Here are the Average Anime Industry Salaries from the Past Year

The anime industry can be a brutal one. Production budgets are depressingly low and the work hours are brutal. And now, we can take a peek at what the average pay is for various anime studio roles.

The Japanese Animation Creators Association published the results of a survey they conducted in 2015. Keep in mind that only 750 people participated in the anonymous survey.

Shirobako

Series Director


Average age: 42 years old

Average monthly salary: 540,833 yen ($5,036)

Average yearly salary: 6,490,00 yen ($60,437)

Chief Animation Director


Average age: 43 years old

Average monthly salary: 470,000 yen ($4,378)

Average yearly salary: 5,640,000 yen ($52,521)

Producer


Average age: 39 years old

Average monthly salary: 425,000 yen ($3,958)

Average yearly salary: 5,420,000 yen ($50,471)

Character Designer


Average age: 38 years old

Average monthly salary: 425,000 yen (3,958)

Average yearly salary: 5,100,000 yen ($47,491)

Animation Director


Average age: 38 years old

Average monthly salary: 327,500 yen ($3,045)

Average yearly salary: 3,930,000 yen ($36,602)

Miscellaneous Task


Average age: 38

Average monthly salary: 324,167 yen ($3,026)

Average yearly salary: 3,890,000 yen ($36,317)

3DCG Animator


Average age: 34 years old

Average monthly salary: 320,000 yen ($2,980)

Average yearly salary: 3,840,000 yen ($35,764)

Episode Director


Average age: 41 years old

Average monthly salary: 316,667 yen ($2,949)

Average yearly salary: 3,800,000 yen ($35,391)

Shirobako

Storyboarder


Average age: 49 years old

Average monthly salary: 310,000 yen ($2,887)

Average yearly salary: 3,720,000 yen ($34,647)

Background Artist


Average age: 35 years old

Average monthly salary: 285,000 yen ($2,655)

Average yearly salary: 3,420,000 yen ($31,864)

Color Designer


Average age: 38 years old

Average monthly salary: 278,333 yen ($2,593)

Average yearly salary: 3,340,000 yen ($31,120)

Cinematographer


Average age: 34 years old

Average monthly salary: 265,833 yen ($2,479)

Average yearly salary: 3,190,000 yen ($29,723)

Production Assistant


Average age: 30

Average monthly salary: 257,000 yen ($2,394)

Average yearly salary: 3,090,000 yen ($28,788)

Key Animator


Average age: 36 years old

Average monthly salary: 235,000 yen ($2,189)

Average yearly salary: 2,820,000 yen ($26,271)

Inbetween Checker


Average age: 35 years old

Average monthly salary: 217,500 yen ($2,026)

Average yearly salary: 2,610,000 yen ($24,314)

Layout Artist / Rough Keyart


Average age: 38 years old

Average monthly salary: 195,000 yen ($1,817)

Average yearly salary: 2,340,000 yen ($21,800)

Painter


Average age: 26 years old

Average monthly salary: 162,000 yen ($1,509)

Average yearly salary: 1,950,000 yen ($18,167)

2nd Key Animation / Clean-up


Average age: 27 years old

Average monthly salary: 93,333 yen ($870)

Average yearly salary: 1,120,000 yen ($10,434)

Inbetweener


Average age: 24 years old

Average monthly salary: 92,500 yen ($862)

Average yearly salary: 1,110,000 yen ($10,340)

Shirobako

The top positions, like Series Director, make a fairly respectible salary. Even a position like 3DCG Artist makes an okay salary. But the further down the ladder you go, the less money you’ll make

In fact, Clean-Up and Inbetweeners make less than the Japanese minimum wage, which is at 1,886,000 million yen ($17,569).

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Aaron Magulick
Aaron Magulick has been a fan of anime ever since being exposed to it in the late '90s. A fan of nearly all genres, he is not afraid to explore the creepier side of the industry.
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