How much to charge?

Hi all,

I'm a scientist with a passion for scientific illustration and I'm applying to illustration jobs. They ask me to propose how much I charge for my work. I've never done this professionally, so I have no idea how much I should charge! Do you all have any tips for how to figure that out, or ballpark prices? I'm afraid to propose too much money and not get hired because of it. At the same time, I'm a poor graduate student.





The cost of being in business for yourself works out to be $50-$70/hr when you taking into consideration all the expenses. Medical illustrators charge even more, $100-$125/hr.

There is a good rundown of the business side here:

If you are being hired as a full time illustrator, $18-$40/hr, plus benefits, is a price range that is realistic.

Go with the low end if new and young, the high end if old and experienced...


I am also new to science illustration, not new to art.  I feel silly asking this, but how do I go about getting employment - freelance or full time?  If I go door to door with my portfolio, who's door do I go to?