Salary Guide

pdf-large-typeModel Contract Provisions for Church/Temple Musicians

pdf-large-typeTime Requirements Worksheet

pdf-large-typeSalary Guide for Musicians Employed by Religious Institutions

Other Fees
  • The range of fees is for musicians with degrees in organ or church music or AGO certification.
  • Fees vary regionally. The lowest figures reflect smaller, rural areas of the country.
  • Fees will also vary based on training, experience, availability, responsibility, and dates required.
Substitute Musicians
  • Single service (organist only or director only, no separate rehearsal), $100-$225
  • Additional services (organist or director only) not requiring additional preparation, $50-$125
  • Single service (organist-director combination, no separate rehearsal), $150-$275
  • Additional services (organist-director combination) not requiring additional preparation, $75-$175
  • Rehearsal fees range from $25-$100/hour, depending on whether the substitute is organist only, director only, or organist-director combination and the preparation required
  • The current, federally approved business standard mileage rate for reimbursement of business travel is charged if visits to church for practice, rehearsal, and service exceed 20 miles per round trip.
  • The charge for contracting singers/instrumentalists is $15-$35/person hired.
Weddings
  • Service fees are $100-$350 (service only)
  • Wedding rehearsal with bridal party is $50-$100/hour.
  • Additional rehearsals are $30-$50/hour.
  • The current, federally approved business standard mileage rate for reimbursement of business travel is charged if visits to church for practice, rehearsal, and service exceed 20 miles per round trip.
  • The charge for contracting singers/instrumentalists is $15-$35/person hired.
Funerals
  • Churches which provide funeral services at no cost to the family of the deceased are also expected to compensate the performing musician, whether full- or part-time, as recommended below:
  • Service fees are $100-$225 (service only)
  • Rehearsals $25-$100/hour, depending on the difficulty of the music and the participation of choirs, soloists, or instrumentalists.
  • The current, federally approved business standard mileage rate for reimbursement of business travel is charged if visits to church for practice, rehearsal, and service exceed 20 miles per round trip.
  • The charge for contracting singers/instrumentalists is $15-$35/person hired.

NOTE: Occasionally churches or synagogues will hire musicians as independent contractors instead of employees. According to the IRS, workers are generally considered employees if they:

  • Must comply with the employer’s instructions about the work.
  • Receive training from or at the direction of the employer.
  • Provide services that are integrated into the business.
  • Provide services that must be rendered personally.
  • Are aided by assistants who are hired, supervised, and paid by the employer.
  • Have a continuing working relationship with the employer.
  • Must follow set hours of work.
  • Work full-time for an employer.
  • Do their work on the employer’s premises.
  • Must do their work in a sequence set by the employer.
  • Must submit regular reports to the employer.
  • Receive payments of regular amounts at set intervals.
  • Receive payments for business travel expenses.
  • Rely on the employer to furnish tools and materials.
  • Lack a major investment in the facilities or equipment used to perform the services.
  • Cannot make a profit or suffer a loss from their services.
  • Work for one employer at a time.
  • Do not offer their services to the general public.
  • Can be fired by the employer.
  • May quit work at any time without incurring liability.

According to these guidelines, the majority of church and synagogue musicians are employees.