Animator, 3D Salary

The average 3D Animator in the United States earns approximately $49K per year. Career length and the particular city each impact pay for this group, with the former having the largest influence. Male 3D Animators are far more common among survey respondents than their female counterparts, who typically comprise less than one-third of the field. Most workers in this position report high levels of job satisfaction. Health benefits are not claimed by all — nearly one in four lack any form of coverage — but a fair number have medical insurance, and approximately one-half have dental, too. Respondents to the PayScale salary survey provided the data for this report.
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$31,444 - $76,001
(Median)
$31K
$49K
$76K
MEDIAN: $48,556
10%
50%
90%

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$12.24 - $40.68
(Median)
$12
$22
$41
MEDIAN: $21.00
10%
50%
90%

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National Salary Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
)
$0$27K$54K$81K
Salary
$31,444 - $76,001  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $9,696  
Profit Sharing
$14,740  
Total Pay (?
XTotal Pay combines base annual salary or hourly wage, bonuses, profit sharing, tips, commissions, overtime pay and other forms of cash earnings, as applicable for this job. It does not include equity (stock) compensation, cash value of retirement benefits, or the value of other non-cash benefits (e.g. healthcare).
)
$30,718 - $79,167  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 12 Jan 2016 | Individuals Reporting: 206
National Hourly Rate Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
)
$0$20$40$60
Hourly Rate
$12.24 - $40.68  
   
Overtime
$0.00 - $58.66  
National Annualized Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
)
$0$50K$100K$150K
Bonus
$0.00 - $9,696  
   
Profit Sharing
$14,740  
Total Pay (?
XTotal Pay combines base annual salary or hourly wage, bonuses, profit sharing, tips, commissions, overtime pay and other forms of cash earnings, as applicable for this job. It does not include equity (stock) compensation, cash value of retirement benefits, or the value of other non-cash benefits (e.g. healthcare).
)
$30,718 - $79,167  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 12 Jan 2016 | Individuals Reporting: 83
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Job Description for Animator, 3D

A 3D animator uses computer software to create vivid, engaging video animations that can be used for web design applications, computer games, commercials, and full-length movies and television programs. 3D animators typically work with developers, designers, and directors, making initial sketches and helping create quickly sketched stills of the work to be done (called storyboards). Working in close consultation with these supervisory developers or designers, the animator then uses professional drawing and animation programs to model characters, backgrounds, and movements on screen. The animator develops a shading strategy and works to create movement of the elements on screen to make them match the designer's intent and in a way that is consistent with the storyboards created earlier in the process.

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Animator, 3D Tasks

  • Use a variety of software to refine, improve, and update videos and create stills for other uses.
  • Collaborate with teams to understand specifications and create continuity across offerings.
  • Design videos for in-person and web audiences.

Common Career Paths for Animator, 3D


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Many 3D Animators move into an Animator role, which does not lead to a big boost in pay. Animators on average bring in a similar salary to 3D Animators.

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Popular Skills for Animator, 3D


Survey results imply that 3D Animators put a diverse skill set to use. Most notably, skills in Autodesk Maya, Adobe After Effects, Adobe Photoshop, and 3D Animation are correlated to pay that is above average. For most people, competency in 3D Animation indicates knowledge of Adobe Photoshop.

Pay by Experience Level for Animator, 3D

Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.


For many 3D Animators, experience and pay levels seem to be correlated; more years in the business generally lead to more money. The average inexperienced worker earns $45K, and someone who has worked for five to 10 years can expect a bigger median salary of $57K. People with 10 to 20 years of experience make an average of about $61K in this role. Seasoned veterans with 20 years under their belts enjoy a median income of $85K.

Pay Difference by Location

National Average: $49,423

Larger city markers indicate a job is popular in that location.

3D Animators will find that Seattle offers an impressive pay rate, one which exceeds the national average by 21 percent. 3D Animators will also find cushy salaries in Los Angeles (+13 percent) and New York (+4 percent). Trailing the national average by 16 percent, Orlando is the market with the smallest paychecks. Dallas and San Francisco are a couple other places where companies are known to pay below the median — salaries are 16 percent lower and 7 percent lower, respectively.

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Experience Affects Animator, 3D Salaries

Late-Career
up arrow 72%



National Average
$49,000


Skills That Affect Animator, 3D Salaries



Adobe Photoshop
up arrow 3%

3D Animation
up arrow 1%

National Average
$49,000

3D Rendering
up arrow 1%

Autodesk 3ds Max
up arrow 2%

Job Satisfaction

Highly satisfied
Rated 4 out of 5
based on 23 votes.

Gender

Female
22 %
Male
78 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
10%
1-4 years
52%
5-9 years
23%
10-19 years
14%
20 years or more
2%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits
Medical: 74%
dental benefits
Dental: 50%
medical benefits
Vision: 37%
dental benefits
None: 25%
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