You can get lost in animation. The movements. The story. Animation is an effective design style that many brands use to tell stories or to amplify messages on their websites and other platforms.

It’s no wonder that motion designers are one of the top five in-demand and high-paying design roles of 2022, as named in Dribbble’s Industry Trends Report.

Are motion designers in demand?

Additionally, CareerFoundry has also named motion graphic designers among the top 10 in-demand jobs for 2022. Research has also found that the increase in desire to create an illusion specifically on social media is what will drive the growth of the motion graphics market, while the annual Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of the industry is set to be at 12.5% from 2021 to 2031.

This is because of the demand for motion design assets that elevate brand efforts in reaching its customers. Motion design is extremely effective and usually comes in the form of videos - items such as instructional videos such as Grubhub’s product video, or like Nike has done here for their sustainable innovation social media posts that are seemingly more powerful compared to a static graphic design. It is able to tell a story or convey the message faster with animated elements that are also visually appealing.

With the ever-changing world of technology, brands are needing to catch up with the attention span of users and one of the ways to do that is with motion design.

top industries hiring motion designers
Source: Zippia

Meanwhile, the top industry hiring motion designers are media (15%), followed by professional (13%), technology (13%), Fortune 500 (10%), and retail (9%). However, there isn’t a significant gap between the employment demand within the industries because of the versatility of motion graphics that can be used for any brand.

On the other hand, CareerFoundry indicates that the demand for motion graphic designers comes mostly from AI companies, the entertainment industry, marketing firms, creative agencies, digital journalism, e-commerce platforms, and the automotive industry.

What does a motion designer do?

Motion designers are skilled in making designs move - this means using visual effects, animation and other techniques. You probably come across motion design everyday such as in social media posts, on videos, and marketing collaterals that are targeted to you. Think of it as graphic design with animation that makes it come to life.

It’s literally everywhere, from subtle animation on our favorite apps or websites, to video ads on YouTube. Motion graphics is generally very versatile and can be used across almost all platforms from improving website aesthetics, user experience (UX), and user interfaces (UI), to social media videos and presentation decks.

However, motion graphics do differ slightly from general animation which generally focuses more on storytelling. Motion design typically refers to the animated graphic design elements and is focused more on visual communication. It is also short and quick. Nevertheless, a motion designer can be skilled at both long-form and short-form motion graphics content. Here’s a good read to understand motion graphics in-depth: A Guide to Motion Design.

Skills and responsibilities of a motion designer

What separates the different creative roles from one another is of course, the skills. Motion designers have a specific skill set that makes them marketable. These are some key skills and responsibilities that motion designers are likely to require or execute.

What skills do you need to be a motion designer?

  • 2D animation: One of the key skills for a motion graphic designer is knowing how to make 2D elements move. You’ll need a good grasp of the fundamentals of 2D animation such as knowing which elements to exaggerate, or the most ideal timings to reach your audience.  
  • 3D animation: 3D elements play a large part in design so it’s only natural that 3D animation comes to play. Many more brands are looking into 3D animation as part of their assets as 3D offers more realism for the audience.
  • Digital design: The digital world is going big and it’s only going to grow with more platforms. Every designer should adapt and understand the fundamentals of digital design. For motion graphics designers, that means knowing how to fit your designs in platforms such as social media or the website, and even paid ads. You will need to understand the ideal dimensions of such assets, and what kind of designs are most effective.
  • Knowing the right software: Motion graphic designers often use tools such as Adobe After Effects, Adobe Photoshop, and Blender. So, make sure to pick up on the basics of these tools and practice, practice, practice!
  • Creative thinking: Sure, you could push out any animation but its effectiveness relies on creativity. You’ll need to figure out how to reach and appeal to your desired audience - this requires you to pick at your creative brain. Creative elements go beyond the graphics, but also the timing, how to ease in or out, which elements should be more prominent and so forth.

What are the responsibilities of a motion graphics designer?

  • Ideation and conceptualization: This ties in with the skill of creative thinking. Once the design brief is in, you’ll probably need to have a few idea options to present while taking into account items such as branding, marketing purpose, the storyboard and so forth.
  • Decoding design briefs: Designers always collaborate with other teams. With this, other teams will send you design briefs and it’s on you to give them the best option to go with, as well as work together on reaching the shared goals.
  • Designing for different media: As we mentioned, the digital world is ever-changing and with that, motion graphic designers need to be versatile in designing for different platforms including social media, long-form videos, websites, digital advertising and so forth.

How much does a motion designer make?

With the high demand for motion designers, you are probably thinking that they are worth a lot of money. While that may be true, different job boards have varying figures in terms of the average salary.

On top of that, different areas have different pay averages as well. However, something we noticed is that the majority of the job postings do not vary in title - there’s not many with titles such as Senior Motion Designer, or Lead Motion Designer. This is probably because the role is specialized, so companies are likely to look at years of experience or their portfolio without proper hierarchy in titles - it’s uncommon to have titles such as a Motion Design Manager.

Now, let’s take a deep dive into a motion designer's salary. Here are the average annual salaries in the US, according to the following job boards:

These figures are based on the base pay, it doesn’t take into account additional incentives such as cash bonuses, commission, or profit sharing. In fact, Glassdoor reports an average of $4,784 in additional pay for motion graphic designers, so you could get a higher salary depending on the company you work for.

Motion designers salary by location names Virginia as the region that employs motion designers with the highest average of $170,100 - that’s 121% higher than the overall average! This is followed by other states such as Minnesota and California that have the same average motion designer salary of $87,750.

10 highest averages of motion graphic designers salaries
The 10 highest averages of motion graphic designers salaries per region from

Nevertheless, the high figures from Virginia on comes from only 17 salaries, compared to the other figures that are taken from over 30 job postings. Hence, this figure could come from one job posting that might be offering much higher than the average market rate.

However, between the other states apart from Virginia, the average motion designer salaries are not that far off from one another.

Highest paying cities for motion designer salaries
Highest paying cities for motion designer salaries from Zippia.

On the other hand, Zippia states that Washington is the highest paying state for motion graphic designers with an average of $87,846, while the highest paying city is Seattle (average of $88,380).

Motion graphic designers salaries compared to other design roles

Motion graphics have been named among the top in-demand roles by both Dribbble and CareerFoundry. But what about the other roles? Let’s take a look into how the other in-demand roles fare in terms of salary average compared to how much a motion designer makes.

Based on the data above, more tech-specific roles such as user interface (UI) and user experience (UX) designers tend to fetch higher salaries with up to 30% more according to Additionally, product designers which are also a tech-related role offer pretty high salaries with up to 56% higher than that of a motion graphic designer.

Salary boost factors for motion graphic designers

There are ways you can negotiate a higher motion designer salary such as having certain qualifications or certifications. So, here are some factors that could allow you to have higher wages as a motion graphic designer.


This goes without saying - the more experience you have, the more marketable you are. Although the average salary might be attractive, it could be in the lower range for entry level motion graphic designers. According to Zippia, the entry level salary for motion graphic designers is at $44,000, which is 30% lower than the average stated.

Build your design portfolio

If you have been building your design portfolio, you could use this to your advantage in salary negotiation. After all, companies pay you for your service and if you produce top tier work regardless of experience, you might get a higher salary than expected because they want your creativity and skills. You could also post your items publicly on social media platforms, which could work as your own personal portfolio. You could also check out our article round-up on some portfolio sites: Here are 15 Best Portfolio Websites for Designers to Showcase Their Work.

Certifications and qualifications

Having certifications to support your skills is a plus point on your resume. It shows that you put in that extra effort for your career and it also impresses potential employers.

Source: Zippia

Zippia records large gaps in terms of salary for those with different qualifications. Those with a Master’s Degree earn an average of $66,479 annually, which is about 8% more than those with a Bachelor’s Degree. Meanwhile, those with a college or associate degree earn about 15% less than those with a Master’s Degree.

So, this is something to think about if you are looking to go all the way as a motion designer. Nevertheless, there are free courses that offer certifications that you can earn as well - this is a good booster for your resume. You can check our Udemy or Coursera for motion graphic design courses.

Share your motion design work on LottieFiles

If you are a motion graphic designer, you could consider sharing your work with LottieFiles - we have a “Hire Me” option where potential employers can get in touch with you for paid projects or roles if they like your designs. Plus, if you have at least five public animations in your LottieFiles account, you can apply to join the LottieFiles Marketplace where you can sell your animations!

Or if you are looking for a paid gig, contribute to IconScout. IconScout has some of the highest payouts in the industry.

With that, we hope we’ve given insight on how much you can earn as a motion graphics designer. We wish those on the job hunt good luck!