Video Game Animator Education Programs

Video game animators create the lifelike characters and backgrounds in video and computer games. Learn what programs include the technical and animation courses needed to enter this field, and find out about career options for video game animators. Schools offering Animation degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Video Game Animator Education Programs Are Available?

If you want to be a video game animator, education programs exist at the certificate, associate's degree and bachelor's degree levels. Possible program titles include video game animation or game art. You might also find programs in computer animation or visual arts that have courses or concentrations in video game animation.

You'll find these programs offered by community colleges, technical schools and universities. Some for-profit schools offer online classes that lead to a degree in video game animation or a related subject. A certificate program can take as little as six months to complete. Associate's degree programs usually take about two years of full-time study, and bachelor's degrees take around four years.

Degree LevelsCertificate, associate's, bachelor's
Course Topics3D modeling, digital imaging, drawing and shading, plot development, goals and rules of video games
Career PossibilitiesAnimators can find work in a variety of industries outside of video games, including working for businesses, TV stations, schools, and marketing firms
Job Outlook (2016-2026) 8% growth (for all multimedia artists and animators

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics 

What Will I Learn?

In most programs for aspiring video game animators, you'll learn about the artistic aspects of video game design, a process which includes learning to use the software that makes it possible. Courses in such areas as 3D modeling, digital imaging, drawing and shading hone your artistic abilities and teach you how to create animated characters on the screen. Anatomy and physics are sometimes discussed in these classes. You'll take computer courses that teach you how to use various programs, including Photoshop, 3D Studio Max, Illustrator, Flash and Mudbox. Game development courses discuss the process used to create the plots, goals and rules of a video game.

If you enroll in a bachelor's degree program, you'll probably learn how to work with software engineers and programmers through group projects. Senior year projects are commonly included in bachelor's degree programs for video game animators. Internships are usually encouraged, but not always required to earn your degree.

What Kind of Job Could I Get?

Graduates of video game animation programs have found work in a range of settings. Many work as animators in the video game industry, but you might also find work in other areas of the media. Additionally, animators are needed to produce videos for businesses, TV stations, schools and marketing firms. Some graduates go on to work as freelance animators. With experience and the development of your professional network, you might also find work with agencies that produce animated films.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), multi-media artists and animators working in the film industry made an average salary of $78,230 in 2018. Those working for software publishers made an average of $85,270, and those in computer systems design made an average of $78,850.

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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