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Toptal Freelance Rates: Know Your Worth When Bidding

Are you confused about the Toptal freelance rates? If yes, this guide is just for you.

If you are a freelancer, you probably love the flexibility your work has to offer. No other job is better, as this completely fits the ‘stay home, stay safe’ strategy.

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But, where freelancing has unique perks, the whole task can seem pretty tricky when fixing your rate with a client, especially those you find on renowned platforms.

The good news is – you are not alone. Almost every freelancer feels the same way, even those with years of experience.

In this Toptal Review, we have put useful info on Toptal, one of the top freelancing platforms, and put forth details on the Toptal hourly rate.

You will also gain insight into your worth when bidding and learn techniques to communicate with a client efficiently. Keep reading!

A Bit About Toptal

Toptal is a trusted freelancing platform, an online company that helps connect the best freelancers with worldwide employers.

The company was founded in 2010 by Taso Du Val and Branden Beneschott.

Toptal Logo

Initially, it hired only software developers from Hungary. But the company has been continuously expanding over the years.

It included freelance designers in 2015 and collaborated with Skillbridge in 2016 to include freelance accountants, statisticians, and market research consultants.

In 2017, Toptal filled the talent gap in the automotive industry by providing them with software engineers and designers.

The company also included blockchain engineers in 2018.

Toptal is highly profitable, making a gross income of $80 million in 2015.

Moreover, if we compare Toptal vs other alternatives, the Toptal freelance rates are more attractive, making it one of the best freelance platforms.

Why is Toptal Unique?

The Toptal network boasts of hiring only the top 3% of freelance workers. It means they have a rigorous hiring process in which only the top three percent make it to the platform among the 100,000 applicants yearly.

Therefore, this platform has the cream of freelancers, making it an extremely attractive site for clients.

Toptal Main Website

Toptal first screens all the freelancers, from virtual assistants, project managers, and web developers to those who work in Airbnb freelance jobs and more, to measure their potential. This part is a bit challenging. It puts freelancers through a rigorous screening process consisting of the following steps.


Toptal hires only freelancers fluent in English reading, speaking, and writing. If English isn’t your native language, you need some practice before seeking out work at Toptal.

They also check if you are passionate about your job and assess for certain personality traits.

Skill Check

You are then assessed through an automated test for your programming skills. A codility test may be used for this purpose too. You get around 90 minutes to solve three given problems.

Screening Through Video Call

The second test takes place live. You are asked to be on a video call with a Toptal expert who gives you a test to solve.

Trial Project

If you pass all the tests, you will be asked to complete some test projects within one to three weeks.

You are supposed to give out your best here, as your project will be judged in many aspects.

Performance Check

If you are hired after passing all their tests, you will be checked continuously for performance. It includes everything from your communication skills to work quality.

If your performance drops only slightly, Toptal makes you leave! According to them, only 3% of freelancers can keep up to the mark.

How is Toptal the Best Option for You

Leverage World Class Talent In Toptal

Toptal takes pride in being reached out to by companies like Pfizer, Disney, Airbnb, and Google.

As Toptal freelancers, you can get the opportunity to work on exciting projects for renowned companies.

Toptal is for you if you are a specialist or have expertise in one or more of the following set of skills :

  • Software architects
  • App Developer
  • IT project manager 
  • Product managers (enterprise and scrum)
  • Part-time CFO
  • Finance experts
  • Financial analyst
  • Blockchain consultant
  • UI/UX graphic designer (including visual and interaction designing)
  • Technical business analyst

And there are lots more. You can set a schedule to complete your work hours within a week, anywhere between Monday to Sunday, and get paid each week.

Moreover, you can use their community, which has updates for events and where all the freelancers and Toptal team interconnect.

Here, you can gain knowledge and learn new skills by interacting with other freelancers. (you can also gain insight into Toptal freelance talent rates)

You can also earn a reputation easily by being part of the tech blog on Toptal. Unlike Fiverr, where you have to offer your skills in your portfolio and wait for a client to reach you, at Toptal, a client is matched to you.

In other words, Toptal does the work for the clients, searching for the right Toptal freelancer according to their needs, making the entire process faster. It is pretty similar to Upwork, by the way.

Above all, you can benefit from the lists of professional teams on Toptal. These teams include a screening team, a content team, and a technical editors team, which offer their hired freelancers help.

Toptal Freelance Rates: What You Should Know

It is the part that holds the utmost importance: how much money will you make on this platform, and how much does Toptal cost?

How can you determine your Toptal freelance rates?

If you are wondering, ‘what is the average Toptal freelance salary?’ there is no definitive answer to this question.

Why? Because you get paid according to your experience level and skill domain.

Senior Toptal domain experts differ from project managers, and the rates vary as they are divided into hourly, part-time, or full-time zones.

Toptal freelance rates aren’t much different from other platforms. However, the average rates are higher than other popular platforms like Fiverr, Upwork, Arc, etc.

Moreover, despite being one of the Toptal experts, you can’t set up your own rate, but you can communicate with your client to change it. The Toptal average hourly rate is $80, but this value differs based on your skills and experience.

Toptal App Developers

For example, if you are a software developer, expect an hourly rate between $60 to $150 (Toptal developer hourly rates are the lowest compared to the rates for other skills).

Here is an estimate for Toptal freelance rates for different niches:

Software Developer Rates

Software Developers

Hourly: $60-$150+

Part-time: $1000-$2400+/week

Full-time: $2000-$4800+/week

Finance Department Rates

Finance Department Managers

Hourly: $90-$250+

Part-time: $1500-$4000+/week

Full-time: $3000-$8000+/week

Project-Manager Rates

Project Managers

Hourly: $90-$180+

Part-time: $1500-$2900+/week

Full-time: $3000-$5800+/week

Graphic Designer Rates

Graphic Designer

Hourly: $70-$150+

Part-time: $1200-$2400+/week

Full-time: $2400-$4800+/week

Product Manager Rates

Product Manager

Hourly: $90-$200+

Part-time: $1500-$3000+/week

Full-time: $3000-$6000+/week

Discussing Rates with Clients

Discussing Rates With Clients

You can always change Toptal freelance rates by communicating with your client. It can be a bit difficult.

However, we have a complete guide explaining how to send your message across the table.

You can also use this freelance hourly rate calculator to know how much you can bid for the payment depending on the freelancer’s quality skills. It has slots where you can enter how much annual income you want and how many days you will take off.

Moreover, if you have plans to develop a freelance business, you can enter the percentage of your income you want to invest there in the given slot.

After filling in a few more given spaces, you will get to know your hourly rate. Discussing rates is essential for part of it to pay your taxes as a freelancer.

If the results are lower than the Toptal hourly rates, you can adjust your annual income by increasing its value. Some Toptal freelancers claim they get paid four times higher than they would be paid at any other local company in a full-time job.

Isn’t it amazing?

Setting Total Freelance Rates: Useful Tips

The biggest mistake you can make as a freelancer is to underestimate yourself. You can’t ask for higher rates, obviously, if you are inexperienced or a total newbie in the freelancing world.

However, asking for more money is as tricky for an experienced candidate as for a newcomer for client budget compensations based on experience and skills.

Needless to say, those sympathy-gaining phrases have gone obsolete. They want to work with professionals, not sympathy-seekers.

The biggest fear is losing your client when you quote higher rates. And you have to find your way out.

So how to get through the bidding part swiftly? And exactly how to set the best Toptal freelance rates for yourself?

Take a look at these tips to earn the right amount of money as a freelancer:

Let Others Know About Your Business

Advertise Your Freelance Business

Whether freelancing is your new side hustle or you have plans to make a career out of it, keeping it a secret is no good. The only way businesses thrive is through advertising for a freelancer to get hired.

Therefore, you need to talk about your freelancing job with others and inform clients you are a Toptal talent.

It might help you find a client, or someone might refer you to a client. Communicating with others will also help you discover more information on rates.

You can make queries on social media websites with open-ended questions like ‘I’m new to freelancing – does anyone know what the pricing should be?’

Taking advice from others and preparing for interviews will help you adjust your Toptal salary to get paid higher than your expectations.

Allow the Client to Talk First

If you voice your rate before knowing the budget on the client’s mind, it can make you either sound too expensive or too cheap.

So the best way to deal with this situation is to know how much money the client is ready to invest.

For example, if a client asks you about your Toptal freelance rates, instead of telling it right away, answer by saying your rate depends on the project.

Then, inquire about the project details and try to make the recruiter talk about the project’s budget.

If the price is too low, steer clear of that client. Agreeing to work on less payment is only going to put you in a position where you will suffer from burnout without making sufficient money.

If they offer an attractive price, tell them your rate by offering a value that is only slightly higher.

Consider All Expenses Before Setting Your Rate

Since you are self-employed, you must consider tax payments, health insurance, and licensing before setting your yearly income target in the freelancing world.

Earning Opportunities In Toptal

The best way to deal with this part is to consider working weeks; after deducting those weeks, you will take off for vacations, holidays, or sick leaves.

So, instead of making a budget for 52 weeks, make one for 46 weeks (if keeping six weeks for off days sounds too much, you can always make it four or three weeks).

It will help you set an appropriate rate, so you won’t feel guilty when taking off and being a successful freelancer in TopTal.

Know Your Priorities

Another vital factor to consider is knowing your goal. If making a target sum of money each month is your priority, you always know when to say no to low-paying recruiters.

But, if you are building a business, you need to work with multiple clients at a time. So, in this case, you can take on several projects for lower rates.

Also, since priorities and goals change with time, you must look into your budget frequently and adjust your rate accordingly.

It is our obligation to pay taxes, and we sometimes use tax software to manage it.

The Clients Make a Difference, Too

With freelancing, your relationship with the client affects your reputation. And as far as being on Toptal is concerned, you already know their performance rules are pretty strict.

So, if the client you are working with pours over a million phone calls and gives short deadlines, you need to keep your rates higher.

It is not easy to give out your best under stress. Similarly, if your recruiter has a hands-off approach, you can stick with lower rates.

Another essential factor to consider is work frequency. For example, if your client needs you throughout the month, you can opt for a lower price. It will help you build a better relationship too.

But, if a recruiter is giving you a single project once in a blue moon, then make sure you keep your rates high here.


Knowing how to communicate with a recruiter and what they are looking for in a freelancer’s quality to hire and when bidding will help you succeed with freelancing.

Go ahead and put your professional price without hesitation, and get the appropriate rate for your talent.


Is Toptal legit?

Yes, Toptal is a secure and legitimate freelance marketplace with a strong customer satisfaction track record. Toptal is an excellent alternative for clients hire the best possible talent due to Toptal’s vetting process which is tough and stringent requirements for the expertise of its freelancers.

How long does it take hiring freelancers on Toptal?

In general, finding or being matched with a freelancer on Toptal doesn’t take long. Depending on the project specifics, it could take up to two weeks or as long as three weeks.

What if I don’t get along with a Toptal freelancer?

Toptal offers a 2-week trial period or test project to all its clients to confirm that the freelancer you’ve been paired with is a good fit for you. If you don’t like the freelancer you’ve been paired with, notify Toptal’s customer care team that things aren’t going well, and they’ll find you a new freelancer without billing you for the two weeks.

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