Pixar Animator Salary

Before we go into the main topic: Pixar Animation salary, I would like to tour you through some historical background studies. in this same topic, we would also be discussing the following sub-topics: Pixar Animator Job Description, Is It Hard To Become An Animator For Pixar, Pixar Animator Salary Near New York (NY), Do Pixar Animators Get Paid Well. So Let’s jump into some background studies.

A Brief History Of Pixar Animation

Pixar Animation Studios motion-picture studio. Pixar was a wholly-owned subsidiary of Disney Company that was instrumental in developing and producing computer-animated films. Pixar’s feature-length films, which were consistently a commercial success worldwide, were recognized for their visual innovation and emotional and intelligent storytelling. Its headquarters is located in Emeryville, California.

Pixar was founded at NYIT in 1970. A group of computer scientists, including Ed Catmull, contributed to the new field of computer graphics. Lucasfilm Ltd. hired Catmull in 1979 to head its nascent division. Many of his NYIT colleagues also followed him. The division created the Pixar Image computer, which can render high-resolution color images in three dimensions to improve graphics technology. (The name Pixar was originally a fake-Spanish word that meant “to make pictures.” In 1984, Lucasfilm hired John Lasseter, who had previously worked at Disney as an animator, and took advantage of Disney’s technological advances to create short computer-animated movies.

In 1986, Lucas sought to streamline his company, and Apple cofounder Steve Jobs spun off the computer division. Jobs was then installed as the chairman of the board. Positions were initially responsible for the company’s marketing efforts for the Pixar image computer and developing high-tech graphics software. However, Pixar did not make a profit and sold its hardware operations in 1990. It also moved to Point Richmond from San Rafael in California that same year.

Lasseter’s short films were produced using the company’s cutting-edge software. They won an Academy Award in 1988 for Tin Toy. Pixar started making computer-animated TV commercials in 1989. Two years later, it signed an agreement with Disney to jointly produce, distribute, and develop three feature-length animated motion pictures.


Pixar spent the next few years reorganizing to accommodate its new creative focus. Toy Story was the first computer-animated feature movie and opened in theatres in 1995. It was a family-friendly film that humorously depicted toys’ private lives and actions. Lasseter received an Academy Award for exceptional achievement.

Jobs was the CEO of the company by 1995. Catmull was still a top-ranking executive. Pixar’s initial public stock offer was launched one week after Toy Story was released. After generating substantial revenue from the film and its merchandise, Pixar negotiated with Disney to extend their partnership in 1997. Pixar continued to be successful with popular movies like A Bug’s Life (1998) and Toy Story 2 (1999), Finding Nemo ((2003)) and The Incredibles (2004).

Jobs sold Pixar to a larger company in 2006 as the Disney contract was nearing its end. Catmull was elected president of Walt Disney Animation Studios and Pixar Animation Studios. Lasseter became the chief creative officer for the studios. After being accused of sexual misconduct, he resigned in 2018. WALLE (2008), Brave (2012). Monsters University (2013), a sequel to Monsters, Inc. (2001); Inside Out (2015). Finding Dory (2016), which is a sequel and Finding Nemo; Coco (2018); Incredibles 2 (2018), Finding Dory; Coco (2017); Coco (2022), a spinoff from the Toy Story series; Toy Story 4(2019); Soul (2020); Lightyear (2022). Pixar produced the Academy Award for best-animated feature movie in the first ten years of its awarding (which began in 2002) and won eight nominations. Toy Story 3 (2010) and Up (2009) received Oscar nominations. This is a rare honor for animated films.

How To Become A Pixar Animator

Andrew Gordon, a Pixar veteran, reveals how to get your foot in Pixar’s door.

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Pixar is a place where animators can find their true calling. Pixar grew from humble beginnings in 1986 to become a global animation company. The main reason is the people who work there. Pixar employs only the best, and it can be challenging to get in. But it’s not just about talent. Understanding how the company operates and your best route is crucial. We’re here for you.

After 20 years as Pixar’s animation director, Andrew Gordon had a lot to say about how to land a job at the studio. Here is what he had to say about Pixar’s internship system, portfolios (check these top design portfolios for inspiration), and why it’s essential to offer to clean the bathrooms.

How do you get into the industry?

“Do not have any blinders that say, ‘I just wanted to work at Pixar.’ Get as much experience as possible, wherever you can, and do your best job. You will have to do less-than-great jobs to get the job you want.

Internships can be great if you’re lucky enough to get one. I would say, “Look, I’ll pack the box or clean the toilets,” but let me use this machine that no one else can access. You couldn’t access the software back then, but that’s no longer an issue. It’s more about getting an internship with someone you respect. When choosing internships, you need to look at people and places and ask yourself, “How can I learn?” It’s not just about being able to get your foot in the door. You also need to have a positive attitude and not feel too comfortable.

“I’ve led Pixar internships three times. The danger for interns coming into Pixar is that it is a very comfortable job. They have a great gym, excellent education, and it’s very pleasing. But, unfortunately, sometimes it becomes a little too comfortable for new guys, and that’s where I see the danger. Of course, they shouldn’t be having fun, but it’s important to remember that you should put your effort into your shot and not play basketball for two hours.

For new animators, it’s about getting experience. If you need to gain experience, set yourself goals and assign work. Then, you can sign up for a class and do work. This will give you feedback and help you grow and improve. There are many options to do this now. The internet has opened up new worlds.

How does Pixar select interns?

“The applications are filtered to find the best people, and then it goes through a continuous review process. First, the entire team sits in a room and puts all the reels in an orderly circle. They then review them until they reach their final choice.

“Sometimes it’s down to a wildcard. You know, “That person is crazy, but we’re going for it.” Then there are the gifted people and those with potential. But, unfortunately, no one reel will guarantee you a job.

“Ultimately, it all comes down to having a good idea. Good sensibilities. It’s about more than having a perfect walk cycle. It boils down to the thoughts and the acting ideas.

Pixar Animator Job Description


  • The Director will show each sequence in its new layout and explain what to expect for every shot during a “blocking meeting.”
  • Plan a shot and listen to the soundtrack
  • Block in motions in rough animation, and show for Director’s approval during a daily review
  • Complete work in time for Director approval
  • Attend animation dailies.
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  • A degree or certificate in classic animation, film, or a related field or equivalent production animation experience
  • Demonstrated knowledge of the principles of animation to tell a story that is meaningful through movement
  • Proven storytelling skills.
  • Solid understanding of traditional animation principles
  • A background in art that demonstrates a deep understanding of form, weight, balance, and physical motion.
  • The ability to work together
  • Experience with computer animation preferred but not necessary
  • You must be open to change and willing to take direction.
  • The ability to act brings characters to life and clearly communicates simple ideas that an audience can relate to.

Pixar Animator Salary

The average annual salary for Pixar Animation Studios employees in the United States is $65,086.
If you are looking for a simple calculator to calculate your salary, it works out to $31.29 per hour. This equals $1,251/week or $5,423/month.

modennews.com has reported annual salaries of as high as $152,500 and as low as $20,500. However, most Pixar Animation Studios’ wages range from $35,500 (25th percentile) to $83,500 (7th percentile), with the highest earners (90th%) making $115,000. Pixar Animation Studios’ average salary range is $48,000. This suggests many opportunities to advance and receive higher pay depending on your skill level, experience, and location.

According to modennews.com‘s most recent job postings, the Pixar animation Studios job market in Lagos, NG, and across the state could be more active. This is because only some companies are hiring. Your Pixar Animation Studios salary is $613 per year (6% more than the $65,086 national average). Pixar Animation Studios’ salaries are ranked number 1 in 50 states.
modennews.com continually scans its database to determine the best annual salary range for Pixar Animation Studios positions. As a result, it has millions of jobs available in America.

Pixar Animator Salary Near New York (NY)

The average annual salary for New York City’s Animator job category is $54,896 per year. If you don’t have a salary calculator, it works out to approximately $26.39 per hour. This works out to $1,055/week/$4,574/month.

modennews.com has seen salaries as high as $102,210 and as low as $12,025, but the majority of wages in the Animator job category range from $40,446 (25th%) to $75,973 (775th%), with the highest earners (90th%) making $88,545 per year in New York City.
The average salary range for an animator job is as high as $35,527). This suggests many opportunities to advance and receive higher pay depending on your skill level, experience, and location.

Pixar Animator Salary Near New Jersey

The average salary for a 3D animator in New Jersey is $69157 annually. If you don’t have a salary calculator, it works out to $33.25 per hour. This equals $1,329 per week or $5,763/per month.
modennews.com has seen salaries as high as $137,956 but as low as $10612. However, the majority of 3D animator salaries range from $48,236 (25th%) to $103,707 (775th%), with the highest earners (90th%) making $115,767 per year in New Jersey.
The average salary range for a 3D animator is $55,471, which indicates that there are many opportunities to advance and receive higher pay based on years of experience, skill level, and location.
According to modennews.com’s most recent activity, there are few 3D animator job openings in New Jersey.
New Jersey is ranked 28th out of 50 States for 3D animator salaries.
modennews.com continually scans its database to determine the best annual salary range for 3D animator jobs. As a result, it has millions of jobs available throughout America.

Do Pixar Animators Get Paid Well?

Yes, Pixar Animators receive good pay. The breakdown is below;

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Pixar Animation Studios averages $83,323, or $40.06 per hour, in the United States. They pay the lowest 10 percent of earners more than the highest 10 percent. Pixar Animation Studios pays less than $43,000 per year to its lowest-paid employees, while its highest-paid workers make over $160,000.

Their salary can also be affected by their field of work. Pixar Animation Studios’ highest-paying functions are engineering and IT.

They pay an average of $141,035 per annum, while it pays an average of $100,972. The highest salaries at Pixar Animation Studios are earned by those who live in Seattle, WA, Emeryville, CA, and Newark, DE. Yes, Pixar ANimators receive good pay. The breakdown is below.

Is It Hard To Become An Animator For Pixar?

It is straightforward and easy:

  1. Learn Maya
  2. Create a compelling portfolio
  3. Send your resume and portfolio along with your application.

While you must be familiar with all sections of Maya (modeling animation, surfacing simulation, rendering, and MEL), your focus should be on the area most relevant to your job. Large animated productions divide animation work into specialties, including those with entry-level positions: modeling, surfacing, animation, lighting/compositing/rendering. For example, you can get an entry-level position in VFX and rigging if you are exceptionally skilled with these skills. However, acquiring the necessary skills is much more difficult because there is so much to learn.

I recommend copying other works and focusing on elements specific to your chosen specialty to build a portfolio. Make sure your copies look precisely like the original. This is a great way of learning. This gives you an excellent insight into the creation of a scene.

No one will notice if your portfolio contains copyright-infringing work, so long as it doesn’t pretend that you did the job commercially. If you don’t have any professional/commercial work for your portfolio (which, as a new artist, you won’t), using Disney content to apply to Disney IMO increases your chances of getting hired by Disney.

It should look professional and show Disney you are ready to work professionally with their content. For example, an animation job might require drawing two characters from a conversation in a different film. For modeling, you might reimagine characters from a live-action Disney series as 3D characters.


If the process is still the same, Fridays will see a massive meeting at which all applicants’ portfolios will be displayed. This is the first thing a department head will see. If the portfolio grabs their attention, they will then skim your resume. Finally, you will be called for an interview if nothing is mainly negative.

Do Disney Animators Get Paid Well?

Full-time employees at Disney have competitive salaries. Some internships pay well. Glassdoor.com has listed the following average salaries for various positions within the company: Animator: $116,000-125,000CG Animation: $83,000-$89,000.

Pixar animators in the US make $254,486 to $679.997, with a median income of $122,186. The median salary for Pixar Animators is $122,191 to $307,953, while the top 86% earn $679,997.

Lastly, ensure you visit the Moden News homepage and also check out our Salary category, for more essential salary information.

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