How much to charge for computer setup & networking?


macrumors 6502
Original poster
Dec 2, 2005
San Diego
Not sure if this is in the right place, couldn't really figure out another one, so feel free to move if I'm wrong :)

My friend works for a small dentistry that just bought 3 new computers.

Two of the computers are going into a new room, and one is going to the front office. Nothing difficult, but they want someone to set them up, install their dental software and network all of the computers to their existing network.

Since it's a friend and also not the biggest or richest dentistry, I really don't want to charge much, but I'm not even sure what to charge for something as simple as this? Should I charge hourly, or per computer, and how much?

Thanks for any replies.


macrumors 603
Oct 2, 2006
The Land of Hope and Glory
Depends how good you are and if you have any experience in doing it before. If you are just "that guy who knows about computers" you obviously won't be able to charge as much as a fully qualified IT professional. £10 ($20 if your an American) an hour seems pretty cheap to me if your good. You could probably charge more as most people tend to work for £30+ an hour if they are on call out.

This is how much I would charge anyway but then I probably undersell myself. I guess if its a friend that is okay though :).


Moderator emeritus
Oct 8, 2002
The Bamboo Forest
Don't charge per computer. Then it creeps to 5 hours per computer because they want various things. Talk to them, find out exactly what they want, and give them a time estimate. I'd say $15-$20 an hour is reasonable providing you're doing more than plugging them in and turning them on. When the computers blow up (and they might) they'll call you back. If you've charged per computer they might not pay you anymore.

Or you could ask for a free root canal.


macrumors 6502
Original poster
Dec 2, 2005
San Diego
That's about what I'm thinking. I'm definitely not a "qualified IT professional", but I'm a few units shy of having my BSCS (Computer Programming). While I wouldn't be qualified as a Cisco technician, something like this would be very easy to get set up properly, as I also work as a technician at my current job and set up and maintain my company's network.

question fear

macrumors 68020
Apr 10, 2003
The "Garden" state
I would say charge 40 or so if it's an hour and a half or less, and you're doing it on your own time (ie weekend or during a lunch hour).

I have also been known to charge for beer though. Pretty much I'll play network fix-it for a 6-pack. I'm cheap.


macrumors 68000
Nov 11, 2005
Stuck in the middle with you
First off, (obviously) lay out your fees before you begin. If it's a friend and you can do this job on a weekend or another time when you wouldn't otherwise do much, I'd say $20/hr. would be reasonable. You could also lay out ahead of time how much you would charge for future emergency, on call service so they keep you in mind in the future.


macrumors 6502a
Aug 5, 2005
Manchester UK
You don't want to charge too much, but don't undersell yourself. IT can be expensive, to hire me out would be about $350 per hour (not that I get to keep any of it). I'd say aim for $50 per hour, and you should always charge on a time and materials basis.


macrumors 68040
Apr 24, 2003
I'd say the fee is contingent upon the OS being managed.

If this isn't your primary occupation, I'd also put in writing availability and response time criteria. Also define if software support is to be included. I know our tech vendor doesn't touch any AutoCad software issues. Find out if you will be required to provide backup services.


macrumors 601
Feb 27, 2005
I'd say about $50 would be good, at minimum. $75-$80 max for your situation.

If I'm working alone, I would charge $60, if I someone to give me a hand, $80, and thus a nice even $40 split each.
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.