Average Salary: $61,370
Expected Lifetime Earnings: $2,562,000
To rake in the big bucks as a computer animator, your best bet is to land a gig in California, New York, Washington, Texas, or Illinois. The median salary is around $61,000 per year, but make sure to check out the Golden State, which has the highest salaries at closer to $85,000 on average (source).
As a computer animator, you could hit the jackpot if you land a job working for a company that's on a winning streak. Think Pixar, Industrial Light and Magic, or any series of blockbuster movies that require lots of animation.
And maybe, just maybe, you happen to be the animator who came up with the design for Buzz Lightyear, or Elsa (there's nothing wrong with dreaming big). Then, only the CGI sky above you would be the limit to the money that could come rolling in. And if you're the one who creates that CGI sky...then say goodbye to those limits.
Okay, but don't let your imagination run wild—even if that's usually your job. You don't have much of a shot at the salary of, say, an oil tycoon, but here's another perk to consider: over half of computer animators are self-employed. You'd get to doodle all day and you won't have a boss looking over your shoulder? Sounds pretty good to us.