Animator Salary

The three top-paying cities for Animators in the United States — San Diego, San Francisco, and Los Angeles — are all in California. Location and experience level each impact pay for this group, with the former having the largest influence. Most Animators report high levels of job satisfaction. Men account for the majority of Animators who responded to the questionnaire — 81 percent to be exact. Not all workers are lucky enough to have benefits; in fact, nearly one in four are without coverage. Medical insurance is claimed by a fair number and dental insurance is reported by a little over a half. This snapshot results from replies to PayScale's salary survey.
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$34,951 - $77,161
(Median)
$35K
$50K
$77K
MEDIAN: $49,992
10%
50%
90%

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$12.47 - $43.40
(Median)
$12
$25
$43
MEDIAN: $25.00
10%
50%
90%

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National Salary Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$28K$56K$84K
Salary
$34,951 - $77,161  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $5,182  
Profit Sharing
$704 - $6,500  
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).
)
$32,238 - $83,637  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 20 Jun 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 270
National Hourly Rate Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$21$42$63
Hourly Rate
$12.47 - $43.40  
   
Overtime
$15.10 - $61.92  
National Annualized Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$50K$100K$150K
Bonus
$0.00 - $5,182  
   
Profit Sharing
$704 - $6,500  
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).
)
$32,238 - $83,637  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 20 Jun 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 113
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Job Description for Animator

An animator is someone that helps in an animated movie and video games whether it be by drawing hand-drawn celluloid cells or by working to help with computer animation. Animators can work on bringing characters to life or by animating vehicles, weather events or anything else that would not qualify as a character in a picture.

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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


Overall, survey participants reported applying a fair number of skills to their work. Fortunate workers who know 2D Animation command much higher paychecks, scoring salaries 57 percent above average. Skills that seem to negatively impact pay include Adobe Photoshop and Adobe After Effects. Most people experienced in 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 $47K 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 $66K. Survey respondents who have worked for more than 20 years actually report somewhat lower incomes of $46K.

Pay Difference by Location


For Animators, above-average compensation can be found in California — San Diego, San Francisco, and Los Angeles are known as the cities with the best salaries for Animators. Location is a huge contributor to overall pay, with Animators in Dallas earning a whopping 20 percent below the national average. Employers pay around 20 percent less in Orlando and 18 percent less in Minneapolis, below-median salaries for those in this field.

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Experience Affects Animator Salaries



National Average
$51,000


Late-Career
up arrow 9%

Skills That Affect Animator Salaries

2D Animation
up arrow 57%

Autodesk Maya
up arrow 3%

3D Animation
up arrow 2%

Adobe Illustrator
0%

National Average
$51,000

Flash Animation
up arrow 1%



Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 58 votes.

Gender

Female
19 %
Male
81 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
8%
1-4 years
47%
5-9 years
30%
10-19 years
14%
20 years or more
2%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits Medical: 71% dental benefits Dental: 55%
vision benefits Vision: 40% employee benefits None: 27%
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