As of the end of 2015, it’s been revealed that the minimum wage in the U.S. is $7.25 per hour. While this is relatively high – it is the lowest of the 34 countries we compared it to – it’s still below the average wage for those countries and at a level the U.S. is capable of paying. For example, in the United Arab Emirates a filmmaker can make $3.68 (compared to American average of $7.11).
The average hourly income for the 50 countries tracked can be found at the end of this post. It’s important to note that when the countries are ranked according to their GDP, average, non-trivial income is less valuable than income at the top that is higher. For example, the UAE’s “top 10” gross domestic product (GDP) is $3.1 trillion. (The U.S. is just behind Kuwait and Saudi Arabia at $3.5 trillion.)
The countries we looked at also have varying ages. For the ages between 18 and 24, the median income is $6.15 per hour while the lowest income is $2.45 per hour. For 25–29, median earnings are $6.65 per hour, while lowest income is $5.50 per hour with 30–34 earning $6.10 per hour and above averaging $5.65 per hour. (For the U.S. the median income averages $22,000 per year.)
As with every other indicator that matters to a filmmaker, the best place to look is the median. That means the average salary for a full-time worker making this country’s minimum wage and taking overtime work. For example, that person earning $7.25 per hour will take home about $32,000 (if they’re just working 80 hours a week) when compared to the $42,000-an-hour median pay for all workers in the U.S.
What’s a filmmaker made per hour? A median is often a good starting point for an answer to that question. But in this case, we want to look at the most common type of wages. The most common type of wage for a full-time filmmaker is hourly. Of the countries we tracked, the most common type of hourly wage is $1.70 per hour. Some of the countries that pay hourly tend to have lower pay scales for their workers (see the table below).
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