View Full Version : "On Call" pay, how much do you get?

Bill Bukovec
01-16-2014, 12:59 PM
Does anyone get "On Call" pay?

Meaning, paid for staying at home near the phone, ready to spring into action if you are needed at work.

My boss wants to start putting us on call and I was wondering what pay rates you see.

I don't need to know actual dollars, just a pecentage of your hourly wage is OK.

One thing I would expect is a minimum of 4 hours pay for each time I come into work. Does this sound right?



Ken Fitzgerald
01-16-2014, 1:12 PM

When I worked, we were on salary & O/T. We took "Call" about once every 6 weeks. The schedule was rotated so the holidays were split evenly and rotated so you didn't catch the same holidays every year.

Our normal work hours were 0800-1700. We were paid IIRC 25% of our standard hourly wage per hour to take call from 1700 until 2400 at which time we were no longer on call.

If we got called in, we took a call or had to respond onsite, we were paid a 2 hour O/T minimum.

O/T rate varied between 1.5 X the standard hourly rate and 2 X the standard hourly rate. The O/T rates varied and it was quite complex.
Basically O/T, M-F, from 1700-2400, you were paid 1.5X SHR. From 0000-0800, you were paid 2X SHR. It really got complex because sometimes we would work for 24-48 hours without rest. If you worked more than 40 hours within so many days of a week, then the O/T rate increased I really don't remember this complex portion of it. 3 years of retirement allows one to forget a lot!

Rod Sheridan
01-16-2014, 1:59 PM
Hi, where I work the Tech's are paid 1/2 hour per shift during the week, 1 hour per shift for the weekends to be on call.

If you are called out, there's a 4 hour minimum pay period.

Regards, Rod.

P.S. I am always on call, I'm a salaried employee. On average I probably receive about 4 calls a year.

If I have to go into work (very rare) I get equivalent time off. I also get a cell that I can treat as mine, so that's worth about $1,000 per year.

Todd Burch
01-16-2014, 2:09 PM
I occasionally have to work weekends, being "on call". It's rarely quiet, and some weekends, I've worked 48 hours with 3 hours sleep.

I get paid a monthly salary - I'm not hourly.

If I get no calls on these "duty weekends", or 40 calls, I get $60 extra for Sat and $60 extra for Sunday. If I get called out in the middle of the week, I get a "thank you".

Chuck Wintle
01-16-2014, 2:10 PM
Does anyone get "On Call" pay?

Meaning, paid for staying at home near the phone, ready to spring into action if you are needed at work.

My boss wants to start putting us on call and I was wondering what pay rates you see.

I don't need to know actual dollars, just a pecentage of your hourly wage is OK.

One thing I would expect is a minimum of 4 hours pay for each time I come into work. Does this sound right?


a few years ago my boss asked the members of the department i am part of to be "on call" basically 24/7. When asked what the compensation would be his answer was nothing. But because other departments had employees willing to accept this condition then he thought we would as well. I told him no way. Now I never answer the phone at night now and never bring my pager home.

David G Baker
01-16-2014, 2:51 PM
I wasn't paid for being on call but if I was called in to work the minium was 8 hours pay.

Dave Richards
01-16-2014, 2:59 PM
Our "on call" is basically a rotating list. I'm at the top for a full month twice a year. If they call and the guy at the top isn't available, they call the next one on the list so we aren't required to sit by the phone. If we get called and don't have to go in, it is 2 hours at OT rate. If we have to go in, it's a minimum of 4 hours of OT.

Brian Elfert
01-16-2014, 5:21 PM
I'm on-call in theory two weeks on and two weeks off, but reality is that I am basically on-call 24x7. No extra pay as I am salaried and it is just part of our job expectation. I rarely get called so I never change my routine when on-call. I have an company iPhone that I carry around pretty much 24x7 so I am never stuck at one spot in case the phone rings. If I have to go in to work to fix something (very rare) I usually get time off to compensate. We also answer help desk calls for the weekend every 26 weeks or so. We used to get time off for working the weekend, but not anymore.

One of my co-workers left for another job a few years ago. A part of the reason he left is because of no pay for being on-call. His new job paid around $2 an hour for on-call time. Not huge, but a lot better than nothing.

Bill Huber
01-16-2014, 7:03 PM
I was just like Brian, on call 7/24, 365, had a company phone and salaried. But I could take off in the afternoon or leave early with no problem. If I was not on site at 0800 no big deal and I really liked it like that.

Robert McGowen
01-16-2014, 7:58 PM
I was on-call for a week at a time and I received 8 hours vacation for just being on-call. If called out, we started getting paid from the time we left the house at 1.5 times our hourly rate. There was also a 2 hour mimimum.

Frederick Skelly
01-16-2014, 11:27 PM
We get nothing extra. They feel our hourly is high enough that they dont need to. So youre on call about one weekend a month.

Bill ThompsonNM
01-17-2014, 12:36 AM
I'm on call about 60% of the time as primary and back up the other 40%. Nothing for being on call. An emergency fee if I get called

Dennis Peacock
01-17-2014, 8:22 AM
I work oncall once every month....7 days oncall....paid $0 over my normal pay. I am on salary and get paid zero for being oncall.

Etienne Ringuet
01-17-2014, 8:41 AM
When I'm on call, I'm paid $1.40/h, 16h per day, 24h during the weekend. I have to answer the service call within 4 hours. If I do receive a call, I get paid 4h at 1.5x my salary.

I can also be on standby, if I get a call I need to answer the service call within 15 minutes. On standby, I get paid 33% of my salary per hour or be paid for a straight 4h period, usually the most advantageous.

Rich Riddle
01-17-2014, 6:50 PM
$360 for being on-call for a weekday evening and $360 an hour when called in. On the weekend it's $1440 for being on call for a Saturday or Sunday and $360 an hour. You can see if your employer will pay that rate. Good luck.

Fred Perreault
01-18-2014, 7:30 AM
I believe that "on call" and "standby" could have many different meanings. As an excavating contractor for decades, we had several units hired out for snow removal. My employees and myself were expected to be responsible and be aware of impending foul weather. That would mean making one's self available if needed, and be in good condition to work at night and weekends (limit drinking, drugs, etc.). With 5-7 units and 10 employees, there would be enough help usually, and we communicated with one another about who might go out on the town and who would cover, etc. As for other industries, I know folks that are asked to "cover" for the weekend, or for a number of nights in a row. Some get paid handsomely, some are not paid at all. All of them get at least 1.5x regular pay, up to 2x, with varying minimum hours paid for a service call, but most get 4 hour minimum. I guess standby and on call is somewhat restrictive, but like pensions, paid health insurance, vacation pay, employee discounts, borrowing the company vehicle, and the many evil variables that one might find in certain emplyment...... it's what putting bread on the table is all about. But, I digress.... :-) :-)

Mike Cruz
01-18-2014, 9:28 AM
That's easy, Bill. I take care of a horse farm. I'm ALWAYS "on call". My pay is simple: I get to sleep with the owner of the horses. :D I'll credit Lee Trevino for my two cents...

Rich Engelhardt
01-18-2014, 1:11 PM
We got double time for calls initiated outside of normal business hours and triple time if the calls initiated on a Sunday or Holiday with a 2 hour minimum.

For actual standby - being on active call 7x24, we got nothing unless a call came in.
We rotated being at the top of the after hours call list among 13 of us so our lives were disrupted only like once or twice a year for a month.

Being at the top of the list meant we had to plan our off the clock lives around the possibility of getting a service call - ie. - no out of town travel, no alcohol, etc.

glenn bradley
01-18-2014, 3:36 PM
Its part of the job but, it is known to be part of the job in my field and is openly discussed during the hiring process just in case someone is new to the field and has led a cushy life :D. If you are an independent contractor, that's different; on-call, and the compensation thereof (or not) would have to be specified in the contract. If you are your own boss, you are always on call.

Jason Roehl
01-19-2014, 9:53 PM
If you are your own boss, you are always on call.

Yes and no. As a painting contractor, I'll take a 2AM call to paint an apartment during the first 3 weeks of August or so (I live in a college town). Outside of that, if you're calling me at 2AM about a painting job, I probably don't want you as a customer (and I probably won't answer the phone anyway).

Now, as a side gig in the winter, I drive a snow plow truck for a friend who owns a landscaping business. I keep the weather in mind, and I simply let him know if I'm going to be out of town (not often) so that he can stick someone in my seat if need be. He definitely doesn't pay me to be on call, but it's some work during my slow time of the year, and occasionally I'll have a long week--week before last I plowed/salted/shoveled for almost 74 hours, including about 23 hours straight to start on Sunday morning, and I worked each of the seven days of the week for at least a little bit (I was on OT by the time I clocked out Tuesday evening).

Bryan Cowing
01-20-2014, 4:20 AM
$15 mon - fri , $25 for sat, sun and holidays.