Animators are professional artists skilled in using computers to make creations that may appear in mobile apps, video games, or movies. Their work can range from making movies with sophisticated special effects, producing 3D models to display on a company’s website. If you are gifted with art and don’t mind using technology to bring your imagination to life, then you may enjoy this visual field. While most animators are self-employed, you have the option to choose a schedule that works for your family and find work in a specialty field that you like, such as movie animation. Besides being able to set your price if you do freelance animation assignments, your compensation can be more lucrative as you progress in your career and add to your demo.
Animator Salary Information
The median animator salary is $75,270 as of May 2019, inferring that 50 percent of all animators earn below this amount and 50 percent make more. Animators in the bottom ten percent get under $40,250 a year, and the top 10 percent get higher than $139,940 per annum. Animators employed in the motion picture industry average $75,630 annually, while those working for computer systems design companies make a slightly lower $73,800 yearly on average.
Animator Job Description
Drawing by hand sometimes and using computer software, animators use their creativity and art skills to make realistic 3D or 2D animations for a variety of purposes. As an animator, you could work on special effects for a TV show or create characters for a movie, make the scenery for a mobile app. Your workflow may include using storyboards to plan your animations, consulting with design professionals and clients to get clarification on work, creating your animations with 3D modelling software and making any changes your teammates or clients suggest. Having technical skills and artistic talent, meeting deadlines, along with being able to manage your time, are crucial for being an animator.
Animator Education Requirements
Aspiring animators usually pursue an undergraduate degree related to art or animation, with classes focusing on film and drawing, computer software. If you’re keen on making animations for movies or video games, you can find specialized bachelor’s degree programs. Since a portfolio is a crucial tool to display your animation skills, you’ll create few during your studies and typically add your projects to it. Additional self-study may be required to learn some tools used on the job, such as prototyping software 3D modelling, and illustration.
Although animators often complete tasks on their own, it’s still often necessary for them to work as part of a team for a more significant project, such as a motion picture. It’s usual for animators to be self-employed, which may allow them to work from home and have a flexible work schedule as a freelancer. Other animators work full-time office jobs for movies, computer systems design and software companies and advertising. Whether working in a traditional office or self-employed, you may have to work extra hours to keep clients satisfied and meet deadlines.
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How Much Do Animators Make?
Careers in the U.S:
Over your job, you can learn new technologies, set higher rates as a freelancer, become skilled in a type of animation, or get promoted to a senior animator or producer role to generate more income. The experience you have doing animation work allows your earnings to rise as well, as these March 2019 salary numbers show(1):
Entry-level: $30,307 – $72,395
Mid-career: $37,365 – $88,059
Experienced: $40,695 – $107,027
Careers in Europe:
An entry-level Animator with less than one year experience can expect to make an average total remuneration (includes bonus, tips, and overtime pay) of £20,558. An early career Animator with 1-5 years of experience makes an average total compensation of £23,796. A mid-career Animator with 5-10 years of experience makes an average total remuneration of £28,491. An experienced Animator with 10-20 years of experience makes an average total remuneration of £28,000. In their late-career (20-plus years), employees make an average total remuneration of £30,500.
Careers in Asia:
An entry-level Animator with less than one year experience can expect to make an average total compensation (includes bonus, tips, and overtime pay) of S$26,400 (Singapore). An early career Animator with 1-5 years of experience makes an average total remuneration of S$36,000. A mid-career Animator with 5-10 years of experience makes an average total compensation of S$56,000.
Job Growth Trend
Although outsourcing may affect job growth in the field, animators will have an average employment growth between 2016 and 2026 of eight percent. Most of this demand is for animators who work for mobile apps, movies, television shows and video games. You can expect some fierce competition for animation jobs, so it’s helpful to showcase top-notch work in your portfolio and showcase skills in computer art applications, such as the Maya animation software and Adobe Creative Cloud.