Compensating Berklee Talent
Berklee students and alumni are among the most respected artists across the globe. They have spent years honing their craft in performance, composition, technology, business, education, and music therapy. If you are interested in hiring members of the Berklee community, compensation should reflect the high quality of their talent.
The Career Center implements guidelines that ensure students and alumni are fairly compensated for their work. The Career Center provides the following guidance to employers on compensating Berklee talent in the following areas:
The Career Center refers to guidelines provided by entities such as the American Federation of Musicians, SAG-AFTRA, Actors’ Equity, and American Guild of Musical Artists to establish appropriate compensation rates for performers, including musicians, actors, and dancers. The minimum compensation range we suggest for services lasting two hours or less is $100–150 per performer. This amount does not reflect additional points of consideration such as the individual's experience, transportation, rehearsal time, and equipment necessities, but it serves as a budgetary baseline for any event that hires Berklee performers.
The Career Center suggests aligning compensation according to industry standards and expectations. Employers are invited to review the annual Berklee undergraduate exit survey reportfor additional information.
The Career Center recommends a minimum payment of $20 per half-hour or $30 per hour. A standard range is $30–$100+ per hour and is dependent upon student needs and teacher qualifications, teaching experience, and/or an advanced degree(s). Additional factors to keep in mind when hiring for private music, voice, or dance lessons include the location of the lesson (at a teacher’s studio or in the student’s home) and travel time, commuting distance, and transportation. Longer lessons are priced proportionately.
The Career Center does not post private lesson ads that are unpaid.
Paid internships help employers attract the best talent. Not only is money a motivator, but it generates a larger group of highly qualified candidates, including those who may not be able to work for free due to financial need. When compensation is offered for work done during an internship, it should be no lower than the Massachusetts state minimum wage or the minimum wage in the state of employment. For more information, please read the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) position papers on compensation and unpaid internships and the U.S. Department of Labor Fact Sheet #71, and DOL's primary beneficiary test for internships.
The Career Center does not post unpaid opportunities to our highly qualified artistic community. However, certain extenuating circumstances may allow for this, such as a benefit event for an organization with less than $500,000 in annual business or an organization that often hires volunteers as part of its regular business practice.
We are committed to helping students explore career options through volunteer experiences. Volunteer opportunities that meet the following criteria can be posted on the Berklee Career Manager:
- The volunteer will provide services to a nonprofit or charitable organization that furthers humanitarian, public service, or educational objectives.
- The organization adheres to the Massachusetts Department of Labor Standards, or the applicable state’s labor standards, that determine who can work as an unpaid volunteer.
- The volunteer will serve on a part-time basis.
- The volunteer's position does not displace employees or perform work that would otherwise be performed by regular employees.