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The teleprompter is a friend of many an actor, newscaster and on-camera performer. Teleprompters provide on-camera talent with the opportunity to read from a script while looking into the camera, saving the time and effort needed to memorize lines. Thus, the job of a teleprompter operator is an important one that pays them well, and even better for those who are in the union.
Teleprompter operators are often paid by the day. A+ Prompter, a teleprompter rental company in Florida, lists the daily rates for teleprompters at $400 per day. Rates are based on a 10-hour day. In comparison, SGW Teleprompters Solution pays teleprompter operators $300 per day for a 10-hour day. These rates reflect non-union wages for teleprompter operators.
Highs and Lows
An August 2008 article for Savvy Sugar titled "Hollywood's Behind-the-Scenes Salaries" lists the daily rate for teleprompter operators on a cable television or network show between $600 and $800. On the lower end, a teleprompter operator can make salaries that are comparable with minimum wage salaries, as evidenced by a September 2009 KMID-ABC job listing. The Midland, Texas, news station's starting pay for a morning news teleprompter operator was $7.50 per hour.
The International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, IATSE, represents an assortment of technicians, including teleprompter operators, for motion picture and stage productions. The IATSE requires that teleprompter operators be paid $300 for an eight-hour day for productions that require stage prompting. In the television industry, the rates can be be double this amount.
Other Salary Considerations
Whether union or non-union, teleprompter operators may earn additional income outside of their daily rates. Non-union operators may also earn an additional $15 per hour for working on Sundays. Union teleprompter operators may earn per diem of $75 per day when traveling in addition to having their airline tickets and hotel accommodations paid. Union operators may also invoice for parking and mileage reimbursement.