Motion Graphic Design Census Results

When we invited people to take part in the first ever Motion Graphic Design Census last year (okay, technically it was in 2009), we were prepared for everything. Everything except for the bit about crunching all the numbers afterward.

At long last, the work is done and the results are ready to share. Massive kudos to Bran Dougherty-Johnson for compiling all the data and putting together this report.

The Motion Graphic Design Census was created by Bran Dougherty-Johnson and Jake Sargeant, who have worked several years in staff positions and now currently freelance within the industry.


About the author

Justin Cone

Together with Carlos El Asmar, Justin co-founded Motionographer, F5 and The Motion Awards. He currently lives in Austin, Texas with is wife, son and fluffball of a dog. Before taking on Motionographer full-time, Justin worked in various capacities at Psyop, NBC-Universal, Apple, Adobe and SCAD.



Thanks so much. This is such a valuable report, and it was put together so incredibly well. The motion graphics world owes you all a huge debt of gratitude.


i`m moving to Norway.


norway is 10 times expensive than US, just you to know.. ;)

James Wignall

Great work! Bran’s the Motion Graphics good guy! :)

Ayhan Cebe

This is really valuable for us!! one of the best info graphics. thanks Bran and Jake for this great work..


This is awesome! Thanks a lot!


Last year you guys created this report about salary surveys and never posted the results of it for the community. Makes me wonder why you gather this info if you do not share it.


These are the results. Better late than never.

Thanks Bran, Jake, Motionographer, and all others involved. I imagine it was a beast to compile it all so thanks for taking the time to do it!

Bran Dougherty-Johnson

These ARE the results. They’re hell of late, but …


Thanks bro,
I misunderstood the post. Glad to finally see the results.


Excellent, bran, thanks for this.

The 2011 survey setup makes a ton of sense. One streamlined page that auto-updates should make generating results a LOT easier.

The 2010(09) survey should have had a ton more responses. At only around 5000 participants a lot of these statistics don’t hold up to scrutiny. With this new automated system, hopefully we can make the MGDC a yearly thing, garnering attention worldwide and increasing overall popularity.

I’m really glad this resource exists and if there’s any way we can lend our support let us know.

Bran Dougherty-Johnson

Hey Yussef:
Yes, the intention is to do this yearly and build on the information and see if there are trends from year-to-year, etc. The Google Doc where I’m collecting info for 2011 is visible, but doesn’t really break things down in any comprehensible way.

So at the end there’ll still be a lot of work to sift through and analyze the data. If there’s anyone who loves spreadsheets or knows about pivot tables and want to volunteer some number-crunching, please let me know.

I plan on leaving the 2011 survey up for a few months to collect data. Everyone in our industry, from designers, to producers, to editors and owners should participate. Please spread the news and get all of your US colleagues to answer the 5 questions.

Carlos Gálvez

Hella useful! This is the kind of stuff we all really need. I just miss a section with the different companies and its salaries (televisions, ad agencies, design companies, etc.)
Anyway, thanks a TON!


This is amazing! I was just trying to look this information up yesterday- Thanks so much!


So cool! Thanks a lot!


Ahh the power of a pretty graph – Nice try but i’m not buying it.

Experience is probably the biggest factor in determining salary. That said, this data reveals that roughly 3 times MORE “juniors”
(5 or less years = 1458 polled) were polled than “seniors” (10+ years = 492 polled) so your data is going to be pulled appropriately DOWN. For this poll to be reasonably accurate each age/experience delineation should require a 1:1 polling ratio, not 3:1 (1458:492), and only poll NY and CA, but that’s another story…

Bran Dougherty-Johnson

This survey doesn’t break down salaries by age or experience level or geographic region / state. We do hope to add that level of detail in the 2011 survey.


Next time we’ll do the extensively funded wmdicko-Zogby international mograph poll :D

P.S. Awesome work Bran. May your day rate rise for gifting this to us all.


move – i don’t think accuracy should be brushed aside just because of effort, cost or whatever else. I applaud bran and co but the results aren’t accurate – they are lower than they should be and this sends the wrong message to everyone. It looks like we’re selling our souls, like Aliemmode points outs.


Dang. I knew you guys were selling your souls, but I didn’t realize you were so cheap!

This is depressing and uplifting at the same time. Depressing because–you’re hiring out your creativity, your imagination, your artistic sensibilities, for dirt-prices, but uplifting I guess, because I’m not missing out on much!

Just so you know, if you’re reading this, I want you to know, that a piss-poor car salesman without even a high school diploma makes $40k/year… and that’s outside of cities where it costs $1200/mo. for a 600 sq. ft. apartment. A halfway decent slob with three years at a Cadillac dealership makes six figures, and that’s in this economy. A slick guy who talks too close to your face in a blue pinstripe suit at a Lexus dealership makes $180k.

A corrections officer at a prison working four shifts in a row makes six figures. If you’re reading this, there’s a good chance you make less money than the average electrician, and you work way harder than him.

Just saying. But it’s OK, because you’re ‘Creative’!

Marco Pirletti

Is the report no more online? Why?

Marco Pirletti

Why the report is not online?

Marco Pirletti

Somebody removes my comments. Why?

Justin Cone

I’m not seeing any deleted comments. You have three comments in our system, all of which are on this post.

Comments are closed.