2018 Rates of Pay

The Scottish Artists Union has from its inception been concerned with establishing recognised national standards in artists’ contracts and payments, as it is often difficult for artists to quantify the value of their work. We have therefore prepared some typical rates of pay which members may wish to use as a guide when negotiating payment for their work on short - term contracts, sessional work and residencies that are paid on a self-employed status basis.

The Scottish Artists Union is conscious that the economic climate remains difficult it is however important that it continues to promote appropriate increase in the typical rates of pay we recommend. We are therefore applying an increase of 4% to all our previous hourly rates, our daily rates and a proportionate increase to our residency rates. This is in line with the 4% increase to this year’s Living Wage.



Rates of Pay should apply to a wide range of freelance and short contract employment from consultancy work, project planning and development, to all aspects of workshop delivery (set up, execution, clear up) and other freelance activity. Rates exclude artist’s expenses for a specific project and VAT where relevant.


Hourly Rates 2018 (2017)

£21.60 (£20.77) per hour for a new graduate artist.

£27.99 (£26. 91) per hour for an artist with +3 year’s experience.

£34.58 (£32.03) per hour for an artist with +5 year’s experience.


Sessional Rates 2018 (2017)

Day rates are based on an 8-hour day, minimum ‘call’ is for a 4-hour session. Additional hours over 8-hours should be at a minimum of the appropriate hourly rate (see above).


New Graduate Artist

4-hour minimum call - £86.40 (£81.50)

8-hour day rate - £172.81 (£163.00)


3+ Years Experience

4-hour minimum call - £111.95 (£107.50)

8-hour day rate - £223.89 (£215.00)


5+ Years Experience

4-hour minimum call - £138.32 (£133.00)

8-hour day rate - £276.64 (£266.00)


The variations in rates relate to qualifications/experience, which are defined by ‘years as a working artist’, and would be evidenced by a professional CV, indicating the artist’s records and/or unique attributes.


Residency Rates 2018 (2017)

New Graduate Artist: £23,562.24 (£22,656) p/annum (pro rata)

5+ Years Experience: £34,649.68 (£33,317) p/annum (pro rata)


All residencies should be calculated on a pro rata basis where the residency is of 20+ working days. The variations in rates relate to qualifications/experience as above.


These Typical Rates of Pay are provided for guidance purposes, artists are at all times free to negotiate rates of pay different to those set out above. Rates assume appropriate professional conduct by Artist.

The Scottish Artists Union encourages all artists and those who wish to contract artists, to make use of this information.


Yours in Solidarity,

Executive Committee, Scottish Artists Union

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