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Pay Rates for a Freelance Producer

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Freelance producers have the luxury of being able to work when they want and for whom they want, but they also have the added pressure of constantly looking for jobs when one job comes to an end. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, approximately one-fifth of all producers were self-employed freelancers, as of 2008. Rates of pay for freelance producers will typically be similar to the pay earned by others within the industry.

Determination of Pay

Freelance producers are often paid a rate of pay similar to what other producers in their field can generally expect to make, if paid on a full-time basis. This rate of pay depends upon the specific industry in which the producer works. For instance, the Association of Independents in Radio and the Producers' Advocacy Group wrote a guide for freelance radio producers in 1999 that still holds sway within the industry today. The Code of Fair Practices for Working with Freelance Radio Producers states that freelance producers should be paid a fair industry standard that will allow for them to make a comfortable living. They should also be paid for increases in the cost of living and should be allowed to negotiate and renegotiate pay as often as needed.

Pay Scale

One way to determine a fair rate of pay for producers is to examine the pay scale provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) for the pay earned by producers and directors nationwide. According to the bureau, producers typically earned salaries from $32,140 to $166,400 per year, or approximately $15.45 to $80.00 per hour, as of 2010. The median rate of pay was $32.90 per hour. Paying the median rate to freelance producers for an eight-hour workday would result in a daily rate of approximately $263.


The rate of pay for producers will typically differ by the specific type of industry and production work completed. The BLS indicates that movie and video producers nationwide made an average wage of $52.82. This would result in a daily rate of about $423, a figure commensurate with many of the daily rates posted on Internet job boards such as, where some freelance producers report daily pay from about $400 to $500. In the radio industry, producer made an average wage of $34.63, or approximately $277 per day, as of 2010, according to the BLS.

Job Outlook

The job outlook for those working in the production field appears to be positive, based on the projections of the Bureau of Labor Statistics for the period from 2008 to 2018. The bureau indicates that the number of jobs for producers will grow by 10 percent during this period of time. This is considered an average rate of growth, compared to all other industries.


Jared Lewis is a professor of history, philosophy and the humanities. He has taught various courses in these fields since 2001. A former licensed financial adviser, he now works as a writer and has published numerous articles on education and business. He holds a bachelor's degree in history, a master's degree in theology and has completed doctoral work in American history.