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Seeking salary advice for Chicago area

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  #11  
Old 01-14-2009, 06:44 PM
retrotouch retrotouch is offline
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Re: Seeking salary advice for Chicago area

Markzebra - I'm not sure it is any better in Chicago with the temp agencies - or anywhere else for that matter. My experience working with them many years ago was OK, and I wouldn't steer people away from temp agencies - they serve a purpose for people inexperienced in marketing themselves as freelancers, or people trying to find another full-time job, but if you work for them a long time knowing the agency is getting as much as you are (or nearly as much) you start feeling resentful! But the agencies do get you the gigs if you are any good - at least sometimes - and that sometimes beats not working.

The agencies are also very strict about discussing rates with the contracted client. They do-not-want-you-to-know how much the client is really paying for your services. And they make you sign agreements to never solicit work from a client you worked for for 2 years after you break your contract with the agency.

In short my advice is don't use agencies if you don't have to - but they aren't evil - just greedy sometimes, and while they are making a buck on your sweat, they did get you the gig. Kind of like having an employer.
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  #12  
Old 01-15-2009, 05:31 AM
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Markzebra Markzebra is offline
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Re: Seeking salary advice for Chicago area

Clients have told me what they are charged Retro. Actually I revise what I said earlier about Aquent: Its worse, one guy told me he discovered they were doubling his rate and charging THAT to the client. In my case my jaw has hit the floor several times when I was informed of the client rate, in one case I was accidentally emailed it by the Agency. Remember this is LONDON Aquent we are talking about. I know they are a US company, and its likely that they operate differently over there, because lets face it they wouldn't survive.

Last edited by Markzebra; 01-15-2009 at 06:29 AM.
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  #13  
Old 01-15-2009, 08:32 AM
retrotouch retrotouch is offline
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Re: Seeking salary advice for Chicago area

I agree with you Markzebra - Maybe I wasn't clear when I said the agencies get as much as you are - I meant what you just said - they are Doubling Your Rate - you get half of what the agency is really charging. For every buck you get the agency also gets a buck.

That's cool that the client told the rate they were being charged. Never happened to me.
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  #14  
Old 01-15-2009, 10:13 AM
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Markzebra Markzebra is offline
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Re: Seeking salary advice for Chicago area

Well, it tends to happen only when they want to use you directly. Or if, over a beer one of the personnel people feels like telling you
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  #15  
Old 01-15-2009, 10:34 AM
retrotouch retrotouch is offline
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Re: Seeking salary advice for Chicago area

Beer! the barrier breaker.
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  #16  
Old 01-15-2009, 10:44 AM
retrotouch retrotouch is offline
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Re: Seeking salary advice for Chicago area

Back on topic
I noticed this forum entry from 2004 regarding Monster.com job listings - they listed a Retoucher position $75K-85K in NY. That was four years ago. Intersting.

http://www.retouchpro.com/forums/wor...-position.html
I went to Monster.com to see if there were any jobs similiar to what you were talking about, and found these:

Advertising – Positions available for Macintosh Production Artists and
Hi-end Digital Photo Retouchers

Desktop Publishing Artist - Macintosh Production Artists $40-50K+
Advertising experience – healthcare or pharmaceutical related is a big plus. Ads, collateral, etc. MAC applications - Quark, Illustrator, Photoshop, etc. Day shift. Work closely with Art Directors and provide creative input. Excellent opportunity to grow into art direction. Top benefits.

Digital Photo Retoucher - $75-85K
Hi-end retouching experience. Service Bureau or advertising agency background. Must be a Photoshop wizard with an eagle eye for color correction, and must have experience with Adobe Illustrator. Work on upscale ads, collateral, etc. Provide creative input and work closely with Art Directors and Production department. Full time staff position, great benefits
.


So using those as a base, for New York city rates, I would say 40-50k wouldn't be a bad start if they are happy with your work. If they are not offering much in the way of benefits, maybe look for a little more.

Definitely sounds like a wonderful position! I am impressed that they actually did a test of your abilities. Most companies don't go that extra length during an interview

Good luck with it all!
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  #17  
Old 01-15-2009, 11:39 AM
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Benny Profane Benny Profane is offline
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Re: Seeking salary advice for Chicago area

Quote:
Originally Posted by retrotouch View Post
And they make you sign agreements to never solicit work from a client you worked for for 2 years after you break your contract with the agency.
Never sign something like that. That's absurd. How would you be able to work in the future if they sent you to various jobs? And, I'm betting, a lawyer would have something to say about that clause. Well, with the above mentioned beer or two, the lawyer will have plenty to say about anything.

edit: Duh. It just dawned on me that, if there is such a high markup by the agency as mentioned above, somebody is getting a kickback, somewhere. Cash, cars, dinners, something.

Last edited by Benny Profane; 01-15-2009 at 12:44 PM.
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  #18  
Old 01-15-2009, 04:57 PM
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Markzebra Markzebra is offline
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Re: Seeking salary advice for Chicago area

What you sign is different from whats legally supportable, certainly in the UK. Just because you signed something doesn't legally mean you have lost your basic employment rights.
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  #19  
Old 01-15-2009, 09:30 PM
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Nanls Nanls is offline
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Re: Seeking salary advice for Chicago area

[QUOTE=Markzebra;218067]Thats interesting Nanls, are you sure they are only taking 35%?

/QUOTE]
I know what they pay first-handed, however, the 35% info is second hand as another retoucher saw the paperwork on the desk of the recruiter that stated that figure, while he was in the LA office.

~nancy
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  #20  
Old 01-16-2009, 01:46 PM
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twopoint0 twopoint0 is offline
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Re: Seeking salary advice for Chicago area

Retrotouch-
So whens our interview? I'm all excited!
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