Graphic Artist / Animator Salary
Median pay for Graphic Artists & Animators in the United States is around $49K annually. Career duration is the biggest factor affecting pay for this group, followed by geography. A strong majority report receiving medical coverage from their employers and a majority collect dental insurance. Job satisfaction is high and work is enjoyable for most Graphic Artists & Animators. Graphic Artists & Animators who participated in the survey are largely men, dominating at 69 percent. The information for this rundown comes from respondents who completed PayScale's salary questionnaire.
Job Description for Graphic Artist / Animator
Graphic artists/animators fulfill a role which demands high levels of creativity and the ability to manufacture art on demand. These artists are responsible for creating original works ranging from traditional animation to computer animation and everything in between, and they typically work from a computer to produce digital assets for production of media from feature films to commercials. A typical day involves beginning with a script or starting pitch, developing it into a storyboard, and presenting ideas to the creative director. When approval has been provided for the project's style or concept, the graphic artists begin work on drafting assets from characters to scenery to be used in the animation.Read More...
The graphic artist/animator is at the front line regarding what is eventually seen in a finished project. The style, look, and feel of an animation are imagined by the graphic artist/animator, and it is their responsibility to make these idea a reality on-screen. This position involves working with other graphic artists and animators, as well as reporting to senior roles such as creative directors and lead animators, and they must have excellent design and animation skills and in-depth understanding of industry-standard software, such as Photoshop, Illustrator, and the entire Adobe suite.
Graphic artists/animators are generally required to work long hours at a computer, and the work can be highly exhausting when working with finer details. Educational requirements are not strict in this industry, as the position depends more on creativity and the technological skills to bring it to life. Many leading animators in the industry achieved success without formal training or education in animation, as the work relies so heavily on talent.
Graphic Artist / Animator Tasks
- Participate in client and pitch meetings to develop, conduct market research, and finalize specifications.
- Use software and animation techniques to create compelling image sequences.
- Design graphics and animation for specific projects, from brainstorming to final delivery.
Graphic Artist / Animator Job Listings
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Popular Skills for Graphic Artist / Animator
Survey results show that Graphic Artists & Animators use a fair number of skills. Most notably, skills in Autodesk 3ds Max, Autodesk Maya, Cinema 4D, and Adobe After Effects are correlated to pay that is above average. 3D Animation and Adobe Illustrator as skills, however, tend to be associated with significantly smaller paychecks. It is often found that people who know Adobe After Effects are also skilled in Adobe Illustrator.
Pay by Experience Level for Graphic Artist / Animator
Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.
Salaries of relatively inexperienced workers fall in the neighborhood of $46K, but folks who have racked up five to 10 years see a notably higher median of $61K. Graphic Artists & Animators who work for 10 to 20 years in their occupation tend to earn about $67K. People who have worked for 20 years or more actually report earning less than people who are in the middle of their careers; the veterans take home a mere $60K by contrast.
Pay Difference by Location
For Graphic Artists & Animators, busy New York offers a higher-than-average pay rate, 19 percent above the national average. Graphic Artists & Animators will also find cushy salaries in Los Angeles (+9 percent).