Are you thinking of becoming a celebrant? Are you wondering about how much your earning potential is? Of course the more you put in the more you will get out. Celebrancy is self-employment. With self-employment comes costs but also flexibility and diversity options... so many options...
Lets jump straight into the $$ dollars $$. Where will you deliver ceremonies? What is the current market place offering their services for? Are you offering anything unique or add on's that other celebrants in your region are not? Celebrants can charge anything from $50 an hour to $75 an hour or above. Averaging 10 - 15 hours per ceremony. With 112,194 marriages registered in 2017 [4.6% increase] and 118,000 registered celebrants [9000 of these are Commonwealth Registered Marriage Celebrants]. These figures are consistent with an equal amount of celebrants registering yearly as there are de-registering!
Looking at those stats, although there are massive increases in the number of marriages being performed by a celebrant it doesn't appear to be much available work for the celebrant OR is it because celebrants come from all walks of life and often celebrancy is a secondary financial option? Not all celebrants actively work in the industry and some celebrants make the work their full time career.
Look at other celebrants on the socials, are they attending more than one ceremony a week? If a celebrant is passionate, they will run their business, they will invest time into it and they will do it well, like any good business.
PASSION, PERSISTENCE. CONSISTENCY.
Lets use the scenario of a full time celebrant as a example and lets suggest they only perform 1 ceremony a week for 40 weeks of the year and charge $800 per pop that equates to $32,000 BUT what if they perform funerals during the week at $200/$250 per service and they add civil ceremonies in randomly throughout the year, it can begin to be a good hustle. There are of course celebrants who are not actively seeking work in this profession and/or provide a variety of services. We are not always factoring in the array of ceremonies that take place in Australia's diverse societies - it is not just weddings that celebrants are good at!
To be real you need to take out expenses; Insurance [get three quotes at least or seek it under your Association], travel, marketing, paperwork, attire, PA, OPD [ongoing professional development] and general service costs - yearly these are going to reduce your income by a few grand but this is the investment you make in any business establishment and operation!
Your time, in another factor to consider. We, [us cello's] will often hear the words 'don't you just show up and read a script'? From meetings/crafting/communicating/confirmations/paperwork/rehearsal/the day of service and personal prep, your time investment will add up quickly. There are celebrants that of course, show up and deliver a standard script or craft a unique one on the spot just for the clients - which is just fine - we are all delivering a service.
Becoming a marriage celebrant does come with a cost [Civil Celebrants without marriage appointment do not need to meet these obligations];
-Training; Australian celebrants are required to complete a nationally recognised CHC41015 Certificate IV in Celebrancy. Cost varies per provider and the services they offer. [Prices vary $980 - $2500+ which is a very cheap Certificate IV under Australian pricing standards]
-Registration Application via the Attorney Generals Marriage Celebrants Section; after the completion of training, payment due at the time of application [$600]
-Yearly Registration Charge via the Attorney Generals Marriage Celebrants Section; invoiced yearly to remain registered as an appointed celebrant [$240] but a celebrant must also complete yearly OPD [Ongoing Professional Development obligations]
-OPD [Ongoing Professional Development obligations]; Listed on the Attorney Generals website any RTO that has entered into agreement with the Department can offer units on scope as OPD or approved OPD providers are listed; [Prices vary $120 - $200]
There are a number of training providers in the market place that offer different elective units but all contain the celebrancy group units that are needed to make up the Certificate IV in Celebrancy needed to apply for appointment as a marriage celebrant. Go with your instincts when making enquiries with training providers, did the customer service meet your expectations, was it existent at all, what ongoing services are provided to support you through your training journey, are the subjects offered suitable to my business goals and how long do you have to complete the course, are just a few questions to ask.
ATTORNEY GENERALS REGISTRATION APPLICATION
Once certified by your provider, application to the Attorney Generals Department can commence - this can be completed in stages and saved before submitting. The process involves;
-A general knowledge test assessment of the law
-Fit and proper person requirements, references and community standing
-Supply of evidence ID, Qualification and evidence of no prior convictions
-Details of business interests or conflicts of interest
-Knowledge and commitment to Relationship Support Services
Ongoing Professional Development is yearly requirement of 5 hours. The Attorney Generals Department will issue a statement of obligations for each year. Each approved provider is listed on the Attorney Generals website. In the year that you study your CHC41015 Certificate IV in Celebrancy you can in fact use that qualification [or units from it] as your OPD obligation as long as the training provider is in agreement with the Department.
HOW CAN YOU MAKE ADDITIONAL INCOME AS A CELEBRANT?
Be aware of the Conflicts of Interest requirements in place [paragraph 39C(2)(e) of the Marriage Act] or within the Guidelines [link below] will give you knowledge of any limitation on your services. Many celebrants offer an array of services such as;
-Renewal of vows
-Coming of Age ceremonies
-Joining of families
-Public events/Public speaking
-Master of ceremony
-Side hustles in the wedding industry such as candles, cars, flowers, make-up, cake making, invitations the list goes on [but please be aware of the conflicts of interest conditions set by the Department].
BECOMING A CELEBRANT is a rewarding career choice - it can be financially viable if you plan, are proactive and work on your business. How much a celebrant makes will depend on the services you include in your celebrancy business and the way you educate your market. If you do decide this is a path for you - have fun, attract your niche market, stay focused and join a community of like minded celebrants for support/interaction and mentoring .
THE UNLEASHED COLLECTIVE.