To Potential Employers of Members
The job postings on the Web site of the American Guild of Organists are provided as a service to employers and a member benefit to AGO voting members.
As a professional association of musicians, the American Guild of Organists expects the highest standard of professional behavior on the part of its members. AGO members are bound by a Code of Ethics and guided by a Code of Professional Standards. Similarly, the Guild has established guidelines and recommended standards regarding the employment of its members. In order to familiarize potential employers with the Guild's Guidelines for Employment, the Guidelines for Compensation for Musicians Employed by Religious Institutions and the accompanying Salary Guide are published here.
Before posting your position available, we ask that you read and understand these guidelines. For institutions, we suggest that you print out this section and share it with colleagues, committee members, or others involved with the employment process.
Thank you for your interest in employing a member of the American Guild of Organists.
Compensation for Musicians Employed by Religious Institutions
Leadership in Religious Institutions
While the spiritual leadership and supervision of religious institutions is usually invested in ordained staff members, the programs and missions of these institutions are often the responsibility of non-ordained staff. Sacred music, along with a variety of outreach ministries, is the work of persons hired for these purposes.
The provision of fair compensation is both an economic and a justice issue. Many denominations now offer pension and medical benefits to part-time and full-time employees, both lay and ordained. The American Guild of Organists believes that all employees of religious institutions are entitled to fair compensation, which includes a living wage and benefits that provide current and future economic security and ordinary economic rights. Ordinary economic rights include food, housing, health care, education, security in old age, insurance for sickness and joblessness, leisure and recreation, and the possibility of property ownership. A Salary Guide for Musicians Employed by Religious Institutions is available at no charge from the Guild.
One part of compensation is salary. Factors involved in the determination of salary include the extent of an employee's responsibilities (reflected in the average number of hours per week - on site, at home, or elsewhere - needed to do the job successfully) and the training, skill, and experience of the individual. If, for example, it is determined that a particular position will take one-half of the person's work week, then the employer ought to pay one-half of a full-time salary.
The second part of fair compensation is benefits - those that provide for an employee's current and future economic security. Every full-time or part-time employee should receive benefits, either in the form of enrollment in a denominational plan or in the form of additional salary to allow them to purchase their own benefits. These benefits belong to an employee whether or not a second job, spouse, or partner also has access to benefits. A 1996 AGO Professional Relations Committee study of denominational benefit plans found that they averaged 20%-30% of base salary
Common Health and Pension Benefits:
The following items are in addition to the 20%-30% of base salary included in the health and pension benefits listed above.
Supportive Working Conditions:
The items listed previously have a financial value. However, there are other, equally important benefits that should be offered by employers. These include freedom from discrimination based on age, race, gender, sexual orientation, and disability unrelated to job performance; contracts and up-to-date job descriptions; and well-equipped office and work areas.
Religious institutions expect much from their employees. We encourage them to be worthy of this expectation.
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It is the policy of the American Guild of Organists not to discriminate
on the basis of sex, age, disability, race, color, religion, marital status,
veteran's status, national or ethnic origin, or sexual orientation.
AMERICAN GUILD OF ORGANISTS
SALARY GUIDE FOR MUSICIANS
EMPLOYED BY RELIGIOUS INSTITUTIONS
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:
I have read these guidelines and wish to post a job opening on the AGO Web site.