LC #42 Pipers Alley

View Full Version : entry level base salary?

09-12-2006, 06:47 AM
Hey there i have an art test coming up for an entry level position in the industry and they wanted to know how much i expect to get paid an hour, for and entry level position what should i ask for?

09-12-2006, 07:34 AM
If it's your first job, you probably won't be doing the asking. But I do find it odd that they're asking you, maybe you have experience in other areas that's relevent?

But as we all know, the first job is all about getting the experience. :)

09-12-2006, 07:44 AM
Oh yeah,
it's not anything out of the ordinary for a place to ask how much you might expect/want to get payed.

but yeah, it sure is a tough question huh!
You don't want to ask for too much and not get the job,
and you don't want to ask too little and get shafted.

But honestly, my advise, err on the side of too little.
if it's your FIRST job, you're gonna need that foot in the door WAY more than you will
need any extra money you might get from bargaining.

I got $13 an hour at my first job,
then was hired on full time at 35k an hour.

this was like 5-6 years ago though, so I can't say exactly what you should expect.

09-12-2006, 09:07 AM
Surely you mean 35K a year not per hour?

09-12-2006, 09:21 AM
35K per hour pfft, i earn more than that sellin sausages on a bun

09-12-2006, 09:21 AM
if not tell me where you work, i'm in! :twisted:

09-12-2006, 11:59 AM
the local mafia harr !!!

09-12-2006, 12:30 PM
Look at other job listings and that should give you some idea of what to expect. It's not uncommon for a company to ask what kind of salary you expect, as obviously they want to hire people for as cheap as they can them, but they won't want to put the applicant off by shooting too low with their offer.

In the UK the starting salary for an artist is typically 16,000 - 20,000, but I doubt it works on a direct conversion for other countries because of tax/cost of living differences. Some artists in London get a slightly higher salary because rent in London is so expensive.

Outside of the UK your guess is as good as mine.

With contract artists it seems to be slightly different: There's the type of contract artists you'd hire alot of to bolster your staff without the financial responsibility of taking them on full time. Those people will work just like regular staff but get paid slightly less because they're being paid an hourly rate rather than a salary. Then there's freelancers, who are typically very talented artists who will get brought onto a project to deal with a specific issue, e.g. to give your concept art a boost. Those people typically work from home or from their own studio, and get paid more. Alot more.

09-12-2006, 01:43 PM
I think Tad is Bill Gates.. just a hunch:p
I read somewhere that at a time in his life, if Bill Gates dropped a hundred dollar bill, it would be a waste of time to bend over and pick it up. Sick stuff...

09-12-2006, 03:40 PM
Its going to depend on the position, but the starting base pay in southern California for an environment artist is 40,000-47,000k / year :). Another great resource is and their annual salary survey. Good place to start.

Best of luck on the art test!

09-12-2006, 05:00 PM
I'd have to agree with gamedev, asking for $20 an hour isn't unheard of. If you've got talent and they want you it's a good starting pay in the LA area, I'm not to sure about anywhere esle though.

09-12-2006, 06:01 PM
It really depends on where the company is located. Price of living.

09-12-2006, 06:14 PM
Hey, I'm about to graduate in the summer, whats an average salary for a character modeler/texture artist? I know this is very arbitrary but I was curious what you guys have heard. Say you are pretty skilled at your craft and have a strong portfolio, but no experience. What can I expect? Thanks for any input.

09-12-2006, 07:49 PM
Really about the same - character artist jobs are a little harder to get with out any experience. The salary rates really go up after you're 3rd year as you will no longer be an associate artist / junior artist. Game Developer magazine has it jumping from that 47k up to around 56k-60k or so I remember.

09-12-2006, 08:14 PM
Here's a good resource:

09-13-2006, 12:07 AM
I too agree with Gamedev, those would be real figures.

09-13-2006, 05:19 AM
I have a question. What about someone with around 1.5-2 years experience but that experience is now slightly dated and having a hard time finding work?? (that would be me.) ;)

Would it be prudent to take an entry level position once again just to get that foot back in the industry door but the salary range be a tad higher based on the quality of the portfolio?

09-13-2006, 05:24 AM
I'd say yes, get up to date on whats new and apply for some of those entry level jobs and ask for a bit more on the salary end.

09-13-2006, 07:28 AM
Just watch out for places that make you work for more than 4 months without paying then eventualy tell you you're not hired. There's a few companies my instructor warned my class about that do this.

Anyway, if you're hired full time and not internship, you should be making at least enough for a living. For example I'm in San Francisco... housing here is about 1-1.5k/mo, plus tax plus food plus all kinds of stuff, so if you can't make at least 35k/year you can't even live. :shrug:

09-13-2006, 04:18 PM
studios doing a bait and switch? If you're hired and not getting paid for 4 months what does that say about you for sticking around? Care to list any names?

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