Animator Salary

Animators in the United States take home an average $50K per year. Location and experience level each impact pay for this group, with the former having the largest influence. While some workers in this profession — close to a fourth — do not have any health coverage, a fair number do receive medical benefits and the greater part have dental insurance. The majority of Animators claim high levels of job satisfaction. This report is based on answers 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


Survey results imply that Animators put a diverse skill set to use. Fortunate workers who know 2D Animation command much higher paychecks, scoring salaries 56 percent above average. Skills that are correlated to lower pay, on the other hand, include Graphic Design, Adobe Photoshop, and Adobe After Effects. Most people familiar with 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. Animators see a median salary of $67K after reaching one to two decades on the job. Respondents who boast more than 20 years of experience can't seem to boast paychecks reflecting that extensive experience, though; veteran Animators report making only $61K on average.

Pay Difference by Location

National Average: $51,163

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

Home to some of the best pay for Animators, Portland offers exceptional salaries, 59 percent above the national average. Animators will also find cushy salaries in San Diego (+40 percent), San Francisco (+33 percent), Los Angeles (+17 percent), and Houston (+13 percent). Compared to the national average, Minneapolis Animators have considerably lower salaries, 25 percent below the national average to be exact. Location appears to be a major driving force in pay for those in this profession. Not at the bottom but still paying below the median are employers in Orlando and Philadelphia (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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