How to Become an Animator

Animators are the artists who create the animations we see in film, television, video games, and on the Internet. Animators produce a sequence of images that when rapidly displayed create the illusion of a moving image. These images can be hand drawn, stop motion, computer generated, 2-D or 3-D. Animators write a story, create the characters and objects, and bring everything to life with animation.

Animator Education Requirements

While there are no specific education requirements to become an animator, most animators do participate in some type of formal training program. A bachelor’s degree in animation would be most beneficial to those who are looking to pursue a career in this field. A bachelor’s degree program will provide students with both academic and hands on experiences. Students will also learn to use the important technology and effects that make animation so complex.

Individuals who are interested in pursuing a career as an animator need to develop a professional portfolio to showcase their talents and abilities. Drawings, computer generated images, and a couple minutes worth of animations should be included in the portfolio. Some animators also choose to build their own websites to better display their work.

Job Opportunities for Animators

Graduates of an animation degree program will be qualified to work in various fields. Animation degree holders often find work in production studios, video game companies, and architectural design firms to name a few. Employment opportunities are also available in advertising, graphic design, motion pictures, software publishing, and computer systems design, among others.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that job growth in the arts and animation industry should grow by 16 percent through 2016. In 2007, multimedia artists and animators earned a median annual salary of $54,550, with the top earning animators having earned over $98,000. The most talented animators who possess the most skills will earn the highest wages. Animation degree programs can help you further develop your artistic abilities and push you and your career to the top.

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2008-2009 Edition