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How To Convert a Contractor’s Salary to an Employee’s Salary

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Many professionals begin their careers as contractors. Contractors enjoy the flexibility and independence that comes with a contractor position. However, as time passes, the desire for stability, benefits, and long-term growth opportunities may prompt contractors to consider transitioning to an employee role. Read below to understand the differences between contractor and employee and the factors to keep in mind when converting a contractor’s salary to an employee’s salary.

Contractor Salary vs. Employee Salary

Each employment status has advantages and disadvantages, including variances in salary structures. Understanding the key differences between contractor and employee salaries is crucial for individuals navigating their career paths. The table below highlights the key differences and why you would consider converting a contractor’s compensation to an employee’s salary.


Difference Contractor Employee
Payment Structure Contractors typically charge an hourly or project-based rate for their services. They invoice clients for the work performed, and payment is based on the agreed-upon terms outlined in the contract. Employees receive a regular salary either weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly. The salary is predetermined and is often based on an annual or hourly rate. Employees’ salaries are subject to tax deductions, and employers are responsible for withholding the necessary taxes.
Tax Obligations Contractors are considered self-employed and pay for the employer and employee portions of payroll taxes. They must also make estimated tax payments throughout the year and are eligible for certain tax deductions related to their business expenses. Employees have their taxes deducted from their salaries by their employers. In the U.S., employers withhold federal, state, and local taxes and Social Security and Medicare contributions. Employees typically receive a W-2 form at the end of the year, summarizing their earnings and tax withholdings.
Benefits and Protections Contractors generally do not receive benefits such as health insurance, retirement plans, paid time off, or unemployment benefits from their clients. They are responsible for obtaining their own insurance coverage and managing their retirement savings. Contractors are also not covered by employment laws regarding protection against discrimination or wrongful termination. Employees often receive various benefits, including health insurance, retirement plans, paid vacation and sick leave, maternity/paternity leave, and other employee perks. They are protected by employment laws and regulations that ensure fair treatment, nondiscrimination, and minimum wage standards.
Job Security Contractors have more flexibility and control over their work schedules, clients, and projects. However, they also face a higher level of uncertainty regarding job stability. Contracts may be project-based or short-term, meaning contractors must continually seek new opportunities to maintain a steady income. Employees generally have more job security as they are hired on a more permanent basis. They benefit from the stability of a regular salary, the potential for career growth within the organization, and a sense of belonging to a team or company.


Converting a Contractor Salary to an Employee Salary

Converting from a contractor’s salary to an employee’s salary involves several factors to consider, including negotiations, legal aspects, and understanding the implications of the shift. Read below to learn about each factor in detail.

Assess your Motivation and Goals

Before embarking on the transition from a contractor salary to an employee salary, it’s crucial to understand your motivation and goals. Identify why you want to switch from being a contractor to an employee.

Is it for job security, benefits, professional growth, or a combination of factors? Clarifying your objectives will help you navigate the process and negotiate your salary effectively, making the transition easier and more effective.

Research the Company’s Policies and Culture

Another important factor in converting a contractor’s salary to an employee’s salary is to familiarize yourself with the company’s employee compensation, benefits, and expectations policies. Since such benefits are lacking when you are a contractor, knowing what you will receive by working under someone is essential.

Thoroughly review the employee handbook or any available documentation that outlines the salary structure, vacation policies, healthcare benefits, retirement plans, and other perks offered to employees. Understanding the company’s culture and expectations will enable you to align your expectations and negotiate effectively.

Initiate the Conversation

Once you’ve clearly understood your goals and the company’s policies, it’s time to initiate a conversation with your employer. Request a meeting with your company supervisor or the appropriate human resources representative to discuss your desire to transition from a contractor to an employee. Be prepared to articulate your reasons, emphasizing how the shift will benefit both you and the company. Also, include some information on what you are expecting from your transition.

Negotiate your New Salary

During the discussion of converting from a contractor’s salary to an employee’s salary, be prepared to negotiate your new salary. Remember that as an employee, your employer will be responsible for additional costs such as payroll taxes, benefits, and insurance.

Research salary ranges for similar positions within your industry and location to have a realistic expectation of what you can negotiate for. Consider the value you bring to the company, your skills, experience, and any additional responsibilities you may be taking on.

Remember to negotiate the base salary and other compensation elements such as bonuses, stock options, or profit-sharing plans.

Review the Employment Contract

If your employer agrees to your transition from a contractor salary to an employee salary, they will provide you with an employment contract. Carefully review the contract, paying attention to the salary details, benefits, working hours, leave policies, and any non-compete or confidentiality agreements. Seek legal advice if necessary to ensure you fully understand the terms and conditions of your new employment.

Transitioning Smoothly

Once you have accepted the employment offer, focus on ensuring a smooth transition from a contractor salary to an employee salary. Take the time to understand the company’s internal systems, procedures, and expectations. Build relationships with your new colleagues and demonstrate your commitment to the organization’s values and objectives. Ask questions, seek guidance, and actively participate in team activities to integrate seamlessly into your new role.

Bottom Line

Transitioning from a contractor salary to an employee salary requires careful consideration and effective negotiation skills. Remember, the transition is not only about financial considerations but also about embracing the stability, benefits, and growth opportunities of being an employee. Be proactive, communicate effectively, and prepare yourself for a smooth and fulfilling professional journey.

Aadmi’s team of experts can help you navigate the complexity of contractor to employee salary differences and the regulations that follow, ensuring that you are compliant with local laws and regulations. This can save you time and money in the long run, as non-compliance can result in hefty fines and penalties.

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