Average 3D Animators in the United States make around $51K per year. Career duration and the particular city each impact pay for this group, with the former having the largest influence. Work is enjoyable for 3D Animators, who typically claim high levels of job satisfaction. Most 3D Animators survey respondents are men (76 percent). Although a majority have medical coverage and more than two-fifths have dental coverage, slightly less than a third claim no health benefits at all. This snapshot results from replies to PayScale's salary survey.
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$34,568 - $92,457
(Median)
$35K
$51K
$92K
MEDIAN: $51,083
10%
50%
90%

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$12.90 - $40.09
(Median)
$13
$20
$40
MEDIAN: $20
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$31K$62K$93K
Salary
$34,568 - $92,457  
   
Bonus
$976 - $14,400  
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).
)
$32,160 - $90,841  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 28 Oct 2016 | Individuals Reporting: 154
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$26$52$78
Hourly Rate
$12.90 - $40.09  
   
Overtime
$20.61 - $76.03  
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$60K$120K$180K
Bonus
$976 - $14,400  
   
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).
)
$32,160 - $90,841  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 28 Oct 2016 | Individuals Reporting: 68
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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 go on to become Animators may see somewhat stagnant compensation. On average, an Animator, an upper-level role, pays $50K.

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Popular Skills for Animator, 3D


3D Animators seem to require a number of specific skills. Most notably, skills in Autodesk 3ds Max, Adobe After Effects, 3D Animation, and Autodesk Maya are correlated to pay that is above average, with boosts between 5 percent and 10 percent. At the other end of the pay range are skills like 3D Rendering. People who know Autodesk Maya usually also know Adobe Photoshop. Most people skilled in 3D Animation are similarly competent in Adobe After Effects and Adobe Photoshop.

Pay by Experience Level for Animator, 3D

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


3D Animators with a rich background of experience are typically rewarded with larger paychecks. Relatively untried employees who have less than five years' experience have a median salary of $47K. Those who have been around for five to 10 years can expect to take home more — $57K on average. On average, 3D Animators make $61K following one to two decades on the job. Seasoned workers who boast more than two decades of relevant experience enjoy a median salary of $102K, which is substantially larger than the medians reported by folks with fewer years on their resumes.

Pay Difference by Location

National Average: $50,611

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

For those looking to make money, 3D Animators in Boston enjoy an exceptional pay rate, 23 percent above the national average. 3D Animators will also find cushy salaries in Seattle (+18 percent) and Los Angeles (+14 percent). The lowest-paying market is Dallas, which sits 19 percent below the national average. Not at the bottom but still paying below the median are employers in Orlando and Houston (18 percent lower and 17 percent lower, respectively).

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Experience Affects Animator, 3D Salaries

Late-Career
up arrow 102%



National Average
$51,000


Skills That Affect Animator, 3D Salaries




Autodesk Maya
up arrow 3%

Cinema 4D
up arrow 1%

Adobe Photoshop
0%

National Average
$51,000

3D Rendering
up arrow 7%

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 17 votes.

Gender

Female
24 %
Male
76 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
13%
1-4 years
48%
5-9 years
20%
10-19 years
16%
20 years or more
4%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits
Medical: 70%
dental benefits
Dental: 45%
medical benefits
Vision: 34%
dental benefits
None: 28%
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