Your Rate Quote

Rob asks:

I’m working on getting a PA position, and the coordinator wants me to give her my last 3 weekly rates. She says it’s studio policy. I’m wondering if this is a normal practice or is this a trap?

Am I allowed to stretch the truth a little here, in order to hopefully get a higher rate?

It is both semi-normal, and also a trap.

Generally speaking, they tell you what the rate is. But every once in a while, the coordinator has some flexibility in her budget, and may want to know how low you’re willing to go. If you give her too low of a rate, she might take that savings and  give a pay bump to a PA she likes.

It’s also a test to make sure you’re a serious candidate. If you say you were paid $1,900/week on your last gig, she knows that you’re lying. Also, that you’re a terrible liar, which is no good for anyone.

As with mileage, you should definitely stretch the truth, but don’t go overboard.

If they ask for your last three rates, put your current salary in the middle, then give yourself a little bump on your “most recent” salary. Something like $50-$25/week. Maybe you’ll get lucky, and you’ll get the higher rate.

Or, maybe they’ll see your middle rate as a compromise, which, in actually, is the most you’ve been paid. So, either way, you win.

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5 Responses

  1. So, TAPA’s advice totally worked out in my favor. It was a big show with a big budget, and it was in a department as well, so your mileage may vary.

    I said I was making $50/week more than I was for my last 3 rates. Nothing outrageous. Lo and behold, they matched my most recent, and highest rate (which was $50/week more than I’ve ever made as a PA).


  2. I feel like 150/12 is a pretty safe answer, regardless of work type. It’s a legal wage, not a horrendous one, and seems to be commonly paid out rate for jobs that aren’t big commercials and the like.

    1. I’m going to sound like a complete idiot here, but what does 150/12 mean? $150 for 12hrs work? Thanks!

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