Exploring Freelance Animator Salaries: What to Expect

Are you considering a career as a freelance animator? Or are you already working in the field but wondering if your rates are competitive? Either way, understanding what to expect when it comes to freelance animator salaries is crucial. As an industry that’s constantly evolving and growing, there are many factors that influence how much animators can earn.

In this blog post, we’ll dive into the world of freelance animation and explore what kind of salaries you can expect as an independent contractor. So buckle up and let’s get started!

What is a freelance animator?

Being a freelance animator can be an incredibly rewarding career, but it does come with some unique challenges. To help illustrate this, we’ve put together a list of salaries for freelance animators based on experience and skills.

Entry Level: $0 – $1500/month

At the lower end of the pay scale, entry-level freelance animators typically work on short projects, such as TV commercials or online videos. These projects typically require little to no animation expertise, so new animators are often able to find work quickly. As you gain experience and skills, your salary can increase significantly.

Mid-Level: $1500 – $3000/month

Most experienced freelancers will earn between $1500 and $3000/month. At this level, you likely have some animation experience and are working on longer projects that require more creativity and innovation. Your salary will also depend on your skill set and the size of the project you’re working on.

High-End: More than $3000/month

If you’re highly skilled and well-rounded in your field, you can earn well above $3000/month as a freelance animator. This is especially true if you have specific expertise (such as motion graphics or 3D animation) that allows you to charge higher rates from clients.

What are the different types of freelance animators?

There are a few different types of freelance animators, and the salaries vary depending on the experience and skill set of the animator.

Some freelance animators specialize in particular areas, such as character animation or motion graphics. Other freelancers may work in a variety of fields, such as advertising or film production. Regardless of the type of animator, however, the skills and experience required to be successful vary.

An experienced freelance animator with a strong portfolio may command a higher salary than an inexperienced animator with no prior experience. However, all freelance animators should expect to earn a lower wage than working in a full-time position at a company. This is because animation is an independent profession which requires significant time and effort to succeed in.

What are the benefits of being a freelance animator?

The benefits of being a freelance animator are numerous and can include a wide range of income opportunities, flexibility in working hours, and the ability to work from anywhere. According to Animation World Network (AWN), the median annual salary for freelance animators was $38,620 in 2016, up from $36,190 in 2015.

In addition to this fixed income, freelance animators can expect to earn an additional 10 percent on top of their base salary for all extra services they provide (such as revisions or extending deadlines). This means that a typical freelancer would earn $45,280 annually. The highest paid freelancers typically have years of experience and are able to charge more for their services.

What are the best cities to be a freelance animator?

Freelance animator salaries vary depending on the city and type of work, but the average pay is around $50 per hour. In order to find the best cities to be a freelance animator, it is important to look at factors such as cost of living, availability of resources, and job opportunities.

Below are five cities that rank highly in terms of both affordability and job opportunities for freelance animators:

1. Los Angeles, California
2. New York City, New York
3. Chicago, Illinois
4. Seattle, Washington
5. Portland, Oregon


As a freelance animator, it can be difficult to know what your salary potential is. This article explores some of the different salaries you could expect as a freelance animator, based on experience and skill set.

It’s important to remember that salaries will vary depending on the type of animation you do, where you live, and how experienced you are. However, by understanding what you’re worth and negotiating for the highest salary possible, you’ll be well on your way to achieving your freelance animation career goals!

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