What Is an Associate Degree in Animation?

An associate's degree in animation prepares students to work in several fields in a variety of positions. Read on to learn how an associate's degree in animation could benefit you. Schools offering Animation degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Associate's Degree in Animation Overview

An associate's degree program in animation provides you with entry-level animation skills in image editing and modeling, as well as helps you develop a portfolio. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), many employers prefer to hire animators with a bachelor's degree (www.bls.gov). That said, if you have a strong portfolio and some experience, you might find employment with an associate's degree in animation.

The BLS predicted that employment for animators would grow by 8% in the decade spanning 2016-2026, which is the average growth expected for most professions. An individual must complete approximately 60 credit hours to earn an associate's degree, which usually takes about two years.

Important Information About Associate's Degrees In Animation

Prerequisites High school diploma or GED; online courses have certain computer specifications
Degree Fields Digital Media and Animation; Computer Design, Animation, and Game Design Engineering Technology; 3D Animation
Online Availability Programs may be offered partially or completely online
Continuing Education Bachelor's degree in multimedia, computer graphics, art, or another related field
Median Salary (2018)$72,520 (multimedia artists and animators)
Job Outlook (2016-2026)8% (multimedia artists and animators)

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics


In some programs, students begin hand-drawing their ideas and then learn to utilize various computer programs, including Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator and CAD (computer-aided design) applications. Many programs require students to produce a portfolio and complete an internship in order to prepare them to enter the workforce upon graduation. An associate's degree in animation includes classes, such as:

  • Image editing
  • Color theory
  • Fundamentals of design
  • Web animation

Career Options

Most animators work in metropolitan areas since many of them work under contract and have more than one client at a time. Metropolitan areas also provide animators with more career options, such as working for a company, an agency or themselves. In May 2018, the BLS noted that most animators earned between $40,870 and $124,310 a year. An associate's degree in animation prepares an individual to work in various fields, including:

  • Advertising
  • Television and film production
  • Publishing
  • Video game production

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:
The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

Popular Schools

  • Western Piedmont Community College

    Campus Locations:

    • North Carolina: Morganton
  • Western Iowa Tech Community College

    Campus Locations:

    • Iowa: Sioux City
  • West Virginia University at Parkersburg

    Campus Locations:

    • West Virginia: Parkersburg
  • West Valley College

    Campus Locations:

    • California: Saratoga
  • West Kentucky Community and Technical College

    Campus Locations:

    • Kentucky: Paducah
  • Union County College

    Campus Locations:

    • New Jersey: Cranford
  • Tribeca Flashpoint Media Arts Academy

    Campus Locations:

    • Illinois: Chicago
  • The Art Institute of Seattle

    Campus Locations:

    • Washington: Seattle
  • The Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale

    Campus Locations:

    • Florida: Fort Lauderdale
  • Terra State Community College

    Campus Locations:

    • Ohio: Fremont