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Animator: Salary and conditions

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  • Where available, entry salaries are in the region of £12,000 to £15,000. Salaries in computer games start higher at £18,000, rising quickly with experience.
  • Experienced animators can earn around £23,000 to £26,000.
  • Salaries for animators with at least ten years' experience are around £36,000+.
  • For information on animation freelance rates, see the Broadcasting Entertainment Cinematograph and Theatre Union (BECTU) .
  • Starting salaries are low but it is important to build up experience and contacts to secure future work.
  • Working hours are regular office hours (approximately 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, so maintaining regular contact will prevent you from slipping off their list.
  • Only 20% of animators are women. The representation of people with disabilities is 3%, one the lowest across the audiovisual sectors (The Creative Media Workforce Survey 2014, Creative Skillset).
  • The animation industry is global but there are regional centres based in London, Bristol, Manchester, Dundee and Edinburgh.
  • Overseas and UK travel may be necessary to showcase your work at festivals or to negotiate commissions with clients.

Salary figures are intended as a guide only.

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Written by Gemma Halder, AGCAS
June 2015

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