How much can you earn as a 3D illustrator? Find out the average salary!

If you have a passion for creativity and design, becoming a 3D illustrator might be the perfect career choice for you. As a 3D illustrator, you will create digital art and animations using specialized software such as Maya, Blender, or Cinema 4D. With the ever-growing demand for high-quality visuals in industries like gaming, film, and advertising, 3D illustrators have the potential to earn a lucrative salary.

In this article, we will explore the average salary of 3D illustrators and how you can increase your earning potential. We will also provide tips on how to become a successful 3D illustrator and the skills you need to succeed in this field.

The Average Salary of 3D Illustrators

According to Glassdoor, as of February 2021, the average base salary for a 3D illustrator in the United States is $75,000 per year. However, this can vary depending on factors such as location, experience, and industry. For example, 3D illustrators working in the gaming industry tend to earn higher salaries than those in the film or advertising industries.

Factors that Affect Your Earning Potential

There are several factors that can affect your earning potential as a 3D illustrator. These include:


The location of where you live can have a significant impact on your salary as a 3D illustrator. Cities with a high cost of living tend to have higher salaries, while those in rural areas may have lower salaries. Some cities that are known for having high salaries for 3D illustrators include San Francisco, Los Angeles, and New York City.


The amount of experience you have as a 3D illustrator can also affect your salary. Those with more experience tend to earn higher salaries than those who are just starting out. Additionally, having specialized skills such as animation or character design can also increase your earning potential.


The industry you work in as a 3D illustrator can also impact your salary. The gaming industry tends to have the highest salaries for 3D illustrators, followed by the film and advertising industries. However, keep in mind that there are many other industries where 3D illustration is used, such as product design and architecture.

Skills Needed to Succeed as a 3D Illustrator

Becoming a successful 3D illustrator requires a combination of technical and creative skills. These include:

Technical Skills

  • Knowledge of specialized software such as Maya, Blender, or Cinema 4D.
  • Understanding of computer graphics principles and techniques.
  • Familiarity with 3D modeling, animation, and rendering.

Creative Skills

  • Strong artistic skills and a keen eye for detail.
  • The ability to conceptualize and design creative concepts.
  • Experience working with different styles and genres of art.

Becoming a Successful 3D Illustrator

To become a successful 3D illustrator, you will need to develop both technical and creative skills. Here are some tips on how to do this:

  1. Practice, practice, practice: The more you practice, the better you will become at 3D illustration. This means taking on as many projects as possible and constantly learning new techniques and software.
  2. Build a portfolio: Your portfolio is