Assistant: salary?

Discussion in 'General Shop Talk' started by Antithesis, Sep 24, 2016.

  1. Antithesis

    Antithesis No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    So I live in a semi-remote, but gorgeous part of the Caribbean. We struggle to find good assistants both in the studio and on shoots.

    I am considering offering a salary as a sort of catch-all for both studio and field work (weddings). They'd have to consider the move down here, but the cost of living is not bad and the perks are fantastic (80-85 degrees year-round, fantastic beaches, etc.). Given those perks, what do you guys think would be a good starting salary? I'd be looking for someone who knows their stuff, but maybe somewhat fresh out of college and looking for some experience.

    I'd offer a lot of mentoring, but I am honestly exhausted from trying to train people from the ground up. I've tried that with quite a few different assistants, and it ends in frustration.


     
  2. Designer

    Designer Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Do some research on typical salaries in your area. You might not find anyone in the photography field, but just average them out. Retail clerks, bank tellers, etc.
     
  3. PersistentNomad

    PersistentNomad No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Take the area's average wage (not minimum wage) and multiply by 1.5 because you are looking for someone with experience, whether they are just out of school or not. Especially if you are going to try and entice someone to move there, you need to be paying them enough to make the move, live there and be providing full time hours, and giving them enough money to go back home once in a while.
     
  4. table1349

    table1349 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    I might consider it for $60,000 a year and you pay my moving expenses. While you may think that is crazy, keep in mind that your location is not cheap to move to nor does it offer as many other opportunities for someone who moves from say the states or Europe. You would be better off to recruit from your area for someone that is very interested in photography.
     
  5. waday

    waday Do one thing every day that scares you Supporting Member

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    Why did the other assistants leave?
     
  6. Trever1t

    Trever1t Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    You're in Vieques, huh? I'm from St. Croix and have a good buddy in Culebra. Can't help with your needs but if I was younger, and single I'd be there. Island life isn't for many, many come and many go...
     
  7. Antithesis

    Antithesis No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    The nature of our location means we get a fairly transient work-force. Our solution has been to train people that are starting with minimal knowledge, which requires a ton of work. Some people head back north for the summer, or something happens and they have to move. We've gone through about 4-5 people this way, and it's exhausting.

    Yeah, it can be daunting. We'd set any potential options up with a place to live, etc. (they'd pay their own rent, we'd just line it up), transportation, etc. I think the key is going to be offering a better rate up front.
     
  8. Trever1t

    Trever1t Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    You're facing two challenges at least. One finding a person who can commit to work, be reliable and stay the duration. That challenge is faced independent of location everywhere.

    Second challenge is your location. I don't know how long you've lived in then Caribbean but you must know; everyone loves to visit but living on a rock makes people nuts.

    I'd think your best bet is to find someone already living in PR or the VI with the skill set and tolerance you need!
     
  9. Antithesis

    Antithesis No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Yeah, I'm not sure if you've been to Vieques, but it's an easy place to party way too hard and just burn out. I'm sure the rest of VI are similar.
     
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  10. Trever1t

    Trever1t Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Ya, I been there, been throughout the western Caribbean. Grew up in the VI, I know better than most.

    I had to change my entire lifestyle when I moved to the states.


    That's why I suggest finding a current nearby resident, one that's already lived the life and is stable.
     

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