2005 wages for employees


CGF, Certified Grumble Framer
Jul 24, 2004
Round Pond, ME
I know this depends on where you are located, the local economy, etc, etc.: I'd like to find out what others are paying their part-time and full-time employees (both experienced and unexperienced). I live in a very seasonal locale on mid-coast Maine but I'm interested in hearing from all over.
$12/hr full-timer
One week paid vacation - no other benefits.
14 years experience and can run shop well while I'm away.

For full time $14-15 per hour, 80 hours paid vacation/sick/any reason time per year, full health and dental (policy has $200 yearly deductible), 1.5% of sales to managers, framing at cost, framing of special events or accomplishments in their lives (i.e. wedding photos, diplomas) for free, lotsa lunches.

A new employee would start at about $11 or 12 with no vacation time, add 40 hours after 1 year, and add 8 hours per year thereafter up to 80 and .50 per hour per year on the salary on average, though I haven't had to hire in 8 years. Staff of 6 has a combined 90 years experience. 2 employees have retired in the past 8 years but haven't been replaced.
I am planning on hire my first employee this year. Probably "mother's hours" when school starts in September. In asking around here it seems that $10 - $12 is the going "experienced framer" rate. Others tell me for a part timer that I will be training $8 - $9 to start. I am skeptical. That seems low.

A framer East of here (closer to Boston) told me he had to pay $13 to "get a framer away from an established larger company."

I'll also be interested in these responses?
Our shop pays $14/hr for the part time guy.
Any comercial jobs he brings in, we split the profit down the center.

But I'm worth it.

Mike, at $12/hr and no other benifits except your trust and respect... you've got a keeper. Don't let them get stolen away..
The problem with a thread like this, besides the obvious of posting what ought to be confidential info, is that those that post are obviously proud of what they pay.

The bad news is that it probably stifles a meaningful range. Who would want to post that they pay a lower rate and no benefits?

This is a perfect example for a confidential poll
ok can I come work for you??

I work 36hrs a week, three late nights a week(till 9pm) and every Saturday, no bennies, get 20% off any framing I do- unless we have a better sale and I get that. $8.10 hr. Two weeks paid vacation.

I am very glad this subject was brought up. Having only worked in this shop, trained on the job. I had really no idea what other framers are making.

Stay in line, Elsa. A few passenger boats from China had arrived there first.
Anyhow, it's relatively safe to bet that you'd be making (and certainly be spending) more $$$ in New York, NY than in Maple Valley, WA.
$14 per hour, plus a weekly bonus, No benefits-for a full timer with 6 years experience.

Bob, the problem with a confidential poll is that you can't tell what part of the country respondents is from, and the local economies are so different.
Originally posted by Bob Carter:
The problem with a thread like this, besides the obvious of posting what ought to be confidential info…
I find it interesting, Bob, that you would consider employee wages confidential yet are rather surprisingly open about things such as:

Originally posted by Bob Carter:
Let's take a real world example:
You buy chop and it is $5.00/ft plus freight. A "reasonable, ethical" mark up would yield a retail price of around $18.00 (yielding around 30% CoG)

But if you buy at a 1000ft price you might pay $2.25, or if you buy a box, you might pay $1.50/ft. Or if you are the guy that distributed it to you and can make money by selling a box to you for $1.50/ft, what did he pay? .90/ft? Less? And let's say I am certainly big enough to buy as much as that distributor, so why shouldn't I buy direct for .90/ft?
Or how about this concerning wholesale glass prices:

Originally posted by Bob Carter:
At a net of around $40/lite for a 24x36 (it used to be around $60, didn't it?), think of the great promotional ideas. Imagine screaming that for this superior product that you used to sell for $200 a lite, it's now at 40% (Wow, what a sale)now ONLY $120. You will make about the same margin and probably sell a few more(which is exactly why they lowered th eprice and offered the rebate-to sell more). [/QB]
Here is something I want my customers to know:

Originally posted by Bob Carter:
(Specialty items should be priced as high as possible). Look at your own numbers and make it work.
Remember that anyone can read the threads on this forum. Registration is not required to view.

Why the confidentiality concerning wages, Bob?

Guys-For all that view things like wages should be shared, please post them for all your employees on the company bulletin board.

And, Mike, perhaps you are correct that I need to be much more aware of making public the things that I do.

I had no idea that anyone would find my statement so troubling.

General examples of the price paid for product is public info that is not proprietary. The rate paid an individual in a specific shop is their own business. I agree with Bob. It isn't the info that is confidential; it is the relationship of the info to the person giving it and whom it is about.
Part-time, only framer, about 25 hours per week.

after 2 years, one 25 hour week paid vacation, and no other benefits.

$16/ hour; been framing for almost 6 years.
Tadporter........... ROFLMFAO I concur!~

I had said this probably a year or two ago!~
This is not a industry forum Like PPFA HitchHikers where info can be shared amongst the industry it self. This is a public forum where betty boop the consumer has access!~

Your cost of goods is not public info!!!!! What you pay your employees should be between you and the employee. **** most companies have a section in the employee handbook about not talking to other employees about there wages and benifits. Again however, some companies publish the ranges of benifits and wages their choice.

IMHO The public does not have a right to know my COG or Employee over head!~

If it is such public infomation tell me what I just paid for my last piece of mat board or what Joanne's paid for there last frame. How much I pay for glass? How about how much I paid for the moulding I just threw together in that 21 lineal foot frame? You can't, but if you choose to post it here any one does have access to it, Anyone not just fellow framers!~ Some issues should be posted behind closed doors!~ If you want to discuss issues like this join PPFA post it on HitchHikers!~ Wow sounded like a PPFA commercial!~ wonder what kinda kick back I can get for that!~

Don't get me wrong this is a great forum !~
You have no idea how many registered members are on here that are not framers, not that that is an issue!~ but the info you offer up is unbelieveable!~

I am not saying don't share info!~ Just use some common sense!~ Be selective about what you want the public to know!~

Actually I really don't care what you want to make public about your business!~ It is your business!~

"Take what you want and leave the rest" my orginal qoute!~
BOB: This is a perfect example for a confidential poll
Look for it in June.

As far as the concept that our customers can find out about our cost of goods on this forum...I've been a picture framer for 16 years now and I just found out about the grumble a month ago. I doubt that our customers are looking at this site very often.

I do think that some wage info should be left to your relationship with your employees only though. My shop negotiates wages on an individual basis. Although I am pretty sure everyone knows what everyone else makes (except for me). I'm not going to pay my frame maker that has 26 years experience the same as the new guy that has 3 years exp, etc.

That being said. I think you should pay at least 12hr for an experienced framer. And I think every company in America should be providing medical benefits. If you are not ...SHAME ON YOU!
We maintain an open book shop - we review P&L statements every month with the entire shop and as part of the discussion review the wage and benefit totals as a percentage of revenues and as they compare historically and to current targets.

I also subscribe to the theory that if you pay peanuts you get monkeys and at least minimal level of benefits and safety is part of being a responsible employer.

But...Pay rates are a personal matter - other than in the most general terms I'm careful about discussing them. Public disclosure of wages is my employees' perogative not mine.

I agree with Bob Carter that this would probably be best handled in a confidential poll although as far as
The bad news is that it probably stifles a meaningful range. Who would want to post that they pay a lower rate and no benefits?
goes I think we can find some of our resident Edward Leedskalnins to extol their low wages and lack of vacation pay.

Peter Bowe
My day job is as a fairly high level manager for a large company and as such I deal with employee compensation issues every day. There is really little mystery left as to salaries. For various reasons any decent sized company has little choice but to develop a compensation plan that defines job descriptions and salary ranges. In my experience most corporations find it adventageous to share that information with employees so that they understand their potential for growth and advancement. Thus most any employee knows within 20% what their coworkers are making. Furthermore salary surveys by the various trade and professional organizations are so common that I'm often confronted by employees with survey data in hand to demonstrate that they are under compensated. On top of that it seems that very few employees are inhibited in discussing their salary with their peers (particularly among the lower level hourly folks). My point here is that it is naive to think the employees don't have a fairly good idea what their peers are making and there's no particular reason to be shy about discussing salary ranges in general terms.

In terms of COGS I again think its a waste of time to worry about such discussion here. I'm a small time part-timer in a remote part of the world. I get 90% of my supplies from a single distributor (I've spent about $30K with them in the past year). This particular distributor has their wholesale prices readily available to anybody on the internet and that doesn't bother me a bit - in fact that's the primary reason they've got my business as they didn't force me to jump through all sorts of hoops to see prices as did everybody else I've tried to work with. I have no problem talking about my cost with my customers - in almost every case they're amazed that I don't charge more as I've priced things at a level we're both comfortable with (by the way my material costs averages 29% of my pricing). I gurantee that any customer that was sufficiently motivated and sufficiently talented in searching the internet can nail your COGS within 10% on anything you sell - but none will bother. Either they will perceive your offered price as a good value or they'll shop around.