Animation degree programs teach individuals how to use computer software to bring characters and other images to life. Animations are now used in video games, on the Internet, in movies, and in commercial advertising campaigns. Animation is demonstrated by sequences of images being rapidly displayed, or by model positions, and is used to generate an illusion of movement on screen.
If you study for an Animation degree, you’ll learn to animate images by scanning fiberglass or clay models, capturing motion data from sensors attached to the human body, or using animation computer software programs.
Although there are no specific education requirements for becoming an animator, a bachelor’s degree in animation will help prepare you for a career by providing academic and hands-on experience. With an education in animation, you’ll be able to create moving images for film, video, media, and other computer applications.
Individuals interested in a career as an animator need to create a professional portfolio which showcases their work, and should include drawings, computer generated images, and a couple minutes worth of animations. Building out a website is another specialized way to display your work.
Job Opportunities for Animators
Multimedia artists and animators are in high demand. Many are self-employed freelancers, but others work in motion picture studios, advertising, and computer game companies. Due to the increasing need for computer graphics and the advancements being made with mobile technology, there is an opportunity for more job openings within the animation field. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2008 the median annual salaries of multimedia artists and animators were $56,330, where the middle 50 percent earned between $41,710 and $77,010.
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2010-2011 Edition