Motion Graphics Artist: Salary and Career Facts

Research what it takes to become a motion graphics artist. Learn about education requirements, skill requirements, average wages and job outlook to find out if this is the career for you. Schools offering Digital Cinematography degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Is a Motion Graphics Artist?

Motion graphics artists use their artistic and computer skills to create visual images that can be incorporated into video games, movies, television shows, advertisements or other forms of media. Motion graphic artists specifically focus on film-related images instead of print images. While they need artistic talent to produce hand-drawn drafts, incorporate game or movie details and develop an appropriate graphic to use, they also need strong computer skills to finalize the design. Find out more about entering this job field in the table below:

Education Required Bachelor's degree common but not required
Key Skills Knowledge of design software and computer science, and a strong sense of color, form, and proportion
Job Growth (2014-2024) 6% (for all multimedia artists and animators)*
Average Salary (2015) $70,300 (for all multimedia artists and animators)*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Kind of Education Do I Need as a Motion Graphics Artist?

Those who work in multimedia or graphic arts generally possess a bachelor's degree; however, there is no mandatory level of education required to earn a job in this realm. Many universities have arts programs that offer specialization in digital graphics, interactive design or multimedia arts. You study general education topics in the arts and sciences, but you also complete courses dedicated to graphics design and software. Frequently, such arts programs entail significant studio work.

Many technical, vocational and fine arts schools also offer design or digital media programs that award bachelor's degrees. The curricula emphasize the technical and artistic aspects of motion graphics development.

In addition, many universities offer graduate programs in design that offer specialization opportunities in graphics. These programs focus on independent development and generally demand a high level of proficiency rather than fundamental skills. Your coursework traditionally culminates in a final thesis project meant to display your development as an artist.

What Kind of Skills Do I Need?

Motion graphics designers are both artists and technicians. You should have a strong grasp of design software and computer science. You should also have a sense of color, form and proportion. Many graphics designers invest significant time studying visual art.

Where Can I Work?

You may wish to join a production team for video and computer gaming. Or you can create pieces for advertising campaigns or work on films. Computer software and Web development companies may also hire you to design non-entertainment pieces. You may wish to look into the expanding field of mobile media applications as well.

What Kind of Salary Will I Have?

In 2015, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the annual average wage for all multimedia artists and animators was $70,300 (www.bls.gov). That's approximately $33.80 per hour for non-salaried workers. The highest-paying employers of multimedia artists and animators were travel arrangement and reservation services as of 2015, though there were very few jobs in this field; other high-paying employers include other information services and software publishers.

What Are Some Related Alternative Careers?

Illustrators and graphic designers are professionals who work in the same employment category as motion graphic artists. Like motion graphic artists, illustrators and graphic designers use their artistic skills to produce visual products. They may also use computers to assist or finalize their designs.

Illustrators do not necessarily need a degree, although graphic designers are normally expected to have a bachelor's degree in a relevant field. Illustrators produce images that may be used to compliment written text in a book, for book cover designs, as visual images for calendars or cards or for other printed materials.

Graphic designers produce visual designs that are meant to convey concepts or ideas to the audience. They may produce a logo or a mascot or other design that could be used in advertisements, reports or product packaging. Graphic designers, like motion graphic artists, take information related to a project and determine how to visually represent that information.

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