Organists’ fees for regular and special services: our survey results 2017

In the table below we summarise the results of our latest survey of fees paid to organists and directors of music in places of worship. 

As the survey results show considerable variation between rates paid in London and those paid in the rest of the UK, the results are broken down by region.  

For further advice about working as an organist, read our advice page for organists.

.

Mid-point*

£ per service

Central range**

£ per service

Overall

42.50

25 – 60

London

60

50 – 100

Rest of the UK

40

25 – 51.20

* Half the respondents were paid this amount or more and half were paid this amount or less. 

** Most respondents were paid within this range: 20% were paid more and 20% were paid less. 

In addition, almost one quarter of respondents were paid a separate amount for Holy Day services.


Survey results: rates for Holy Day services in 2016

.

Mid-point*

£ per service

Central range**

£ per service

Overall UK

25

25 – 60

London

60

60 – 128

Rest of the UK

37.50

25 – 50

* Half the respondents were paid this amount or more and half were paid this amount or less.

** Most respondents were paid within this range: 20% were paid more and 20% were paid less.


Survey results: fees for special services in 2016

.

Mid-point*

£ per service

Central range**

£ per service

Weddings
Overall UK10075 – 128.80
London125100 – 187
Rest of the UK9570 – 120
Funerals
Overall UK7560 – 100
London10083 – 180

Rest of the UK

75

60 – 95

Other special services



Overall UK72.5050 – 120
London12084 – 180
Rest of the UK6543 – 100

* Half the respondents were paid this amount or more and half were paid this amount or less.

** Most respondents were paid within this range: 20% were paid more and 20% were paid less.


Survey results: fee increases for those paid an annual salary

32% of survey respondents who were paid an annual salary reported that they had received a rise in their remuneration in 2016. Most of those reporting an increase received a rise of between 1.1% and 7.0%. The median increase was 2.7%. 

Recordings

The fees in the table are the basic fees, before any additional charges for recordings of the service. For those who quoted a price for Weddings we asked whether they charged more for audio or video recordings. 41% said they did charge more. For Audio recording 12% said they charged 50% extra. For video and audio recording over a quarter of respondents said they doubled their fee.

Due to competition law constraints, we are not able to make any form of recommendation in respect of fees for self-employed musicians.

About our survey

Over 611 musicians took part in this survey, which is the largest of its kind in the UK. The survey was carried out for us between 2 May and 2 July by independent statisticians at the University of Reading. We asked musicians about what they were paid for playing at regular services and for specials services such as weddings and funerals in 2016 . 

These survey results are not recommendations. Competition law prevents us – and other trade associations and organisations - from recommending rates for musicians’ freelance work.

ISM Organists' agreement (employed)

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ISM Organists' agreement (self-employed)

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Non-members can purchase this contract by calling us on 020 7221 3499.

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