Salary Survey - Technical Artists

Is it just me or is there a complete lack of a Technical Artist field in the salary surveys? I have been looking for the past month and I can’t seem to find any surveys that include a technical art section.

  • Do we need to composite figures from programming and art?
  • Are Technical Artist not seen as a separate field?

I’ve checked IGDA, gameCareerGuide.com, animationArena.com and some local ones, BigKid and GDAA.com.au.

If anyone knows of any other sites/sources that would be great. Maybe we should conduct our own survey? Sorted by location?

-Butters

5 dollars and a pack of cigarettes

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payday is a dirty napkin with a hand-drawn map to the dumpster out back.

-R

First rule about Fight Club…
But it’s hard to talk salary anyway if posting isn’t anonymous.

Google turns up some more data,


http://www.indeed.com/salary?q1=game+technical+artist&l1=
Looks like the lower end to me, but I’m at the Lead end.

There’s an interesting source for the UK here :
http://www.itjobswatch.co.uk/jobs/uk/technical%20artist.do

Personally I find the offers ridiculously too high these days (like £35k up to £45k, which is about $70k or something).

It looks like recruiters wants to catch only top of the top senior guys and they hesitate too much to hire younger fresh talents : £25k ($40k) is far enough for a good decent all rounder : I mean a bit of rigging/Maxscript/Mel + Python or Lua scripting with some HLSL knowledge on top of that.

Tech Artist salaries vary considerably, quite a lot more than the other key roles in games dev. The other thread is spot on by exploring what defines a TA across various studios as the different ways those studios see this role is the reason for the difference in salaries.

I can give you figures for a Tools Programmer or Artist with X years experience but without a job spec I couldn’t accurately do the same for a TA. I don’t see this changing in the near future.

The demand for TAs is increasing and this is impacting on salaries to an extent. Medium to long term, Technical Artist/Animator is a good title to have and path to be walking down.

Regarding sebddd’s comment, while recruiters are more inclined to work on the higher salary roles, studios are also more reluctant to request that we find less experienced people since they can usually source those themselves. The salaries quoted through that link are on the high side but on the right lines. A Tech Art Director in London is probably earning between £45-£65k depending on studio and again, the nature of the role. A Tech Artist is anywhere from £20k up to that figure of £45k.

Part of the huge salary range is because we don’t see the same consistency with defined steps through a TA’s career in terms of titles i.e. Associate TA, Senior TA, Lead TA etc. Someone can be a TA from graduation until they take a Director role 20 years down the line and never change job title.

It goes without saying, but the way to make yourself more valuable is to emphasise the Technical in TA. Assuming you have the God given gift of artistic flair, more languages/packages = more money.

Sure it’s good news that the demand for technical artist is staying strong and salary is reflecting more and more how they become well recognized and wanted by the industry.

The reason why I wrote this above is because I used to work in a very small team and I’m sure this case must not be rare.

When you hear really good pure talented artists demands, and when you’ve got on the other side programers telling you as friendly as they can “nah, sorry, too busy here, come back later” : it kind of triggers feelings of : “dude : we really need more people on this”

Maybe on day we’ll see an evolution (starting in big studios) where the Game Producer, Lead or Manager will actually consider building a “Graphics Technical Support Department” : some sort of hybrid place where you’d have a bunch of very special people (coders and technical artists really close together) as a strong team that would in fact handle the load of all what we’re talking about on this website.

(see for example here : http://tech-artists.org/forum/showthread.php?t=41)

[QUOTE=sebddd;1871]Maybe on day we’ll see an evolution (starting in big studios) where the Game Producer, Lead or Manager will actually consider building a “Graphics Technical Support Department” : some sort of hybrid place where you’d have a bunch of very special people (coders and technical artists really close together) as a strong team that would in fact handle the load of all what we’re talking about on this website.
[/QUOTE]

Not to derail the thread, but it seems like that future is here now. This how things work at Bungie for the most part. TA is very closely linked to both framework tools and engine development. The grossly oversimplified example is engine dev requests a data set from DCC, framework tools exposes the .NET methods to acquire and manage the data, TA hooks that up to DCC (maya or max).

That’s how things were set up at EA too, we had a central rendering group that handled all pipeline and graphics issues which had a team with tech artists and graphics programmers. We were the go-to people for anything weird going on in the game, and then we tracked it down to the proper department.

hi,
Sure it’s good news that the demand for technical artist is staying strong and salary is reflecting more and more how they become well recognized and wanted by the industry.:nod:

www.staffingpower.com

I was recently promoted to Lead Tech Artist (w00t!). I dug around a little, found some more numbers…
Senior Technical Art Director salaries
Senior Technical Artist salaries

congrats eric,

I had some nice news myself recently - too soon to talk though! :slight_smile:

Interesting reading about the numbers though. Gives me something to shoot for!

hi,
It looks like recruiters wants to catch only top of the top senior guys and they hesitate too much to hire younger fresh talents : £25k ($40k) is far enough for a good decent all rounder : I mean a bit of rigging/Maxscript/Mel + Python or Lua scripting with some HLSL knowledge on top of that.

www.sentersoftech.com

Bumping/Necroposting this one to make people aware of a salary document that I created.

I initially made this one to help myself and my colleagues argue for a better pay. It shows US salaries but also has a conversion to Swedish salaries. The doc can be easily adapted to your own country and currency.

What I did was basically this:

  1. Get numbers on TA salaries from Glassdoor.com (almost all of them are US salaries)
  2. Check OECD income numbers. Example: Swedish salaries are 70% of US salaries. Spanish salaries are even lower.
  3. Use the OECD income ratio and multiply it with the US salary.
  4. Apply a value to the USD based on a currency pair. In my document I value the USD against the SEK. You get roughly 9.63 SEK for 1 USD.
  5. Calculate annual and monthly salary in the local currency.

The document has two sheets:
-One with TA salaries only
-One that compares TA salaries to other game dev disciplines, such as 3D Artists and Game Developers.

The reason for the latter one is to setup reference points.
Do you know the salaries of your developer and artist colleagues? Good, then you can estimate what you “should” earn.

Last but not least:
I added a menu dropdown so that you can adjust the value of the USD in comparison to your own currency. Setting this value to for example, 0.95 means you are calculating the local salary for a scenario where the USD would drop 5% against your currency.

The document (anyone with the link can View):