at

    • #3091597

      Yes, if at all possible, even if I’m not short of money.

      by jkameleon ·

      In reply to Do a lot of IT workers have side jobs/businesses?

      It’s about security. I a field as volatile as IT, one must always have a plan B ready.

    • #3254135

      working outside of IT

      by jstinsley ·

      In reply to Do a lot of IT workers have side jobs/businesses?

      I don’t do computer work outside of my IT job. Instead I work a business of my own in the Wellness Industry. If your full time job is in IT, and your outside job is in IT, you may find yourself in the nearest mental ward.

      • #3080860

        working outside of IT

        by atsmar ·

        In reply to working outside of IT

        That is actually a good idea! I can see how that would help keep you sane. I do IT side work, but Ialso do tree pruning and landscaping. Nothing like the great outdoors to cleanse the mind and spirit after dealing with computers all day long!

    • #3254062

      Do a lot of IT workers have side jobs/businesses?

      by hmoyet ·

      In reply to Do a lot of IT workers have side jobs/businesses?

      I am network admin and computer tech. I have a full time job and I also have side jobs. Its side money that I can do things with my family.

    • #3080856

      Well, I do for one

      by roy penfold ·

      In reply to Do a lot of IT workers have side jobs/businesses?

      I am employed as an IT Manager for a small/medium business, and my employer fuly accepts and supports the fact that I provide IT support to employees and preferred customers.

    • #3252487

      Side Business is perfect

      by dmsco ·

      In reply to Do a lot of IT workers have side jobs/businesses?

      I am an PC Administrator for a large real estate firm for the past 5 years. I have had a side business for the past 10 years. I dedicate after hours and weekends for my personal clients and they love it. Most of them work daytime anyways. I use my vacation time, sick time and personal time if I really need to see someone during the day. I have had an extra income of 15k to 20k

    • #3252389

      I do side work

      by chaleepas ·

      In reply to Do a lot of IT workers have side jobs/businesses?

      I do web page design and tech support on the side when people ask me. This usually happens after it’s found out that I do that kind of stuff for a living at my 8-5 job. My nights and weekends aren’t taken up by it, as it’s sporadic, but it’s kind of flattering when people want you to help them.

    • #3252211

      It is okay if you don’t

      by box_15 ·

      In reply to Do a lot of IT workers have side jobs/businesses?

      I am an IT manager for an engineering company. I too don’t do anything on the side and I have been asked why I don’t. There is nothing wrong with not doing IT work on the side. Our job is stressful enough especially when you do it all. I have enough to do at work and I like implementing solutions fully. I am not interested in taking on outside projects. I make decent money so I don’t need the stress. If money rules your life then do more otherwise take it easy and do one thing right.

    • #3252110

      I do side work sometimes

      by bbaltas ·

      In reply to Do a lot of IT workers have side jobs/businesses?

      I don’t do much sidework, but when I work it’s not because I want the money its for the challenge or sense of accomplishment.

      For the most part my side job is as a teacher at our local community college. I teach about every other semester. I’ve been asked to teach more often, but this can be as demanding as my day job, and I just don’t have the time.

      In fact, in the shop I’m in right now, there are about 20 of us, and only six of us do stuff on the side, and we all teach at the college level.

    • #3252044

      Say no to side jobs…unless….

      by psifiscout ·

      In reply to Do a lot of IT workers have side jobs/businesses?

      As a rule I refuse to do side work unless it is working on the neighbors computer, at my discretion and on my schedule. I got caught in the trap of doing side work with people I work with and ended up as the pro bono computer geek for the office. I quit that job and when I moved to the current job, I flatly refuse to make any commitments to side work, unless it is a spontaneous, short term quick fix type job. When the repeated requests from multiple co workers start, I rapidly find other things to occupy my time, away from my co workers.

    • #3252995

      Repeat Customers = Easier Money $$$

      by coop_mis_dept ·

      In reply to Do a lot of IT workers have side jobs/businesses?

      I perform computer repair services on the side in addition to the 50 – 60 hrs a week dedicated to a Coop Food Store chain IT department.

      Working around 100+ employees in the stores on their problems, I have earned respect for my genius knowledge for quick and properly executed troubleshooting techniques. I also am very good with communications with people I work around to explain how or why something is doing what it is and how to avoid it.

      For years now I have been working on the side, making sure that I bring in less than $599 a year to avoid having to claim it on my taxes. With working 50 to 60 hrs a week, I cant afford to dedicate many hours to other peoples problems if I want to maintain a happy marrage ect.

      What I have found that works very well for repeat customers who no matter how many times to have them getting infected with Virus’s or Ad/Spyware, Toolbars ect, is to install your copy of Norton Ghost 2003 on their system after you have it cleaned up, usually after a complete rebuild and everything is configured for them to have it.

      I create a burned restore set of CD-R or DVD-R’s, verify the image, then same them for the next time the customer is infected. I then charge for the time it would take for the regular rebuild, and have their system rebuilt from the ghost image within about a half hour. So for a half hour worth of work you can charge 2 to 3 hrs and make big bucks in little time.

      In my area there is a shortage of good computer services for everyday home and small business users. If I wanted to I could take on much more work. Currently I charge $35/hr, and most rebuilds are2 to 3 hrs, so repeat customers would pay $70 to $105 for a half hour of my time, so I havethe potential to make $140 to $210 an hour if I had more than one system set up through my KVM. Which is 9 to 14 times what I am paid in my full time job hourly.

      Is it wrong??? I feel NO… Reason being if you have the brains to complete something faster and just a secure/reliable, you should be paid for your smarts, so the potential of $140 to $210 an hour is appropriate. Also … 9 times out of 10, your customers may call for some quick advice, and the advice time you give them works into the prior repair cost.

      Its actually better for the customer to charge full price vs giving a break since you can use an image. They will be more aware of their actions and most will decide not to download or click on smiley faces or toolbars next time and will be less likely to be infected.

      And you are still a genius in the eyes of the customers and referred regularly as cheap good reliable services compared to the competition which charges $80 to $100 just to assess the system prior to repair in my area of NH.

      And …. Be sure to uninstall Norton Ghost 2003 after the image is burned and after each image install to avoid a license problem with your software on more than 1 computer. My copy is a tool for this and is regularly installed/uninstalled for this purpose so that I am not in software license violation. One warning about this version of Ghost (2003) is that it has difficulties with the drivers for some combo CD-RW/DVD drives. Be sure to have a USB external 1.1/2.0 CD-R or RW drive handy or you can always pop in your CD-R or RW drive if their system does not have one to create the burned image. Oh and have plenty of CD-R or DVD-R’s available. Average newer XP systems take about 7 to 10 CD-R’s or 2 DVD-R’s. Be sure to label the CD’s with 1 to 10 ect to know what CD’s get installed in what order ect, and whos system it belongs to by customer/make/model/and SN if more than one like system is there.

      Hope someone finds this info helpful ….


      Sr. IT Professional

    • #3272755

      A few of my IT staff have their own business

      by kini.collins ·

      In reply to Do a lot of IT workers have side jobs/businesses?

      It seems once someone knows you know how to work on computers, neighbors, friends, and family constantly come to you for help. Quite a few of my staff, own their home-based contracting business. So, not only do they now get paid for their services, but they also get to reap tax benefits from having a home based business.

      Because I work in a unionized shop, I can’t expect staff to work more than 40 hours a week without compensation. We do require staff to declare any outside employment, whether it be self-employeed, with another company, or even volunteer work. And, we do tell the employees, their outside jobs cannot impact their performance while here at work.

      My husband is also in IT and he has his own side business. One reward he gets is being able to run his company they way he thinks a company should be run…in other words, he gets to be the boss. I think some IT professionals don’t feel they have a lot of control or input into their jobs, so having their own business allows them to get the reward and recognition for the efforts they put in.

      Also, with companies laying off people due to merges, closures, etc., I think alot of people need to know they have something to fall back on. I know a few people who this happened to and having their side business/job helped them through, especially financially when they had a family to support.

      So, yes, I think it’s more common that we realize. Today’s economy and potential benefits force people to have alternative avenues ready to go.

    • #3090330

      Combining IT and rollerblading….

      by joconnor ·

      In reply to Do a lot of IT workers have side jobs/businesses?

      From humble beginnings studying Information Systems in the Royal Australian Air Force in the 90s and simultaneously developing a rollerblading addiction…. I’ve ended up in IT Sales for New Horizons in Sydney www-nhaustralia-com-au and running rollerblading lessons and an online mag www-rollerblading-com-au so yes having a side job can definitely work – besides in IT we need the exercise!!! James

      • #3089961

        Exercise and diet is important….

        by jstinsley ·

        In reply to Combining IT and rollerblading….

        Sometime we can’t get enough exercise, and we don’t always eat right. This is why I developed a side business in wellness. I know of a dietary supplement that works wonders for energetic people, if you interested.


    • #2491069

      Side job can become your business

      by al ·

      In reply to Do a lot of IT workers have side jobs/businesses?

      Have you figured out yet how much ambition you have? There’s nothing wrong with just having one job and making most of your leisure time.

      I started a little hobby/business online and became so busy that I felt like I was wasting time whenever I went off to work. I used to grumble to my wife: “I haven’t got time for this!”

      So I quit my day job. I love being my own boss.

    • #2489955

      IT workers with Side Businesses

      by sales ·

      In reply to Do a lot of IT workers have side jobs/businesses?

      I am among many IT people with a side business. I have recently started a website for people with side businesses to advertise them to people looking to hire professionals on the side.

    • #2490509

      No side job

      by ccrobinson ·

      In reply to Do a lot of IT workers have side jobs/businesses?

      I have no desire to make time for a side job. I answer the occasional question, but that’s as much as I’ll do. I do volunteer IT work for our church school.

    • #2797469

      Only if they want to make more money.

      by abel jobs ·

      In reply to Do a lot of IT workers have side jobs/businesses?

      Most of the IT people I know don’t have side jobs because they are well off. The few of my coworkers that do have side jobs have them because they need some extra money to make ends meet. So to answer your question, no not a lot of IT workers have side jobs only the ones that what to make more money. There are many places online where you can find side jobs, just do a Google search and you will find a good amount of them.

Viewing 124 reply threads