How to Become a Computer Animator

Overview & Salaries

Recommended Degree:
The right degree for you depends on the industry and company you apply for. Those looking for an entry positions will likely need at least a bachelors degree in computer animation, visual arts, multimedia design, or graphic design. If you are looking to get into a competitive or advance position, then a master’s degree can help you stand out in the hiring process.

Launch your career path today by signing up for free information from one of our accredited colleges below that offer programs to help get you started as a computer animator.

Much Does a Computer Animator Make?
$61,370 (national median salary, to see salaries in your state click on the “Best Places to Work” tab up top)

Expected Growth from 2012-2020:
+4,300 additional people employed

(all information above provided by the 2012 BLS Multimedia Artist page) 

Discover the Best Places to Become a Computer Animator

The state of California leads the nation in employment for computer animators and multimedia artists, where 10,300 are currently working statewide, and earning an annual mean wage of $88,150. New York is second in employment, with 2,920 computer animators and multimedia artists working in various industries across the state, and making an average yearly salary of $72,530.

Computer animators work in a variety of places. The industries employing the most animators are as follows:

  • Motion picture and video industries 11%
  • Software publishers 5%
  • Computer systems design and related services 5%
  • Advertising, public relations, and related services 5%

Employment and Salary Information by State for Computer Animators

Use our interactive map below to find out which areas of the United States are currently experiencing the greatest amount of growth and job availability for graduates looking for a career in Computer Animation. The associated information has been gathered from the Bureau of Labor statistics, representing data collected in 2012.

Employment and Information Data for Computer Animation

Why Become a Computer Animator?

A Computer Animation career offers the artistic talent an opportunity to flash their technical side as well. This job requires a combination of tech savvy and artistic grace. Of course, Computer Animation is a hot career choice today with so many of the top talents finding their way into video game production, film and television and a host of other visual related fields. The continued growth of the video game, movie and television industries will also spur an 8% growth of jobs for animators over the next several years, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, commercial art jobs utilizing new technologies in the fields of animation, product development or video game design will be in highest demand over the next decade. If your interests are both artistic as well as computer programs, Computer Animation may just be the career for you.

Recommended Courses to Help You Become a Computer Animator

  • Modern and Contemporary Art
  • Drawing
  • Introduction to Imaging Tools and Techniques
  • Introduction to Computer Animation
  • Introduction to Digital Video Tools and Techniques
  • Motion Graphics
  • History of Animation
  • Production Skills: Visual Effects and Broadcast Design

Degree Options for Computer Animation Careers

Computer animation degrees are offered at variation of schools – art schools, technical schools, and many traditional colleges like Arizona State University. Depending on which type of school you decide on, there will be a broad range of degrees available for students interested in advancing their career in animation.

A certificate program provides a foundation for the beginning computer animator. The framework of the program allows students to explore different aspects of graphic design and animation while learning about theory and technology.

Associate’s Degree Programs
These programs offer a more in-depth course of study that generally fits students with some college background. The program typically is one-to-two years and designed to prepare students for a career in animation.

Bachelor’s Degree Programs
Computer animator (including multimedia arts and graphic design) programs offer students the opportunity to learn skills and production tools needed to produce professional-level products in a wide range of creative fields.