top of page


In 2019 we conducted the first-ever art technician survey. With 101 respondents we got a great overview of what is happening out there for art technical professionals.

Would like to download a copy? 

We had a great response to the FIRST EVER ART TECHNICIAN SURVEY in the UK!!!!!


With 101 respondents we got a great overview of what is happening out there for art technical professionals. 


What we do

Nearly all of the respondents of the survey see themselves as Art Technicians (96%). 


As we all probably know we do a bit of everything – over three-quarters of technicians who answered the survey do install work (88%) with a lot of packing (57%), a bit of fabrication (36%) and transport (20%) with a touch of framing (15%) and mount making (8%). 


How long have we been doing it?

We are a highly experienced bunch with almost half of the art technicians having worked in the industry for 10 years or more, a quarter for under 10 years and a quarter under 5 years. 


Freelance vs. Permanent

Freelancers outnumber permanent technicians with 63% of technicians working as freelancers, contractors or on zero-hour contracts and the rest permanent employees with 34% full time permanent and 3% part-time. 


Pay – what we are getting?

The average pay for a freelancer per hour is £19. The average pay for technicians in permanent employment is £27,000 per annum (almost £15 an hour). 


When asked if we should be paid more for our skills nearly 75% of the technicians thought they always/often should be. And we have to agree to look at the average rates of pay for both freelance and permanent art technicians. But there is the occasional technician who is getting a really great wage – we need to all be getting great wages though! 


Pay - minimum rates

When asked if there should be a minimum hourly rate above the national minimum wage for art technicians 87% agreed there should be a rate of £18 an hour. We’re sure the 20% of technicians who are earning below £18 an hour would be very happy to get a minimum wage in place.


Pay – within 30 days? 

77% of technicians sometimes or rarely struggle to get paid within 30 days which is a good sign however even the fact that nearly 10% always or usually do not is definitely a concern. 


Pay – over time

Nearly 20% of technicians always get an overtime rate for working over 8 hours, with 70% of them receiving time and a half pay. However, 32% sometimes/rarely receive overtime after 8 hours and 32% never receive it – perhaps some are getting it after 10 hours – this is something we will clarify in future surveys. 


Pay – working weekends 

Two-thirds of technicians work weekends and 60% of them get a time and a half rate for doing so. But over a third don’t get any special rate at all and it was alarming to see that there are people having to work weekends with no pay what so ever or time in lieu. 


Jobs cancellations/hours changed 

More than 50% of technicians have jobs cancelled on them less than a week before a job is due to begin. 43% of technicians have had part of the job cancelled on them whilst on the job. More than half of technicians have never been paid for work which has been cancelled.


Bullying & harassment 

A third of technicians have experienced bullying or harassment, which is worrying even if it is 1 person who experiences unwanted behaviour of any kind. Unfortunately, we don’t know the nature of this harassment and bullying whether it is due to gender, ethnicity, disability, faith, sexual orientation, etc. so we will look at finding out more regarding this in future surveys. 


Health & Safety

Over half of technicians are concerned about health and safety in the work place because of unsafe practices, lack of correct tools for the job, etc. Again we do not know exactly what health and safety concerns there are in the workplace and will explore this further also. 


BECTU – Art Technician Union 

Positive news - 45% of techs who didn’t know the art technician branches of BECTU existed now do! 


Art Technician Contract

If BECTU was to create a generic employment contract only 6% of you wouldn’t use it – so that must mean you want us to create one! On the basis of this survey, there is clearly a need for this contract to cover pay rates, overtime, terms of employment such as dates/times, cancellation/late fees, the provision of safe workplaces, both physically and emotionally. 


What should the union campaign on?

Well it seems a lot of technicians (65%) want BECTU to campaign for better pay rates and judging by the survey results that encompasses basic hourly rates based on experience, overtime and weekend rates. 


The other issues which people want the union to campaign for are Health and safety (14%), late payments (9%) and other matters (9%) such as getting better gender equality in the industry, cancellation of jobs, IR35 and how it is being used to try and transfer techs onto zero hour contracts with no PAYE or self-employment benefits.


All of the above are things which if you have concerns you can talk to a union rep by calling BECTU on  020 7346 0900 or go to our Resources page 

BECTU 2019 Survey Infographic.png
bottom of page