W.A.G.E. Certification sets standards of compensation to be paid to artists for 15 fee categories. The level of compensation an organization must provide in order to be W.A.G.E. Certified is determined by its projected Total Annual Operating Expenses (TAOE) during each fiscal year. Fees for each category are calculated as a fixed percentage of an organization's TAOE (when over $500,000) by W.A.G.E.'s Fee Calculator and are assigned to each organization as part of the Certification process. The assigned level of compensation will fall into one of the following 3 tiers:
For organizations with Total Annual Operating Expenses below $500,000. These organizations must pay fees at floor level or higher in order to be certified. See rates below.
For institutions with Total Annual Operating Expenses above $500,000. These institutions must pay Minimum W.A.G.E. fees in order to be certified. Fees must be no less than the specified fixed percentage of the organization's TAOE, scaled up from the compensation floor, or 'Floor W.A.G.E.'. Institutions with TAOE over $5,000,000: please note that minimum fee requirements cap off at $5,000,000. We recommend a continued scale-up but only require that Minimum W.A.G.E. fees be paid for certification.
For organizations with TAOE over approximately $15,000,000. These institutions must not exceed a specified maximum rate of compensation. At the maximum rate, or 'Maximum W.A.G.E.' compensation at the Solo Exhibition rate is capped at the average salary of the institution's full-time employees. An average salary varies from institution to institution, but has been estimated at $30,000; W.A.G.E. will use an institution's actual average salary when working with it during the process of certification.