How To Become An Animator

How To Become An Animator

An animator makes graphics usually through the help of computer programs. You will be developing storyboards for animation stories and making computer-generated images based on the movements of actors. You will be working together with other animators and artists in various projects.

In order to succeed in this career, you obviously need to be artistic. Your drawing skills should be excellent and you must know how to play with color, light and texture in your work. With the advent of more sophisticated software programs these days, you may be able to correct your artistic flaws if you have outstanding technical skills.

You should be very comfortable around computers and be able to use these computer programs. You also need to be creative so you can come up with innovative ideas.

Why Become An Animator

Becoming an animator is not for everyone. But for those who love to combine their artistic and animation skills with their love for video games or movies, this is the best career to go into. You get the chance to make animated movies and games that children and adults get to play with, watch and remember for the rest of their lives. It also provides decent pay and the chance to become self-employed.

Animator Work Environment

Animators and multimedia artists are often hired by the motion picture and video industries, computer systems design and related services, software publishers and advertising and public relations companies. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics revealed that in 2012, an estimated 57 percent of multimedia artists and animators were self-employed and would work from home. Those who were hired by motion picture firms or game studious worked in offices. Most of them follow regular work hours but they may extend work at nights and weekends to beat deadlines.

Animator Salary

The Occupational Employment and Wages report of the US Bureau of Labor Statistics revealed that the mean annual wage of multimedia artists and animators was $72,400 in May 2013. This is higher than the $50,900 that fine artists receive but lower than the $96,650 paid to art directors. The agency also reported in May 2012 that multimedia artists and animators working in the motion picture and video industries were paid the highest at $72,680.

Average Animator Salary

Animator Salary By State

Rank State Hourly Rate Annual Salary
#1 California $39.75 $82,680
#2 Connecticut $37.92 $78,870
#3 Massachusetts $37.20 $77,370
#4 District of Columbia $36.79 $76,530
#5 Washington $36.60 $76,130
#6 Louisiana $35.91 $74,700
#7 New Jersey $35.29 $73,410
#8 New York $35.25 $73,310
#9 Oregon $34.87 $72,530
#10 Virginia $34.31 $71,370
#11 Texas $34.13 $70,990
#12 Utah $32.24 $67,060
#13 Alabama $31.29 $65,090
#14 New Hampshire $30.98 $64,440
#15 North Carolina $30.94 $64,350
#16 Kentucky $30.83 $64,120
#17 Illinois $30.69 $63,830
#18 New Mexico $30.22 $62,860
#19 Maryland $30.22 $62,860
#20 Hawaii $30.16 $62,740
#21 Nevada $30.13 $62,680
#22 Pennsylvania $29.58 $61,520
#23 Colorado $29.40 $61,150
#24 Minnesota $28.87 $60,060
#25 Missouri $28.07 $58,380
#26 Michigan $27.35 $56,880
#27 Arizona $27.12 $56,410
#28 Florida $27.02 $56,200
#29 Ohio $26.87 $55,880
#30 Georgia $26.57 $55,260
#31 Wisconsin $25.64 $53,340
#32 Tennessee $25.50 $53,030
#33 Indiana $25.39 $52,810
#34 Kansas $25.08 $52,170
#35 Iowa $24.90 $51,800
#36 Oklahoma $24.60 $51,160
#37 Maine $24.57 $51,100
#38 Nebraska $23.20 $48,250
#39 Montana $22.39 $46,560
#40 South Carolina $21.67 $45,080
#41 Arkansas $21.48 $44,680
#42 South Dakota $18.54 $38,570

Animator Career Outlook

The US Bureau of Labor Statistics revealed that from 2012 to 2022, the employment rate of multimedia artists and animators is 6 percent, a rate that is slower than the average for all occupations. Although there will be demand coming from the movie, video game and television industries, the growth will be slowed by the competition offered by equally talented animators and artists abroad but only require lower pay.

Animator Degree

A bachelor’s degree in art, computer graphics or similar fields is often required to become an animator. Employers prefer applicants who have established a strong portfolio that highlights their artistic and technical skills. Those who want to focus on making animation graphics for games or interactive media may also obtain specialized degrees in these fields.

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