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Animator: Salary and conditions

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  • Where available, entry salaries are in the region of £12,000 - £15,000. Salaries in computer games start higher at £18,000, rising quickly with experience.
  • Experienced animators can earn £23,000 - £25,000.
  • Animators with ten years or more of experience can earn from £26,000.
  • For information on animation freelance rates, see Broadcasting Entertainment Cinematograph and Theatre Union (BECTU) .
  • Initial salaries are low but it is important to build up experience and contacts to secure future work.
  • Working hours are regular office hours (34 - 40 hours a week) but, as deadlines approach, you may need to work overtime, including at the weekend. Flexitime is quite common.
  • Animation is an office/studio-based profession. Some experienced freelancers have studio equipment set up at home.
  • Animation is a global industry and many projects are for international clients. Most production companies have a list of animators they use - maintaining regular contact will prevent you from slipping off their list.
  • Just over one-third of animators are women, slightly less than the norm for the audiovisual industries as a whole (Skillset, 2013).
  • The representation of ethnic minorities is 3%, one the lowest across the audiovisual sectors.
  • The animation industry is global but there are regional centres based in London, Bristol, Manchester and Dundee/Edinburgh. More than 65% of the industry work outside of London.
  • Overseas and UK travel may be necessary to showcase work at festivals or to negotiate commissions with clients.

Salary figures are intended as a guide only.

Written by AGCAS editors
April 2013

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