Starting Salary


Hi all.
I’ve been essentially an intern at this company for a little over 6 months now. I started doing rigging and then after my first initial internship (3mo) ended they moved me over to the more tech arty department.
They’ve recently told me that they want to hire me! Yay! This will be my first full time position ever. Because of this, I’ve never had to do a negotiation before and I’m a little nervous.
We are having the ‘talk’ this week. What should I be asking for in terms of salary?

For some background:
I graduated with a BFA in 2017 and this is my first real position outside of a tiny rigging contract I did on a VR title. I’m in Seattle, currently getting $25/h (which was a huge step up from my minimum wage job I had prior to this). The company is about 70 people and we are launching our first big title early next year.
I feel well loved here. They are letting me pick which team I join (my goal is to end up back in rigging but I also like making art tools in Unreal).

Thanks for any input!



Listen, salary talks are always weird. Especially when discussing them with your peers. But ignoring all of that, you just want to make sure your basic needs are met with how you are living. Once that is covered you want to ensure that every time you take on new responsibilities, roles, there is a compensation increase to go along with it.

Even if you get ‘hired’ to do the same thing you were doing as an intern, you should request more compensation because you no longer bare the title “intern”. The delicate balance comes with never requesting so much more that you are being difficult or unrealistic, and that changes from studio to studio.

But to put it in real numbers, such as you provided, if I were getting paid 25/h as an intern and then got hired. I would probably request over 30+/h so that they could then counter with 30/h on the mark.

These are rough estimates because I am not aware of the responsibilities you hold at your studio and if such exceeds the compensation being offered.