PayScale Releases "Lights, Camera, Action: Salaries Behind The 2011 Academy Award Curtain"

Share Article

When it comes to compensation, Red Carpet gives way to Concrete Carpet as behind-the-scenes workers make the Academy Awards a night to remember

Lights, Camera, Action: Salaries Behind The 2011 Academy Award Curtain.

PayScale, Inc., the world's largest real-time salary data provider, today announced its "Lights, Camera, Action: Salaries Behind The 2011 Academy Award Curtain."

While the stars, directors and producers on the red carpet usually are very well paid, PayScale examined what those working behind the scenes are paid. The full report can be found at

Highlights of study include:

1.     The spread in pay between what is typical (i.e. the median) and what the top 10% of earners can make is 2x on average.
a.     The jobs with the widest spreads are the following:
i.         Freelance Photographer: 3.8x
ii.        Script Writer: 2.9x
iii.        Television Director: 2.7x

2.     A four-year degree is not necessary to break into the entertainment industry: Freelance Photographers, Sound Board Operators, Theatrical Lighting Technicians, Hairdressers/Hairstylists, Makeup Artists, Janitors, and Chauffeurs typically have an Associate's degree or less.

3.     The highest paid job included on the list is Television Director at $145,000, but this is small compared to the typical pay of the actors and actresses being considered for an academy award this year, which is often upwards of several million dollars.

4.     Five jobs on the list are those that can be done straight out of school and require little to no work experience: Web Designer, Public Relations Specialist, Fashion Stylist, and Script Writer.

"For the people at the top of their game working this high profile event, from sound board operator ($20.80/hour), makeup artist ($29.80), to music director ($121,000/year) and security consultant ($135,000), the pay is good," said Dr. Al Lee, Director of Quantitative Analysis at PayScale. "However, typical workers in these fields are working less glamorous jobs than the Academy Awards and making half the pay of the top earners."

Every day tens of thousands of people take PayScale's salary survey to compare their pay anonymously with their peers and improve their understanding of the job market and specific job listings. PayScale created the concept of anonymously comparing your salary online - in detail - to other real people with similar individual and job characteristics (e.g. location, company type and size, job title, work experience, education, skills, and more.) Using advanced search and proprietary matching technology, PayScale finds a relevant peer group from its dataset that matches the user-provided job information. The system allows every user's job profile to be unique and relevant to his/her different job requirements. This creates a level of accuracy that cannot be achieved with traditional methodologies and allows individuals to better understand earning potential.

PayScale Academy Award Salary Report Methodology
This PayScale report provides the median pay and the 90th percentile pay for jobs that work behind the scenes at the Academy Awards. In addition to the pay, we also report the typical degree level. It is important to note that the pay reported is the typical pay for these positions, across all locations and industries. It stands to reason that those who secure a job behind the scenes at the Academy Awards will be paid on the higher end of the pay distribution. For this reason, we also include the 90th percentile pay as an approximate measure of top earners in the field.

About PayScale ( ) is the leading online provider of employee compensation data. With the world's largest database of individual compensation profiles, PayScale provides an immediate and precise snapshot of current market salaries to employees and employers. PayScale's patent-pending, real-time profiling technology collects and indexes employee pay attributes worldwide and makes this compensation data available through its online salary tools and salary benchmarking reports. PayScale was founded in 2002 and is headquartered in Seattle. For more information, visit:; Follow us on Twitter:

# # #

Share article on social media or email:

View article via:

Pdf Print

Contact Author

Steven Gottlieb
Visit website