Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Wage Survey -- Useless or Not?

I'm going back several days here, and this sort of gives me a headache, but an adamant commenter who believes the posted salary numbers of the TAG Wage Survey to be "useless" wrote:

... When you combine salaries that are derived from different hours per week, and then AVERAGE them, you DON'T GET A TRUE average. ...

I went over the comment, reviewed the forms, looked at the collated data.

Here's the deal: All the posted data is calculated back to a 40-hour pay week.

That's the way most people put the data down, and most write in the variables when the variables apply. But "forty hour week" is the way we crunch the individual salaries, so that they're consistent.

Are we clear on this?

Now, somebody might give us inaccurate dollar amounts, but we can only do the math from the wages submitted. And the wages submitted come down to forty hours per week.


Anonymous said...

I always enjoy seeing the wage survey. It makes me aware of what I Should be charging a non union smaller shop when I am not employed at a union shop. Also it nice to see the range that people make. Now I dont get why so few people turn the survey back in though, seriously people it takes about 2 minutes of your time to fill the thing out and it comes with a SASE to return it with.

VFXwiz said...

Thanks for doing the wage survey , i have my negotiating hat once or twice a year and the info you provide is very helpful.
Worked at studios with varying schedules from 8 hour days /5 days a week to 12 hour days/6 days a week. You have to compare apples to apples. Talking with colleagues and recruiters it all comes down to hourly rate. Obviously if my show is behind schedule and we are doing massive mandatory OT. My weekly rate could be double what it would be on a 40 hour workweek.
While at a large TAG employer i was offered to take a higher weekly guarantee (50 hrs workweek) sounded good but they were actually lowering my hourly . When it was time for vacation pay or paid time off it was all at the new lower rate.

Steve Hulett said...


Always important to look at the hourly rate.

$2000/wk sounds okay until you realize your working 100 hours Monday to Sunday without overtime.

Anonymous said...

I just want to say thank you for posting the wage survey. I refer to it often and also recommend the survey to my students to review. There are few resources to get the information you provide and I'm actually very irritated that anyone would post a comment like that (saying it's 'useless') You're doing a great job so thank you again for all your hard work.

Anonymous said...

I like having a wage survey, I wish it had all the details for every form submitted, but with the personal info blanked out. That way we can see how the graph looks instead of getting an average.

Anonymous said...

On a related note... the wage survey seems to be password protected at the moment. Did I miss the password being mentioned somewhere?


Steven Kaplan said...

To the related note: What about the Survey is locked to you? It is definitely password protected from modification, but can be read just fine.

Anonymous said...

(i'm not the original poster, but i have the same issue)

if i open the survey pdf on my unix machine at work using evince, it asks for a password. if i open it at home on my mac or on my cell phone, it loads just fine. maybe evince has a bug.

Anonymous said...

Ah, that's the issue then... yeah, it doesn't open on Unix w/o entering a password.

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