Becoming an Engineering Contractor

Click on the below link to download our free, quick and easy to read Becoming a Contractor Fact Sheet:

Becoming a Contractor Fact Sheet

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Depending on your level of experience, on where you are based and on the state of the industry at the time you start contracting, you could expect to earn twice as much, or even more, than a permanent employee would. Somewhere in the region of £45 per hour or more in fact. Our take home pay calculator can show you how much more you could take home as a contractor.  

Money is not the only positive aspect of a decision to work on a contract basis. When the market is good, you could find yourself in a position where you can choose where, when and for how long you work - and subsequently, how much holiday you can take! 

But with this level of freedom comes the responsibility to make sure that you do actually find and complete enough contracts to maintain your required level of income. This is quite straightforward when there are lots of projects available which suit your skill set, experience level and location - but it can be tougher in more challenging economic times, when projects are not as readily available, and the competition for the best contracts is that much higher. For advice further advice please visit our page on finding a contract

What happens next?

The decision to move to contracting is often a conscious one, but sometimes it happens as the result of redundancy, where you simply don’t have a choice if you want to keep the money coming in. Either way, as soon as the decision has been made, there are a number of things that you will have to consider. The most vital of these is the need to manage your finances yourself, as you will no longer just be paid by a payroll department somewhere within your employer’s organisation!

The first step is to decide how you will operate – the two most common options being to work through an umbrella company or to set up a limited company. For more information please visit our page on Limited vs Umbrella . 

If you do choose to set up a limited company, SJD Accountancy can give you with a wealth of information and advice – as well as providing a low cost fixed-fee accountancy service which has been especially developed for contractors. You can also read here about working as an engineer through your own limited company

You should also make sure your CV is as up to date as it possibly can be, and that it is saved in a universally-recognised format such as Microsoft Word or as a PDF file – so when you start to email it out to prospective companies, you can be sure they will be able to read it. Our Contractor Careers Centre has all the information you need on writing the perfect CV and how to perform your best during an interview

It’s also a good idea to have some business cards. They are useful for meeting situations whilst sorting out your first contract and are always worth having as you continue in your contracting career, as you never know when an opportunity might present itself in the future!

If you have any question about contracting or would like any further advice please call our New business team on 01442 275789 or email

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SJD Accountancy

SJD Accountancy are the UK's largest specialist provider of fixed fee, Limited company accountancy services to contractors; we've been acting for contractors across the UK since 1992 and have more than 15,000 clients.

We are the only national specialist firm of contractor accountants with offices nationwide. SJD Accountancy has more qualified staff than any other firm in our market with qualifications from the following major tax and accountancy bodies - ATT, AAT, CTA, ACCA, CA, ACA and FCCA.

  • Unlimited face to face meetings. This is a unique service only SJD Accountancy offers - unlimited face to face meetings across the UK - tax is complicated and sometimes only a meeting will do.
  • UK's largest contractor accountants with more qualified staff. No call centres, no outsourcing, no automated call handling. Simply telephone, email or meet your own dedicated accountant face to face.
  • Our Customer Promise. Respond to any question sent to your accountant or any dedicated department within 24 hours.  If we need more time, we will update you as soon as we can and we promise to keep you informed of the progress we are making in answering your question.
  • Outstanding reputation. We have won more awards for customer service and accountancy excellence than any other firm in our market, including: Best Accountant for Contractors, Accountant of the Year and Best Professional Service Team to name just a few.
  • All inclusive low cost fixed fee accountancy package which includes completion of accounts*, payroll bureau, dividends and corporation tax computations, personal taxation, free bookkeeping software, your own dedicated accountant* and all company returns for a fixed fee starting from £120 plus VAT per month. Check our packages for more detail.

If you have any questions about contracting or would like any further advice please call our new business team on 01442 275789 or email: Our new business team is open Monday to Thursday (8am to 8pm), Friday (8am to 7pm) and Saturday (10am to 4pm)

Appoint SJD Accountancy and never worry about your tax or accountancy affairs again.

Form your own limited company with SJD - our same day online company formation service includes company bank account set up, VAT/PAYE registration and advice on optimum share structure. 

You may also find the following pages, guides and case studies useful:

*If you would like us to complete your company year end accounts we simply ask that you have been a client of SJD for one year or have made 12 monthly payments. All accountants are part or fully qualified.