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Question about rates

Hi everyone,

I did 2 weeks unpaid work experience for a local agency, and they asked me back for a 'paid placement', which I've been on for 2 weeks now.

When we discussed money they said they usually pay £150 a week. This sounds low to me; it's below minimum wage. Is this just standard in the industry until I gain more experience, or should I be asking for more?

They seem very happy with my work so far, and I've been working on live projects. They've also said they're happy to keep me on 'forever'.

Any advice would be appreciated! :)
Hi Helen.

You're right, it is too low. Just had a quick look at your site and you have real talent.

What exactly is the arrangement and how much studio experience do you have (including your time with this agency)? Have they offered you a full-time position or is it a casual, on-going thing?


Active Member
@ £3.75 per hour id be happy to hire some one too !!!!!
obviously, age, location, skill set all have a major factor in hourly wage, but dont kid yourself!! a Tesco cashier can earn around or over £7-per hour just sitting on tills


Active Member
Are you paying tax on this or it coming out of Petty Cash?
All prospective employers will treat it differently depending on the set up and the cost - If this is your second bite of the cherry then £150/200 would be the norm for a first timers salary in the current climate. It's Catch 22 situation, the opportunity of real working experience is priceless for anyone. But yes you are over a barrell. But you are in better position and place than a lot of young designers.


Staff member
lets put it this way, when I came out of uni they told us not to accept anything under 12k a year (£230 per week for 52 weeks). Personally I would say what you're being paid is far too low and if you're on the tax role/register (whatever its called) it's in breach of the minimum wage etc.
Thanks everyone for the advice!

I've had a long think about it, and have decided to accept it, because as Berry says I'm lucky to have the experience, and they're a good bunch. I've asked for an increase if I stay on for much longer though, which I think is more than fair.

It's a very casual thing, not an official full time position. They've said I can stay as long as I like basically, but they're happy for me to move on to other things whenever I want. It's all very vague - typical creatives! There's no problem with tax as I'm registered self employed anyway, and they can get around that by calling it a placement anyway!

Thanks again for your encouragement though. This is my first work experience placement (apart from a week in a London agency last month), so I'm still starting out, but I'm learning a lot as I go along, and I suppose I should just look at the money as a bonus!

@cellar_door: I see you're a fellow brummie!

Tom Sound

Active Member
Good for you Helen,tough choice but it's better to be doing something for some money than nothing for no money, or indeed something for no money and at least its a situation where you can actively search for something else and move on or do some freelance work for some extra sheckles.

It might be worth staying on for a short while to gain valuable experience and build a commercial portfolio.

However, don't lose sight of the fact that your 'employer' could also be profiting greatly from your extremely low earnings, so don't let that situation continue for too long, even if you really enjoy working there.

Going beyond a reasonable time frame, this would be exploitation.