Flash Animator: Career Summary, Job Outlook, and Education Requirements

Research what it takes to become a Flash animator. Learn about education requirements, job outlook and salary to find out if this is the career for you. Schools offering Animation degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What is a Flash Animator?

Flash animators create special effects for films, computer games and other electronic media. Classified as multimedia artists and animators, they work in teams to research upcoming projects, develop story boards and review deadlines and development time lines. Even with this team work, they still have to exercise independent judgment and creativity when creating animations. Most workers are trained through an undergraduate degree program. Get more information about this field in the following table.

Degree Required Bachelor's degree; strong portfolio of work
Education Field of Study Art, computer graphics
Key Skills Artistic proficiency, time management, advanced computer literacy, creativity, communication
Certification Voluntary certification is available
Job Growth (2014-2024) 6% (for all multimedia artists and animators)*
Median Salary (2015) $63,970 (for all multimedia artists and animators)*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Would I Do as a Flash Animator?

In this profession, you might use hand-drawn and digital art to produce animated images and special effects. Flash animators often use the Adobe Flash application to create their work; other popular software programs for animators include Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator. Additional job duties may include drawing storyboards or designing multimedia presentations.

What's the Job Outlook?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the number of employed multimedia artists and animators was expected to increase by 6% from 2014-2024 (www.bls.gov). During this time, job growth may be attributed to an increased demand for realistic special effects in films and video games.

Roughly, 30,240 multimedia artists and animators were employed in the U.S. in 2015, as reported by the BLS. During that year, the median annual salary for animators and multimedia artists was $63,970. Industries with the highest level of employment for these workers included the motion picture, software publishing and computer systems design sectors.

Do I Need Any Formal Training?

The BLS notes that a bachelor's degree is often the minimum requirement for aspiring animators. You might enroll in a Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science or Bachelor of Fine Arts in Animation program. You could study 3-D modeling techniques, game development, visual editing and animation production methods. You'll also learn how to use software applications like Adobe Flash and Photoshop. Most bachelor's programs take four years to complete and culminate in a final project.

While not required, pursuing certification in this field could lead to an increase in job opportunities. Adobe offers the entry-level Adobe Certified Associate credential to individuals who pass a software-specific certification exam, like Rich Media Communication with Adobe Flash or Visual Communication with Adobe Photoshop. Advanced users of Adobe products may consider pursuing the Adobe Certified Expert credential.

What Are Some Related Alternative Careers?

There are a number of different careers similar to Flash animation that typically require a bachelor's degree. Since Flash animators should be skilled with computers, computer programming is one of these related careers. Programmers are responsible for writing and testing code when creating software programs. Often these programs involve animations. Being a web developer also requires many of these same skills, such as ensuring websites and web programs run smoothly. On the artistic side of the Flash animator career, many of the artistic skills needed may also be applied to careers as art directors and graphic designers. These professionals are responsible for the planning and artistic layout of printed material, such as magazines, newspapers and packaging.

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:

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