Freelance IT engineer: Introducing and explaining the average annual salary by job type Is it possible to increase your income?


In this article, we will clearly introduce and explain the average annual salary of freelance engineers by guideline and job type. The number of freelance IT engineers is increasing rapidly in the 2020s. This is because workers are already aware that their annual income does not increase even if they belong to a company, and more and more engineers are starting to earn money on their own. So how much do freelance engineers get paid?

Average annual salary for all freelancers in Japan

The Professional & Parallel Career Freelance Association, a general incorporated association in Japan, has released the annual income of freelance IT engineers in 2020. The annual salary distribution of engineers and technology development personnel who work and are active in the IT industry services is as follows. Below is the percentage of those surveyed who are engineers/technical development staff. Since this is just an average, the annual income depends on the engineer’s skills. I hope this will be helpful to those who are looking for a job or have concerns.

Less than 4 million yen6.2%
4-8 million16.8%
Over 8 million29.8%
Source : フリーランス白書2020_フリーランス協会 (

Freelance IT engineer average annual salary by job type

Well, there are many different types of jobs when it comes to being an IT engineer. How much is the annual salary based on job type, not as a ranking? I have summarized the following quotes from Midworks, a freelance agent. Comparatively speaking, management and support jobs tend to have lower annual incomes. Although freelancers are at a disadvantage compared to company employees in terms of benefits and taxes, the point is that it is easy to increase your annual income by choosing the type of job you do. I would say it depends on the job you get and the job you are looking for. In the end, what matters is trust.


System Engineer7-10 million
programmer6 million
network engineer6-7 million
database engineer5-6 million
web engineer5-7 million
front end engineer5 million
embedded engineer5-6 million
test engineer4-5 million
Bridge SE5-8 million
Project manager5.5 million to 6.5 million
Source : フリーランスエンジニアの年収一覧!IT業界の職種別やプログラマーの言語別などで紹介 | フリーランス・ITエンジニアの求人・案件サイト【Midworks】 (

Annual income depends on the engineer’s skills and technical ability

The above data is for reference only and does not guarantee that it will apply exactly to you. Annual income can only be calculated by taking into account the person’s experience and desired skills. In other words, the final conditions will depend on the engineers’ efforts. The detailed amount will vary depending on the needs of human resources, the phase in charge, the type of process, and the development environment. Please answer below with your annual income as a guide.


Below is the market price for each programming language. Although there are some variations, most of them are over 600,000 yen. If you are working as a full-time employee, it will probably be a reward price that you can not get first. If you are an engineer who is ready to work to some extent and can work on your own, you can aim for a high reward. Please note that the unit price will go up and down depending on the freelance skills and experience.

Currently, java, php, and python are the most popular, followed by javascript, ruby, C, and C#. In recent years, go and swift are increasing, and demand for cobol and C++ is decreasing.

languageAverage unit price (10,000 yen)

For infrastructure engineers

For network engineers, server engineers, database engineers, etc., the required skills are not very high. You start with things like monitoring, but once you can do things like maintenance, construction, and design, it’s not that difficult and the hurdles to career advancement aren’t too high. The advantage is that it doesn’t require much study. It has great appeal because it is efficient and hard to fail. You can also advance your career as a security engineer.

For data scientists

Data scientists, data analysts, and data engineers are still unexplored and unestablished fields. For this reason, many people choose to become full-time employees rather than freelancers. The advantage of having a side job is that the unit price of the acquired projects is high. The disadvantage is that the number of cases is small. You can work remotely, but you will also need some programming ability. Some people earn high incomes and become PMs. As long as you have connections and the ability, you won’t have any problems. It is highly specialized and requires a lot of study.

For system engineers

For system engineers, it is necessary to learn design know-how and industry knowledge from books. In order to become independent, industry, industry knowledge, and business knowledge are important. Thorough design skills are required. Careers may also lead to a project manager or consultant career. This is a job where you can improve your skills and specialize in upstream processes and actively earn money. Market prices vary considerably. Contract negotiations and qualifications also change. High annual income of 6 million yen or more is possible.

For consultants

In the case of consultants, their role is related to requirements definition, so their unit price tends to be the highest. You need an attitude of learning and thinking about business rather than technology. We negotiate with clients, so a relationship of trust is important. When introducing a system, it is necessary to think from various perspectives. Basically, it is necessary to be familiar with business rather than technology, and a wide range of knowledge is required. Suitable for directors etc.

Is freelancing unstable?

Freelance engineers are not guaranteed to get a job. In other words, there are places where it depends on the sales force. If the business is weak, the annual income will be unstable. In the case of system freelance, the biggest problem is that after a project ends, there will be a gap until the next one. The original compensation is more than double that of a general company employee, but in order to eliminate the gap, it is better to use an agent company.

freelance agent

A freelance agent is a company that specializes in introducing jobs for IT engineers. These are also introduced in this blog, so please refer to the following articles. If you register with a freelance agent, you will receive job information each time. Most engineers don’t just register in one place, they do so in three or more companies. If you are unsure, you can register about 10 companies. By receiving job information, you can eliminate gaps and eventually stabilize your income.

Can you maintain your income in your 40s and 50s?

For those who are freelance IT engineers, the question is whether they can continue even if they get old. That means. In the 1900s, there was a lot of age discrimination, but in the 2000s age discrimination is disappearing. Engineers in their 60s are common in business that uses the old-fashioned C language and COBOL. Will I get a job after middle age? It is possible to say You will find that Midworks’ annual income remains stable as they age. I’m in my 40’s and my income is going up.

20’s7 million yen
30’s8 million yen
40’s8.6 million yen
50’s6.3 million yen
Source : フリーランスエンジニアの年収一覧!IT業界の職種別やプログラマーの言語別などで紹介 | フリーランス・ITエンジニアの求人・案件サイト【Midworks】 (

Whether or not you can maintain your income as you age depends on your field. Engineers in their 60s are common in the work that uses the C language and COBOL mentioned above. However, only young engineers are still developing using the recently released Go and Swift. Java and PHP are very popular among people in their 30s and 40s. As you can see, the age group varies considerably depending on the field, language, and industry, so it is difficult to generalize. However, the age limit has been removed for all projects, so even elderly engineers can continue freelancing.

Freelancing is expensive

The last thing to note is that freelancers have to pay for insurance and other expenses, so their take-home pay will be surprisingly low. This includes travel expenses, entertainment expenses, and lodging expenses if there are business trips. Compared to office workers, there is no support, so you have to handle everything yourself. Freelancers are required to take measures to save on taxes. There is no problem if you are a freelancer with a proven track record or work experience, but if you are a beginner, we recommend doing some research in advance. The following articles will help.

Completion of final tax return is essential

Freelancers cannot evade tax, so there is a system for filing tax returns, so it is essential to do so. This is especially important when you have a new customer. If you hire a tax accountant, you will also be billed for payment. In this way, money is unexpectedly generated outside of work, and it can be more troublesome than finding a job, as it requires constant preparation and action. If you want to become a freelancer from now on, please consider carefully before doing so. If you go to school and have a monthly fee, you can count that as an expense.

Pitfalls in outsourcing contracts

There are also pitfalls to outsourcing. Since your income is not always guaranteed like a full-time employee, you may be fired suddenly. Connections and connections will ultimately be important. Engineers who work in an office and gain experience don’t get physically tired. You can also continue doing business with your business partners through online networking. Therefore, you will be required to make efforts to do various business activities in your free time. Please note that you need to choose the right way to choose a work contract, and negotiations and procedures should not be sloppy.

Health insurance and national pension premiums

Freelancers also have to pay health insurance and national pension premiums. In the case of a company, the employee’s pension and other benefits are split 50/50 between the employee and the company, but National Health Insurance and National Pension premiums are 100% self-pay. Be careful as your money will continue to decrease if you don’t manage it wisely. If you look at it this way, being a freelancer is overwhelmingly more troublesome than being an office worker. There are many cases where the salary is higher than the compensation. It is easy to earn money, but it is important to at least manage yourself and be creative without splurging.