Artists Salary and Satisfaction Data 2020

Artists Salary and Satisfaction Data 2020

Following on from this year’s salary and satisfaction survey, we wanted to take a deeper look into artists. Here you’ll find salary averages across things such as company size, art discipline, and location, along with breakdowns of flexible working, benefits and priorities.

I’ll leave some comments throughout but mostly I’d just like the data to do the talking! My little thought clouds ☁️ will show you interesting points or explanations that I think are needed or found worth pointing out but otherwise it’s all for you to do with as you wish.

Saying this, as always, if you have any questions or would like me to look any further into a subset of the results (sample size allowing!) then please feel free to email on and I will be more than happy to help out!

☁️ All figures across this document have been change to GBP by the HMRC exchange rate in Jan 2020

Average Artist salary by seniority

Average Mid-Level Artist Salary in the UK, broken down by Discipline

Average Mid-Level Artist Salary in Western Europe, broken down by Discipline

Average Salary of Character Artists by Seniority

Average Salary of Mid-Level Character Artists by Location

Average Salary of Technical Artists by Seniority

Average Salary of Senior Technical Artists by Location

☁️ We only have enough spread to do this breakdown for Character and Technical Artists as using any smaller sample sizes would give, I believe, incorrect information. I can provide averages and ranges if you’d like, but didn’t want these in the full report to avoid any confusion. Also if you'd like to make these sections better then we'd appreciate any help to spread the word in the other areas of art for next year’s survey!

Average Salary by seniority and company size

☁️ So salaries go up the bigger the company size, at least once you get over 10 people. I’m not sure you’ll be surprised by that information. So why am I using a thought cloud here? Well maybe comparing this to a chart about plans to leave further down will make more sense….**

Average Mid-Level and Senior Salaries by Engine Experience (Have implemented professionally)

☁️ While mid level salaries stayed around the £30k mark over experiences (+-/-3k) the senior salaries show that having experience with any In House engine, whether currently or previously is the biggest factor in getting a higher salary.

Average Salary by 3D Software Experience (Professionally)

Average Salary by Substance Suite Experience (Professionally)

Benefits Wanted v Received

☁️ This one may look a little confusing, but I think this is the best way to show the difference between what’s wanted and what’s given. Something like annual events and office games being down the list of desired benefits of course doesn’t mean they should be gotten rid of, maybe just because they’re so standard nowadays it’s not a focus for people.
The main bits I want to highlight though is the 4 biggest minus numbers there: Funded certifications/qualification, extra holiday, share options and conference budgets. These are all things that people at least in reasonable numbers are looking to get, but aren’t something on offer.

Average percentage of time worked remotely, by company size

Percentage of people that have flexible working, by company size

Percentage of people not looking to change jobs in 2020, by company size

☁️** this is what I was eluding to earlier. While salaries go up with company size, the percentage of people planning to stay put for the year is the same as mid sized companies, and not hugely above the rest! So the numbers do seem to show that, while I’m sure it helps, money doesn’t keep artists staying put.

Percentage of people who will or may be job hunting, by company size

☁️ This is a further breakdown of the people that will or may be job hunting this year, which shows quite how many people across the board are, or will be planning to move this year! This data was collected before the recent events with Coronavirus though so I think it’ll be particularly interesting to see the numbers on next year’s survey and if this has changed at all!

Percentage of people who will or may be job hunting, by time at current company

☁️ This is to show a different breakdown to the one above, as I think the one about company size raises questions about how long people have been there already. So this one shows the spread of people looking to move jobs this year, but by how long they’ve been at their current company. Below I’ve also included only the ‘yes’ responses and shown the breakdown of both company size and time at that company. It is interesting as it shows that the number can vary wildly depending on the subsections in these bits of data. If you’d like more info on this, or a deeper look in this way to any other bits of information then do let me know! I just didn’t want to overload this blog with too much 😊

Percentage of people that will be actively job hunting this year, by company size and years at current company

Breakdown of whether people had a job offer in the last 12 months, and what action they took

Percentage of Artists that turned down a job offer in 2019 for this reason

☁️ The key thing I think from this last chart is that only 6% of people who turned down job offers in 2019, did so because of an action taken by their current company. Something to keep in mind when thinking about staff retention at your own company, the actions need to be done long before it gets to them having other job offers to be most effective!

That’s all from me and this data breakdown for Artists in the games industry. If you'd like to look at the other areas you can see more in the write up of other locations and disciples otherwise if you have any questions or comments then you can tag Skillsearch on social, get involved with the conversation using the hashtag #SkillsearchSurvey2020 or email me on

I hope this has been helpful and of course, if you’re an artist looking for a new challenge or a studio looking to hire then you’re in the right place! We’ve got a dedicated art team just waiting to help out. You can send your CV to us here or tell us about a job you need help with here.

Catrin Jones

Operations Manager

Catrin is a jack of all trades at Skillsearch, but she's master of them all too! The unflappable, enthusiastic face that will be your go-to for any questions - that's for contractors, clients and us in the office as well. She's always ready and willing to help and we haven't yet found a problem that she can't solve. She does have an Achilles heel though as she hasn’t yet worked out how to whistle, which would really come in handy when it comes to her new fur baby – Evie the Cockapoo! 

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