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Rob M

Junior Salaries - London

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Hi Guys,

 

I know this has been discussed a little already as I've done some research *(and searching on the forums), but these things are always changing, and its time for my own pay review soon! I'm more of a graphic designer/motion designer, but am increasingly finding myself doing large motion graphics jobs as thats what I wanted to do, and thats what happens at work. So a little graphics, and lots of motion.

 

Ok so I work at a good place, and do fun stuff (I'm sure you can find out where I work if you want to - search - or look in this months Grafik review, my company is profiled - or visit www.untitledlab.co.uk). I work on fun projects and IMO very big projects, and am really really happy where I am. I just graduated in June 06 and started work in July down in , so far everything in the job is perfect. I received a 1st at Uni and generally consider myself a little more advanced and proffesioanl than other people my age (this has been commented on by my boss's), however I still have just about 1years experience so don't expect the world, yet.

 

I know its a touchy subject for most people, but its good to get advice before going into a pay review.

If I said I earn £20k, have one years Exp, know print programs (illustrator/photoshop/indesign) very well, I have a reasonable grasp off After Effects and Cinema 4D. I'm also the only designer in studio that can use Flash and make websites (Dreamweaver) - What would you suggest?

 

In one post on the forum I found "A jnr designer usually gets between 22k to about 28k per anum(Pounds)." and was surprised! Am I drastically under paid, or is this person wrong?

 

I talked to a friend at Spin and he suggested asking for an extra 25% and expect something a little lower..

 

Anyway, thats the end of my talk, its a boring Saturday afternoon and I wished I had more money (Its the end of the month soon - wuhey!)

 

 

Cheers

 

Rob

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I started as a runner on 12k :(

 

Then I got promoted to designer after 10 months or so @ 18k

 

After 3 years I was only on 24k

 

So I left and went freelance for 250 quid a day. w00t!

 

Staff salaries are really shit in london, that's why everyone is freelance! I'd say 20k is the going rate

Edited by hotspanners

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I went freelance immediately after graduating, and don't regret it one bit. Staff salary is indeed shit, very often. But when the well runs dry, look out.

BTW, being in a unique position as the only designer should offer a position to negotiate a bigger paycheck.

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If you a freelancer you are only as good as your portfolio. If you are building up good work in your current job, might be worth sticking with it. If you have good stuff to show and the current job is stagnating, maybe you should freelance. If you don't have a good portfolio, you will probably only get dull production jobs as a freelancer, and it will take a longer time to build up a body of good work.

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Here are my two cents, a quick history about myself: I used to do websites and interactive until I had ended up in mograph.net about half a year ago... (where I picked up a few new tricks from old but cool dogs)

 

a freelancer constantly has to sell himself , so its either you truly good at mograph or you a great salesman, either ways, you're likely to get paid much better (even here, in Israel)

 

as Inhouse you only sell yourself once, but the downfall is the neverending phone calls you get,

The pressure the producer brings into your area everytime he gets a little nervous,

The explanations you'll have to give once youll be outta the office....

 

I think its a rewarding experience to be working inhouse, but I guess the next time I'll do it it'll have to be on MY terms, on MY times, which can only make me assume that I'll probebly never do Inhouse again unless it'll be MY house.

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Don't under-estimate the downfalls of going freelance (I've been a freelance Editor/Produceer/Engineer in London for 8 years)

 

1. No holiday pay (If you want to go away it costs you double basically cos of the lost earnings)

 

2. You can never take time off sick, unless you are seriously at deaths door.

 

3. You have to handle your own taxes, and although you pay about half (against staff) it is a royal pain in the arse, and you have to be disciplined.

 

4. It can be extreemly difficult to turn work down as "Make hay while the sun shines" becomes a kind of mental illness. It means that if you are good/responsible/lucky you will work literally ALL the time.

 

If you are doing interesting things on a staff gig for a good industry name who are paying you fairly then it's probably important to take stock and appreciate what you have. Having said that there is no reason not to expect a reasonable pay rise (25% may be a little heavy IMHO) on your first years wage.

 

Good luck, this kinda thing is always a bitch.

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the expereince you will get from a great company like Precursor might be worth a little less money.

 

 

good luck with getting the money Rob.

 

Jim

Edited by style45

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Some news on the Precursor site:

 

"Precursor has closed for business. After 5 successful years the 3 founders are now pursuing interests and ventures independently."

 

Whats the web address... i would like to have a read if it still exists

 

Ian

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what happened in the end? did you get what you were after?

 

im in the same situation kind of

 

I didn't waste money on school... I went and bought a 10 thousand dollar computer, 15 thousand dollar camera, and bunch of other stuff and went freelance. I've heard starting salaries beginning anywhere from 22 to 28k in the USA, for someone coming out of school.. so you may be slightly underpaid, but you won't be for long if you keep your eyes open.

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I didn't waste money on school... I went and bought a 10 thousand dollar computer, 15 thousand dollar camera, and bunch of other stuff and went freelance. I've heard starting salaries beginning anywhere from 22 to 28k in the USA, for someone coming out of school.. so you may be slightly underpaid, but you won't be for long if you keep your eyes open.

 

 

he's talking about english pounds...so £20k

 

£20k = is around 37k american I think

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Listen - in London, the deal is: you give blow jobs for free at Framestore or The Mill or somewhere like that. After 3 years you're somewhere senior in animation, and you can jump into motion graphics jobs, and go overseas far more easily. You won't get very paid much until you're a staff animator (runners at MPC are still only on £13k p.a., which is appalling given the financial funk we're all in), but you'll get to work on the best projects in the world outside the US.

 

Or, like me, you're shit at everything but can do Adobe with your eyes stapled shut. In which case, you convince a smaller studio to take you on and exploit you. As your 'amazing' work for them gradually attracts better clients for your grateful bosses, you're slowly subsumed into the company and you become a director on a few good projects. Then your reel looks good, and you get an art director/animator/dog handler job at a bigger, better company. The money might not be great but creatively you flourish from not having been a cubicle monkey.

 

Or

 

You're really talented. Everyone on Mograph.net is full of praise for your innovative and beautiful original motion works. You did well at uni and you know what you want. In which case, you go freelance after your first few jobs at the amazing studios listed on Motiongrapher, marry that brazilian model girlfriend of yours and travel the world making amazing animation that capitalist behemoths squabble like children over for their next campaign.

 

Don't come to London looking specifically for motion graphics work. The very term 'motion graphics' is still not common parlance here and British clients have little understanding of the developing overlap between print design and animation. As such, you won't really get involved with much work to compete with what you see on mograph blogs. There is, however, one of the world's healthiest VFX and animation industries, which takes care of motion graphics projects, but there is way, way less emphasis on mograph boutiques the likes of which dot the bi-coastal areas of the US.

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The very term 'motion graphics' is still not common parlance here and British clients have little understanding of the developing overlap between print design and animation. As such, you won't really get involved with much work to compete with what you see on mograph blogs. There is, however, one of the world's healthiest VFX and animation industries, which takes care of motion graphics projects, but there is way, way less emphasis on mograph boutiques the likes of which dot the bi-coastal areas of the US.

I'm inclined to agree. There's a fairly healthy broadcast design industry here in my experience but that doesn't always mean mograph. Then there's the omnipresent, backdoor, invisible corporate stuff too, but the majority of that won't win any prizes. Some of the highest-aspiring individuals and studios here with a design-led approach tend to be cross-discipline like Universal Everything or Airside. Then there's a handful of Directors who tend to use motion graphics all the time in music videos, ads and so on; and they are usually repped by an agency with other animation and live-action/VFX Directors. Nexus or Blink for example.

 

It's like motion graphics isn't really a 'thing' here. Its not just to do with the phrase being recognised... I think maybe we Brits have a slightly different relationship to visual messages and advertising which is more inclined towards traditional storytelling than graphic design... But maybe thats BS, I dunno.

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We all owe the Brits for the greatest graphics magazines on the planet (at least since

the mysterious disappearance of that fine Swedish magazine, EFX and Design). I couldn't live without my monthly Computer Arts fix. It's terrible that well designed animation hasn't taken off there.

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The recession means that studios cut costs by overworking their freelancers and cutting staff rates even lower, so yes, skilled labour markets will suffer immediately from the reduced liquidity of client's marketing budgets.

 

I've gone to Berlin to seek a less saturated jobs market - my peers with any sense will avoid coming to a city with few studios! I however, am barking mad...

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