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The Average Salary of a Foley Artist

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Foley artists create, or recreate, sounds for movies, television shows and video games. While shooting, the microphones are usually centered on the actors' voices, so everyday things like footsteps, keys jingling, or the rustling of clothes are either not picked up or don't sound quite right. Using a wide array of props, foley artists work in sound studios to create all of the missing sounds so that the film feels authentic. According to the website Indeed, the national average salary for foley artists is $81,000, as of 2014.

Salary Varies by Industry and Location

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics does not collect data relating to employment, projected growth, or wages for foley artists. The Motion Picture Editors Guild (a national labor organization that represents freelance and staff post -production professionals) states that a foley artist, provided that they are member of the guild, should earn a wage of $2,000 per week, $340 per day, or $42 per hour (accurate as of 2011). The location and the industry affect the foley artist's average salary. The average in the video game industry for sound designers was $68,000 in 2011, according to the BLS. According to Indeed, the average annual salary in Los Angeles, as of 2014, was $88,000. In Orlando, Florida, the average was $73,000; in Dallas, Texas, $84,000; in Chicago, $98,000; and in New York City, $111,000.

Apprentice in Cities with Film Industry

Most of the foley jobs are in cities with large film or video industries, such as New York and L.A. Though courses in sound technology are helpful, most foley artists obtain their training by helping a working foley artist, according to the BLS.


Nate Lee was senior editor of Chicago's "NewCity" newspaper and creative director in a global advertising agency. A playwright and published poet, Lee writes about the arts, culture and business innovation. He received his Bachelor of Arts in English from Tulane University.

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