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Some insights into US market (contracting)?

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    Some insights into US market (contracting)?

    Hello,

    I lived most of my life in UK, my whole family is there too, but since I was born in other euro country, i qualified for US diversity lottery and, greencard sticker is now inside my passport. Im planning to move to "somewhere" in USA beginning of January.

    I'm full stack dotnet/azure with 11 years of experience and computer science BSc. Since 5 years been mostly contracting in/around Glasgow, day pay £400-£500 range. I do love contracting, pay is amazing, get to know many different companies and people, and flexibility - I'm single, not planning family for a while of ever, like to travel so in between contracts I get some months off.

    Since I never worked in USA here are some of my questions for those of you who lived and worked there, I will really appreciate if you could share some insights with me please?

    Q1. Is such form of work, UK contractor equivalent possible and popular(acceptable by the companies) in USA too?
    Q2. if 1 is yes, are salaries in range of 600~800 usd a day possible?

    If I was to go perm in USA, I would need to be earning minimum 140k usd pre~tax in low taxed state to have the same standard of living as in Glasgow (inc some basic medical cover) with my 450gbp per day. Q3. is such perm salary actually possible ? Q4. where abouts would it be best to try first in US?

    I just kept hearing how amazing US salaries are compared to UK, but now when I do proper calculations, I am thinking if Q5. am I making the right move financially moving there?

    (I'm aware that soon things may look different and there will be other considerations such as IR35, weaker economy in UK cos of covid and brexit)

    I really appreciate your answers

    #2
    Originally posted by osterfelder View Post
    Hello,

    I lived most of my life in UK, my whole family is there too, but since I was born in other euro country, i qualified for US diversity lottery and, greencard sticker is now inside my passport. Im planning to move to "somewhere" in USA beginning of January.

    I'm full stack dotnet/azure with 11 years of experience and computer science BSc. Since 5 years been mostly contracting in/around Glasgow, day pay £400-£500 range. I do love contracting, pay is amazing, get to know many different companies and people, and flexibility - I'm single, not planning family for a while of ever, like to travel so in between contracts I get some months off.

    Since I never worked in USA here are some of my questions for those of you who lived and worked there, I will really appreciate if you could share some insights with me please?

    Q1. Is such form of work, UK contractor equivalent possible and popular(acceptable by the companies) in USA too?
    Q2. if 1 is yes, are salaries in range of 600~800 usd a day possible?

    If I was to go perm in USA, I would need to be earning minimum 140k usd pre~tax in low taxed state to have the same standard of living as in Glasgow (inc some basic medical cover) with my 450gbp per day. Q3. is such perm salary actually possible ? Q4. where abouts would it be best to try first in US?

    I just kept hearing how amazing US salaries are compared to UK, but now when I do proper calculations, I am thinking if Q5. am I making the right move financially moving there?

    (I'm aware that soon things may look different and there will be other considerations such as IR35, weaker economy in UK cos of covid and brexit)

    I really appreciate your answers
    To vaguely answer your questions:
    1. Yes, I've worked with lots of contractors from the US over the years
    2. Yes, contracts in that range are possible, depending on qualifications, experience, etc.
    3. Salaries vary, tell me how you came up with the figure of $140k gross as comparable to £450 per day
    4. The US is a big country. You mentioned low-tax states, so if that's your driving factor, then look at low tax states. If you're interested in contracting and are happy to travel, then choose somewhere with good air connections.
    {emotionless greeting}

    Three Word Slogan

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      #3
      I have worked in the USA, I am not sure what I was expecting but it turned out much the same as working in London, but more.

      There were Indian teams, that had blagged more on their CV's, I suspect most had not even gone to Uni, previous occupation may have been street vendor.

      I am not sure about the high wages, some of the junior guys were paying for McDonalds with their credit card.

      Top guys were paid ok, but their real money came in bonus.

      I was working for an American company in Germany and was sent to USA on SME visa. German contract was no overtime, when I came back, I had to take 6 weeks holiday. Expect to work long hours with no notice. Make sure you have hourly contract not day rate.

      Also, DCM (Don’t Come Monday) is a thing, seen it done. Some people try to hide on Friday afternoon.

      It was an interesting experience, and it didn't cost me, as I was given a new car, apartment with pool and access to the jet.
      But if you were going alone you would need a few k to get you through the first few months.

      Rents are very high in Silcone Valley, most of the people working in Starbucks sleep in their cars.
      Fiscal nomad it's legal.

      Comment


        #4
        Originally posted by WTFH View Post
        To vaguely answer your questions:
        1. Yes, I've worked with lots of contractors from the US over the years
        2. Yes, contracts in that range are possible, depending on qualifications, experience, etc.
        3. Salaries vary, tell me how you came up with the figure of $140k gross as comparable to £450 per day
        4. The US is a big country. You mentioned low-tax states, so if that's your driving factor, then look at low tax states. If you're interested in contracting and are happy to travel, then choose somewhere with good air connections.
        Probably the most important consideration of all. Pick your state carefully. Lot's of people are leaving California because of federal + state taxes are just insane. My cousin among them recently decide to quit, taxes just punitive.

        Hear good things about Texas.
        "Never argue with stupid people, they will drag you down to their level and beat you with experience". Mark Twain

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by alreadypacked View Post
          Rents are very high in Silcone Valley, most of the people working in Starbucks sleep in their cars.
          Some of the engineers in Silicon Valley live in campers in the carpark.
          When the fun stops, STOP.

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by DoctorStrangelove View Post
            Some of the engineers in Silicon Valley live in campers in the carpark.
            I thought we have contractors that do that at Vodafone? Must be a lot easier paying parking in dollar bills rather than pound coins though.
            'CUK forum personality of 2011 - Winner - Yes really!!!!

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by alreadypacked View Post
              I have worked in the USA, I am not sure what I was expecting but it turned out much the same as working in London, but more.

              There were Indian teams, that had blagged more on their CV's, I suspect most had not even gone to Uni, previous occupation may have been street vendor.

              I am not sure about the high wages, some of the junior guys were paying for McDonalds with their credit card.

              Top guys were paid ok, but their real money came in bonus.

              I was working for an American company in Germany and was sent to USA on SME visa. German contract was no overtime, when I came back, I had to take 6 weeks holiday. Expect to work long hours with no notice. Make sure you have hourly contract not day rate.

              Also, DCM (Don’t Come Monday) is a thing, seen it done. Some people try to hide on Friday afternoon.

              It was an interesting experience, and it didn't cost me, as I was given a new car, apartment with pool and access to the jet.
              But if you were going alone you would need a few k to get you through the first few months.


              Rents are very high in Silcone Valley, most of the people working in Starbucks sleep in their cars.
              Interesting point. My nephew got his Phd in software whatever thing from Berkley. He started working in LA on $100,000 pa but need daddy to pay for housing. It's not cheap living there.

              When I did my US stint, they threw in an apartment and car for the duration. On the plus side, anyone from the UK is treated like a genius.
              "A people that elect corrupt politicians, imposters, thieves and traitors are not victims, but accomplices," George Orwell

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by osterfelder View Post
                - I'm single, not planning family for a while of ever, like to travel so in between contracts I get some months off.

                But then you meet the love of your life in the US and bang, your plans change. It does happen.

                qh
                He had a negative bluety on a quackhandle and was quadraspazzed on a lifeglug.

                I look forward to your all knowing and likely sarcastic and unhelpful reply.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by quackhandle View Post
                  But then you meet the love of your life in the US and bang, your plans change. It does happen.

                  qh
                  Especially as you have a British accent which oddly Americans think is sexy....
                  "You’re just a bad memory who doesn’t know when to go away" JR

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by osterfelder View Post
                    Hello,

                    I lived most of my life in UK, my whole family is there too, but since I was born in other euro country, i qualified for US diversity lottery and, greencard sticker is now inside my passport. Im planning to move to "somewhere" in USA beginning of January.
                    I really hate you for this)) I have been applying for the last 10 years. This year I missed the boat. I really wanted to move over there as I have family and most of the contacts and friends I made contracting are all State side.

                    Out of curiosity, did you apply from the UK or EU? I am wondering if they don't like UK IP addresses.


                    By the way, starting salaries for IT engineers are around $75k. Most of the people I know that have equivalent experience as I do have salaries of $150k+ In addition the taxes in the US are much lower than in the UK, the more you earn the less you pay, well up to $500k. Up to $500k you pay %28 (this is on average since it starts at %10 and goes up to around %35 when you get to $523,600), less if you earn less of course. On $164,900 you will pay around %20, just need to work out the average since you have the %10, %12, %22 and %24 brackets to go through. Beats %40 any day no??
                    You get a lot more value for your money, cost of living is cheaper and quality of life is better. Before you state that it is so expensive to live in the US go on a property site and check out how much a massive house costs compared to UK. Unless you want to live in Scotland any decent house in the UK is around £500k, see what you can get in the US for $660k.
                    Everyone in the US is treated as self employed which is amazing for anyone that contracted and knows their finances, expenses etc.
                    Sure you pay for healthcare but for a couple it is much cheaper than paying for the NHS, and you don't need to wait a month for your next GP appointment, and you might actually live by their proactive health system. I am talking about their yearly full health checks and other benefits which you don't get in the UK. Here they wait for you to get sick before they do anything. Please don't say it isn't so... personal experience.
                    You actually have the right to defend yourself, you know, as in carry some kind of defensive weapon/item that is not deemed illegal. Maybe go camping carrying a knife without having the fear of God that you will get arrested because it is a locking knife or slightly longer than "3. Meanwhile criminals to whatever the **** they want.

                    When my uncle came to the UK, he told us "wow you guys have a hard life"... that is for middle class. He went to the US in 1995, he settled in Las Vegas, his job wasn't very glamorous, engineer electronics, and yet he managed to buy 3 houses. His house is like a damn dream.
                    When I was in the US with work in Ohio, everyone I visited from work lived in mansions compared to our houses. My heart remained there and I truly wish I was more decisive.

                    Sure... if you want to live Central NY it will be like London, even LA has amazing properties at around $500k.

                    I got hitched in UK, but I always regretted doing so and wished I went over there, stay with the family and find someone over there. If it wasn't for ******* COVID there is a high chance I would have separated and left the UK to move there... but alas.

                    Every person I know that moved to the US and worked hard have great quality of life. I only know one person that won the lottery, went there and came back to UK after about 2 years, to stay on income support and council house... yep... you wanna be a parasite then don't go there. Parasites die over there, here they strive.


                    WELL DONE!!!! for winning. I am extremely envious. I wish you all the best and I bet you will love it. Keep your account here and tell us of your personal experience.
                    Last edited by Drei; 12 November 2020, 18:15.

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