Thursday, March 15, 2007

2007 Wage Survey! -- Part I

A dozen years ago, a background artist at Warner Bros. Feature Animation (which is, sadly, no longer extant) made the suggestion: "Hey, wouldn't it be a good idea if the Animation Guild did a questionnaire to members about, like, what they make?"

My first thought was: "Why the hell didn't I think of that?" My first verbal response was: "Yeah! Great idea!"

From then until now, we have sent out questionnaires to the membership about what kind of money everyone is making. This year, we got a return of 29.6% (742 surveys came back out of 2,508 sent.) Last year, the return rate was 33.5%.

In the next couple of weeks, we'll publish and post a more detailed breakdown of wages in all surveyed job classifications. For now, here's a truncated preview.

We show the minimum, median average and maximum survey response for each category. The 2006 and 2007 medians are compared.

All the wage numbers are based on a forty-hour week, which is a very important distinction in comparing apples to oranges wage-wise. If you're getting $2,200 per week for a fifty-hour-per-week guarantee, for example, you're actually being paid the equivalent of $1,600 per week on a forty-hour-per-week guarantee.

Story Artists (2007 response: 28%; 2006 response: 35%)
    • Story supervisors
  • minimum: $2,100.00 median: $2,910.44 maximum: $4,700.00 2006 median: $2,705.45 difference: +$204.99
    • Story development
    minimum: $1,700.00 median: $2,100.00 maximum: $2,500.00 2006 median: $2,099.38 difference: none
    • Feature story artists
    minimum: $1,446.55 median: $2,020.00 maximum: $4,700.00 2006 median: $1,825.00 difference: +$195.00
    • Production board (TV)
    minimum: $1,163.64 median: $1,900.00 maximum: $3,000.00 2006 median: $1,425.00 difference: +$475.00
    • Storyboard revisionists
    minimum: $1,000.00 median: $1,500.00 maximum: $2,254.55 2006 median: $1,825.00 difference: -$325.00
    Animation/Modelling (2007 response: 29%; 2006 response: 29%)
    • Supervising animators
    minimum: $1,500.00 median: $3,122.50 maximum: $5,000.00 2006 median: $3,025.00 difference: +$97.50
    • 3D animators
    minimum: $1,040.00 median: $1,672.73 maximum: $3,454.55 2006 median: $1,809.09 difference: -$136.36
    • 3D modellers
    minimum: $1,000.00 median: $1,976.00 maximum: $2,600.00 2006 median: $1,950.00 difference: +$26.00
    • 2D animators
    minimum: $1,200.00 median: $1,530.00 maximum: $6,200.00 2006 median: $1,425.00 difference: +$105.00
    • Animatics
    minimum: $1,047.20 median: $1,356.00 maximum: $1,500.00 2006 median: $1,475.00 difference: -$119.00
    • Flash processors
    minimum: $1,047.20 median: $1,219.00 maximum: $1,500.00 2006 median: $1,134.09 difference: +$84.91
    Technical directors (2007 response: 22%; 2006 response: 25%)
    • Generalists
    minimum: $1,046.56 median: $2,000.00 maximum: $4,400.00 2006 median: $1,924.50 difference: +$75.50
    • Lighters
    minimum: $951.60 median: $1,666.44 maximum: $3,100.00 2006 median: $1,600.00 difference: +$66.44
    • Look development
    minimum: $1,207.95 median: $2,368.84 maximum: $3,000.00 2006 median: $2,450.00 difference: -$81.16
    • Surfacers
    minimum: $1,454.55 median: $1,563.64 maximum: $2,254.55 2006 median: $1,492.37 difference: +$71.27
    • Texture painters
    minimum: $1,100.00 median: $2,093.50 maximum: $3,900.00 2006 median: $1,854.55 difference: +$238.95
    • Assistant/Apprentice TDs
    minimum: $1,236.36 median: $1,367.00 maximum: $1,400.00 2006 median: $1,228.98 difference: +$138.02
    • 3D compositors
    minimum: $1,527.27 median: $2,060.00 maximum: $2,700.00 2006 median: $2,000.00 difference: +$60.00
    • 2D compositors
    minimum: $1,400.00 median: $1,900.00 maximum: $2,500.00 2006 median: $1,726.37 difference: +$173.63

    For earlier surveys and CBA minimums, go here.

    The issue of uncompensated overtime reared it unlovely head in some of the returned survey forms. To quote from one t.v. production employee's form:

    "...The storyboard artist is paid on a 40-hour work week with no overtime, but it is nearly impossible to complete this job in a 40 hour work week (more like 50-=60 hour weeks.)"

    This has been an issue at studios for television shows as long as I've worked here. Tight schedules, more and more drawing to serve the demands of animatics (those are computerized/digitized story reels, in case you're wondering), in general a steadily rising bar without equally elevated salaries.

    The reality of unpaid o.t. varies from show to show, but it's a continuing issue across the industry. The problem, now as ever, is that few want to complain or file grievances for fear of not getting re-upped for the following season.

    7 comments:

    Anonymous said...

    This is an invaluable service. Thanks.

    Ming said...

    Does flash processors mean the artists doing flash animation?

    Steve Hulett said...

    It refers to individuals altering/revising/"cleaning up" completed flash animation.

    Angela said...

    This is a great resource. Has there ever been a survey for Production jobs as well - PAs, Coordinators, PMs and Producers? I realize these aren't Union positions, however, most production jobs pay far less than their creative counterparts.

    Steve Hulett said...

    I don't believe those wages are tracked by any particular entity. Since we don't rep them, we don't cover them.

    But you're right. Most production jobs pay less (excepting, of course, exec positions).

    Anonymous said...

    I still don't know where CG effects animators are supposed to fit in.

    I've never submitted because it always seems kind of pointless without calling out effects animators as its own thing. I'm not a character animator. It makes no sense to skew my salary with the stars of the Disney fermament.

    s.r. hulett said...

    CG effx animators are the same scale rate as CG animator.

    Just note on the survey form that you're effx, and we'll plug it into the right category.

    We need to get a higher response rate than 30%.

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