What does an animator earn (2023)

What does an animator earn (1)

What does an animator earn?

Money must be funny...

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Shut up and take my money!
Where do you earn good money?
Animators earn differently
additional earnings
Earn money on the side

The salary of an animator

I'm not into nostalgia, but nowadays you earn a lot more than when I started when I started with a German tour operator for around €350.
The average is certainly around €700-900, although you can ask for more money under certain circumstances. The salary of an animator is unfortunately not bound by a collective agreement, at least not abroad.
In Germany there are some employers who align the entertainer's salary with the collective agreements in the hotel industry. This doesn't really have any disadvantages, except that it won't be that much anyway...

As a newcomer, especially with the big organizers, you can't negotiate, with smaller agencies or hotels it's sometimes possible. If you speak several languages, have various licenses, etc., then you can appear confident enough and negotiate the salary.
Unfortunately, this is not always possible and depends on many factors


Where do you earn good money?

An income in the animation is relative, because 1000€ net salary with 20 days vacation a year can be a good offer. But a net salary of 800€ with 36 days vacation also has its appeal.
In addition, there is the type of accommodation: Is it a single room, a shared room or an entire accommodation that you may can inhabit?
Are there extra services such as capital-forming services, drinks tickets for the bar (if there is no all-inclusive there in the evening)?
Are the clothes provided, washed or is there a washing machine - if there is a washing machine of your own - who pays for the detergent? etc...
Who pays for the flights?

You see, there is a lot (this is by no means all) that can be opposed to a higher salary.
I have alreadyfor very little salarylived in dream animation accommodation 5 meters from the beach and atvery low salaryin hell...unfortunately, sometimes people don't tell you how you live...
What are 1500 net if I hardly do any animation and only sell excursions, cocktails and bingo cards? I experienced that too...

Salary at an organizer

The salary for entertainers at German or Swiss companies is around €700 to €1000, the flights are usually paid for and organized in advance. Sometimes there is even your own international health insurance (for a small fee) and baggage allowance.

Animator salary in a hotel

If you only work for a single hotel or for a group, the salary can vary greatly. 350€ in Egypt up to 900€ in Spain, as wellfurther down and higheris it always possible...

The hotel usually does not pay for the flight in advance, but often pays a flat rate upon fulfillment of the contract.

(Video) Make Money as an Animator at Home | Freelance ANIMATOR

Salary at agencies

These are again from-to. You can only find out exactly if you ask directly or apply.
Here, too, the flights sometimes have to be paid for by yourself and the accommodation can also vary...

Salary on cruise ships

Starting salaries of 1300€ up to 1500€ are not uncommon and can quickly add up, especially if you stay longer or move up the ladder.
As entertainment manager on Mein Schiff 2, I earned around €2,500 net.

Salary as a self-employed entertainer

As a self-employed animator I got about €1000, but I also had to pay taxes and the flights. I know many animators in hotels who work this way, but rarely make more than 2000 net.


Animators earn differently

I find it a strong piece that some organizers e.g. Fitness workers earn more than regular animators, despite doing the same work. It is often an act of desperation since a self-employed personal trainer would hardly work for €700. Yes, they have a certificate (I have one too), but why aren't trained educators involved?moreSalary Rewards But The Fitness Forces? It's all pretty unfair...


additional earnings

Yes, if the employer allows it or even demands or encourages it, there is a lot to be done. More on that below.



All of this may not really satisfy you, but due to the fact that I have worked for many employers and have to keep confidential even after my job, I can only give approximate values.
But before you apply, you should clarify the conditions, which I consider almost more important than the salary, and ALWAYS have them listed in the contract, otherwise it will not be valid.

No verbal agreements!
I had to learn several times that agreements were not kept, I was ultimately the fool because I was too trusting. Since then I have everything given to me in writing or confirmed - if someone doesn't do this or refuses, I don't start the contract, it's that simple. You should handle it the same way! Better to do without an employer who is not transparent or who comes along with vague statements or promises...


Earn money on the side

(Video) Animator Salary in India | Salary of 3d animator in india | AnimFX

Yes, I know, they immediately say, "I'm not allowed to do that". Well, not every hotel group or tour operator forces you to live on nothing but your salary.

In this case, I simply assume that you do not have any elements in your contract that prohibit you from earning additional income, at least not one that does not compete with the hotel or tour operator. Anything else, I would point out, is a breach of contract for your company and you can expect immediate termination and possible claims for damages.

The big issue with the mini disco CDs or the sale of entire shows! If you are forbidden from selling them, then don't do it either.

The bar crawl has become a popular way to lure guests away from the hotel bar (only with AI, of course) because it reduces the hotel's loss. If you have to do something like this and get nothing from it except free drinks, that's it Stupid. If you don't have that, then go to different bars, negotiate something with the managers and drag the guests there once a week. Earning 20 to 50 per week is something, isn't it?

What about excursions? Since your tour operator usually offers almost everything, the choice is very limited, but maybe there are still great tours that you don't have in the program, then organize that. A lot of money can be lost in the process.

taxi services. Every taxi driver relies on customers, and most hotels simply call some switchboard. That's where you come in: find two or three cab drivers, you make a deal with them, you arrange for the guests to ride with them, and you get paid a monthly fee - up front!

The same goes with diving schools, restaurants, shops or other things, the more customers a business has, the better.

I used to work in a resort with nine hotels and organized a henna tattoo booth in each hotel until it was banned by the top general manager because there were too many guests with dangerous allergic reactions, until then I was making more than in a month with my animation salary throughout the season!

Buy cheap silver jewelry anywhere and set up a display in your hotel, deal with the manager and any clerk who sells any of it, and you've got another side income.

The most interesting thing about the whole story is that if you think a little like a businessman, there are many ways to make money.

Another possibility is the sale of merchandising articles, clearly you say: There is nothing at the Aida that cannot be bought with the Aida logo. But what about your hotel? Or how about the entertainer t-shirts? Find matching or similar models, a printer and earn yourself dumb and stupid.

Imagine it's winter, you're sitting on the Canary Islands and your guests are freezing their asses off. How about buying fan heaters and renting or selling them? When selling, we often did double deals, because the guests just leave them there.

Maybe guests are interested in emigrating, and you can usually even help them and ask for money for it, this doesn't happen often, but maybe you've been in Mallorca for a few years, speak the language and know your way around?! You can go to the authorities for them, organize an apartment or anything else while they are still in Germany.

Never forget: tourism is always a prepayment business!

On excursions, I remember that the more sales they make, the tour guides get a hefty bonus. You might not want to lift a finger without seeing some of that money - if you have the nerve to do so decide. Usually you have to be at least chief animator to "start money-making measures"


I once had a relationship with a tour guide who received a commission of €5 for each guest from a large tour operator for a specific excursion, and now imagine that they bring 15-40 people per excursion four times a week! And then you see none of that, even though you're supposed to be promoting it? Think about it!

Well, it's all about money all over the world, why should it be any different with you? Many earn between 350 and 1000 euros in animation, so there's often neither anything to save nor a very good life to live with. So, if you have the chance to make money hassle-free and legally, do it!


Of course, earning money should be viewed with the same sensitivity as in Germany. It must always be properly approved - also by the director and always in writing!
You can get into a devil's kitchen if you earn money illegally and then it gets out.
Also, don't forget to involve your team. It doesn't have to be millions, but if you can earn something extra, just like people often do in Germany, why not?


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Do animators make enough money? ›

The average salary for an animator in the United States is $76,853. Animator salaries typically range between $52,000 and $112,000 a year. The average hourly rate for animators is $36.95 per hour.

What are the salary expectations for an animator? ›

Animator Salary. $41,500 is the 25th percentile. Salaries below this are outliers. $71,500 is the 75th percentile.

Is animation a good paying job? ›

A senior-level animator job requires experience of more than 9 years. Based on their experience, their salary varies between $80,000 to $120,000 per year.

Do animators get underpaid? ›

Anime's rise in popularity over the past few years and especially during the pandemic is evident in the increase of streaming sites and the abundance of merchandise, so why are animators living in poverty? The main reason that an animator's salary is so low is that most studios pay by commission.

Why are animators paid little? ›

This is due to the amount of work required for many animation projects and tight deadlines. Many animators are not paid overtime when they work over 40 hours per week. Some animation jobs get outsourced to countries where local animators are willing to do the work for less pay.

Where are animators paid well? ›

Hourly rates for animation artists in the US typically range between $25 and $60 an hour. The average animation artist salary is $127,398 in Nevada, $110,247 in Rhode Island, and $109,603 in Connecticut. These are the three highest-paying states for animation artists in the US.

Are animators paid by the hour? ›

As of Jun 4, 2023, the average hourly pay for an Animator in the United States is $27.97 an hour. While ZipRecruiter is seeing hourly wages as high as $42.31 and as low as $5.29, the majority of Animator wages currently range between $19.95 (25th percentile) to $34.38 (75th percentile) across the United States.

What is high salary for animation? ›

What are Top 5 Best Paying Related Animation Jobs in the U.S.
Job TitleAnnual SalaryMonthly Pay
Animation Director$186,000$15,500
Director Animation$186,000$15,500
Vp Animation$156,325$13,027
Vice President Animation$156,325$13,027
1 more row

How much is a Disney animator paid? ›

Walt Disney Animation Studios Salary
Annual SalaryMonthly Pay
Top Earners$92,000$7,666
75th Percentile$60,500$5,041
25th Percentile$21,000$1,750

Can you be a millionaire as a animator? ›

Consulting fees now top $100 per hour for many consultants, who earn more than $200,000. In terms of salaries, visual development artists, character technical directors, 3D modelers, animation art directors, and forensic animators rank among the top five. So can an animator be rich, yes sir!

Do animators work a lot? ›

Work environment

Staff animators work a regular 40-hour workweek but may occasionally be expected to work evenings and weekends to meet deadlines. Freelance animators have erratic schedules, and the number of hours they work may depend on how much money they want to earn or how much work they can find.

Is animation a stable job? ›

Yes, animation is a good career.

Many people only think about animation in terms of entertainment, and while there are many animators in that field, they also hold a firm spot in industries like advertising, marketing, and multimedia.

Is animator a stressful job? ›

Animation can be stressful work with tight deadlines and lots of money involved or it can also be the opposite. Animation requires a lot of sitting, critical thinking, creativity, and long hours at work.

Can you live off being an animator? ›

Though the field is competitive and employment is often short-term, it's also growing quickly. If you have the will to work hard and the technical, visual, and communication skills needed to make top-caliber animations, you stand a very good chance of earning a comfortable living as an animator.

Is animator a difficult job? ›

It's a career path that takes a great deal of love and dedication to the art form, but if you love it then it's going to be completely worth it. You'll find out very quickly if character animation is something you want to pursue; it's at times frustrating, confusing and, above all, difficult.

Who created anime? ›

History and Development

The history of anime can be traced back to the start of the 20th century, with the earliest verifiable films dating from 1917. The first generation of animators in the late 1910s included Ōten Shimokawa, Jun'ichi Kōuchi and Seitaro Kitayama, commonly referred to as the "fathers" of anime.

Why is animation so much money? ›

Animators that are involved in movies or big animation projects are highly skilled. They have to go through extensive training and bring creative ideas to the table. And this is why a majority share of the animation budget goes into the remuneration of animators.

Why does animation cost money? ›

The story, direction, and sound: An animation movie might have no human actors, but it does have human story creators, screenplay writers, art directors, and sound effect people. It takes a lot of effort (and wages) to create the smooth story that will capture the audience.

Does Netflix pay animators well? ›

Average Netflix Animator daily pay in the United States is approximately $447, which is 199% above the national average.

Is animation a good career in USA? ›

Animation as a career continuously expands, and the number of professionals taking animation roles also rises. Better still, the field offers an extensive selection of career opportunities. For instance, art directors earn over $90,000 annually.

Is being an animator a popular job? ›

Yes, an animation degree is worth it for many students. The Bureau of Labor Statistics is projecting 4% job growth for artists and animators over the next 10 years. Common animation careers include art director, animation artist, craft or fine artist, graphic designer, and web developer.

How much is an animation job? ›

Animator salary in India ranges between ₹ 0.3 Lakhs to ₹ 7.7 Lakhs with an average annual salary of ₹ 3.1 Lakhs. Salary estimates are based on 663 latest salaries received from Animators.

Do animators get days off? ›

Full-time special effects artists and animators usually earn benefits such as sick leave, paid vacation, and health insurance.

Are animators full-time? ›

Usually work an irregular schedule that varies by projects and deadlines. May work part time or full time. However, most work full time, about 40 hours per week or more.

Who is the most paid animator? ›

John Lasseter is the man behind the animated movies, Cars, Toy Story, and A Bugs Life.
  • Hanna & Barbera. Net worth: $300 Million.
  • Parker & Stone. Net worth: $600 Million.
  • Walter Disney. Net worth: $5 Billion.

What are the benefits of being an animator? ›

Some of the pros of this job include:
  • High earning potential.
  • Substantial growth projection.
  • Ability to work creatively. ...
  • Pride in seeing your work in use. ...
  • Flexible work opportunities. ...
  • Time-consuming or repetitive work. ...
  • High-pressure work environment. ...
  • Minimal collaboration.
Jan 26, 2023

Are animators in high demand? ›

Projected job growth for animators is 4% from 2018-2028. There are over 4,937 animators currently employed in the United States.

Do Pixar animators get paid well? ›

As of Jun 4, 2023, the average annual pay for a Pixar Animation Studios in the United States is $102,610 a year.

How much do 3d animators make? ›

3d animator salaries typically range between $50,000 and $108,000 a year. The average hourly rate for 3d animators is $35.38 per hour. Location, education, and experience impacts how much a 3d animator can expect to make.

Do Disney animators need a degree? ›

You need a bachelor's degree to be a Disney animator. Walt Disney Animators Studios (WDAS) looks for animators with a Bachelor's Degree in Computer Animation or related field or equivalent work experience. It is also important to have at least 2 years computer animation experience with Maya or a similar program.

Is animation a fun career? ›

Working as an animator can be exciting because you can contribute to creative projects in significant ways. For those passionate about specific animation styles, production studios or content types, this means you can find opportunities that resonate well with your professional goals.

Do animators sit all day? ›

Many animators work on a computer for most of the day to complete animation using computer software. Even if your work requires hand-drawn animations or stop-motion animations, you may spend a lot of time sitting at a desk or table.

Do animators have a future? ›

The animation industry is dynamic and constantly evolving. It is driven by new technologies and changing consumer preferences. With the rise of 3D animation, artificial intelligence, interactive and immersive experiences, streaming services, and globalization, the future of the animation industry looks bright.

What is the life of an animator? ›

Most animators work full-time hours on a regular schedule. When a deadline is coming up, it may become necessary for animators to work overtime, night or weekend hours to ensure work is completed on time. Part-time employment in this field is exceedingly uncommon, so full workdays should be expected.

What are the cons of being an animator? ›

Is Animation a Good Career? Pros, Cons, Advice
  • CON: ANIMATION WORK CAN BE repetitive. ...
Jun 16, 2021

What are the pros and cons of animation? ›

What is Animation (Animated Video)?
Easy to demonstrate abstract ideas and conceptsHarder to emulate emotions & create “characters” that can replace humans
Easy to use if explaining a lot of information in a concise wayReal world aspects such as lighting are harder to duplicate
2 more rows

Can animation be a side job? ›

Yeah… With so many animators doing side gigs or creating their own platforms, it's easy to see that it's possible to reach surprisingly high animation salaries if you are keeping all the right balls in the air.

Is animation a realistic career? ›

Yes, animation is a good career.

Many people only think about animation in terms of entertainment, and while there are many animators in that field, they also hold a firm spot in industries like advertising, marketing, and multimedia. Here are some common career paths for animators: Animator. 3-D animator.

Is it hard getting a job as an animator? ›

Short answer: It's pretty hard, especially if you're set on being a character animator specifically. There's a lot of other animation jobs out there besides character animation which might strike your fancy more, but for some reason nobody talks about those.

Is animation a fulfilling career? ›

Animators can work as 2D or 3D artists, character designers, storyboard artists, visual effects artists, and more. Overall, if you have a passion for animation and are willing to work hard, it can be a rewarding and fulfilling career path.

Is animation a risky job? ›

It's a well known fact that animation can be a risky field because of the competition and instability.

What are pros and cons of being an animator? ›

Pros and cons of being a multimedia artist and animator
  • High earning potential.
  • Substantial growth projection.
  • Ability to work creatively. ...
  • Pride in seeing your work in use. ...
  • Flexible work opportunities. ...
  • Time-consuming or repetitive work. ...
  • High-pressure work environment. ...
  • Minimal collaboration.
Jan 26, 2023

Do you need to draw well to be an animator? ›

In 3D animation, it is not essential to be able to draw. Nevertheless, drawing skills will always be helpful throughout an animator's career. In today's article, we will go over all the general skills that are necessary for every kind of animator.

Do you need talent to be an animator? ›

To become an Animator, you will need: a creative mind and a strong visual imagination. an eye for detail and good colour vision. the ability to draw, make models and/or use computer graphics software.

What is the average age of an animator? ›

The average age of an employed animator is 40 years old.

What is the daily life of an animator? ›

Tasks typically involve: liaising with clients and developing animation from their concepts. creating storyboards that depict the script and narrative. drawing in 2D to create sketches, artwork or illustrations.

How many hours do animators work? ›


Usually work an irregular schedule that varies by projects and deadlines. May work part time or full time. However, most work full time, about 40 hours per week or more.


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