Freelancer Hourly Rate Calculator

by Tyler Faison

Freelance Hourly Rate Calculator in Dallas, TX

Every wonder how a line producer comes up with a funky hourly rate for your 10 or 12 hour day? Well there are some labor laws and funny math at work, so let's dive in deep into why exactly your daily rate can't be as simple as it looks ($xxx/12).


Most people are aware that federal law (Fair Labor Standards Act) requires employees to be compensated for overtime for working more than 40 hours in a week. However, that leaves out virtually all television and film crews, so the industry standard is based on some state laws, namely California. Since California has an established production presence, production and payroll companies have enforced California labor laws, which state...


Eight hours of labor constitutes a day's work, and employment beyond eight hours in any workday or more than six days in any workweek requires the employee to be compensated for the overtime 


Now knowing this you can start to begin to dissect that $1,200/12 rate you managed to negotiate for yourself (congrats, btw). It would be nice and easy if you could literally divide 1,200 by 12, but noooo, we have to run it the way the accountants want it to run. California further details what classifies as overtime and double overtime as well.


One and one-half times the employee's regular rate of pay for all hours worked in excess of eight hours up to and including 12 hours in any workday...




Double the employee's regular rate of pay for all hours worked in excess of 12 hours in any workday


There seems to be some discrepancy here in the real world with payroll companies regarding OT. We often find they treat hours 12-14 as regular OT (1.5x) rather than double OT (2x), like California law requires, but that's another conversation for another day.


First we break it up our example negotiated rate of $1,200/12 into the California Work Day of the base 8 hours, OT hours and Double OT hours. The summary of how to find the base hourly rate is to divide the daily rate (e.g. $1,200) by the Workday Hours (e.g. 14).

 Hours 1-8 Hours 8-14 Hours 14+
Base Hourly Rate 1.5x Hourly Rate 2x Hourly Rate
$85.7143/hr. $128.57/hr $171.43/hr
$685.71 $514.28


Some rounding down got us one cent off in this example, but that's how math be sometimes. To understand how we get our Worked Hours we look at how many total hours are being billed, not worked. Confusing, I know, but look at it this way in the hourly breakdown of the rates.


 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1.5 1.5 1.5 1.5


Now that you have a better understanding of where your base rate comes from, use our calculator to run the numbers to confirm the hourly rate in your start paperwork matches what you negotiated on the phone with the line producer.

Daily Rate


Worked Hours

Hourly Rate

1.5x OT // 6th Day Hourly Rate

2x OT // 7th Day Hourly Rate

6th Day Pay

7th Day Pay

Share this post

← Older Post Newer Post →

  • This is so helpful as someone starting up because I definitely didn’t know about 6th day and 7th day hourly rate.

    Raymond Lo on

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published.

Net Orders Checkout

Item Price Qty Total
Subtotal $0.00

Shipping Address

Shipping Methods