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How Much Do Riggers Make

By David Krug 4 minute read

The typical income for a character rigger is greater than the national average since they are responsible for the actual bones and anatomy of animated characters and how they interact with virtual platforms.

When it comes to the creation of animated characters and other media, riggers play a critical part in the production process. Renderers, on the other hand, get paid more than other animators, but they’ll need a specialized set of talents as well as a sharp eye for anatomy to succeed.

What Is The Role of a Character Rigger in Animation?

A profession in audio and visual development should be considered before pursuing a job as a character animator or rigger. A study of a field’s median wage would not make much sense unless you were already familiar with your function in that area.

When it comes to success in the workplace, individuals who like what they do and their overall position are the most successful. Before the typical earnings for character riggers are released, it’s important to learn about the job.

The skeleton of an animated figure is built by a team of designers known as character riggers, who work in the video game and animation industries. In terms of a character’s construction, the rigger is in charge of how the bones deform and interact with the virtual world in which it is situated.

The animator who brings the character to life will have a much simpler time if the rigging design is correct. Because of this, riggers seldom work alone on games, preferring instead to collaborate with animators and other members of the design team.

How Much Does an Animation and Game Designer Make?

With the necessary certificates and degrees, professionals can pursue a variety of titles in multimedia art and animation. Knowing all of the median wages in the field is a good starting point for learning about the median salary for character rigging in multimedia. Before restricting the research to incredibly specific subjects like character rigging, any knowledgeable potential rigger should look at all of the choices.

Media animation artists and game designers can earn a good living in the United States if they work for the appropriate business in the proper environment. Animation and multimedia artists make an average of $72,520 per year or $34.87 per hour with a bachelor’s degree, according to data published in the Occupational Outlook Handbook.

Salary Trends by Industry

The majority of animators work in game design or software design, however not all animators and character riggers specialize in one field. Average earnings for artists specialized in design on a virtual platform vary greatly depending on the sector.
Top industries have more earning potential than the industry average.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, experts working in software publishing earn the highest average pay of $82,360 per year in multimedia animation. This is much greater than the average annual salary for artists in advertising or public relations agencies, which is roughly $67,330. Motion picture studios and computer design firms earn between the highest and lowest wages listed above.

How Does the National Average Compare?

However, this does not take into account how much the typical American makes, independent of occupation or title, which is $67,000 per year for animators and $82,000 per year for multimedia designers like character riggers.

The average salary recorded for animators is relatively high, at $38,640, according to national data published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The median salary for animators is positive, but they generally have to put in the time and money to get a degree or qualification.

Is it true that character riggers earn more than the average animator?

After finishing a certificate program or a four-year degree program, a character rigger’s salary will depend on where they continue their profession and their previous animation expertise.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics does not provide specific information on the wages of character riggers; nevertheless, there are reports on several platforms that quantify the average earnings that riggers seeking employment have reported earning.

Depending on their geographic area, new graduates of certificate programs in character rigging will receive the lowest incomes stated. According to the median pay estimate on, a beginner-level character rigger who has completed an unpaid internship and has very little paid professional experience on their resume would make $49,000 per year, with the potential to earn $107,000 per year as they gain expertise.

Los Angeles and Atlanta have the highest reported salaries, although other factors, such as experience and location, significantly affect the average wage.

Is Character Rigging the Best Field to Work In?

Some rigging schools, such as DePaul University, LA Film School and School of Motion have a reputation for producing more successful graduates, but prospective students should look at the overall job outlook in the industry to see if a career in rigging is even an option for someone with little or no work experience.

Because rigging is so tough to enter into, you’ll need to be prepared to put in a lot of time and effort to establish your portfolio. Character riggers, like artists, must be able to demonstrate their skills by displaying their previous work.

Having a strong portfolio is essential in this industry because the Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts just an 8% growth rate for animators and other multimedia arts workers. Figure out whether or not the median salary provided are adequate to construct some of the most iconic cartoon characters’ bones in virtual reality.

David Krug