New Pay Standards for Artists & Arts Workers

NAVA is inviting feedback from artists and the sector on the draft new pay standards until 30 September 2019.

Illustration: Emily Johnson

Artists and organisations across Australia rely on the Code of Practice for advice on industry standards – both for everyday negotiations, and also, for budgeting purposes.

As part of NAVA's major revision of the Code of Practice, we have drafted a set of new Pay Standards for Artists and Arts Workers that responds to the urgency for our collective work on improving the sustainability of Australian artists' careers. For information on how we arrived at these figures, read Revision of NAVA's Fees & Wages Schedule.

There are some areas that need further work and consideration including, but not limited to, accessibility, collaborations, public art, touring shows and the application of superannuation. The input of the sector at this stage is imperative. 

Your feedback is invited until 30 September 2019.

Introductory note

All rates outlined are minimum. Where are an artist or arts worker is a contractor they can specify their own rates which may be more than what is outlined in the Code of Practice.

Organisation size is based on operating budget. If the gallery is part of a larger body such as state or local government, university or multipurpose centre then operating budget relates to the operations of the gallery only. Operating budget does not include acquisition or capital (such as capital works) funds. Operating budgets can be found in annual reports available on the organisation’s website or the ACNC

The fees paid to artists and arts workers for their time are in addition to any production or travel costs that may be incurred by the artist or arts worker in carrying out the project.

Access

Organisations need to take responsibility for providing equitable access to First Nations artists and arts workers, artists and arts workers with disability, or artists and arts workers living in regional or remote Australia. There will be additional logistics, costs and considerations for the organisation. The minimum rates for artists and arts workers outlined in this new section of the Code of Practice will be inappropriate for those cost of living is higher, particularly those living in rural and remote Australia.

Artist fees

Artist fees are paid to artists for participation in non-selling exhibitions or exhibitions where the focus is not on sale of work. 

If an artist has been asked to participate in a selling exhibition and they will not be paid an artist fee, then the exhibiting organisation must have a genuine commitment and capacity to generate sales. The artist should have also been able to select the work(s) to be exhibited and sold so that they can make an assessment as to which work(s) are most likely to achieve a sale. Examples of selling exhibitions would be commercial gallery exhibitions, art prize exhibitions (where the work is for sale), and art fairs (where the work is for sale).

Artists should also be paid for any other services they provide such as consultation, speaking, teaching, writing and licensing of their work, in addition to artist fees.

An artist fee should not be traded off against other goods or services provided by an organisation, including exposure. An artist cannot be ‘paid in exposure’ as no form of exchange taking place.

If public money is being provided to an organisation to produce exhibitions, then artist fees as outlined in the Code of Practice should be included in the budget and the artists paid. If there are no funds and no one is getting paid, then an artist can choose whether they participate in the exhibition or not.

Loan of existing work (exhibition royalty)

The below rates are individual artist fees for exhibition of existing works only, with an allowance for up to three hour associated administration. Fees also need to be paid for any additional activities such as speaking, workshops, image licensing, writing new text, consultation, installation, preparation or administration. See additional sections below.


Organisation sizeUnder $750,000$750,000 - $1,999,999$2,000,000 - $4,999,999$5,000,000+
Solo$1,500$3,000$5,000$10,000
Retrospective$2,400$4,800$8,000$16,000
Project$1,275$2,550$4,250$8,500
Single$300$600$1,000$2,000
Group of 2$750$1,500$2,500$5,000
Group of 3$500$1,000$1,666$3,333
Group of 4$375$750$1,250$2,500
Group of 5$300$600$1,000$2,000
Group of 6-10$250$500$833$1,666
Group of 11+$200$400$666$1,333


These rates are per artist for up to three months duration. 

For additional months take the three-month rate, divide by three. The resulting number is the amount payable for each additional month.

No superannuation is to be paid on these rates.

Solo: an exhibition that features a body of work by a single artist that spans less than 10 years of their life.

Retrospective: an exhibition that features a body of work by a single artist that spans more than 10 years of their life. Solo rate plus 60%.

Projects, small exhibitions, installations: exhibitions with narrow focus on a small body of work and occupying one room or a single space. Solo rate minus 15%.

Single works: exhibition of single works, small sites such as window or foyer. 20% of solo rate.

Touring exhibitions: originating gallery and each venue pay 100% of the appropriate exhibition rate for the type of exhibition and venue size. Artist is paid each time the work is shown. This may be paid by each venue or the touring organisation.

Video/film: same rate as for any other work. If you are screening an individual video work that is not part of a group exhibition, then depending on the size of the screening the project or single rates would be appropriate.

Performance: use single work rate above. For each additional performance 30% of single work rate. For a line-up of performances by different artists in one day or night 50% of the single work rate for each artist.

Development and exhibition of new work

The below rates are artists’ fees only for development and exhibition of work which will not be acquired by the commissioning organisation. The rates include general administration, preparation, installation and a set number of meetings or site visits to be negotiated depending on the nature of the project. Additional amounts need to be paid for production costs (travel, materials etc.) and additional activities requested by the organisation (beyond what is outlined above), including but not limited to public programs, image licensing*, new text writing.   

*Note: additional fees for an image license is beyond the use of the image on the exhibition invitation and or media release. Additional license fees should be paid for the use of an image on billboards, bus-stops, merchandise, etc


Organisation sizeUnder $750,000$750,000 - $1,999,999$2,000,000 - 4,999,999$5,000,000+
Solo$2,500$6,000$10,000$20,000
Project$2,125$5,100$8,500$17,000
Single$500$1,200$2,000$4,000
Group of 2$1,250$3,000$5,000$10,000
Group of 3$833$2,000$3,333$6,667
Group of 4$625$1,500$2,500$5,000
Group of 5$500$1,200$2,000$4,000
Group of 6-10$417$833$1,375$2,667
Group of 11+$313$625$1,031$2,000

These rates are per artist. Superannuation included.

Rates can vary based on size of work(s), period of development time and artist career stage.

Solo: an exhibition that features a body of work by a single artist.   

Projects, small exhibitions, installations: exhibitions with narrow focus on a small body of work and occupying one room or a single space. Solo rate minus 15%.

Single works: display of a single work in small sites such as window or foyer. 20% of solo rate.

Video/film: same rate as for any other work. If you are screening an individual video work that is not part of a group exhibition, then depending on the size of the screening the project or single rates would be appropriate.

Performance: use single work rate above. For a line-up of performances by different artists in one day or night 50% of the single work rate for each artist.

  

When discussing an artist fee with an artist the organisation should bear in mind:

  • That an artist fee is for the artist’s time and creative input and therefore should accurately reflect this.
  • That artists are contractors and therefore have to pay on-costs out of their artist fee. These on-costs usually take up approximately 50% of the artist fee.
  • As an organisation you are in the position of power in this negotiation, an artist may not feel comfortable telling you that the fee you are suggesting is too low. There is a fear that if an artist doesn’t accept the fee you are offering you will just go and find another artist who will accept the fee.
  • Compare what the artist is being paid for a week’s worth of full-time work to your own wage. Is the rate fair?
  • If you don’t have the funds to pay for the scope of work you want, reduce the scope, not the artist fee.

Artist professional fees

Artists often carry out additional work related to the production and presentation of an exhibition or project that they should be remunerated for. These fees should be paid in addition to loan fees/exhibition royalties, licensing fees. For production of new work professional fees are usually already included in the development and exhibition of new work fee.

For example, you are loaning an artist’s work for an exhibition and the artist needs prepare, pack and install the work themselves, they should be paid for this time in addition to the loan fee/exhibition royalty.


Organisation sizeAdministration, installation, preparation per hourConsultation per hour
Under $750,000$60.00$65.00
$750,000 - $1,999,999$70.00$75.00
$2,000,000 - $4,999,999$80.00$85.00
$5,000,000+$100.00$105.00

Superannuation included, to be paid directly into the artist's super fund.

Administration, installation, preparation: overseeing or participating in packing or unpacking, installation or de-installation of works, correspondence, preparing plans, preparing artist statements, proof reading. For working on site for under two hours the hourly rate should be at least $100 to account for travel time. Travel costs of more than $20.00 should be reimbursed. 

Consultation: giving of advice, input or opinions that might be associated with project development, exhibitions, commissions, consultative meetings or processes such as policy development. To be used to attend meetings over two hours long. For meetings under two hours the hourly rate should be at least $100 to account for travel time. Travel costs of more than $20.00 should be reimbursed.

Research and development fees

Artists can be paid an artist fee to undertake periods of research and development in their practice.

The below rates should be used when calculating an artist fee for:

  • residencies where production of new work is not a requirement.
  • grant applications for research and development of new work.
  • the cost of an artist’s time for labour, when determining the price of artwork for sale.


Artist career stageHourly rate

Early career

$27.00

Mid-career

$38.00

Established

$49.00

Superannuation included, paid directly to artist's the super fund (where contracted by an organisation only).

Career stage is usually self-determined.

Early career: practicing as a professional artist 5 or less years

Mid-career: practicing as a professional for 5-10 years

Established: practicing as a professional for more than 10 years

 

An example of using the rate for a grant application: an early career artist is applying for a government grant to conduct a one-month period of travel, research and development. They need to include an artist fee in their budget. The artist determines that the average number of hours worked per day would be seven and their trip is for 30 days. $35 x 7 (hours) x 30 (days) = $7,350. Therefore, their artist fee would be $7,350. Per diems for food and incidentals while travelling would be an additional cost.

 

An example of using the rate to determine a residency fee: a publicly funded organisation is offering a three-week residential residency where the artist is not required to produce any work. The organisation has funding and therefore will be paying the artist an artist fee and production costs fee to support the artist in this development period. The artist will be working at times and hours of their choosing but is expected to be committed to participating in the residency for the defined period. An estimate of a seven-hour working day and five-day working week is reasonable. The organisation wants to attract a mid-career artist. $44 x 7 (hours) x 5 (days) = $1,540 per week. For more information about when an artist fee should be paid in relation to a residency see the residencies section of the Code.

 

Note: NAVA will be working on new content for the Code of Practice that covers Residencies, Education and Workshops. Artists should be paid a fee if they are required to produce a new work as part of a residency program, for the appropriate rates see Research and Development of New Work. When an organisation is paying fees for a residency program without a requirement to develop new work, use the above rates. Providing a studio space is not necessarily a residency program.

Public Art

Concept proposals (shortlisting) are commissioned outside of the project budget.

Initial design fee:

$500 for $5,000+ project budget

$1,000 for $20,000+ project budget

$3,000 for $100,000+ project budget

$5,000 for $1,000,000+ project budget

 

Artist fee as percentage of overall project budget:

35% of budget for $5,000+

25% of budget for $20,000+

20% of budget for $100,000+

15% of budget for $1,000,000+

Fee can also vary depending on whether the artist provides all of the following services or not, the more services provides the higher the rate

  • Design – for design only, rate may be lower than the above, 10-15% of project budget
  • Manufacture
  • Project management

Superannuation included, paid directly to the artist.

Speaking & Teaching rates

Welcome to Country

Rates are set by the individual or Land Council.

As a guide:

$300 - $500 per event.

Smoking ceremonies are at an extra cost.

Transport should also be arranged and paid for.

Superannuation included.


Speaker fees

One off appearance e.g. artist talk, speaker

$350

Panel member

$200

Panel facilitator

$350

Key note address

$1000

From the Australian Society of Authors.

Superannuation and preparation time included.



Teaching rates

1-3 hours

$350

3-4 hours

$550

4-8 hours

$1,000

Hours are including preparation time. 

Superannuation included. Materials not included.



Contractor – long term regular teaching

Use consultation rate in Artist Fees – Professional Fees table (above). 

Superannuation is included in these rates, to be paid directly into the artist's super fund.

Must be paid for preparation time as well as time on site. 

Materials not included.


Employee – teaching adults

Employers should use the Education Services (Post-Secondary Education) Award 2010 [MA000075]

Teachers and tutor/instructors. Level of pay is based on qualifications and years of experience.

Must be paid for preparation time as well as time on site.


Employee – teaching children

Employers should use the Educational Services (Teachers) Award 2010 [MA000077]

Level of pay is based on qualifications and years of experience.

Must be paid for preparation time as well as time on site. 

Writing & Editing rates

Writing

Media, Entertainment and Arts Alliance rate

93c per word

Up to 500 words

$465.00

1000 words

$930.00

1500 words

$1395.00

Superannuation included.

Editors

Freelance editors will generally set their own rates.

As a guide the average rate is $67.00 per hour.

Superannuation included.

Judging & Assessing rates

Under four hours

$340.00

Four hours and over, per day

$600.00

Superannuation included.

Travel expenses should be reimbursed.

Where a judge is an employee of an arts organisation it is at the discretion of that organisation whether the judges fee is waived.

Consulting rates

Consultants will generally set their own rates.

As a guide:

$100 - $300 per hour.

Artists can use the consultation rate outlined in the Artist Fees - Professional Fees table (above).

Arts workers can use their contractor hourly rate in the Arts Workers section (below).

Public art consultants will generally charge $140 - $400 per hour.

Superannuation included.

Photographer rates

Freelance photographers will generally set their own rates.

As a guide:

$100 - $200 per hour for on-site and processing time.

$1,000 per day.

Superannuation included.

NDIS service providers

Artists can be contracted through the National Disability Insurance Scheme to provide services to people with disability. These services may come under categories of participation, recreation or skills development.

When setting a rate for these services there may be price limits outlined by the National Disability Insurance Agency that need to be adhered to depending on how the service you are providing is categorised under the scheme for person receiving the service. More details about the NDIA Price Guide can be found here https://www.ndis.gov.au/providers/price-guides-and-information

Most arts related services are not price controlled by the NDIA so the artist providing the service can set their own rate. Artists can use the consultation rate outlined in the Professional Fees section as a guide for an hourly rate for activities such as ongoing workshops, tuition or assisting an artist with disability with producing and presenting their work. Arts workers can use their contractor hourly rate outlined in the Arts Workers section.

Arts worker rates

Employee rates are without superannuation.

To reach an employee hourly rate divide by 52 (the number of weeks in a year) and then divide by 38 (the number of full-time working hours in a week).

To reach a casual rate add 25% to the hourly employee rate.

Minimum wage is currently $19.49 per hour, $38,512.24 per year.


Contractors have different workplace rights and protections to employees and thus attract higher rates. Generally independent contractors will use their own office; supply, maintain and depreciate their own tools and equipment; have their own insurance; and pay their own income tax. More information can be found via fairwork.gov.au. The contractor rates below also include superannuation, paid directly to the arts worker's super fund.

Curator rates

Organisation sizeEmployee salary per annumContractor per hour
$500,000 - $1,999,999$55,000 - $64,999$75.00
$2,000,000 - $4,999,999$65,000 - $84,999$85.00
$5,000,000+$85,000 - $118,000$105.00

Conservator

Organisation sizeEmployee salary per annumContractor per hour
$5,000,000+$73,500 - $106,000$100.00

Exhibition Designer

Organisation sizeEmployee salary per annumContractor per hour
$5,000,000+$75,000 - $95,000$95.00

Installer

Organisation sizeEmployee salary per annumContractor per hour
$500,000 - $1,999,999$45,000 - $54,999$65.00
$2,000,000 - $4,999,999$55,000 - $62,999$75.00
$5,000,000+$63,000 - $77,000$85.00

Organisation Director/CEO

Organisation sizeEmployee salary per annum

$500,000 - $1,999,999

$75,000 - $95,000

$2,000,000 - $4,999,999

$95,001 - $136,999

$5,000,000+

$137,000+

Organisation Manager

Organisation sizeEmployee salary per annum

$500,000 - $1,999,999

$60,000 - $75,000

$2,000,000 - $4,999,999

$75,001 - $102,999

$5,000,000+

$103,000 - $136,999

Rates can also be used for fundraising/development roles.

Organisation Coordinator

Organisation sizeEmployee salary per annum

$500,000 - $1,999,999

$50,000 - $64,999

$2,000,000 - $4,999,999

$65,000 - $89,999

$5,000,000+

$90,000 - $103,000

Rates can also be used for marketing and public programs roles.

Organisation Assistant/Officer

Organisation sizeEmployee salary per annum

$500,000 - $1,999,999

$48,000 - $54,999

$2,000,000 - $4,999,999

$55,000 - $70,499

$5,000,000+

$70,500 - $90,000

Life model rates

$55.00 per hour (drawing, painting)

$75.00 per hour (reference photography)

$150.00 per hour (photography)

Minimum of two hours, plus travel time.

Travel time is calculated at 50% of the hourly rate.

Superannuation included.

These rates are recommended by The Life Models Society.

Travel & Per Diems

The below rates are outlined by the Australian Taxation Office.


Per diems per day


Breakfast$27.55
Lunch$31.00
Dinner$52.80
Incidentals$19.70
Total$131.05


Car use cents per kilometre

Car use should be calculated at $0.68 per kilometre.

See more information from the ATO here.

Feedback Form

NAVA invites your feedback on the draft new Pay Standards for Artists and Arts Workers until 30 September 2019.