Asking for raise as Apple contractor

May 24, 2018 13 Comments

Ok here’s the deal. I’m a contractor at Apple in Marcom. Technically speaking, I’m a salaried W-2 employee through my vendor. At the end of this quarter, I will have been at Marcom as a contractor for two years.

I’ve seen some other posts on Blind about contractors being 2nd class citizens at Apple (which is certainly true, but that’s another post). That said, I have a great working relationship with all my Apple full-time employee colleagues. I sit in an open studio right alongside them, and feel like I’m an integral part of the team. At the expense of my own humility, I’ll say that a number of my FTE colleagues have on several occasions expressed gratitude and appreciation for my work. I’ve never had a reprimand, mishap, mistake or any negative issues at the office. All in all, I feel like I’m doing a pretty kickass job and have the evidence to show for it.

So my question: what’s an appropriate amount for a raise?

I currently earn a salary of $190,000. Plus, through my vendor, I receive PTO, vacation, health & dental and 401k.

My last raise was one year ago when I switched from one vendor (where I earned a straight day rate, and that’s it) to my current vendor, at which point I received about a 5% cost of living raise and all the aforementioned benefits.

And I feel like that’s all a drop in the bucket compared to the salaries, bonuses & RSUs that Apple FTEs receive.

So should I ask for another 20%? 30% 40%?

Side note: The contractor situation is especially weird, because it’s in my vendor’s best interest for me to make as much as possible, since they’re basically skimming off the top.

Any thoughts/feelings/opinions at all related to being a contractor at Apple, especially in Marcom, are welcome!


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TOP 13 Comments
  • Nvidia nvsmartpm
    190k by contracting is really good, what do you do?
    May 24, 2018 2
    • OP
      What I do in Marcom is a fairly niche position, so I’d rather not say. But I will say I know of other contractors (artist types) that earn day rates of $1500. And I’m sure there are others that earn even more.
      May 24, 2018
    • Nvidia nvsmartpm
      Nice 🤘
      May 24, 2018
  • Apple / Eng NexTime
    Why not apply for a FTE role?
    May 24, 2018 1
    • OP
      Would love to. But hasn’t been an option in my current role. Believe me, I’ve been trying to figure out how to make it happen. I suppose I could apply to another team or org altogether, but I really like the team I’m on currently and the work I do.
      May 24, 2018
  • Apple Okidoki
    I don’t know the specifics in marcom but on my team all contractors rates for certain roles are the same and we are not supposed to know how much vendor is paying to their contractor. Let’s say if we are hiring a new contractor and we like someone but that person wants a bit more than the vendor offers, it’s up to the vendor to reduce their share, but they can’t ask the client to pay more because we have a fixed budget. I know a case when a vendor made a big deal out of the negotiation from $40 to $42/hour while vendor’s income was $100/hour and 0 benefits to their employees except a crappy group insurance plan. And I also know a case when this vendor raised an hourly rate to another contractor by $5/hour because the client liked this contractor and wanted to help her get the raise. I am telling you all this because there might be different strategies on how to get a raise: through an upgrade to a different role on a purchase order (if that is possible in your department), or negotiate with your vendor, but keep in mind it might require them to cut their share and they won’t be very willing to do so.
    May 24, 2018 2
    • OP
      That’s very insightful. And damn! Vendors taking a huge cut!! That’s really infuriating. I do all the work and the vendor just sits back and collects a paycheck?! I’d love to know why Apple & other companies really so heavily on contractors. E.g., tax benefits, reduced liability from Board of Labor, etc... I’m sure there are good, fiscal reasons for the company, but it sure sucks to be the contractor in this equation.

      Thanks for sharing!
      May 25, 2018
    • Apple Okidoki
      It mostly gives us the flexibility to adjust the workforce based on the company’s needs in the areas that are not core to the Company’s business. A simple example is cafeteria or a gym: we’d prefer to outsource these services to a vendor who knows how to run this business and how to hire the right personnel than attempt to gain expertise and run these mini businesses on our own. As a company we are responsible for our employee’s development and, if business needs change, rotation of employee within the company and a performance improvement plan if this employee is not performing well. It is obviously much harder to support if you have niche employees that can’t be easily rotated.
      May 25, 2018
  • Apple OEQU54
    Hey do you mind if I ask you -- how did you change from one vendor to another one? I'm in a similar position and I know that my team members with other vendors have a better deal. Was it problematic for your managers? Did it cause delays on your work?
    Oct 4, 2018 0
  • Apple Derp3
    Are you hiring ?
    May 24, 2018 0
  • Your base salary would almost certainly drop as an FTE. TC would be better though. If you could escape the vendor and negotiate as an independent contractor you may do even better than an FTE.
    May 25, 2018 1
    • Facebook / Ops zLtP15
      Please clarify the independent contractor option at Apple.
      It has to be very rare and specialized work.
      May 30, 2018
  • Apple / IT

    Apple IT

    I feel that you might be better off registering your own company and do Corp to Corp contract with your vendor, you are paying way too much tax on w2 as a contractor.
    Jul 8, 2019 0


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