Computer Animator Education requirements

March 29, 2015

The Computer Animation Lab is

Research what it takes to become a computer animator. Learn about job duties, salary, educational requirements and the job outlook to find out if this is the career for you. Schools offering .

A computer animator plays a role in the process of creating animation for technology, as well as cartoons and video games. The following chart shows an overview of what you need to know about becoming a computer animator.

Degree Required Bachelor's degree preferred; associate's degrees and certificate programs available
Education Field of Study Fine arts, computer animation
Key Skills Teamwork, creativity, visual art and storytelling, technical skills for multiple platforms (video games, film, websites, mobile devices)
Job Growth (2012-2022) 6%*
Average Salary (2013) $72, 400*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

What Are the Job Duties of a Computer Animator?

As a computer animator, you use computer technology to illustrate and design believable settings and characters in movie frames, video games and animation. You'll also play a role in the development of Web and mobile technology. You'll work with a team of other people to tell a story, using your artistic and story-telling skills in the design of video games or film. You may also create television programs or Internet ads.

Computer animators exchange ideas with other people and develop multiple possibilities in order to see which works best to create each image, frame by frame, with proper setting and timing to make sure it fits. You use various illustration, animation and design software to complete projects.

What Is My Career Outlook?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the career outlook for multimedia artists and animators was expected to grow slower than average, about six percent between 2012 and 2022 ( Demand for animators is expected to stem from the growth of video games, movies, special effects and Web pages, all of which use computer animation. However, even with expected growth, competition will be keen since some companies are hiring lower-cost overseas artists and animators. As of 2013, the BLS indicated about 30, 790 people were employed as multimedia artists and animators in the U.S., and they earned an average of $72, 400 annually.

What Education Requirements Do I Need to Meet?

You may need at least a bachelor's degree in a fine arts field to have the best employment options in computer animation. However, associate's degree and certificate options are available. Courses include 3-D modeling, 3-D graphic design, character development and interactive design. You may also choose classes in dynamics, rigging, lighting and texturing. You might prefer a program that focuses on the development of communication, story-telling and technical skills since these are keys to success in the field. You may want a program that teaches new techniques in computer animation and helps you stay current with changes in the field.

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