Teaching Artist Pay Rate Calculator


The TA Pay Rate Calculator Working Group

Why do we need a TA Pay Rate Calculator?

We hope the calculator will act as a catalyst for the field. If we understand what a teaching artist ought to be paid, we can begin, as a field, to work towards a livable wage, stabilizing and strengthening the work teaching artists do in arts education, creative youth development, and arts in community, across the United States.

We at TAG are well aware that these rates may be currently inaccessible to many small (and even larger) organizations.

Learn more about why we created this calculator (and how it works) in our blog post, here.

The purpose of this tool is:

To help teaching artists to negotiate at least a minimum living wage.

To help hiring organizations advocate for funding to pay teaching artists a living wage.

How much should you be making?

Enter in your location, your level of experience, and the size of organization you will be working for. You can also add dependents to the calculation. The calculator will show you our suggested rate based on your unique situation.

Calculate Your Hourly Rate

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What is a living wage?

A Living Wage is a wage that is high enough to maintain a normal, sustainable standard of living. It differs from a minimum, or subsistence, wage, which is set by federal, state, and municipal governments and which may place working individuals below the poverty line. With a living wage, for example, no more than 30% of an earner’s income should go to housing costs, and an earner should not need to rely on government aid. This is the first set of data that we use to calculate your suggested teaching artist pay rate.

How it works:

Our calculations are based on national data on living wage for families and individuals, provided through our partnership with the Economic Policy Institute. In our research we looked at data and surveys on teaching artist wages from various locations across the US to understand the landscape of wages that are actually offered, in combination with consultations with national arts education specialists on a wage range based on level of expertise and the size of the hiring organization, compared across sectors to other related professions.
We created a calculation based on several factors including your previous experience and education. For more information on this process, check out our blog here.

Note that this tool is a guide: for you as an individual to ascertain what a livable wage looks like in your region as you plan for your employment, fitting and balancing the pieces of your work as an artist, teaching artist, and any other work you may do. We hope it will give you a strong leg to stand on as you establish a wage for yourself.

It is also for organizations who hire teaching artists, and funders, to begin to calculate what they should be able to pay teaching artists to maintain and build a field of professionals, whose valuable work we can count on to bring the arts to all.
We at TAG are well aware that these rates may be currently inaccessible to many small (and even larger) organizations.

We hope the calculator will act as a catalyst for the field. If we understand what a teaching artist ought to be paid, we can begin, as a field, to work towards a livable wage, stabilizing and strengthening the work teaching artists do in arts education, creative youth development, and arts in community, across the United States.

Questions to keep in mind as you calculate your wage:


There are many variables which will affect your rate or wage. As you negotiate, consider:

Is it hourly, or salaried?
How many hours in a row are you teaching?
How many days a week?
How much prep time do you need?
Are supplies provided?
Is curriculum provided?
How far will you be commuting?
Are you working as an independent contractor, or an employee?
Are there other services or benefits the hiring organization is able to offer? Examples include health insurance, PTO, other insurance, TAG membership, free or paid professional development opportunities, etc.

Discuss the calculator and give us your feedback here:

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A tremendous THANK YOU to our partners at the Economic Policy Institute, and to our tremendous working group: Kenny Allen, Lara Davis, Kai Fierle-Hedrick, Lindsey Buller Maliekel, Jacob Winterstein, Ami Mollinelli. Also to the New York City Arts Education RoundTable, New Victory Theater, Lincoln Center Education, and the National Guild for Community Arts Education. Special thanks to Kevin Nerio and the development team at KDA Consulting.