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Working as an Animator

Calling all of you creative folk! Animators create images that appear to move through use of visual effects. So if you've ever watched a cartoon, you know what an animator's job is.

While some find their creative spaces in an office, other animators find that their home is the most creative space. So they work from there. In order to find work as an animator, you're going to want to brush up on your portfolio of work. It has to really impress the interviewing team.

There is more than meets the eye when it comes to being an animator. For example, did you know that they make an average of $38.76 an hour? That's $80,617 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 Animator Do

There are certain skills that many animators 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 creativity, computer skills and communication skills.

When it comes to the most important skills required to be an animator, we found that a lot of resumes listed 7.7% of animators included graphic design, while 7.5% of resumes included storyboard pro, and 6.6% of resumes included video games. Hard skills like these are helpful to have when it comes to performing essential job responsibilities.

When it comes to searching for a job, many search for a key term or phrase. Instead, it might be more helpful to search by industry, as you might be missing jobs that you never thought about in industries that you didn't even think offered positions related to the animator job title. But what industry to start with? Most animators actually find jobs in the technology and media industries.

How To Become an Animator

If you're interested in becoming an animator, one of the first things to consider is how much education you need. We've determined that 68.8% of animators have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 13.3% of animators have master's degrees. Even though most animators 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 animator. When we researched the most common majors for an animator, we found that they most commonly earn bachelor's degree degrees or master's degree degrees. Other degrees that we often see on animator resumes include associate degree degrees or diploma degrees.

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

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Average Salary$80,617
Job Growth Rate4%

Animator Jobs

Animator Career Paths

Top Careers Before Animator

Top Careers After Animator

Artist
13.0 %

What is the right job for my career path?

Tell us your goals and we'll match you with the rights job to get there.

Average Salary for an Animator

Animators in America make an average salary of $80,617 per year or $39 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $134,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $48,000 per year.
Average Salary
$80,617

Best Paying Cities

City
Average Salary
Greenwich, CT
Salary Range85k - 159k$116k$116,482
Seattle, WA
Salary Range80k - 135k$105k$104,515
Novato, CA
Salary Range73k - 128k$97k$97,360
New York, NY
Salary Range59k - 110k$81k$81,183
Cary, NC
Salary Range56k - 103k$76k$76,289
Baltimore, MD
Salary Range55k - 101k$75k$75,101
$40k
$159k

Recently Added Salaries

Job TitleCompanyCompanyStart DateSalary
Animator (Project Based)
Animator (Project Based)
Buzzfeed
Buzzfeed
11/30/2020
11/30/2020
$58,43611/30/2020
$58,436
Animator (Project Based)
Animator (Project Based)
Buzzfeed
Buzzfeed
09/30/2020
09/30/2020
$58,43609/30/2020
$58,436
Senior Animator
Senior Animator
Randstad
Randstad
06/11/2020
06/11/2020
$60,00006/11/2020
$60,000
Animator
Animator
Randstad
Randstad
01/15/2020
01/15/2020
$60,52301/15/2020
$60,523
Animator
Animator
Mayo Clinic
Mayo Clinic
09/28/2019
09/28/2019
$126,26409/28/2019
$126,264
See More Recent Salaries

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Animator Resumes

Designing and figuring out what to include on your resume can be tough, not to mention time-consuming. That's why we put together a guide that is designed to help you craft the perfect resume for becoming an Animator. If you're needing extra inspiration, take a look through our selection of templates that are specific to your job.

Learn How To Write an Animator Resume

At Zippia, we went through countless Animator resumes and compiled some information about how best to optimize them. Here are some suggestions based on what we found, divided by the individual sections of the resume itself.

View Detailed Information

Animator Demographics

Gender

male

65.0 %

female

26.0 %

unknown

8.9 %

Ethnicity

White

73.3 %

Hispanic or Latino

11.4 %

Asian

8.2 %

Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

54.5 %

Chinese

18.2 %

Mandarin

9.1 %
See More Demographics

Animator Education

Majors

Animation
43.6 %

Degrees

Bachelors

68.8 %

Masters

13.3 %

Associate

8.4 %

Top Colleges for Animators

1. University of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, PA

In-State Tuition
$55,584
Enrollment
10,764

2. Harvard University

Cambridge, MA

In-State Tuition
$50,420
Enrollment
7,582

3. Duke University

Durham, NC

In-State Tuition
$55,695
Enrollment
6,596

4. New York University

New York, NY

In-State Tuition
$51,828
Enrollment
26,339

5. Carnegie Mellon University

Pittsburgh, PA

In-State Tuition
$55,465
Enrollment
6,483

6. University of Southern California

Los Angeles, CA

In-State Tuition
$56,225
Enrollment
19,548

7. University of Texas at Austin

Austin, TX

In-State Tuition
$10,610
Enrollment
40,329

8. Stanford University

Stanford, CA

In-State Tuition
$51,354
Enrollment
7,083

9. Northeastern University

Boston, MA

In-State Tuition
$51,522
Enrollment
13,760

10. Northwestern University

Evanston, IL

In-State Tuition
$54,568
Enrollment
8,451
See More Education Info

Entry Level Jobs For Becoming An Animator

Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary

Top Skills For an Animator

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, 7.7% of animators listed graphic design on their resume, but soft skills such as creativity and computer skills are important as well.

  • Graphic Design, 13.3%
  • Storyboard, 9.0%
  • Adobe Creative Suite, 6.6%
  • Game Engine, 6.3%
  • Layout, 6.2%
  • Other Skills, 58.6%
  • See All Animator Skills

Best States For an Animator

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as an animator. The best states for people in this position are Rhode Island, Connecticut, New Hampshire, and Nevada. Animators make the most in Rhode Island with an average salary of $116,887. Whereas in Connecticut and New Hampshire, they would average $115,461 and $114,437, respectively. While animators would only make an average of $112,582 in Nevada, 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. Maine

Total Animator Jobs:
2
Highest 10% Earn:
$187,000
Location Quotient:
3.88
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. Nevada

Total Animator Jobs:
1
Highest 10% Earn:
$185,000
Location Quotient:
1.08
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. Washington

Total Animator Jobs:
11
Highest 10% Earn:
$167,000
Location Quotient:
2.9
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
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Top Animator Employers

We've made finding a great employer to work for easy by doing the hard work for you. We looked into employers that employ animators and discovered their number of animator opportunities and average salary. Through our research, we concluded that Pixar was the best, especially with an average salary of $83,004. The Walt Disney Company follows up with an average salary of $37,770, and then comes Activision Blizzard with an average of $76,596. In addition, we know most people would rather work from home. So instead of having to change careers, we identified the best employers for remote work as an animator. The employers include ACTIVISION BLIZZARD, The Meet Group, and Tencent

1. Pixar
4.5
Avg. Salary: 
$83,004
Animators Hired: 
44+
2. The Walt Disney Company
4.7
Avg. Salary: 
$37,770
Animators Hired: 
29+
3. Activision Blizzard
4.7
Avg. Salary: 
$76,596
Animators Hired: 
24+
4. Electronic Arts
4.8
Avg. Salary: 
$80,815
Animators Hired: 
21+
5. Microsoft
4.9
Avg. Salary: 
$113,805
Animators Hired: 
10+
6. Epic Systems
4.7
Avg. Salary: 
$78,542
Animators Hired: 
9+

Animator Videos

Recently Added Animator Jobs