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2009 Motion Graphic Census Survey Results????

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i agree the range does seem low for most major markets, but not everyone who calls themselves a motion graphics designer work where cost of living warrants a premium rate. outsource much?

 

but then again, you didn't honestly think everyone in the top tiers were going to take the time to fill out the census. they're too busy conquering the world and getting away with it.

 

the top tier is a relatively impenetrable society where rates are a strategic tool and considered just one of many trade secrets. either you know what's up or you're an outsider trying to fake the funk.

 

but major props to motionographer for taking one step in the _____ direction.

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Yea I feel like they are generally low. It feels like a tease reading it, and now I wonder if everyone in the US filled it out what the results would be.

 

Hopefully not as depressing as these numbers ... I'm really glad this survey finally came out (i forgot i even filled it out haha), but it doesn't seem very accurate. Everything seems super low.

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props to the guys that put this together...

If nothing else they worked through the process of compiling all the data. Hopefully they will keep doing this year after year and the results will fall more in-line with what you all feel is reasonable. More people will fill out the surveys and a larger data pool will be created. This is a compelling tool moving forward to convince clients that these jobs merit reasonable rates within the industry as a whole.

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anothername: The median of All Jobs on page 11 is $50K. This is JUST FOR The US - it's not for All Jobs, worldwide. The median incomes by country are specific to each country. Our range should've gone higher and lower, and was really US-centric. All the non-US countries (or at least the ones with lower incomes) are just a broad guess, since our low multiple choice for this question was: Under $20K.

 

Cool thanks for clearing that up. By the way just to be clear I think you guys deserve mad props for putting in the effort and doing this, hopefully more people will answer in the next round and accuracy will increase.

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Questions for the folks that feel like everything is low: 1. What city are you in? 2. Is your opinion based on your personal income?

 

The sample isn't small for the US. Consider that Nielsen TV ratings are based on 25,000 households total. That's the sample they use for all TV watchers in the US, about 00.2%, and it is the gold standard for TV ratings. If you look at the experience stats, there are about as many respondents with < 5 years experience as there are > 5. Assuming most people answered honestly, it's a very well balanced representation of the field.

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Questions for the folks that feel like everything is low: 1. What city are you in? 2. Is your opinion based on your personal income?

 

I'm in Winnipeg - a C level market at best. Most of my work is coming remotely from NYC, LA and some bigger Canadian cities. If these numbers are accurate, I doubt I'd be getting any work - I'm expensive in comparison to the MGDC numbers and I haven't even updated my reel in 3 years. (not trying to brag or anything, sincerely baffled by these numbers).

 

Take the median MGDC freelance income of $60,000 for a Designer/Animator. Assuming these people are booked say... 15 days of each month:

 

15 x 12 = 180 working days each year

$60,000 / 180 days = $333/day median across the US (before they pay their taxes etc.)

 

Does that seem accurate to you guys? Sounds to me like it was skewed by small markets, when most of the designers (and work) are actually coming from the large markets, aren't they?

 

Side note: Only 33% of freelancers are getting contracts written up? Please tell me that's not accurate. (though it would explain the low pay - they aren't being paid for their work :D )

Edited by beau+++

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Does that seem accurate to you guys? Sounds to me like it was skewed by small markets, when most of the designers (and work) are actually coming from the large markets, aren't they?

 

I agree, more specific locations would be a great chunk of data to have for the next round, but just like with your situation, it would be really difficult to put a value on people that live in Winnipeg and get their work from NY or LA. Staffers and on-siters would be easier to nail down. At any rate, this is the best industry info motion designers have ever had to go on.

 

Edit: Another fact to remember is that this survey occurred deep in the middle of the recession. That could have had a big effect on the numbers.

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At any rate, this is the best industry info motion designers have ever had to go on.

 

It's true. I haven't ever read anything about salaries regarding motion graphics, so this is something of great value.

I thought for the results would generate more info outside of rates/salaries though. More along the lines of cliental and industry. for example,

how many people who consider themselves to work in the motion graphics field work for TV production vs. Commercial Production vs. Film.

Studios, Self-employed, creative departments in-house, etc...

 

I think if there was a next round of this survey, 1) it should be designed and developed to create it's own results from input (think glorified excel formulas). 2) certain aspects should be further highlighted to be more accurate: regional, industry, experience. But this census is a great start

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I don't think that this is the highly lucrative field everyone thinks it is. The median # for all the salaries is exactly that, the median. There are 50% of people making more, and 50% of people making less. And admittedly our scale was not great. The low end was <$20K and the high end was $200K – so everything above or below that is also getting cut off. Apologies for that.

 

Beaver is also right, though. These numbers were collected at the end of 2009, which was in the middle of the current recession. I'm not sure if salaries also went down during that time, but I know my income (as a freelance Designer / Animator) did very significantly.

 

I'd love to break things down by state / region / market for next time and that's a major region why the new survey is only 5 questions. You can also see the results via Google Docs once you've completed it. Take a minute to fill it out: http://motiongraphicdesigncensus.org/2011/01/2010-motion-graphic-design-census/

 

The more folks who do it, the more accurate it should be, so encourage your colleagues and friends to fill it out as well. And I swear I will not let it go for a year before publishing, this time!

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The results kind of scare me.

Considering both sides of the table were groping in the dark for numbers before, I feel this could lead to some agressive negotiations from clients.

Edited by Spence

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The results kind of scare me.

Considering both sides of the table were groping in the dark for numbers before, I feel this could lead to some agressive negotiations from clients.

 

No kidding. I appreciate all the effort that went into it, but either these numbers are wrong, or there are a lot of young, dumb kids out there charging half what they should be. Hell, judging by these numbers they aren't even all that young!

 

I'm used to getting low-balled by local clients (which is why I rarely do work for them). I fear information this accessible and grim will only lead to us all getting low-balled - even by the big clients. Stop undervaluing yourselves kiddies.

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If a client used this survey to try and pay me less than what I personally consider fair I would not want to work with that client. There will always be cheapskates in this industry, just stick to your guns.

 

I think it's a valiant effort, and the new survey is a step in the right direction. I'm making sure everyone I work with fills it out. Go Bran!

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Also, you may not like the survey results, but a little info is better than none at all. It's just the first step, and should be read with appropriate cynicism. Who knows, in a few years we could get results in the tens of thousands.

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If a client used this survey to try and pay me less than what I personally consider fair I would not want to work with that client. There will always be cheapskates in this industry, just stick to your guns.

 

Good point.

 

I think it's a valiant effort, and the new survey is a step in the right direction. I'm making sure everyone I work with fills it out. Go Bran!

 

Agreed. Thanks for doing it BrandJ - don't let my criticism deter you in the least. I'm not criticizing you or the idea of the survey, rather the few cheapos I feel skewed the results slightly. Still, awesome information to have, and I do appreciate your effort.

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Also, you may not like the survey results, but a little info is better than none at all. It's just the first step, and should be read with appropriate cynicism. Who knows, in a few years we could get results in the tens of thousands.

 

Yeah, by no means was I trashing the survey itself, we need things like this to keep the industry healthy.

I'm just a bit worried by the results of the survey.

 

And it is true, if some one did use the results of this survey to lowball me, I would tell them to fuck off. I'm just worried I'm going to have to tell more clients to fuck off than I used to.

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No kidding. I appreciate all the effort that went into it, but either these numbers are wrong, or there are a lot of young, dumb kids out there charging half what they should be. Hell, judging by these numbers they aren't even all that young!

 

I'm used to getting low-balled by local clients (which is why I rarely do work for them). I fear information this accessible and grim will only lead to us all getting low-balled - even by the big clients. Stop undervaluing yourselves kiddies.

 

Just playing devils advocate here, but you say in this very thread you get your work by lowballing.

 

I say everyone who charges more than me has a stick you know where, and everyone who charges less is a industry de-valuing hack. That's what I say.

 

Also, everyone who likes music too obscure for me is a hipster and those who like stuff I consider played out are lame, amirite?

 

hata's gon' hate, (low)balla's gon' (low)ball

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"Median" income has to be considered in context. What is the "median" of quality? When was the last time a client came to you and asked for "median" work? Clients want the best work. To get the best they have to pay the best.

 

Nobody should be worried about this survey driving rates down. Quality costs money. Are you competing based on cost or quality? If you are competing based on cost, then I'll bet even then that you would hope to someday grow be the guy/gal that clients call when they want quality no matter the cost.

 

The odds are that most designers will only do median work, and only make median pay. Thats what median (or at least average) means. Its the most common outcome. If anything, this survey should challenge designers to want to be better than median.

 

At the far end of the range I saw a lot of 200k+, and it should be encouraging to any motivated individual that those rates exist for the deserving designer/artist.

 

edit: typos. I'm so fried today.

Edited by monovich

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Just playing devils advocate here, but you say in this very thread you get your work by lowballing.

 

I say everyone who charges more than me has a stick you know where, and everyone who charges less is a industry de-valuing hack. That's what I say.

 

Also, everyone who likes music too obscure for me is a hipster and those who like stuff I consider played out are lame, amirite?

 

hata's gon' hate, (low)balla's gon' (low)ball

 

I'd be lowballing if I actually lived in NYC doing on-site work and charged a significant amount less than everyone else in order to stay busy all the time. I offer remote work, that's it. If a gig requires me to fly somewhere and work in-house, I'll be charging the same amount as the artists are getting in that city plus hotel room etc. If a client is willing to send work my way and let me do it from the comfort of my home, with relaxed deadlines and without breathing down my neck, I'll charge a slightly reduced rate. And I do mean "slightly". The amount we're talking about is minimal.

 

For the record (not that it's anyone's business, but whatever), I'd be among the higher percentiles in that census and I still took off a pretty significant amount of time last year. Didn't work much overtime either. Hardly the mark of a "lowballer".

 

EDIT: Full disclosure - I just went back and edited the post that made me sound like a lowballer. Looking back, I admittedly worded it pretty terribly.

Edited by beau+++

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Well apparently i'm freakin' killing it for a 23 yr old highschool dropout..

 

First page of the document gave me it's true value. 5536 total responses worldwide. 2605 in the USA. 2944 outside the USA. 13 people in our industry are working outside of Earth. What would their pay packet be? Are they high level producers? Maybe working for Mothership?

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Well apparently i'm freakin' killing it for a 23 yr old highschool dropout..

 

First page of the document gave me it's true value. 5536 total responses worldwide. 2605 in the USA. 2944 outside the USA. 13 people in our industry are working outside of Earth. What would their pay packet be? Are they high level producers? Maybe working for Mothership?

 

Oops. Fixed it on the survey. There were 5520 total responses: 2605 in the USA and 2915 outside the USA. Thanks for catching that. The pdf had been updated.

Edited by brandj

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Here is something else to consider. Sometimes companies don't know what to call your position. I get paid pretty well now but my job title is along the lines of "Promotions Editor". Before that I was labeled a Art Director at my old job in another state for lower pay. So here is my list of abilities and you tell me what the proper name I should be given.

 

-I do video editing

-designed packaging for broadcast shows and specials

-rebranding and logo redesign

-motion graphics and 3d

-Directed, shot, and produced commercials and image campaigns

-I have experience directing talent in commercial shoots

-Sound Design

-Web and interactive knowledge

-a million other misc. crap that comes with the territory

 

Programs-

Adobe Creative Suite

Lightwave 3d

Final Cut Pro

Cinema 4D

 

So if I do this on a regular basis what would you call me? I already filled the census but I was kind of stuck on what to pick when it came down to job title. I just picked Designer/Animator and listed my old income.

 

I guess I am trying to say is that there is a good bulk of jobs out there that don't have standard job titles. Sometimes the boss just make them up. So when the people that draw up budgets for the next year look at your title and think "that sounds important!" Catch my drift?

Edited by C-FU

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