SAGE rate card 2014

Rates and conditions should be considered negotiable; this is a guideline, not a rigid set of rules. SAGE publishes a pre-employment checklist in conjunction with this rate card.

2014 marks a new direction for our rate card. We have begun matching inflation, simplified the job classifications, broadened the range of experience pay, and attempted to match rates with the camera department.

You can download the rate card as a PDF. We urge you to read about the changes in detail below the card itself.

In South African Rand:


Basic Classification Junior Mid-level Senior
Story editor “offline” 8,600 to 11,400 12,400 to 17,400 18,800 to 27,600
Finishing editor “online” 10,500 to 13,900 15,200 to 21,200 23,000 to 33,600
1st Assistant editor 5,750 to 7,600 8,300 to 11,600 12,600 to 18,400
2nd Assistant editor or logger/digitiser 3,000 to 4,000 4,300 to 6,100 6,600 to 9,600
Sound editor or designer 6,500 to 8,600 9,400 to 13,100 14,200 to 20,800


Basic Classification Junior Mid-level Senior
Story editor “offline” 1,720 to 2,280 2,480 to 3,480 3,760 to 5,520
Finishing editor “online” 2,100 to 2,780 3,040 to 4,240 4,600 to 6,720
1st Assistant editor 1,150 to 1,520 1,660 to 2,320 2,520 to 3,680
2nd Assistant editor or logger/digitiser 600 to 800 860 to 1,220 1,320 to 1,920
Sound editor or designer 1,300 to 1,720 1,880 to 2,620 2,840 to 4,160


  • All time after 10 hours per day charged at 1.5x.
  • All time after 14 hours per day charged at 2x.
  • 6th day and public holidays charged at 1.5x daily rate, minimum call 10 hours.
  • 7th day charged at 2x daily rate, minimum call 10 hours.

About the rate card

SAGE publishes an annual rate card of recommend salaries for editors. Though focussed on freelance editors, this rate card can also be used as a starting point for full-time employment negotiations. 2014 marks some changes to the SAGE rate card, based on four broad points:

1. Inflation matching

For many years SAGE has increased rates below CPI, attempting to maintain a rate card that better represents what editors are actually paid. This dangerously deflates editors income over time, threatening to make a career in editing unfeasible. This year we’ve added the average CPI for 2013, at 5.77%. We urge all post-production professionals to consider a longer-term view when negotiating rates. (If your rate was R1500/day in 2005, you need to be charging R2400/day in 2014 to match real-world income—before accounting for 10 years of experience.)

2. Simplifying job classification

We’ve collapsed some redundant categories, resulting in five new broader categories of job classification.

3. A greater spread of rates

We’ve created three experience groups: Junior corresponds to roughly 1–4 years experience, Mid-level to 5–9 years, Senior to 10+ years. This allows for a larger spread of fees to represent differences in experience, as well as job types.

4. Rates comparable to the camera department

SAGE’s policy is that the post-production rates should match those of the camera department, as both departments contribute similar technical and creative effort. A senior DP can earn up to R40,000 for a 72-hour week, which equates to R27,700 for an editor’s 50-hour week. We encourage editors to negotiate for duration pay (rather than a lump-sum), and strongly disagree with balancing the camera and post-production crew budgets regardless of time worked.