View Full Version : Average salaries for concept artists in the USA ?

04-29-2008, 01:22 AM
I recieved a weird offer from an american film director. He had seen 3D renders of my futuristic self-designed game models on the net and he is very fond of them. Now he wants to make a music video that would possess similiar style highres models.

If I would hop into an american 3d animation studio as a quest concept artist, what would be my salary per hour ? I have absolutely no idea what to demand.

Thanks for your help !

04-29-2008, 01:34 AM
The music video would go for an international "top-ten" band, so I quess that there's some money involved - in other words, a good studio.

04-29-2008, 01:36 AM
Here's something. I've never used it, but you could try it out.

Payscale (http://www.payscale.com/research/US/Job=3d_Artist/Salary)

Also keep in mind that freelance work is usually at higher rate.

04-29-2008, 02:08 AM

04-29-2008, 02:23 AM
Aim high, you work is great and you deserve to get paid.

Just remember industry rule 680 hollywood producers are shady!
Ask for a contract and a advance, specially if you have to travel for the gig.


04-29-2008, 05:10 AM
Thanks for the info guys. I could respond to him quickly with your help.

04-29-2008, 11:29 AM
Here's something. I've never used it, but you could try it out.

Payscale (http://www.payscale.com/research/US/Job=3d_Artist/Salary)

Payscale seems to only want to collect information from you, not give it to you.

04-29-2008, 11:57 AM
Is Payscale even accurate?

It lists $35k as a starting yearly salary, yet I was making not much less than that when I was just out of high school in a customer service position. I think it's got some flaws.

04-29-2008, 12:26 PM
35K doing customer service. I would say you got lucky.

04-29-2008, 12:50 PM
Well, after looking up what my position would have been in Payscale, I have a little more trust in Payscale's accuracy. It seems that my salary there would have been in around the 70th percentile in Customer Service/Quotations (what I expected).

I'm still hesitant about using Payscale for estimating 3D artist's salaries. As far as I knew, there were no customer service unions or guilds (to be honest, I didn't care). There are animation guilds, however, and maybe that influences the salaries.

04-29-2008, 02:21 PM
Ask the director what his budget is. If he gives you a firm figure, decide whether it's worth your while. If he tries to bullsh*t you, tell him to take a hike.

This approach has always worked for me.

04-29-2008, 05:49 PM
Bah ... you have it all wrong... :D

Use a fixed fee T/M contract after getting the requirements, then require royalties. Hell why not. The band's "art" will get royalties, why should yours be any different. If they're truly "top ten" material, it could be quite lucrative. Do outstanding work, and you'll get asked to do it again and have a fine piece for your portfolio.

And since it's involving the much hated music industry, make sure they don't "own" it after it's published.