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touring salary requirements

Discussion in 'Lighting and Electrics' started by Thomas, Apr 29, 2008.

  1. Thomas

    Thomas Member

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    What sort of monthly salary can one expect in the American touring industry as a ML Technician or Rackman, experienced and not- out here it ranges between R7000 for an inexperienced technician and R15,000 upwards for the experienced counterpart. Given the current exchange rate, that's roughly US$ 1000 and US$2000.

    I know there are variables involved; company, geography, duration, scale etc etc, but there are always broad figures.

    Any ideas?
     
  2. len

    len Well-Known Member

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    The last tour I was on as ME (about 24 moving lights on 2 straight trusses) I made about $1,800 a week. We had less than 6 show days per week and the food and bus were very good. Easy work but kind of boring since the rig went up so quickly.

    The other memorable tour that same year I got paid slightly less, but the food sucked, the bus was old, and one day when a show got cancelled they wouldn't even spring for hotel rooms for us. Instead, we got one room where we could all shower and watch tv. At a motel with no facilities like a pool or a decent restaurant. And it's not like they couldn't afford it. The break even on merchandise was $5,000 per show and the average merch sale was $32,000. Per show.

    Edit: I should point out that there are other considerations which can impact how much you make:

    1. What you get per diem, and how many meals are included. One tour we usually got "bought out" for dinner, which means we were given money instead of food. So I ordered a larger lunch and kept the leftovers on the bus until dinner, since I don't like to eat a lot, but I like to eat often. And often the buy out was not actually paid, unless you went and got it. Three or four people forgetting 3 - 5 times a week can add up. For the tour.

    2. Whether you get per diem per day or per week. Sometimes your per diem is only paid for days you're working. Which is stupid because if you're on tour you're working, simply because you don't have the option of going to earn somewhere else. Per week is always better.

    3. Who pays transportation home and back on off days? Some tours will.

    4. If you're crossing borders, what is the exchange rate? I would write it into my contract that my pay and per diems are all based on an exchange rate as of a certain date.

    5. Stupid stuff like washing machines at the venues, on the truck, etc., can be nice, too.

    It's not all about the money. It can also be about the amenities.
     
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2008
  3. JD

    JD Well-Known Member

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    Humm.. $15 and a 6 pack of beer doesn't work anymore? ;)

    Actually Thomas, those numbers sound really low. Len put those numbers in as per week and that sounds closer to where we are at in the US.

    Of course, you posted that several hours ago, and with the speed of the $ devaluation, the numbers may have equaled out by now!
     
  4. Thomas

    Thomas Member

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    Thanks guys, those are the answers I was looking for.
     
  5. TimMiller

    TimMiller Well-Known Member

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    I was looking at a tour as a ML tech, and we were talking between 1200-1400 per week, everything paid for. There were quite a few other incentives in the deal also such as if i complete the entire tour i got an extra 5000 bonus, and a nice paid vacation complete with private jet :D.
     
  6. ship

    ship Senior Team Emeritus Premium Member

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    Don’t know in not being a touring person but it was fuel to the fire in finding out last year what an experienced person made - in the range of 80K and what someone that started out in slinging cable made in being taught by me and others in being very similar to my pay that got me a 20% raise after asking.

    On peridium etc. don’t know but I do know its between say $26K and +$120K a year you might make on tour. All possibly a question of experience, resume, experience with where you work and in counteracting that resume what you have done in the past for where you are working.

    Had one guy on a tour that was working with VL-3K moving lights. Couldn’t figure out how to reset the lamp counter or analyze the lamp removed for a systematic to them bad for the initial lamp installed to fixture lamp base socket problem. Took at least three lamps at times before he was fired from the tour or he realized that fixture lamp sockets also go bad at times before we finished wasting thousands of dollars with him in being in charged of the lamp replacements for the tour. Certainly adding shipping and other expenses just being able to figure out and understand the fixture you are charged to work with for pay might entail that you understand it and the lamps that go into it. This person did not and was fired. This not to say that he is fired from working with us yet or that I won’t have a talk with him so as to correct his error in education but overall this guy as many especially free lancers cost us money over and above his pay rate.

    Were it my choice and as with them guys filling out lamp tags as “Ronald McDonald” for the signature amongst other mocking our system type stuff - fired and will never work for use again type thing would be appropriate. But I’ll work with this free lancer with experience in the field that perhaps in now being back in the shop, just does not realize the scale of his screw up at least in my area of lamps in costing us money. I’ll educate and perhaps in him losing money this year perhaps get him back up to value with us.

    Hmm, money for a show guy... nope no idea on my part, but on the other hand if you don’t know what the heck you are doing, it does after a certain grace period catch up to you and I do my best to find out who you are and either correct or let those that hired you know that you are an idiot. After such a note perhaps pay scale if retained drops if not you don’t get rehired which often is my hope for the guys of the name of Ronald McDonald that just cost us money if for nothing else but not having a valid name signed out for a lamp changed amongst other mocking reasons for changing the lamp, lamp hours or even “today” being the date the lamp was changed.... yep, for such people I have it out for them in not making a living in this industry.

    Overall, it might be guessed on my part a wide impression of pay scale for various lighting tech people - this especially free lance and staff types, and the expectations of both in working for or representing where they get their pay from. Did find out who amongst two people might have been signing their name Ronald, and one can bet in me sending their names and how much they lost the company in money - took some leg work but I found out... they don’t make as much per year from us at least if employed by us. Simple five lines of info to fill out on any lamp changed. Screw with that or mock it and it costs us money in a potential lamp return. Lots of money that pays peoples salaries in the end. Screw with that, I track the lamps, tracking the people that screw up them... easier than tracking lamps and I do report to those that hire you you being a screw up not qualified to be paid further.

    (Sorry for the rant... been a day of chacking in lamps oveall and one that at times gets frusturating in amongst various problems, I think I'm attmpting to see a trend in that who ever recieved and read off the serial numbers to those initial VL3K fixtures also finger [email protected]%&d the lamps and I got a lot of the lamps back in having divitrificaion - elephantitus blobs on them.... that's a bad thing in who ever in theory was qualified to be around the lamps touched with their finger many of them and cost us around $2k in lamps due to it. This amongst other problems with free lancers not trained in our ways etc that I constantly find. Pay rate... depends upon your worth for me. Start at the bottom, add a $K for every year after starting rate of perhaps $25K and you get where you are or excell after that .) Simple enough I would hope.
     
    Last edited: May 2, 2008

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