Wednesday, 2 December 2009

Conductors' salaries

What to pay conductors?

This perennial question has popped up yet again, on the Conductive Community Forum:

Over the years I and others have tried to offer responses. Links to a few of my own guidelines are mentioned at the foot of this posting.

Some simple principles

The only world-wide principle is that conductors should be paid around the same level of pay as an equivalent school teacher working in analogous circumstances in the country involved.
  • There should be no excessive demands or perks on either side.
  • Everything should be legal and above board (including immigration and taxation matters)
  • Exchange references.
  • Do not commence the work without a signed written agreement on terms of service.
  • Don't forget the creeping legal requirements for such arrangements, particularly in the United Kingdom.

There are other things to be said, and some of them are introduced in the guidelines mentioned below.

Doubtless families and conductors with experience in this could add considerably to these.

It's a market and don't forget it

Time was when both employers (including families) and conductors tended to think that there might be scales or accepted rates. There was even starry-eyed talk of an 'international rate'.

This is the the twenty-first century and people are beginning to get real over such matters.

There are no simple 'answers', not even in the form of national rates (and don't let anybody kid you that there are).

The only answer is the age-old one that the jobs market for conductors is just that, a market, in which both sides of the transaction should survey the scene, and then barter:

1. Survey the field

  • This should be relatively easy in this particular enquiry (two weeks' work with a family in London) as there seems to be a potential field of conductor/families making similar arrangements in that part of the UK.
  • Otherwise, I am afraid, it is largely a question of word of mouth and the Internet.

2. Barter

  • Both sides should ask for a 'best price'.
  • Then it's a question of judging price against what you want, what you are prepared to pay, and the apparent quality of what is on offer etc.
  • Haggle. Think of a souq, or a good antiques market or a car-boot/garage sale.
  • It is more likely to be a fair context if both sides think like that.

Sounds vulgar? I was brought up understanding that talk of money money is vulgar. Nowadays, I suspect, that is rather a quaint view.


There is only so much that someone like myself can say about all this. Families and conductors with experience could add considerably.

Making the market more transparent will ultimately act for everybody's benefit. It is so rare to see actual figures quoted and discussed. What is typical out there in the marketplace. Is the following, from Sepember this year and apparently from the UK in any way typical?

We paid £1000 per week and she has 11 years experience. We do have a group of 3-5 kids though.

If you are a family or a conductor with experience and knowledge of rates of pay for this work or any other aspects to be taken into consideration, in the United Kingdom or indeed anywhere in the world, do please share what you know or what you think:

  • as a Comment at the foot of this posting (click the Anonymous button if you do nor wish to reveal your identity)
  • on the Conductive Community Forum (where you can also withhold your name):

Some earlier discussion

Police checks

No comments:

Post a Comment