Animation Artist Careers

Disney. Pixar. Cartoon Network. These companies and many other studios, video game developers, and even advertising agencies would be nowhere without the hard work of animation artists. Animation artists design and develop animated videos that can be only a few minutes long or entire feature length films.

It goes without saying that animation artists have to be good at drawing. They need to design memorable characters and know how to make those characters move. However, animation in the modern age is not just about putting pen to paper. Animation artists need to be able to work with software like Photoshop, Maya, and AfterEffects.

Becoming an animation artist isn't easy. Many earn bachelor's degrees in visual art and spend years honing their craft. The hard work doesn't stop once they get hired. If the studio is trying to hit a tight deadline, animation artists often stay late and work many hours of overtime. Animation is hard work, but for many artists the satisfaction of seeing their work on screen is worth it.

There is more than meets the eye when it comes to being an animation artist. For example, did you know that they make an average of $39.86 an hour? That's $82,900 a year!

Between 2018 and 2028, the career is expected to grow 4% and produce 3,000 job opportunities across the U.S.

What Does an Animation Artist Do

There are certain skills that many animation artists have in order to accomplish their responsibilities. By taking a look through resumes, we were able to narrow down the most common skills for a person in this position. We discovered that a lot of resumes listed artistic talent, computer skills and creativity.

Learn more about what an Animation Artist does

How To Become an Animation Artist

If you're interested in becoming an animation artist, one of the first things to consider is how much education you need. We've determined that 70.2% of animation artists have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 7.9% of animation artists have master's degrees. Even though most animation artists have a college degree, it's possible to become one with only a high school degree or GED.

Choosing the right major is always an important step when researching how to become an animation artist. When we researched the most common majors for an animation artist, we found that they most commonly earn bachelor's degree degrees or associate degree degrees. Other degrees that we often see on animation artist resumes include master's degree degrees or diploma degrees.

You may find that experience in other jobs will help you become an animation artist. In fact, many animation artist jobs require experience in a role such as animator. Meanwhile, many animation artists also have previous career experience in roles such as artist or internship.

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Average Salary
Average Salary
Job Growth Rate
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Job Openings
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Animation Artist Career Paths

Top Careers Before Animation Artist

26.9 %
11.4 %

Top Careers After Animation Artist

27.2 %
10.2 %

Animation Artist Jobs You Might Like

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Average Salary for an Animation Artist

Animation Artists in America make an average salary of $82,900 per year or $40 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $124,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $55,000 per year.
Average Salary
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Best Paying Cities For Animation Artists

Average Salarydesc
Seattle, WA
Salary Range94k - 164k$124k$124,385
Las Vegas, NV
Salary Range83k - 139k$108k$107,725
Greenwich, CT
Salary Range73k - 136k$100k$100,072
Novato, CA
Salary Range76k - 129k$100k$99,631
Bend, OR
Salary Range62k - 106k$82k$81,577
Albany, NY
Salary Range55k - 104k$77k$76,539
Dallas, TX
Salary Range58k - 97k$75k$75,180
Farmington Hills, MI
Salary Range49k - 94k$68k$68,390
Columbia, MD
Salary Range49k - 93k$68k$68,026
Fayetteville, NC
Salary Range48k - 88k$66k$65,794
Orlando, FL
Salary Range48k - 84k$64k$64,151
Philadelphia, PA
Salary Range44k - 82k$60k$60,415
Atlanta, GA
Salary Range43k - 77k$58k$58,239
Minneapolis, MN
Salary Range39k - 72k$54k$53,837

Recently Added Salaries

CompanyascdescCompanyascdescStart DateascdescSalaryascdesc
Multi Media Artists and Animators
Digital Dream Labs, LLC.
Artist, Animation
Blue Sky Studios Inc.
2D Artist and Animator
Immersed Games, Inc.
Animator and GFX Artist
Tubescience USA, Inc.
Animation Artist
Xpress Video Production
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Animation Artist Demographics



70.1 %


23.1 %


6.8 %



72.5 %

Hispanic or Latino

11.8 %


8.4 %

Foreign Languages Spoken


33.3 %


11.1 %


11.1 %
Show More Animation Artist Demographics

Animation Artist Education


35.9 %
Fine Arts
14.8 %



70.2 %


15.5 %


7.9 %

Top Colleges for Animation Artists

1. University of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, PA • Private

In-State Tuition

2. Harvard University

Cambridge, MA • Private

In-State Tuition

3. Carnegie Mellon University

Pittsburgh, PA • Private

In-State Tuition

4. New York University

New York, NY • Private

In-State Tuition

5. Stanford University

Stanford, CA • Private

In-State Tuition

6. University of Southern California

Los Angeles, CA • Private

In-State Tuition

7. University of Texas at Austin

Austin, TX • Private

In-State Tuition

8. Northeastern University

Boston, MA • Private

In-State Tuition

9. Duke University

Durham, NC • Private

In-State Tuition

10. Northwestern University

Evanston, IL • Private

In-State Tuition
Show More Animation Artist Education Requirements

Online Courses For Animation Artist That You May Like

Learn Professional Pixel Art & Animation for Games

Become an exquisite pixel artist and animator...

Learn to Animate: Animation Principles

How to Animate Level 1: the complete guide to Animation Principles in Adobe Animate...

The Ultimate 2D Game Character Design & Animation Course

Learn how to design and animate a character in Photoshop that can stand up as professional work...

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Top Skills For an Animation Artist

The skills section on your resume can be almost as important as the experience section, so you want it to be an accurate portrayal of what you can do. Luckily, we've found all of the skills you'll need so even if you don't have these skills yet, you know what you need to work on. Out of all the resumes we looked through, 14.6% of animation artists listed graphic design on their resume, but soft skills such as artistic talent and computer skills are important as well.

Best States For an Animation Artist

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as an animation artist. The best states for people in this position are Washington, Maine, Nevada, and New Hampshire. Animation artists make the most in Washington with an average salary of $120,482. Whereas in Maine and Nevada, they would average $111,683 and $109,235, respectively. While animation artists would only make an average of $108,955 in New Hampshire, you would still make more there than in the rest of the country. We determined these as the best states based on job availability and pay. By finding the median salary, cost of living, and using the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Location Quotient, we narrowed down our list of states to these four.

1. Washington

Total Animation Artist Jobs:
Highest 10% Earn:
Location Quotient:
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

2. New Hampshire

Total Animation Artist Jobs:
Highest 10% Earn:
Location Quotient:
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

3. Rhode Island

Total Animation Artist Jobs:
Highest 10% Earn:
Location Quotient:
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here
Full List Of Best States For Animation Artists

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