Should we be compensated for overtime, or is that expected becaused of the commitment to the profession?

I think it depends on why the overtime was necessary. I wouldn’t want to give the work for free any more than a design firm would want to throw in a couple of extra designed products or a couple of development phases without billing the client.
But when I say it depends on why it’s necessary is like this. If the overtime is necessary because the client (or boss) changes the scope and then everyone has to scramble, they should be compensated for that time. If overtime is necessary because I just happen to be slower than everyone else so I have to spend more time to get things done to be at the correct level, then that’s my fault and I wouldn’t expect to be compensated.

In my case, I freelance because I know my working speed, etc and know what I can deliver. If I give a quote and then it’s my fault (lack of speed, went to the movies, whatever) and I have to work overtime to finish the job, that extra time I spend cuts into my earnings.
If I give a quote and I’m just about finished, then the day before I deliver the client changes things and wants 50 concepts instead of the original 25 we agreed on, then I would want to charge them for that. It’s beyond our agreement and is now cutting into my time/plans due to no fault of my own. It’s an extra project so I’ll have to bill, unless there is some strategic long term plan of my own for throwing in the work for free (building a relationship, etc…although you’ll be setting a bad standard for what they can do to you in the future).

I would think a similar thing should go for designers working in consultancies. If you have to work longer to stay with the standard that everyone else is working at, no overtime pay. But if you’re going above and beyond the call of duty, you should get something in return. But also to be fair, you have to look at how you work and if you spend a lot of time on cigarette breaks, chatting, running errands, etc…then I wouldn’t expect the o.t. But if you work fast + hard and constantly do 2 extra hrs/day…that’s a full 40hr work week every month you’re not being compensated for.

I went through the whole “paying dues” and “showing commitment” thing back when I was dj’ing right after college. It was the promoter’s code talk for “we’re paying the headliner dj 10k for an hour so the rest of you 15 guys spinning can only get $25 for the night (no matter how good you are) to dj and set up equipment, be the bouncers, etc…because you’re not famous already and you have to pay your dues, show your commitment, etc.” Meanwhile the headliner and the promoter makes lots of money, but the worker bees get screwed.

the official standard for ‘salaried employee’ i believe is or used to involve having people you directly supervise. No direct reports, meant you were not truly a salaried employee, and thus were due overtime for anything over your 40, or even X hours per day.

if you’re making a good salary and don’t have to do menail labor, working with your brains and mouse-pointing finger, however, I don’t think you have much cause to ask for overtime if you’re getting a steady paycheck and benefits.

is overtime required or are you putting it in to do a better job or perhaps even to come up to speed on a software program or because something did not turn out right and has to be done again?

I think comp time is a better solution. Because creativity is tough to time budget, sometimes you just can’t help working way over one week, to get that time back later in the year is better than money in my book…