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  • Are You in Demand?: 2006 Game Industry Salary Survey

    - Jill Duffy

  • artsalArt and Animation

    Average salary for artists and animators with 3 or fewer years’ experience: $45,675.

    Salaries for artists and animators rose steadily since 2004 by between $3,000 and $5,000 for all titles and level of experience, indicating stability in the field. Newbie artists and animators took in about $3,000 more; mid-level artists brought in about $5,000 more; and those with 6 or more years experience earned about $4,500 more than in 2004.

    Recruitment agency finds that the most commonly asked for artists are human motion animators, according to McShaffry, and students leaving university with these skills will do well in the job market. However, McShaffry also “absolutely recommends” that game artists hone their fine art skills; mastering basic skills, like sketching and color theory, in addition to learning a 3D animation and modeling package.

    Game Developer contributing editor and co-founder of Giant Bite Inc. Steve Theodore advises students to also learn one 3D package deeply, then add another one to their repertoire. “No matter how much you like your primary package, being able to function in a second one will teach you a lot more about what’s under the hood than any class on graphics ever could. Besides, it makes you twice as eligible for jobs,” he says.

    Women should feel more encouraged than ever to apply for jobs in the art department. A growing female presence was particularly noticeable between 2004 and 2005, with about 10 percent of jobs in game art now held by women as opposed to the less than 7 percent the year prior.




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