How Do I Become an Animator?

Animators utilize the latest technology to create characters in movies, advertisements, and/or video games. Animators must have the right combination of creativity and education to be successful. Read on further to discover how you can become an animator. Schools offering Animation degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Career Overview

In order to succeed as an animator, you must possess artistic ability, focus, and excellent communication skills. Many animators work in teams, collaborating on various elements of a project, while others are assigned particular tasks to work on alone. As a result, animators must be comfortable working for long periods by themselves as well as work well in a team setting.

You can choose to work in films (special effects), TV, computer-generated animation, advertising, video games, or multimedia (websites). 2D animation is similar to creating comic strips and 3D animation requires skills in computer modeling. Other desirable skills include editing, storyboarding, producing, and scriptwriting.

Important Facts About This Occupation

Median Salary (2014) $63,630
Job Outlook (2012-2022)6% growth
Work environment Home studio, office
Similar occupations Art director, Graphic designer, Web developer

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Training

To become an animator usually means formal training, although some make it as animators without formal instruction. In recent years, to succeed as an animator necessitates having advanced technical or computer skills, thereby making a bachelor's degree almost mandatory, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (www.bls.gov). Consider earning a bachelor's degree in art, design, animation, or graphic design with a concentration in computer skills.

You may also be able to enter the field of animation by taking training in multimedia design, 3D design, sculpture or model-making, computer programming, or illustration. It is important to keep up-to-date with the latest software programs used in animation, such as Maya, Flash, After Effects, and MotionBuilder.

Portfolio and Internship

In order to show a potential employer what you can do, you must develop a portfolio. Your portfolio should contain your best work and highlight your skills and talent. To get started, consider taking an internship (paid or unpaid) with someone established in the field (programmer, game designer, or animator).

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

  • 1. Degree Options:

Popular Schools

  • The Art Institutes

    The Art Institutes responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at The Art Institutes:

    • Master
    • Bachelor Degrees
    • Associate Programs
    • Certificates

    Campus Locations:

    • Virginia: Arlington
  • Johns Hopkins University

    Johns Hopkins University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Johns Hopkins University:

    • Master
    • Certificates

    Online Programs Available

  • Ashford University

    Ashford University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Ashford University:

    Online Programs Available

  • Saint Mary's University of Minnesota

    Saint Mary's University of Minnesota responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Saint Mary's University of Minnesota:

    • Master

    Online Programs Available

  • General Assembly

    General Assembly responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at General Assembly:

    • Certificates

    Online and Campus-Based Programs Available:

    View All Locations
    • Anywhere: Online Campus
    • Columbia (D.C.): Online Campus, Washington, D.C.
  • Penn Foster High School

    Penn Foster High School responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Penn Foster High School:

    Online Programs Available

  • Southwestern College

    Campus Locations:

    • California: Chula Vista
  • Walden University

    Online Programs Available

  • CDI College

    CDI College responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at CDI College:

    • Certificates

    Campus Locations:

    • Anywhere: Abbotsford, Calgary, Edmonton, Mississauga, Montreal, Point Claire, Surrey, Toronto, Winnipeg