Latest post Sun, Oct 5 2008 3:14 PM by Haze. 3 replies.
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  • Thu, Oct 2 2008 2:35 PM

    Want to know how much editors get paid?

    It's probably safe to say that we've all scoured the net to try and find out how our wages fare.

    Problem is, there is no reliable resource out there that gives us an accurate or useful answer!

    We are the quiet and overlooked on the career sites - we are the "other" box! And let's face it, no-one even knows what we do, let alone how much we should get paid. And who are "they" to determine a rate or salary for us? Who the hell is even "they"? Maybe our bosses? Producers?

    It's the question that burns inside of us every time we get a new job, or quote on a new project - yet not one of us seems to know what the average rate of pay for an editor is!

    It invariably seems to be "WHATEVER WE CAN GET"!

    So, I propose to start a thread, which may well turn out to be the most IMPORTANT resource for our profession. That which discusses HOW MUCH WE GET PAID.

    Why is the topic of salary and rates never discussed? What's holding us back? We don't work together - we come from far and wide. Co-workers in different departments don't read Avid forums. And you can always remain anonymous anyway.

    I start by suggesting you simply reply with an annual salary if you are employed full-time, or an hourly rate if you are freelance.

    I think it would begin to be beneficial to add some or all of the following so people get a better idea of what things are like in their area:

    - where you are (city, country)

    - whether it's gross or net

    - hours required, times

    - how old you are / years experience

    - male / female

    - what kind of work or what level (weddings, corporate, doccos, television, film...)

    - how much you would like to be earning

    ...or any other thoughts or systems you'd like to graciously share with your brethren.

    Together we can build something that works wonders for all of us, that helps each other and that determines for ourselves how much we should be getting paid.

    I hope with time this can grow to be a really useful resource for us all, but it needs YOUR HELP to work!

    Allow me to take the first step:


    29yo_male_Brisbane Australia_$62000 gross

    9-5, 5days p/w, mainly corporate, some series

    would like a little more, but wouldn't we all?

  • Thu, Oct 2 2008 11:17 PM In reply to

    • jwrl
    • Top 25 Contributor
    • Joined on Thu, Oct 13 2005
    • Melbourne, Australia
    • Posts 8,382
    • Points 96,980

    Re: Want to know how much editors get paid?

    Go to the MEAA or  Australian Screen Editor's websites for information on what you should be getting in this country.  If the bulk of your work is series, though, you're being ripped off.

    The sex of an editor in this country has no bearing on their rates of pay.  The highest paid editor that I'm aware of is a woman in her 60s.

    MC 7.0.4 - Asus P6T Deluxe V2 mobo - Intel i7 920 2.66GHz - Windows 7 Ult64 SP1 - nVidia Quadro FX 1800 - 16 Gbyte low latency DDR3 RAM - Internal 8 Tb... [view my complete system specs]
  • Sun, Oct 5 2008 10:57 AM In reply to

    Re: Want to know how much editors get paid?

    I think you've missed the spirit of the thread, here.

    What you do is post how much you're on and any other stats you feel like.

    Eventually, people can read it and see a few real figures and come up with an average wage for editors in their home cities/towns, where pay differs from other places.

    Why is this a double post? And would you be so kind as to point out what other thread is doing this on this site?

    Good idea to look to the MEAA and ASE, though I think we all know that what they perceive is the going rate for editors is appallingly off the mark. Like you said "information on what you should be getting in this country." As I originally said, what alliances and guilds think we are on can and may very well be completely untrue. It's nice to know what they think we should be on, but it's reality I'm interested in. What's the harm of sharing this information?

    I had another look on those sites and again - not useful. I even participated in the ASE survey on "What are you on" but afterwards couldn't access any real data. I hope something comes out of that, but still I think we could use something that benefits people from all over. The MEAA and ASE tend to gear their rates for editors working on films and big budget stuff - nothing for the little guys. It's just not enough information! We have all the information - we just need to share it.

    To elaborate, series aren't the bulk of my work and a part of an ongoing full-time position at a fixed salary. They are first-time series' with small budgets.

    And I don't recall saying the sex of an editor in this country has or should have a bearing on their rate of pay. I agree that it certainly shouldn't. The point is to get as much statistical data as possible. That way, if something is grossly off in one department, this thread could alert us to the anomaly so those people may rectify it. Isn't that desirable? That's great that the highest paid editor you know is a woman in her 60's. Perhaps you could share what she's on? As well as some stats about yourself while you're at it!

  • Sun, Oct 5 2008 3:14 PM In reply to

    • Haze
    • Top 150 Contributor
    • Joined on Thu, Oct 13 2005
    • Posts 764
    • Points 10,205

    Re: Want to know how much editors get paid?

    Every few years some organization runs a salary survey to take the pulse of the industry.  The problem is that it only provides a very broad picture of the market.  Here in the US rates vary from state to state, city to city, even within markets the rates vary from client to client.  All that said, it's nearly impossible to get a vector on what to charge in a given situation.   Determining an editors rate is a business decision that should be left to the business owner (the editor).  If the editor is consistently the low bidder and eventually his business fails because the business model was not sustainable then that's his own fault.  If an editor charges a rate that the market will bear and his skill justifies the rate then he will enjoy the rewards of being a savvy business person as well as a skilled editor.


    What's the harm of sharing this information?


    There's no harm.  There's also very little value.

    From a philosophical perspective, what is the value of an editor?

    Is an editor a commodity to be bought and sold at market prices?

    From the newswire:

    Corn up $4 a bushel and editors down $25 a day.


    Or is an editor a valuable asset to the team?

    From the newswire:

    Yankees sign Josh Beckett for multi-millon dollar deal.  Also in the news, RIOT LA signs new editor for national ad campaign.


    Sharing rates only serves to turn editors into a commodity.  The business owner should set his own rate and not rely on a market survey to set the rates for him.  I'm guessing that editor in her 60's determined her value without the aid of average market rates.  It appears that setting her own rate has worked out fairly well for her.




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