What to charge?

What is a good hourly rate to charge on a very large commercial job. Upwards of 40 hours of scanning time.


I would rather not disclose pricing in an open forum, but you are more than welcome to give me a buzz and I can run you through how we approach pricing.

Jason Kaylor
AC Tool Supply
Net Zero Tools
AZ Infrared Inspection Services

Don’t know what large means to you but 40 hours I can scan all the buildings in Okla;-) On roofs I charge by the sq footage and for electrical I charge a flat rate per day as I know how many panels I can scan in one day with two electricans pulling and replacing dead fronts

Like JJ I don’t post my rates want to know more call me

The national average may be around $5400.

What are you qualified to charge?

You haven’t posted the type of job it is. It makes a big difference. It could be $495 or could be $12,672.

Doesn’t sound to me that you have attended the appropriate training course is which would provide you with the information that you are asking. So maybe you should lean towards $495!?

Or 3 easy payments of $165.00…sorry couldn’t resist.

I went to his website and he sells Ozone machines…every read about the hazards of Ozone machines?

I’ve trained with Snell Infrared. And I DO know about all the hazards of ozone machines. Obviously you do not. I suggest you get some training.

This is a job that includes multiple portable units at oil field camp sites. Over 400 rooms divided into multiple sites, plus common areas. They’re primarily interested in mold and moisture penetration issues. At 5 minutes a room that works out to 33 hours plus other areas. I don’t know if Charley actually runs while scanning, but I want to do a proper job.

How are you documenting the 33 hours of scanning?
If your producing a report you need to figure that time as well.

What is the protocol for detecting mold using infrared?

There will be a report generated at the end. As you know Chuck, there is no protocol for detecting mold with infrared. The scanning will be conducted with air sampling. Instead of showing off about all your IR knowledge, why don’t you offer some practical advice. I rarely come on this message board due to the fact that most home inspectors that post on this board are ego maniacs and prefer to cut other inspectors up rather than offering advice…like Russell up there.

You do air particle analysis? Or something else for the air sample analysis?

How far have you progressed your Snell training?

Your site looks really good by the way. Easy and excellent navigation as well.

I never knew odors = odours, like grey and gray.


Forgive me, seemed like a reasonable question to ask given that you came onto the Thermal imaging forum asking how much to charge for a thermal imaging job then stared talking about the scope of the job including moisture and mold detection. You certainly wouldn’t have been the first one around here to claim to do mold detection using infrared imaging.

I think you are the first to come her and tell someone not to share “show off” their IR knowledge.

So for practical advice: Don’t come onto the public forum and ask others how much you are supposed to charge for your own professional services - you won’t get a direct response from people with experience.

You should charge what your market will bear for the level of service you are capable of providing. Probably somewhere between $10 and $250 an hour for onsite time (but charge more if you can command it). Of course the type and extent of reporting might be a factor as well as travel, distance, lodging, etc. But we don’t know those things.

I try not to give smart answers but you gave little to no information about the size of the job other than **big **which is hard to work with. I charge according to the job and the client. Want to talk about prices call my cell 580-761-8477 I also do mold sampling. And no I don’t run on my jobs.

Thanks Jason. Sorry for sounding harsh on the message board everyone. It’s been a long day and my stress level is at an all time high. I have my standard rate for thermal imaging on a regular HI. I was looking for a “General” rate, if something like that exists, for larger jobs. I think I have it figured out. Thanks again.

I posted the national average for the job as you described it at $5400.

Flir did a survey sometime back for all of the different applications and qualification levels. The information came from polled thermographers working in the field. That’s where the information came from.

If it is 40 hours with report I would agree with David. However, I also agree with Chuck that you have to bid jobs according to market and the client. Personally, I would bid this high because I have the luxury of being able to pick and choose jobs. A 40 hour job is not going to be overly profitable compared to 4-6 hour panel inspections and my other business filling in the remaining time. I would bid it at $7800 and if I get it fine, if not I wouldnt lose an ounce of sleep by losing a $5400, 40 hour job.

There are many other factors to consider such as future work, related work, making a name and other related factors that could make the job even more profitable going forward that could warrant the time or even lower bid.


I agree with :

but more specifically that the liability of the job in question the man’s greater expertise, equipment and subsequently a higher price. There’s a big difference in performing an electrical scan on a residence versus a nuclear power plant etc.

This is a common perception, but I do not agree with it.

I see all too many thermographers underpricing jobs to get future work and making a name for themselves to get in the door.

More often than not, a low bid is an indicator to your client that you don’t know what you’re doing and have no experience. I know of thermographers that lost jobs because they priced the job too low (on several instances) and I have experienced the same thing personally. I received contracts for jobs that I bid thousands of dollars more than the competition and got the job because the client realizes what is involved and didn’t want anyone with “rainbow certification” on the property!

You should have a significant investment in your thermal imaging business (equipment and education) and even if you are new to a particular application (which all of us are at some point in time) you have the tools to fulfill your obligations and should charge accordingly.

This reply is not for the residential home inspector throwing in some infrared thermal imaging (and it is not directed at you, Jason). Just a generalized observation and comment.

You get paid what you’re worth, which is relative to your investment in the industry.

one final note: an organization such as NACBI can put you in contact with other thermographers that are experienced in the applications your contracting for and it also gives you the resources to complete the job in a reasonable amount of time by bringing in other thermographers on the job that may not only be more capable than yourself, allowing you to do a job that requires multiple thermographers without having to operate a large business that you don’t have work for on a continuing basis.