Animator, 3D Salary

3D Animators in the United States take home an average $49K per year. Career length and the particular city each impact pay for this group, with the former having the largest influence. While some workers in this profession — approximately one-fourth — do not have any health coverage, a fair number do receive medical benefits and half have dental insurance. Job satisfaction is reported as high by the vast majority of workers. Male 3D Animators are far more common among survey respondents than their female counterparts, who typically comprise less than one-third of the field. This report is based on answers to PayScale's salary questionnaire.
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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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3D Animators who transition into an upper level Animator position will not necessarily make much more than they do in their current role. The average Animator makes $50K a year.

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Popular Skills for Animator, 3D


Survey results show that 3D Animators use a fair number of skills. Most notably, skills in Autodesk Maya, Adobe After Effects, Adobe Photoshop, and 3D Animation are correlated to pay that is above average. Most people skilled in 3D Animation are similarly competent in Adobe Photoshop.

Pay by Experience Level for Animator, 3D

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


In general, experience and pay appear to be strongly linked; those with more experience usually bring in higher incomes. People who have worked for fewer than five years bring home $45K on average. Median compensation in the five-to-10 year group, however, is higher at approximately $57K. For 3D Animators, 10 to 20 years of experience on the job amounts to an average salary of $61K. Old hands who claim more than two decades on the job enjoy average earnings of $85K.

Pay Difference by Location

National Average: $49,423

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

For 3D Animators, Seattle provides a pay rate that is 21 percent greater than the national average. 3D Animators will also find cushy salaries in Los Angeles (+13 percent) and New York (+4 percent). Orlando is home to the smallest salaries in the field, lagging the national average by 16 percent. Workers in Dallas and San Francisco earn salaries that trail the national average for those in this profession (16 percent less and 7 percent less, 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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