Job Planning Considerations & Handbook

Hours Worked Per Week

We are frequently asked to help organists and music committees address the number of hours per week that are required in a particular job position. This Time Required for Work can serve as an education and communications document between organist and selection committee in determining related compensation.

Sample Employment Contract

Religious organizations will also ask about the elements that should be included in employment contracts. This Sample Contract for Work outlines these elements and can be customized to a particular job position.


The American Guild of Organist is prohibited from publishing salary guidelines, therefore allowing institutions to negotiate compensation for hours worked plus benefits. Employers should note that this is a competitive and important job position. Musicians that are highly educated with advanced degrees and extensive experience in areas important to the employer will likely seek higher compensation in moving to a new position. At the same time organizations should share budget constraints with candidates to allow them to make informed decisions including adjusting job responsibilities or hours worked to create a fair compensation solution for both parties.

Communications & Annual Reviews

We highly recommend that musicians and their employers review job responsibilities, performance against key elements of the job position and related compensation on a minimum of annual basis. It is easy for “job creep” to lead the musician or employer becoming aggravated when communicating issues as they occur or in annual planning.

Handbook for Employing Musicians

Frequently employers and committees responsibly for employing musicians in religious intuitions are new to the dimensions of the role. The American Guild of Organists Committee on Career Development and Support has created a comprehensive handbook assist through the process from job definition, through interviewing and annual reviews. Click here to download this handbook.