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Seeking salary advice for Chicago area

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  #1  
Old 01-13-2009, 05:30 PM
retrotouch retrotouch is offline
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Arrow Seeking salary advice for Chicago area

Hi - I am a new member. I've been reading the forums and appreciate the site. So I will make my first post.

I have a job interview coming up ( or it may turn out to be more like a meeting about a possible job opening). The job is a retouching position in a larger Chicago ad agency.

My experience as a photoshop pro is extensive. I've done photo retouching and creative imaging for 10 years, along with a the print production/design work that has been my bread and butter. If I got this job it would be the first time my title would be "retoucher" though.

I realize I need more information about the job to get good feedback about salary expectations - but I would prefer not to be totally in the dark.

Is there anyone on this forum from Chicago - or elsewhere - that could give me an idea on a salary range to expect? I appreciate any help I could get. Thanks in advance
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  #2  
Old 01-13-2009, 07:57 PM
pixelzombie pixelzombie is offline
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Re: Seeking salary advice for Chicago area

it varies quite a bit even under the same roof and considering your background is design i'd say not to expect a senior level salary, hope that helps somewhat..good luck
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Old 01-13-2009, 09:21 PM
retrotouch retrotouch is offline
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Re: Seeking salary advice for Chicago area

Thanks pixelzombie. Even though there is a variance - any ideas about what the range would be for a jr level retoucher? btw - you keeping warm in this weather?
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Old 01-13-2009, 09:33 PM
w23 w23 is offline
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Re: Seeking salary advice for Chicago area

Chicagoan here. Any more details about the place?
It is really tough to say without knowing more about the agency, type of work, etc. I see a lot of lowballing going on right now with the job market in the toilet. I would say 45K on the low end (jr. retouch) to 70K. My guess would be about 53K. Good luck and stay warm.
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Old 01-14-2009, 12:12 PM
retrotouch retrotouch is offline
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Re: Seeking salary advice for Chicago area

Hi W23,
That range rings true to me even though I am guessing from out here in the dark. It is a big range - probably depending on how "jr" the employee's experience is (?). So would it be a guess that a senior range be something like 65-90K?

As for the agency, I'll say that is well know, part of a huge conglomerate (aren't they all) and it would involve a lot on interaction with creatives realizing their ideas + finishing those toward the final piece.
Thanks again
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Old 01-14-2009, 03:09 PM
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twopoint0 twopoint0 is offline
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Re: Seeking salary advice for Chicago area

Retro-
I think the average freelance rate in NYC is $45 +/-, I don't see why Chicago should be that different. I wouldn't be afraid to ask what they expect to pay for the position.
Good luck.
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Old 01-14-2009, 04:36 PM
retrotouch retrotouch is offline
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Re: Seeking salary advice for Chicago area

Yea, I think that is what I will do, put the ball in their court.
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Old 01-14-2009, 04:52 PM
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Nanls Nanls is offline
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Re: Seeking salary advice for Chicago area

Aquent, a temp agency, pays $40=45 per hour for retouchers. That is after they take 35%. That is in CA but I would think it would be close no matter the location in the States.

Here in CA $30-45 w/benefits for employment; could be more for the high-fashion industry.


~Nancy

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www.photoart123.com

~
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Old 01-14-2009, 06:20 PM
retrotouch retrotouch is offline
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Re: Seeking salary advice for Chicago area

RETOUCHERS DON"T EXIST
For what it is worth for future readers of this post, there are some decent cautionary articles online regarding dealing with requests for salary requirements and how it can be used to screen you out among other things.

The universal advice seems to be not to discuss salary if possible until after you actually have a job offer. Duh! - that makes sense now that I think about it!

The tricky thing for retouching jobs is that they do not exist when it comes to salary calculators (assuming they actually work). AIG has a calculator for graphic design which is the closest that I could find to retouching. But of course retouchers don't exist in any of their job descriptions.

Some of the articles I found are at Quintessential Careers (quintcareers.com)
http://www.designsalaries.org/calculator.asp
http://www.quintcareers.com/salary_n..._articles.html
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Old 01-14-2009, 06:21 PM
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Markzebra Markzebra is offline
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Re: Seeking salary advice for Chicago area

Thats interesting Nanls, are you sure they are only taking 35%?

Aquent in London will take anything from 40 to 60%, with no conscience. If you are lucky enough to be working for 180 a day they will generally in my experience charge the client 300+. As a result of this enormous markup, they have no high-end retouching clients at all, only design based specialist clients, and these clients will inevitably only do short bookings.

Until they change their London management, work through them is not advised. I've been in there a few times to find that they have sent designers and Artworkers into retouching positions. As you can imagine its pretty stressful to have to pick up the pieces in these situations, when clients have been charged too much for people who basically don't have the skills. Most of their clients will offer direct work, and if you are willing to take this risk, its worth it for this alone. They are the biggest rip-off agency in London.

Last edited by Markzebra; 01-14-2009 at 06:28 PM.
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