How Much Do You Pay Your Musicians?

“How much do you (North Point) pay your musicians?”

This is a question we get asked all the time.

99.9% of the time the question comes from folks at other churches who have a legitimate concern as to what they should pay their musicians (assuming they want to pay…). They just want some direction in this area as to what is fair (or unfair!).

However, we always have to remind them of something:

The rates that we pay are for full-time professional musicians in a large metropolitan area at a very large church. These wages should not be expected at a smaller church, or in a smaller city, or with semi-pro or lay musicians!

However, the ratios can still be used. So let’s go with that.

I think what I’ve laid out below is the best way to describe the way pay, and you can simply plug your own dollar amount and go from there…

In the following example, the Worship Leader receives 100%, and the other participants’ wage is based on a percentage.

So if the WL receives 100% and a band member receives 60% and your starting dollar amount is $100.00, then the WL gets $100 and the band dude gets $60. Make sense?

Sure it does šŸ˜‰

– – – – – –

East – 3 Services, 1 mid-week rehearsal = approx. 10 hour time commitment (apart from an individuals practice/prep time at home)

Worship Leader / Band Leader: 100%

Band: 60%

BGV: 45%

Special vocal: 50% (but only an extra 30% if they are already participating in worship, such as BGV, WL or Band member)

NOTE: A Band member also acting as BGV does NOT receive extra (still only 60%)

NOTE: A “Special” is a song outside existing repertoire, or “cover tune”, of which a specific singer’s unique ability and vocal characteristics are required in order to legitimately perform the song. It usually does not include worship songs. If the song is a mainstream radio hit, or “secular” song, we often try our best to have someone other than that day’s Worship Leader sing the song if possible. However, there certainly are instances when the WL is also the best person to sing the song.

– – – – – – – – –

West – 2 Services, 1 mid-week rehearsal = approx. 8 hour time commitment (apart from an individuals practice/prep time at home)

Worship Leader / Band Leader: 100% (same as East – this might not be totally fair to the East leader, but that’s just the current system…)

Band: 50%

BGV: 40%

Special vocal: 45% (but only an extra 25% if they are already participating in worship, such as BGV, WL or Band member)

NOTE: A Band member also acting as BGV does NOT receive extra (still only 50%).

– – – – –

FINAL THOUGHTS: I think our percentages for West are skewed based on the West WL receiving the same as the East WL. However, the balance between the 3 service people and the 2 service people are actually more fair and appropriate.

Personally, I would use the EAST percentages as a guide for your church, no matter how many services you have.

Hope that helps!

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3 thoughts on “How Much Do You Pay Your Musicians?

  1. Eric: Awesome!

    I hope it’s at least a high quality Brie or smoked gouda – not processed cheese slices (unless you’re making grilled cheese sandwiches :))

  2. I think its awesome to get some kind of pay.
    I think we little ourselves when we dont even get gas to offer our talents. But on the other hand do we not offer our talents up to Christ in Praise to him?

    Charles

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