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How To Become An Animator

How To Become An Animator

Becoming an animator is a great choice for those who wish to pursue a creative career in diverse work settings. Animators work in multiple industries including film and television, advertising, video games and more. Here are some tips and steps on how to become an animator.

Step 1
The first step in learning how to become an animator is to fully understand what the job entails. An animator typically works as part of a professional group to complete goal oriented projects within a specific time frame. Work is given to animators based on their specialties, which includes creating characters, storylines or worlds. Digital animation has replaced traditional forms, although these older ways of creating animated films are still utilized from time to time. By better understanding the the type of work environment you want to get into and what type of job you’d like to have, you can begin exploring sub fields within the career and develop a plan for getting the necessary training.

Step 2
The next step is to pursue an education at an accredited school of animation. Many universities, colleges and animation schools provide programs of study leading to bachelor’s, master’s and even doctorate degrees in the field. Some animation degree programs are administered online as well, offering flexibility to students. The purpose of these programs is to expose the student to diverse topics related to animation and to allow them to better explore their own interests in a structured environment. Internships and work-study programs further help for students to gain a better understanding of the animator’s work life and also develop connections within the field.

Step 3
The third step is to create a professional portfolio of completed projects and accomplishments. In many ways, this step can be important than the degree itself, as it allows for employers to better assess one’s skill level, creativity and raw talent. In many cases, a portfolio is created when the student is attending school. Another way to build a portfolio is to work or do an internship, which can allow the student to work on projects outside of the classroom, exposing them to advanced subjects and techniques within the field of animation.

Step 4
The fourth and final step is to prepare to look for work. A good way to do this is to better understand exactly what it is that prospective employers are looking for and only apply to positions that best match your own experience and expertise. Using social connections forged at the animation school is a great strategy to get one’s foot in the door. Be sure to show your employer that you have the knowledge necessary to complete the required tasks of the job. Highlight your experience that shows that you’ll be a reliable, productive member of the team.

The job growth for animators is expected to grow 6% in the next decade or so. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median salary for animators is approximately $61,370 per year.* While the work often entails long hours, the career is generally seen as rewarding, as it allows for individuals to be creative while still making a living.

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