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What Degree Do You Need To Be An Animator

By David Krug 4 minute read

In light of the recent success of several animated films, the desire to become an animator has not diminished. In reality, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that there are presently more than 73,700 active professionals in the sector.

Moreover, the job forecast is expanding at an average annual pace of eight percent, in line with the rest of the market. And although many continue to seek their dream employment in this field, those who have not yet made the leap into animation should be aware of the fundamentals. Specifically, they should be familiar with all of the stages required to become a professional animator.


Most jobs in the animation industry, according to the BLS, need a bachelor’s degree. As a result, without four years of formal instruction at a university, prospects are unlikely to be eligible for their ideal job. Because of this, now is a great opportunity to brush up on technical skills and narrow down on a specific area of animation that interests you. A mix of conventional and motion graphics techniques, as well as 2-D and 3-D elements, is a typical choice.

Gaining an education in a field like computer animation, fine art, or graphic design might help those who aren’t sure about their professional path. University programs for animators are almost always expected to require students to follow a specified plan of study. It will cover all of the topics listed above, plus a slew of others that the student should get familiar with. 

Prospective animators will be able to select which type of animation best suits their interests and abilities during their academic pursuits. If four-year programs are not for you, getting certified or earning an associate’s degree might still qualify you for a range of employment. This approach may often reduce the amount of time spent in school by half, but it also greatly reduces the number of employment opportunities and the range of possible salaries.

Making a Portfolio

Although schooling is the initial step in becoming an animator, it is not as essential as having an impressive portfolio. Even without a formal degree, professionals with exceptionally attractive portfolios will be able to get employment. However, the same cannot be stated for their rivals who possess extensive education but no portfolio.

Fortunately, there is arguably no better time than college to focus on establishing an animation portfolio. The majority of the student’s leisure time must be spent practicing and developing their art. After all, teachers and classes will only illustrate the fundamental principles applicable to the entire sector.

Actual animation talents that are unique enough to impress recruiters must be acquired outside of the classroom. The secret to securing a terrific entry-level work is devoting a few hours on weekends and days off to developing a stellar demo reel and a broad portfolio.

Seek Employment Before Graduation

It is one of the major advantages of attending college for two or more years to have so many long breaks. As an example, take a look at the spring-to-summer break that kids have throughout this period. Working for a company in the business is a great way to obtain experience as an animator at that period.

Using this method, students will be exposed to real-world working situations that they will confront after graduation, according to Game Designing. They’ll have a better idea of what to expect from their profession in the long term if they do that.

Another advantage of internships is that they help you create a vast network of connections. After earning a degree, finding full-time work will not be a simple task. Job applications and interviews form the basis of the process. It is possible, however, for a student to benefit from prior acquaintances with local recruiters and recruiting organizations.

They won’t be able to avoid the lengthy and tedious hiring process entirely, but they can surely make it more tolerable. Additionally, some interns will be hired full-time following their internship, meaning they won’t have to worry about finding work once they graduate.

Consider Post-Graduate and Continuing Education Options

Anyone who has completed high school and meets the academic prerequisites to pursue a career as an animator should look into post-graduate or continuing education options. For example, they may want to take a specialist animation course to learn more about their interests.

When it comes to 3-D projects, for example, some credentials will make their portfolio stand out to recruiters. Candidates’ bargaining power increases if they take advantage of these higher-level training possibilities. Could help them rise through the ranks much more quickly when they become proficient enough to teach others.

To succeed as an animator, it is essential that everyone interested in the field maintain their curiosity. Since keeping up the degree of passion and inventiveness required for success is essential, this is the reason. An animator must, after all, maintain a delicate balance between creative flair and a working mastery of computer tools.

For this reason, a short search for anything entertaining and linked to animation might be the best strategy to avoid becoming a burnt-out animator.

David Krug