What’s a fair wage?

Whether you're a sole operator or an employee with a design team, identifying what makes for a fair wage is not easy.

The creative industry has never been unionised, there are no guidelines or an industry benchmark. As a result, wages are generally set by hear-say and market demand.

That means decisions are often arbitrary and subjective making it difficult to identify what's fair and just.

Benchmark wages

Managing expectations is one of the most difficult parts of working with freelancers or employees. And managing expectations around money is the hardest of the hard. Wage discussions can be emotionally-charged discussions.

That’s the value of this ebook. It will take the guess-work out of the decision and move from the subjective to industry benchmarks. We’ve done the work for you. We’ve documented industry-wide benchmarks you can use as an independent starting point to discussions.

Showing not telling

It’s not just finding the right wage that’s a problem, creative business owners can also struggle to identify when an employee deserves a wage rise. And it doesn’t help that some creatives have a wage-vision misaligned with their skill set.

That’s where this ebook can help. It’s not opinion, we’ve combined our knowledge and experience with research from Artisan Recruitment; Become Recruitment; The Brownbill Effect; Creative Natives; Creative Recruiters and The Creative Store — six leading recruitment companies.

Thank you Carol, this is a great resource

Brittany Primmer Agency Director, Co-Partnership

The Design Business Council continue to play an active role in my business success. As experts in the management of Australian design studios, DBC have provided me with much needed feedback and guidance throughout my career as a Design business owner. I cannot overstate the importance of employing their industry experience in high level business decision making. Carol and Greg have saved me both money and heartache throughout the process of my business’s growth and I continue to utilise their wisdom on a day to day level.

Craig Jackett Founder, Creative Director Jackett Agency

We talk numbers and figures

We have documented wages for 28 different positions in the creative industry. Better than that, we document a starting wage and what might be the top wage for each positions. And we describe the skills and attributes needed to move from the bottom to the top of that range.

To include those studios using a theatre or hollywood model, we also state industry benchmark freelance hourly rates for 28 positions in the creative industry.

All this is fruitless without discussing job descriptions, because that’s what holds these figures together so we outline what makes for a good job description as well.

Sometimes it's not just about money

Keeping good staff is sometimes not just about money. It’s also about knowing you’re a valued and respected employee, and your boss has got your back.

How do you show that? We describe five alternative ways to reward employees and why they work.