Prevailing Wage Bidding & Profit Margins


I just had a conversation with someone about prevailing wage being bidding for profit margins, and then I just read it on here.

What kind of profit margins do you aim for? When you bid prevailing wage, do you aim for the same profit margins as normal work, more, less?

How do you guys go about bidding something that’s so touchy? I read if someone is working over 8 hours a day or 40 hours a week you have to pay them time and a half. I knew about the 40 hour a week thing but is working over 8 hours a day still considered overtime if it’s under 40 a week?

Do you guys bid piece work for prevailing wage, or $/per man hour. pros and cons? It seems like theres not very man cons with charging per man hour, but I don’t know they’d go for it… I have no idea how long something like this would take, because I have only done one other large job and it wasn’t comparable to this one. Any suggestions are welcome!




My wife is a nurse for national healthcare provider. She works 3 12 hour days and doesn’t get overtime pay but does get paid travel(when she works aid efforts). So it may not be a wide sweeping yes, but I really don’t know for this industry.


that’s why having a “correct” pricing structure in place is so crucial

you can also pay a combo of hourly plus piecework (commission or bonus) which allows you to meet all hourly requirements and overtime at a lower rate and the difference in bonus or commission whichever is higher (hourly or commission)

this can allow you to keep things within a cap of 30% for wages, if pricing is uniform pretty much across the board

if pricing is inconsistent or production is inconsistent yeah things get ugly real quick. not a big deal when its one job or a day, but if everyday is wild mood swings your gonna have big issues with profit %

track stuff in last 12 month, last quarter and last 30 days to get a handle on things if fighting this


I’ve started a pricing “book” but it’s only for residential.

How large does a piece of commercial glass need to be to incrementally raise the price by 10% or 25%?
How much longer does it take to clean a window on the ground vs one from a ladder. How much less time does it take cleaning from a scissor lift or a boom lift?

how much more time would it take to climb 1 story of scaffolding vs 2 stories?

I say all of that to ask the question, how do I correctly determine the time factors of things I don’t have experience operating or approaches I haven’t had to use up to this point?

the “correct” pricing book all comes down to how much time it’ll take cuz the rest is cake. I just need help determining the length of time for these different approaches. I hope that makes sense. Thanks for the input.



if you’re wrong adjust it for next time. if you’re wrong by half and you make $40 an hour for a few hours instead of $80 you’re being paid to learn.


You have to time yourself and your men. That is the only way to really know. Time it in the morning, after lunch and at the end of the day.