Salary Guidelines

AGO Discontinues Publication of Salary Guidelines

We regret to inform you that the Salary Guidelines have been permanently taken down from our website and are no longer available from the Guild in any form. We can no longer distribute them to members, clergy, or anyone else.

Why are the Salary Guidelines and Model Contract Provisions no longer on the AGO website?

We have removed these documents from our website to comply with the requirements of our settlement agreement with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). Chapters must do the same. For that matter if you, as a member, have an old copy of the AGO’s Salary Guidelines, you must not use that document in salary negotiations. You should destroy it.

Since the AGO’s Salary Guidelines are gone, how can I negotiate a fair salary with my employer?

An employee may turn to a number of other resources, such as (1) what you currently earn, (2) what you understand other similarly qualified individuals earn, whether they are organists in your community or other professionals such as musicians in symphony orchestras, or university professors, (3) published information from unions of similarly qualified professionals such as the American Federation of Musicians, (4) data published regularly by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and (5) guidelines published by denominational music organizations, or (6) the salaries of primary or secondary public school educators, which are a matter of public record and are often available from state education departments. It may be particularly useful to document what your time commitments will be to plan, prepare, practice, and perform service music, and to carry out all other duties expected of you for the position. For additional information, please see these two helpful resources on the AGO website:  Calculating Weekly Hours and Ideas for Organists Seeking Employment.  You can also detail your academic study, years of training, and relevant experience. What the AGO cannot do, however, is provide you with salary data for this effort.

As a Chapter Officer, I still have a copy of the old Salary Guidelines in my files. May I give them to my chapter members?

The AGO’s settlement prohibits you from doing so. It is particularly important for all chapter leaders to comply with this provision rigorously.

Further information is available in Executive Director James Thomashower’s column on page 6 of the February 2017 issue of TAO.

Updated 2/15/2018