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Author Topic: What Salary to Expect/Ask For - Wisdom Needed  (Read 1774 times)

brian maddox

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Re: What Salary to Expect/Ask For - Wisdom Needed
« Reply #20 on: February 21, 2020, 09:48:44 pm »

I would start by asking yourself how much you need to live in the area you live in.

Then go from there.

Use that as a minimum, plus a little extra.

The cost of living varies greatly from different areas.

What is "a lot" of money in one city barely gets by in another

I"m gonna double down on this and add a bit from my personal experience.

Working as full-time staff is all-consuming, almost regardless of size.  If you're not in it at some level as a labor of love, the amount of money you get paid really won't matter much when you get dragged out of bed for the umpteenth time to fix some silly issue with a TV in the nursery [and you will no matter what they say].  For this reason, I don't think that the traditional model of trying to get as much money from your salary negotiation as possible really works in a church situation.

Here's what I did when I was faced with this same negotiation.  I did some thorough research as well as some very detailed math to determine how much money I needed to make in order to live/work in the area of the church.  This included things like some dollars set aside for retirement, benefits, etc.  Then when the interview process got to the salary conversation, I had a number that I knew I needed to get, and I told them exactly that.  If they couldn't match that number then I knew it wasn't a good fit and wouldn't work out long term no matter how I pinched the pennies.  And honestly, since I knew it would still be a labor of love, it didn't matter that much to me if they had a much higher number in mind. Frankly, if they did and they had accepted my much lower number without comment I'm sure I would have eventually found out and that would have told me more about who I was working for anyway.

Lastly, I mentioned it above but I'll say it again.  working at a church is HARD.  Make sure you have your needs taken care of from the first day you are hired and not "promised" to happen some time in the future.  That never works out well for anyone....
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Caleb Dueck

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Re: What Salary to Expect/Ask For - Wisdom Needed
« Reply #21 on: February 21, 2020, 11:04:11 pm »

Make sure you have your needs taken care of from the first day you are hired and not "promised" to happen some time in the future.  That never works out well for anyone....

This last line made me chuckle.  From an AV integrator perspective for a moment- 99% of churches plan to do a major upgrade/fix in "2-5 years".  That's code for "If there's an unexpected financial windfall, after the roof, HVAC, and parking lot are fixed - then we'll fix the AVL issues."   ;D
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Chris Hindle

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Re: What Salary to Expect/Ask For - Wisdom Needed
« Reply #22 on: February 22, 2020, 06:33:16 am »

This last line made me chuckle.  From an AV integrator perspective for a moment- 99% of churches plan to do a major upgrade/fix in "2-5 years".  That's code for "If there's an unexpected financial windfall, after the roof, HVAC, and parking lot are fixed - then we'll fix the AVL issues."   ;D
In Municipal terms, "Ya, the NEXT mayor will fix that."  ::)
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Dave Pluke

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Re: What Salary to Expect/Ask For - Wisdom Needed
« Reply #23 on: February 22, 2020, 09:01:52 am »

Once the first person in this position left (who probably worked their butt off), ...

This reminded me of an interview a year or so ago.  After telling me the expectations of long, irregular hours at a particular venue, I asked (as I always try to do); "How does this position come to be vacant?".  Without missing a beat, the Interviewer said; "The last guy died.".

I kid you not.  And, I pursued that position no further.

Dave
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Scott Holtzman

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Re: What Salary to Expect/Ask For - Wisdom Needed
« Reply #24 on: February 22, 2020, 04:37:06 pm »

Hi Everyone,

I'm currently in the process of finding a new job. A large church has contacted me back and I'm expecting to be asked in for an interview, although I don't know that for sure.

To give you an idea of the size of church and production quality, they have 4 campuses and have roughly 15,000 - 20,000 in attendance across the 4 campuses each week.

If hired, I would be the head audio engineer responsible for all audio equipment/events at all campuses. I would NOT be the technical director, though.

I don't want share my exact location, but I can tell you that I'm not in a huge city like LA or NYC. I'm in a city of about 200,000. With many surrounding towns/cities.

If hired, I'm expecting them to offer a salary, not contracted or hourly compensation. Most of my work has been contracted, so a salary would be new to me.

I have an AAS in Audio Engineering along with a couple other audio related certificates from the school I attended. I've been working in the audio field now for about 7 years or so.

I'd like to hear some of you experienced folks opinions on my situation, more precisely the payrate. What do you think this job is worth, realistically? Part of me thinks they might offer 25k and the other part of me thinks they might offer 50-60k. I'm just simply not sure.

But if they insist on me giving them a range first, I'd like to be prepared and not shoot myself in the foot. Of course, I want it to be fair for both sides.

What are your thoughts?

PLEASE NOTE - Please refrain from subjective opinions on "church". I know it can be controversial, but I'm not here to start any arguments. I'm simply hoping for some insight on appropriate compensation for such a job.

Thanks for all your help!


I am surprised at all the responses from folks with such limited information.  I have served on church finance committees and other roles and have a decent perspective.


1 - What are the responsibilities?  People have asked about hours and that would be interesting if you are going to be a jack of all trades, running between campuses however more relevant is how many direct reports will you have?


2 - Will you own the department budget and present it to the board for approval?


3 - Who will you report to?


4 - Will you receive decent healthcare?  What about dependent care?  Disability?  401k?


That is good start to scope this out.



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Jean-Pierre Coetzee

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Re: What Salary to Expect/Ask For - Wisdom Needed
« Reply #25 on: February 23, 2020, 04:31:02 am »

Scott I'm sure you will also know that your responsibilities as the start of contract won't be your responsibilities in a few years time. They might not be streaming now but they definitely will want to. They might want to open more campuses later which will up the work load, specifically if they are looking at lowballing now, they definitely won't be interested in hiring more engineers in a hurry.

I agree if you are reporting to someone else like a TD and you only have a minor say in budgeting and the TD handles budgeting then your salary wont be as high but at the same time who says that you won't be handed that responsibility in the future, are you then going to go the the committee and request a higher salary?
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Scott Holtzman

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Re: What Salary to Expect/Ask For - Wisdom Needed
« Reply #26 on: February 24, 2020, 01:53:34 am »

Scott I'm sure you will also know that your responsibilities as the start of contract won't be your responsibilities in a few years time. They might not be streaming now but they definitely will want to. They might want to open more campuses later which will up the work load, specifically if they are looking at lowballing now, they definitely won't be interested in hiring more engineers in a hurry.

I agree if you are reporting to someone else like a TD and you only have a minor say in budgeting and the TD handles budgeting then your salary wont be as high but at the same time who says that you won't be handed that responsibility in the future, are you then going to go the the committee and request a higher salary?


If your responsibilities are increased then your salary should be evaluated again. 
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Scott AKA "Skyking" Holtzman

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Jean-Pierre Coetzee

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Re: What Salary to Expect/Ask For - Wisdom Needed
« Reply #27 on: February 24, 2020, 04:12:13 am »


If your responsibilities are increased then your salary should be evaluated again.

I agree but I also know in the church world that doesn't necessarily happen. It's just something that needs to be discussed upfront.
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Tim McCulloch

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Re: What Salary to Expect/Ask For - Wisdom Needed
« Reply #28 on: February 24, 2020, 09:59:31 am »

I agree but I also know in the church world that doesn't necessarily happen. It's just something that needs to be discussed upfront.

That's why I said get the money up front.  In three years, suffering from extensive burn-out, you can then afford the therapy.
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Re: What Salary to Expect/Ask For - Wisdom Needed
« Reply #28 on: February 24, 2020, 09:59:31 am »


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