Everything You Need to Know to Land an Animation Job in 2023
Animation is all around us, from advertisements and movie trailers to virtual reality experiences and educational games. And as the need for animated content continues to grow, so does the demand for talented animators.
If you’re looking to land an animation job in 2023, you’ll need more than just a creative eye. You’ll need technical skills and knowledge of various software programs and techniques. Depending on which kind of job you pursue, you may also need to be able to collaborate with other artists, engineers, and designers. If you’ve got the right skills and experience, here’s what you need to know about applying for animation jobs in 2023.
What Industries Need Animators?
Long gone are the days when animators were solely needed to create cartoons and children’s shows. Today, they can create content for a variety of industries, including advertising, gaming, television, movies, and virtual reality.
Most animation jobs are found in the entertainment industry, with movie studios and video game companies often being the biggest employers. However, other industries, such as medical, automotive, and corporate, are starting to use animation to create interactive videos or virtual reality environments for their businesses.
Many third-party agencies also work with companies to create animated content, so you may have the opportunity to freelance or work remotely in some cases. Some aspiring professionals take this route and end up working for themselves or starting their own animation companies.
What Types of Jobs are Available to Animators?
If you want to go down this career path, there are numerous ways to go about it; the path you choose will depend on your skills, experience, and personal interests. Let’s take a look at the most popular animation jobs:
The demand for 3D animators has increased due to the growth of the entertainment industry, such as movies, video games, advertisements, and virtual reality experiences. With more content being released and consumed than ever before, 3D animation is increasingly necessary to create an immersive experience that captures viewers’ attention. A few of the industries where VR is starting to take over include:
- Gaming: Metaverse gaming platforms like Oculus require 3D animators to create realistic environments and characters.
- Film and Television: Movies are now beginning to use 3D animation to create lifelike characters that look like they’re part of the real world.
- EdTech: Many blended learning environments now use three-dimensional renderings to create interactive and engaging learning experiences.
- Medical and Scientific: 3D animation is also used to create realistic visuals for medical and scientific research, such as anatomical models. These visuals enhance the learning experience and provide more opportunities for students and researchers to clearly understand complex concepts.
- Design and Architecture: Architects and interior designers need 3D animators to create lifelike visuals of their designs. Animators work with the designers to accurately represent what the finished product will look like.
- Advertising: Animators can create high-quality ads for TV, the web, or virtual reality that are far more engaging than traditional advertising.
- Ecommerce: Virtual fitting rooms, virtual try-ons, and product demonstrations are now becoming commonplace in the ecommerce world. In the future, more companies will offer animated renderings and examples for products, allowing customers to get a better idea of what they’re buying.
Advances in technology have allowed animators to create even more believable animations through complex algorithms and artificial intelligence software, which has opened up even more job opportunities in the industry.
According to the 2023 salary guide from Robert Half, 3D animators can expect to make about $75,000 at entry-level positions with the expected base salary moving up as they gain experience. For any aspiring animator, 3D animation is one of the best ways to start a rewarding career that will only grow in the future.
2D animation is what most people are familiar with—cartoons, motion graphics, advertising clips, and the like. This type of animation requires a different set of skills than 3D animation, as it is more reliant on hand-drawing abilities and creative design.
2D animators can find jobs in both traditional industries such as TV and film, as well as newer ones such as virtual reality and video games. In-depth knowledge of animation software such as Flash, After Effects, and Harmony is essential for 2D animators.
Like 3D animation, the job market for 2D animators has seen an uptick due to the increased demand for visual content. There are many reasons to get into 2D animation, including the potential to work on exciting projects and the flexibility it provides. With major platforms like Disney+, Netflix and Hulu relying on 2D animation, there are plenty of opportunities to get your foot in the door.
A storyboard is a visual representation of a story (usually in the form of images and text) that provides a roadmap for animators to follow when creating an animated project. It’s essentially a graphic novel that presents the entire project, making it easier for everyone involved to understand what needs to be done. Storyboard artists are responsible for the visual aspect of the story and need to have a strong artistic eye, as well as an understanding of the entire animation process.
The job market for storyboard artists is growing as more companies realize the importance of visuals in their projects. Storyboarding has become an essential part of any animated project from film and TV shows to video games and advertising campaigns. Aspiring storyboard artists should have a strong portfolio and be well-versed in animation software such as Photoshop, Illustrator, and After Effects.
Production and Post-Production
The production and post-production stages of animation involve making sure everything is running smoothly and on time. This includes managing the budget, coordinating with other departments, supervising animators, and overseeing the entire project from start to finish.
Production and post-production managers need to have strong organizational skills, be excellent communicators, and understand the technical aspect of animation. Animation studios are always in need of experienced production and post-production staff for their projects, so there is no shortage of opportunities for those who have the necessary skills.
What Skills Do You Need for Animation Jobs in 2023?
The animation industry is constantly changing and evolving, so it’s important to stay up to date on the latest technologies and trends. Here are some key skills that you should have if you want to get a job in animation:
- Knowledge of 2D and 3D software and programs such as Maya, Cinema 4D, After Effects, and Harmony
- Understanding of animation principles such as timing and frame by frame drawing
- Experience with storyboarding and character design
- Ability to work collaboratively with other animators and production staff
- Strong organizational skills and communication ability
- Creative problem-solving skills
To gain these skills, you can take animation classes, watch tutorials online, get hands-on experience with animation software, and create your own projects. For hard skills like computer programming, you could take an online Master in Computer Science and gain a strong understanding of the fundamentals. You can also attend a university for other skills like design thinking, storytelling, and animation techniques.
As for soft skills like problem-solving and collaboration, you can develop those through practice and experience. Working on projects with other animators or taking part in hackathons will give you the opportunity to hone these skills and gain some real-world experience.
How to Get a Job in Animation in 2023
The best way to get a job in animation is to create an impressive portfolio. This should showcase your skills and experience, as well as any projects you’ve worked on. You can also include a cover letter that explains why you’re the right person for the job.
Once your portfolio is ready, start applying for jobs and attending job fairs. Networking is key in the animation industry, so don’t be afraid to reach out to people and make connections. You can also join online groups for animators or attend conferences in your field to meet other professionals.
Using our online job board, you can find and apply for animation jobs from all over the world. You can also use our search tool to filter by location, job type, and company size so you can find a job that matches your skills and interests.
Freelance Opportunities in Animation
Freelancing gives people the flexibility to work from wherever they want and take on assignments that suit their lifestyle. There are many opportunities in animation to work as a freelancer, such as creating logos and illustrations for businesses, designing characters for video games, and creating explainer videos. You can find freelance gigs on our website or through other job search platforms like Upwork and Freelancer.
In many cases, freelancers can earn more money than those who take on a full-time job. By charging higher rates and taking on multiple projects, freelancing gives people the ability to control their time, build a larger portfolio, and gain more experience in the field.
However, freelancing has several drawbacks. It requires self-discipline, strong organizational skills, and the ability to stay motivated when working alone. You will also need to network and find clients on your own, which can be difficult if you’re just starting out.
When it comes to taxes, budgeting, and other business-related tasks, you’ll need to ensure that you understand your area’s regulations and laws. You will also need to find ways to protect yourself legally when taking on freelance work.
With the right skills and some hard work, getting a job in animation in 2023 is a potentially rewarding career path. Our online job board can help you find the right job for your desired field, and pursuing an education and building a professional network can open up further opportunities. Just remember to build a strong portfolio and start applying for jobs to get your foot in the door.