Animator Salary

Animators in the United States take home an average $50K per year. Geographic location and career length each impact pay for this group, with the former having the largest influence. Most Animators report high levels of job satisfaction. Unfortunately, some people in this line of work are without benefits — one in four lack coverage. On the flip side, a fair number have medical insurance and a majority receive dental plans. Figures cited in this summary are based on replies to PayScale's salary questionnaire.
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$34,141 - $79,664
(Median)
$34K
$50K
$80K
MEDIAN: $50,194
10%
50%
90%

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$12.22 - $48.34
(Median)
$12
$25
$48
MEDIAN: $25.00
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$29K$58K$87K
Salary
$34,141 - $79,664  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $7,861  
Profit Sharing
$2,000  
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).
)
$31,419 - $86,305  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 12 Jan 2016 | Individuals Reporting: 332
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$22$44$66
Hourly Rate
$12.22 - $48.34  
   
Hourly Tips
$0.29  
Overtime
$16.03 - $65.57  
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 - $7,861  
   
Profit Sharing
$2,000  
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).
)
$31,419 - $86,305  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 12 Jan 2016 | Individuals Reporting: 131
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Job Description for Animator

Animators work by creating cartoons, usually through hand drawings, motion capture animation, or with computers. In the modern era, most animators use a range of computer programs, though sufficient knowledge of basic animation is still absolutely necessary.

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Animator 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.

Animator Job Listings

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Popular Skills for Animator


Animators report using a diverse set of skills on the job. Fortunate workers who know 2D Animation command much higher paychecks, scoring salaries 56 percent above average. Skills that seem to negatively impact pay include Graphic Design, Adobe Photoshop, and Adobe After Effects. The majority of those who know 3D Animation also know Adobe After Effects and Adobe Photoshop.

Pay by Experience Level for Animator

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


Respondents with less than five years' experience take home $48K on average. In contrast, those who have been around for five to 10 years earn a noticeably higher average of $58K. After working for 10 to 20 years, Animators make a median salary of $67K. Respondents who boast more than two decades on the job don't boast commensurate pay, unfortunately; these veterans see average earnings of only $61K.

Pay Difference by Location

National Average: $51,163

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

For Animators, working in the bustling city of Portland has its advantages, including an above-average pay rate. Animators will also find cushy salaries in San Diego (+40 percent), San Francisco (+33 percent), Los Angeles (+17 percent), and Houston (+13 percent). Animators in Minneapolis make 25 percent less than the national average, proving that location is a major factor in pay. Employers in Orlando and Philadelphia also lean toward paying below-median salaries (20 percent less).

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Experience Affects Animator Salaries


Late-Career
up arrow 19%


National Average
$51,000


Skills That Affect Animator Salaries

2D Animation
up arrow 56%

3D Animation
up arrow 3%

Autodesk Maya
up arrow 3%

National Average
$51,000

Adobe Illustrator
up arrow 2%




Graphic Design
up arrow 18%

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 56 votes.

Gender

Female
20 %
Male
80 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
9%
1-4 years
46%
5-9 years
30%
10-19 years
13%
20 years or more
2%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits
Medical: 74%
dental benefits
Dental: 56%
medical benefits
Vision: 42%
dental benefits
None: 25%
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