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What Is a Bachelor Degree in Animation?

A bachelor's degree program in animation teaches students the necessary skills to become animators. Most animation is computerized, so programs teach both artistic and technological skills. Continue reading for more details.

Bachelor's Degree in Animation Overview

Majoring in animation enables students to refine their creativity and learn industry skills for a career in this discipline. A Bachelor of Arts (BA) or Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) program in animation teaches students skills like character creation, concept development, special effects, background design and scriptwriting. Many animation students begin their projects by hand drawing their designs and progress to using the latest technology for their final designs. Students in most animation degree programs learn to use computer software like Adobe Flash, Adobe Illustrator, Adobe After Effects, Lightwave and Autodesk Maya.

Most colleges and universities require students to earn approximately 125 credits, over about four years, and compile a portfolio of samples to complete a bachelor's degree in animation. Students' portfolios display their skills and creativity to potential employers.

Important Information About Bachelor Degrees in Animation

Entry-Level Education High school diploma or GED equivalent
Common Courses Concept Creation, Principles of Animation, Character Design
Key Skills Artistic creativity and vision, patience, concentration, attention to detail, familiarity with animation software
Similar Occupations Graphic Designer, Illustrator, Art Instructor
Median Salary (2019) $75,270 (multimedia artists and animators)
Job Outlook (2019-2029) 4% (multimedia artists and animators)

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Careers

Graduating from a bachelor's degree program in animation can prepare individuals for careers in 2D or 3D animation. Animators help create websites, television and films, advertisements and video games. Some of the entry-level positions available for individuals are 3D modeler, special effects animator, forensic artist and character designer. Not only can animators work in a variety of career fields, but they can also work in numerous professional environments, including large production companies, small design agencies or for contract.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), most animators are self-employed. Also, employment opportunities for multimedia artists and animators are expected to increase by 4% between 2019 and 2029. Competition should be strong, although individuals who are very talented at creating realistic characters and scenery should stand out among job seekers. Also listed by the BLS, the median annual wage of multimedia artists and animators was $75,270 in 2019, and the highest-paying industry that year was the motion picture and video industry.