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Earnings Potential

A career in animation can lead to many opportunities and financial earnings can be great; salaries vary greatly depending on the area of concentration of the individual and years of experience. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, multimedia artists and animators earn an average of $57,000 annually, while computer animators who work for major movie studios can earn around $175,000 annually. Starting salaries for computer animators range between $25,000 and $50,000 a year, while starting salaries for someone in computer graphics with a bachelor’s degree is $38,400 annually.   

Facts at a glance

  • To have a greater chance of employment a person has to be up to date with the most innovative technologies, have the proper training, and skills.
  • The demand for animators will only continue to grow in the future; the focus is placed on high-tech digital media, special effects, and 3D animation.
  • An Inbetweener is someone who helps the animator and animator assistants complete the action of a scene.
  • Medical animation is a very detailed oriented career that deals with interactive 3D representation of an individual patient’s body. Medical animation is one of the most difficult paths to follow in animation. 

Summary of what this career entails

If you decide to get into the field of animation, you will have to familiarize yourself with the different types of Animation Art and its terms. You have to able to identify these terms: cell, original production cell, limited edition cell, publicity cell, model sheets, and backgrounds. You also would need to be familiar with the latest technology and have the proper level of education. Most employers also require you to have a bachelor’s degree before they even consider you for a position in their company.  

Examples and or details of work

Since animated features have been very successful throughout the years the industry is expected to grow within the coming years and animated studios are recruiting animators to train. Animated features have grossed over $4 billion dollars worldwide and are considered very profitable. Animation studios like Pixar are award-winning studios that created heartwarming stories that appeal to audience of all ages. They also created seven of the most adored and successful animated films of all time that include Toy Story, Bug’s Life, Monster’s Inc., Finding Nemo, The Incredibles, Toy Story 2, and Cars. 

Degrees that lead to this career

The minimal degree you can obtain is an associate’s degree, some of the degrees you can obtain include:

  • A.A. in Animation
  • A.A. in Digital Design  and Animation
  • B.A. in  Animation
  • B.F.A. in Computer Animation
  • B.S. in Media Arts & Animation
  • M.A. in Animation

Specific Career openings in this field

There are many job opportunities for someone who is looking for a career in animation. For example, you can work as a computer animator, 3D animator, storyboard artist, layout artist, 2D animator, cartoon animator, medical animator, and in computer graphic.


Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Career Guide to Industries, 2006-07 Edition, Motion Picture and Video Industries, on the Internet at