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What is a Lead Artist

A lead artist's primary responsibility is to guide the artists on a project in order to maintain the vision and quality set by the art director during pre-production.

Lead artists handle the technical aspects of the art team such as art processes, tools, geometric budgets, texture budgets, task definitions, and scheduling of tasks. They also communicate with the lead programmer and the producer to identify risk in the production pipeline. The lead takes the burden of artist management and protects the art team from counter-productivity. Qualifications for the position include a high school diploma or a GED along with experience in a related field. However, individuals with a bachelor's degree or a master's degree in fine arts or a related field may be given preference. Essential skills include interpersonal, organizational, creativity, and communication.

The average hourly salary for the position is $53.34, which equates to $110,940 annually. The career is expected to grow in the near future and create new job opportunities across the United States.

There is more than meets the eye when it comes to being a Lead Artist. For example, did you know that they make an average of $46.69 an hour? That's $97,123 a year!

Between 2018 and 2028, the career is expected to grow 4% and produce 3,000 job opportunities across the U.S.

What Does a Lead Artist Do

There are certain skills that many Lead Artists have in order to accomplish their responsibilities. By taking a look through resumes, we were able to narrow down the most common skills for a person in this position. We discovered that a lot of resumes listed Artistic talent, Communication skills and Computer skills.

Learn more about what a Lead Artist does

How To Become a Lead Artist

If you're interested in becoming a Lead Artist, one of the first things to consider is how much education you need. We've determined that 73.6% of Lead Artists have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 5.3% of Lead Artists have master's degrees. Even though most Lead Artists have a college degree, it's possible to become one with only a high school degree or GED.

Choosing the right major is always an important step when researching how to become a Lead Artist. When we researched the most common majors for a Lead Artist, we found that they most commonly earn Bachelor's Degree degrees or Associate Degree degrees. Other degrees that we often see on Lead Artist resumes include Master's Degree degrees or High School Diploma degrees.

You may find that experience in other jobs will help you become a Lead Artist. In fact, many Lead Artist jobs require experience in a role such as Artist. Meanwhile, many Lead Artists also have previous career experience in roles such as 3D Artist or Senior Artist.

What is the right job for my career path?

Tell us your goals and we'll match you with the right jobs to get there.

And if you’re looking for a job, here are the five top employers hiring now:

  1. Microsoft Jobs (13)
  2. Activision Blizzard Jobs (14)
  3. Lockheed Martin Jobs (3)
  4. The Walt Disney Company Jobs (4)
  5. Sephora Jobs (4)
Average Salary
$97,123
Average Salary
Job Growth Rate
4%
Job Growth Rate
Job Openings
10,925
Job Openings
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Lead Artist Career Paths

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Average Salary for a Lead Artist

Lead Artists in America make an average salary of $97,123 per year or $47 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $141,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $66,000 per year.
Average Salary
$97,123
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How much should you be earning as an Lead Artist? Use Zippia's Salary Calculator to get an estimation of how much you should be earning.
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Choose From 10+ Customizable Lead Artist Resume templates

Zippia allows you to choose from different easy-to-use Lead Artist templates, and provides you with expert advice. Using the templates, you can rest assured that the structure and format of your Lead Artist resume is top notch. Choose a template with the colors, fonts & text sizes that are appropriate for your industry.

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Lead Artist Resume

Lead Artist Demographics

Lead Artist Gender Distribution

Male
Male
70%
Female
Female
31%

After extensive research and analysis, Zippia's data science team found that:

  • Among Lead Artists, 30.5% of them are women, while 69.5% are men.

  • The most common race/ethnicity among Lead Artists is White, which makes up 73.4% of all Lead Artists.

  • The most common foreign language among Lead Artists is Spanish at 48.6%.

Job Openings

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Lead Artist Education

Lead Artist Majors

20.4 %
14.4 %

Lead Artist Degrees

Bachelors

73.6 %

Associate

15.4 %

Masters

5.3 %

Top Colleges for Lead Artists

1. University of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, PA • Private

In-State Tuition
$55,584
Enrollment
10,764

2. Harvard University

Cambridge, MA • Private

In-State Tuition
$50,420
Enrollment
7,582

3. Duke University

Durham, NC • Private

In-State Tuition
$55,695
Enrollment
6,596

4. New York University

New York, NY • Private

In-State Tuition
$51,828
Enrollment
26,339

5. Carnegie Mellon University

Pittsburgh, PA • Private

In-State Tuition
$55,465
Enrollment
6,483

6. University of Southern California

Los Angeles, CA • Private

In-State Tuition
$56,225
Enrollment
19,548

7. University of Texas at Austin

Austin, TX • Private

In-State Tuition
$10,610
Enrollment
40,329

8. Stanford University

Stanford, CA • Private

In-State Tuition
$51,354
Enrollment
7,083

9. Northeastern University

Boston, MA • Private

In-State Tuition
$51,522
Enrollment
13,760

10. Northwestern University

Evanston, IL • Private

In-State Tuition
$54,568
Enrollment
8,451
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Top Skills For a Lead Artist

The skills section on your resume can be almost as important as the experience section, so you want it to be an accurate portrayal of what you can do. Luckily, we've found all of the skills you'll need so even if you don't have these skills yet, you know what you need to work on. Out of all the resumes we looked through, 14.4% of Lead Artists listed Maya on their resume, but soft skills such as Artistic talent and Communication skills are important as well.

Best States For a Lead Artist

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as a Lead Artist. The best states for people in this position are Connecticut, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, and Delaware. Lead Artists make the most in Connecticut with an average salary of $140,582. Whereas in Rhode Island and New Hampshire, they would average $134,511 and $128,758, respectively. While Lead Artists would only make an average of $126,114 in Delaware, you would still make more there than in the rest of the country. We determined these as the best states based on job availability and pay. By finding the median salary, cost of living, and using the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Location Quotient, we narrowed down our list of states to these four.

1. Rhode Island

Total Lead Artist Jobs:
183
Highest 10% Earn:
$194,000
Location Quotient:
3.34
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

2. New Hampshire

Total Lead Artist Jobs:
278
Highest 10% Earn:
$190,000
Location Quotient:
3.52
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

3. Nevada

Total Lead Artist Jobs:
282
Highest 10% Earn:
$186,000
Location Quotient:
2.99
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here
Full List Of Best States For Lead Artists

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Top Lead Artist Employers

We've made finding a great employer to work for easy by doing the hard work for you. We looked into employers that employ Lead Artists and discovered their number of Lead Artist opportunities and average salary. Through our research, we concluded that Electronic Arts was the best, especially with an average salary of $109,635. Activision Blizzard follows up with an average salary of $117,103, and then comes Microsoft with an average of $149,897. In addition, we know most people would rather work from home. So instead of having to change careers, we identified the best employers for remote work as a Lead Artist. The employers include Sony Interactive Entertainment Playstation, Cloud Imperium Games, and Cryptic Studios

Most Common Employers For Lead Artist

RankCompanyZippia ScoreAverage Lead Artist SalaryAverage Salary
1$149,897
2$117,103
3$116,466
4$115,087
5
5.DreamWorks Animation
$112,550
6$112,080

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