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Savvy Billing Practices

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It seems to me most structural consulting firms bill their engineers out at approximately the same rates (NYC firms may be higher than average?).  A firm with a well known brand name may be able to bill higher, but they still can’t bill too far beyond the curve or architects will go to a lower priced firm.  I believe that an hourly or lump sum billing can’t be the only way to get paid for a job.  Does anyone know of any firms, engineers or architects, who have been creative in how the get “paid” for a job, such as, doing work for free but gaining partial ownership of the building in return for their consulting? 



Jeremy White