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London starting salary...?

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  #1  
Old 08-07-2008, 05:36 PM
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Amy.Read Amy.Read is offline
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Lightbulb London starting salary...?

Does anyone know the general bench mark for a starting salary for a full time retouching job in London?
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Old 08-08-2008, 07:32 AM
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Smile Re: London starting salary...?

Hi Amy

london is so varied for salary retouching. Most companies seem to be able to get staff cheap as once someone has a job they dont to move around much.

I went for a position and the interviewer said people had offered to take pay cuts to secure a position with them.

Most jobs i have seen online seem to offer junior roles for 13-15k

senior roles 16-20 maybe more depending on experience.

commercial experience should get you an extra cookies

Hope this helps .
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Old 08-09-2008, 07:26 PM
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Re: London starting salary...?

Diggnikon - I honestly don't know where you are living, but if you are suggesting that senior roles get only 16 -20 grand a year in London then frankly thats ridiculous. I've NEVER seen that. The junior salaries you have quoted are also completely unrealistic, theres no way anyone can live in London with any dignity on those figures. These are rip off salaries, and they will get people with no genuine experience whatsoever applying

I would say that for junior you SHOULD expect 18 grand as a starting point, if you are delivering credible, useable work and not in a trainee role. Senior 30k to 60k. This figure goes up to 100k plus for people top of the field at present.

Amy, there are 100's of working professional retouchers working in London. Its competitive and you have to work towards your strengths, looking to being able to provide something that others can't . Concentrate on developing aesthetic skills, and not just software tricks. If you want to break in then don't undersell yourself and don't allow anyone (including Crappy Finish) to rip you.

Last edited by Markzebra; 08-09-2008 at 07:35 PM.
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Old 08-09-2008, 07:34 PM
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Re: London starting salary...?

"I went for a position and the interviewer said people had offered to take pay cuts to secure a position with them" I'll bet he did. Did he also say "yeah we work hard and play hard here", and "if you notice your wallet goes missing dont worry its our cleaners "?
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Old 08-09-2008, 07:54 PM
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Re: London starting salary...?

I think if anyone in a position of power tells you that other people will take a pay cut to secure a role then you would really have to worry about the ethics of the company.

Thanks for the advice Markzebre, I have been searching for properties around london and it soon became clear that anything less than 18k would be ridiculous. Especially you factor in tube/train journeys etc. madness.
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Old 08-11-2008, 01:48 PM
Paul_NYC Paul_NYC is offline
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Re: London starting salary...?

You seem to be tuned-in to the London market. Can you tell me what the range of hourly client rates are currently? It's become very competitive in New York with a slow economy and retail doing poorly.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Markzebra View Post
Diggnikon - I honestly don't know where you are living, but if you are suggesting that senior roles get only 16 -20 grand a year in London then frankly thats ridiculous. I've NEVER seen that. The junior salaries you have quoted are also completely unrealistic, theres no way anyone can live in London with any dignity on those figures. These are rip off salaries, and they will get people with no genuine experience whatsoever applying

I would say that for junior you SHOULD expect 18 grand as a starting point, if you are delivering credible, useable work and not in a trainee role. Senior 30k to 60k. This figure goes up to 100k plus for people top of the field at present.

Amy, there are 100's of working professional retouchers working in London. Its competitive and you have to work towards your strengths, looking to being able to provide something that others can't . Concentrate on developing aesthetic skills, and not just software tricks. If you want to break in then don't undersell yourself and don't allow anyone (including Crappy Finish) to rip you.
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Old 08-11-2008, 05:04 PM
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Re: London starting salary...?

Impossible question to answer "Paul", it depends on the type of work and there are MANY different types of retouching roles as you probably know. It goes from 20 an hour BOTTOM to 400 an hour. Someone at Metro told me once that in their heyday they were going 600 and that was in the days when frankly they were employing chimps. Those days are over except for a lucky few.

I know things have cooled down, my bet is your client rates are still the same as they always were - in London you should never work for less than 20 a hour - and thats clipping paths and spotting. If you really want to employ people with no experience then thats your call, and completely unconstructive because it undermines the skill set. Its always extremely unhealthy to have a laughable and massive gap between the top earners and the lowest in a studio, because its disrespectful - people who know what they are doing are worth it and should be expected to DELIVER for their rate, they have earned it.

Last edited by Markzebra; 08-11-2008 at 05:26 PM. Reason: not to name
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Old 08-11-2008, 05:41 PM
Paul_NYC Paul_NYC is offline
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Re: London starting salary...?

In the US we saw rates peak around $600 an hour when the Quantel Paintbox was the million dollar high-end tool. As soon as the Mac became a viable retouching tool rates went down to about $300 an hour. Currently, the studios that deal with marketing departments of national retailers are seeing an hourly rate of $200 - $300 for exceptional work. Seems like most of the larger agencies have taken their work inside and if the boutique agencies hire a studio, they have tiny budgets. I suppose that's happening with agencies in London as well.

I'm impressed if anyone in London is getting 600 pounds per hour, but I would guess that this is unusual.
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Old 08-12-2008, 06:05 AM
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Re: London starting salary...?

Hi MarkZebra

i mentioned the lower rates as it seems to be what i have come across on the AOP website mainly and from experience here in london with dodgy managers trying to screw people to the floor for £80-90 a day freelance when your in your first 1-2 yrs working.

My partner works in the media with some top end magazines and they pay £17-20 max for retouch,artworker's in London.

I don't think it's an easy town to crack and move on up in London.
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Old 08-12-2008, 10:47 AM
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Re: London starting salary...?

Yes AOP you do see some amazing ads now I agree. This is mainly for low end clipping paths and "mechanical" non creative retouching I expect. I reckon places who advertise like that do themselves no favours, as an example I for one will think twice about using Packshot because of their turnover, and frankly the retouching must be a nightmare if they are paying that kind of money for it. I know they value their photographers a lot more highly, its a classic photographers mistake to assume that product photography is that much more difficult and of more value than the retouching side. Retouching could make or break their product.

Artworkers always get less - if your friend works in "the media" then yes 17-20 is about right for Artworking and that rate doesn't seem to have gone up in years sadly- but for retouching the rate has always been higher

Last edited by Markzebra; 08-12-2008 at 10:54 AM.
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