Animator Salary

Median pay for Animators in the United States lies in the neighborhood of $50K annually. Geography is the biggest factor affecting pay for this group, followed by career length. Job satisfaction is high and work is enjoyable for most Animators. Although close to a fourth lack health benefits of any kind, a strong majority do enjoy medical insurance, and a little over a half get dental coverage, too. The vast majority (81 percent) of Animators who answered the questionnaire are male. The figures in this rundown are based on the results of PayScale's salary questionnaire.
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$35,013 - $77,973

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$12.51 - $43.30

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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
$35,013 - $77,973  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $6,878  
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).
)
$32,130 - $84,024  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 18 Jul 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 274
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$21$42$63
Hourly Rate
$12.51 - $43.30  
   
Overtime
$15.00 - $62.08  
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 - $6,878  
   
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).
)
$32,130 - $84,024  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 18 Jul 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 114
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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.

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Popular Skills for Animator


Animators report using a diverse set of skills on the job. Most notably, facility with 2D Animation and Autodesk Maya are correlated to pay that is significantly above average, leading to increases of 56 percent and 4 percent, respectively. At the other end of the pay range are skills like Adobe Photoshop and Adobe After Effects. Most people skilled in 3D Animation are similarly competent in 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.


The average worker who claims fewer than five years of experience earns around $47K. In contrast, however, individuals who report five to 10 years in this occupation see a much larger median of $59K. On average, Animators make $66K following one to two decades on the job. Respondents who boast more than two decades on the job don't boast commensurate pay, unfortunately; these veterans see average earnings of only $46K.

Pay Difference by Location


Animators in San Diego, San Francisco, and Los Angeles — the highest-paid cities for Animators in California and the United States — enjoy a very comfortable lifestyle with compensation above the national average. Animators' salaries are heavily influenced by location — Animators in Dallas bring in salaries that are 21 percent lower than the national average. Employers also pay below the national average in Orlando (20 percent lower) and Minneapolis (18 percent lower).

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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 56%

Autodesk Maya
up arrow 4%

3D Animation
up arrow 3%

Adobe Illustrator
0%

National Average
$51,000

Flash Animation
up arrow 3%



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: 72% dental benefits Dental: 55%
vision benefits Vision: 40% employee benefits None: 26%
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