Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Living wage? Hahahahahahaha.

I'm interested in the publishing industry. I work for a small online publisher in the DC area but would like to be in the lit agency biz. That would mean, of course, doing some time in the trenches and doing that time in NYC. Like DC, New York isn't cheap. So, that leaves me wondering. What is the average salary for the entry-level agent? How much mac and cheese will I have to eat until moving up the ladder?

Standard pay for an assistant in NYC is $10/hour. Sub-agents make their money on commission, which is usually next-to-nothing when starting out. In other words, get ready to sell your plasma for cash if you want to stay financially afloat.

Me? I'm in grad school full time, so I'm supported by my parents, to be perfectly honest. My job at the agency is really more about gaining enough experience to get a full-time job at a publishing house once I graduate, where I'll get a salary plus maybe health and dental.

4 comments:

bebe said...

The most important thing: don't have credit card debt! Student loans are manageable. But don't have credit card debt and you'll be alright.

You'll live in the boroghs with a roommate, but you're be alright. If you live in DC proper on an entry-level salary, NYC's not too much of a stretch from there. It's possible you'd save money, based on what my DC friends pay in rent.

Again I say, be prepared to wait tables. Just in case.

The Unpretentious Writer said...

Get roommates. My sister lives in NYC, is in the publishing biz, and pays A LOT to split a small apartment with two other girls.

writtenwyrdd said...

I lived in SF for years, and there is no such thing as a living wage under about 60K a year. Roommates are a given for a while, likewise no car. (Hint: get a scooter... they're fun and cheap!)

If rent is anything like SF's, you can pay $3K a month for a 3 bedroom flat without a garage. Then there are the utility bills...

Bethany said...

Oh my god.

I make $10/hour. I'm an editor for a textbook publishing house.

...in Gainesville, Florida. Not exactly the most expensive place to live. And I'm broke most of the time.

I can't imagine trying to get by on my paycheck in NY.