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How Much Does a Motion Designer Earn?

July 29, 2021

If you’re going to get involved with motion design, it’s good to have an idea of how much you’re going to make. Learn the average motion designer salary, as well as options for freelancer motion designers, and you’re going to be pleasantly surprised. 

Googling “motion graphics designer jobs” will quickly show you there are opportunities everywhere for motion designers. Freelance, full-time, and everything in-between. This is good news for you!

There are an overwhelming number of openings for junior motion graphics designers and senior motion graphics designers, and fresh offers only keep coming!

This is no surprise since a talented motion graphics artist can take a company’s brand image to a whole new level and help increase it’s memorability and recognizability. 

What is the Average Salary of a Motion Graphics Designer?

As you can probably guess, companies are willing to pay generously for unique, high-quality motion design. The average salary of a motion graphics designer in the United States is approximately $65k per year. The actual amount of money you can earn as a motion designer could be far less or far more than that… it depends on several factors.

In the United States, the estimated total pay for a Motion Graphics Designer is $92,180 per year, with the salary portion being approximately $66k of that, and additional income (cash bonuses or commissions accounting for the rest. Those are strong figures and show the potential of what an enterprising motion designer can earn.

And these numbers are for Junior After Effects Motion Designer roles. If we were looking at Senior Motion Designers, the numbers would be much higher.

Freelancer Motion Designer Rates

Salaries are very different for freelancers and full-time employees. Generally speaking, freelancers tend to have a higher hourly rate, but they don’t get any of the employment benefits and don’t have a guaranteed stable income. However, they are entirely free to turn down the gigs they are not particularly interested in and only work on the projects they find exciting.

The average yearly salary of a freelance Motion Graphics Designer in the US is almost $70K according to ZipRecruiter. When you’re freelancing, you can undertake as many projects as you wish and control your workload and deadlines. 

The biggest challenge of flying solo is being active and making sure you always have commissions to work on. Luckily, in the past couple of years, the number of remote opportunities for freelancers has skyrocketed, so you can easily find plenty of incredible offers online.

Possibilities for motion graphics designers are truly endless, and they are not limited to the entertainment and IT industries – nearly any company from any professional field might need a good motion graphics artist. 

From small animations for corporate websites to product demos and brand presentations, the variety of creative tasks motion graphics designers fulfill is enormous. Because customers usually find the things they need via web searches, every business is working on building a solid online presence, and this inevitably calls for high-quality motion design.

According to Wyzowl’s latest report, the number of businesses that rely on videos as a marketing tool has increased from 61% to 86% since 2016. And this is not likely to decrease anytime soon – if you browse jobs for motion graphics designers on websites like Indeed or Glassdoor, you will find over a thousand offers in the US alone. On Upwork, you will likely see more than 500 open projects for freelance motion graphics designers.

Motion Designers Earning from NFTs

Recently, huge opportunities have emerged on the market, such as NFTs and the Metaverse. 

You’ve probably heard about all these artists who make millions of dollars. One of them is Mike Winkelmann. His life changed on March 11, 2021 when he sold his NFT piece “Everydays: The First 5000 Days,” $69.3 million under the name Beeple.

This jettisoned NFTs into mainstream consciousness, and analysts now estimate that $25 billion of NFTs were traded in 2021.


Another great example is the famous NFT motion artist DeeKay Motion, who is working in After Effects using the Deekay tool made especially for him at Motion Design School, he recently broke his previously recorded all-time high for a 1/1 sale. This means that it is
no longer a vector and exists as a video format like AVI, MP4, MOV, or GIF. Instead, it is a vector-only inside After Effects.

His piece “Life and Death” was collected by @cozmomedici for 310 ETH or $1M. After the sale, DeeKay and Cozomo both crafted Twitter threads to describe their emotions throughout the process. 

Invisible Friends, an NFT collection of 5,000 animated invisible characters, was created by Swedish artist Markus Magnusson, the project was incubated by the Random Character Collective (RCC), whose previous NFT drops include SlimHoods and MoodRollers. You can learn to make similar characters to those of Markus Magnusson in the Science of Character Animation and Magic of Walkcycles. Here’s a great example of student’s learning from this collection.

Additionally, the creator of SlimHoods, James Currant, offers an Animated Loops course where you can learn how he makes his characters. The same as Lucas Zanotto teach you how to make MoodRollers at his Get into 3D with Lucas Zanotto.

All these guys share their knowledge at Motion Design School.

What is Motion Design School?

The Massive Potential of Motion Design Goes Past Just the Salary

So motion design became the main aspect of the crypto world. Especially when it comes to Metaverse. The Metaverse is an open world economy and digital universe that may be the next step in the evolution of the Internet. If it is the future, it is going to transform commerce and culture everywhere. That’s why it’s projected to be worth trillions of dollars and why Facebook has decided to pivot towards it.

So in both cases, you have a great future for motion designers, no matter whether you become an independent artist selling your art or helping to build the Metaverse for other businesses. So speaking about motion design skills, you need to think about 3D because it’s the main aspect of Metaverse worlds.

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