The American Federation of Musicians of the United States and Canada (AFM) pay scales for orchestrators vary with the number of lines on a page, the length of the piece and the medium. Most fees are negotiated between the client and the orchestrator. It is not essential for orchestrators and arrangers to belong to the AFM. However, some employers, particularly in film and television, hire only union members.
In some instances, arrangers negotiate royalty agreements for pieces of music they have arranged or recorded in addition to their fee.
Orchestrators/arrangers are part of the larger 2016 National Occupational Classification 5132: Conductors, composers and arrangers.
According to the 2021 Alberta Wage and Salary Survey, Albertans in the Conductors, composers and arrangers occupational group earned on average up to $37.80 an hour. The overall average was $29.84 an hour. For more information, see the Conductors, composers and arrangers wage profile.