Use These Freelance Rate Databases

Rate transparency is something that I know you all value. I’m always asking hiring managers and editors to share a rate range, but some prefer to ask freelancers for their rates. The problem is that I then see freelancers asking how do I price this project? There’s no fast or easy answer. I wish there was.

However, there are a lot of databases designed to add some transparency to the freelance industry. I’ve included a few of my favorites here. If you know of other helpful resources, leave a comment on this post.

— Kaitlyn

Use These Freelance Rate Databases

1. The Editorial Freelancers Association

The Editorial Freelancers Association has compiled rates for copy editors, developmental editors, proofreaders, fact checkers, transcribers, writers, and sensitivity readers. The EFA just updated its data for 2024 and has added a breakdown per word, per hour, per page, or flat fee.

2. Freelancing Females Rate Database

I always consult the Freelancing Females Rate Database before quoting a price. With more than 1,700 entries, freelance graphic designers, writers, product managers, web developers, social media managers, and producers have shared what they’ve made for projects in different industries and have transparently included their location, gender, experience level, yearly income, and business type (aka full- or part-time).

3. Vetted

If you don’t yet have access to Vetted’s Reviews and Rates Database, you need to change that ASAP. You can only see Vetted’s reviews and rates database after leaving a review of a brand you’ve worked with. These anonymous reviews on brands big and small include an overall rating, pitch process, project scope, the rate, payment type (ex. hourly, project), and whether they paid on time.

4. The Association of Independents in Radio

The Association of Independents in Radio has a ton of research on podcasting and radio rates for audio engineers, audio editors, composers, editorial consultants, story editors, mix engineers, producers, reporters, sound designers, and studio engineers. A few of these rate guides are only available to AIR members, but most are open to the public.

5.Who Pays Writers

Who Pays Writers is a classic. It’s so helpful that I include a direct link whenever possible to publications on the Places to Pitch Trello Board. Sorted by publication, Who Pays Writers lists various rates and project scopes so you understand who pays well and who…doesn’t.

6.F*** You, Pay Me

F*** You, Pay Me is best suited for influencers and creators, or anyone earning money through sponsorships. You can subscribe for $10 a month, or get free access by leaving one anonymous review. As long as you’ve agreed to promote a brand on your social media, blog, newsletter, or website, you’re eligible to leave a review.

7. Lightbox

Lightbox is a rate database for graphic designers, illustrators, cartoonists, and commercial artists. Lightbox sorts listings by companies, jobs, rates, and year. It also includes whether or not creatives were paid and if they were paid in 30 days.

8. The American Writers and Artists Institute State of the Industry Report

The American Writers and Artists Institute State of the Industry Report is a comprehensive look at freelance writing and editing rates. Updated for 2024, it includes fee ranges for different types of writing projects like keyword research, podcast scripts, ghostwriting, content audits, and ebooks.

9. is a new database that compiles international rates for a wide variety of contract roles. Unlike other databases on this list, has included information on full stack engineers, accountants, developers, UX researchers, plumbers, and virtual assistants.

10. A Photo Editor

Though A Photo Editor isn’t a rate database, it does a lot of work to create transparency around how photographers make a living. A Photo Editor has a “Photographers, how much do you make?” series where photographers anonymously share their annual earnings, what they do, and how much experience they have. I’d also recommend following the conversation on Instagram!


Sharing information about what you’ve charged is an act of advocacy. So much about the financial part of freelancing is obscure. Share your rates in databases like these, ask what’s the rate? on public posts calling for freelancers, and chat with other freelancers about how they charge.


Tim’s putting together an updated database of rates that freelance writers have earned recently. It just takes a minute and you can do it anonymously! Share your rates.

P.S. Please take a second to give feedback. I’m eager to hear your thoughts as I develop this section of the newsletter.

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