Animator: Education and Job Training Requirements for Becoming a Professional Animator

Published Sep 09, 2009

RSS Feed

Without the help of animators, well-known characters like Bugs Bunny or Mickey Mouse would never have been brought to life. Animators use both pen-and-paper and computers to design and animate images to depict a story. Take a look below to find out what kind of education and job training it requires to become an animator.

Animator Career Summary

Animators first draw images by hand and then use computers to animate these images for television programs, films and video games. Computers allow animators to make objects appear lifelike through the manipulation of brightness, quality, dimness and color. O*Net, (, notes that animators use information from the writers in order to draft, plan and create both crucial story elements and narrative sequences in an animated format. Animators can work on multiple projects at a time, but it is crucial that deadlines be met in order to get a finished project out to the public on time.

Education Required to Become an Animator

While certificate programs and associate degree programs in animation are available, most employers require that animators have at least a bachelor's degree. Career Onestop, (, reports that a bachelor's degree is the most common level of education for professional animators. The Bachelor of Fine Arts and Master of Fine Arts in Animation and Visual Effects are two of the best degree choices for prospective animators. These degree programs combine both art and computer courses.

Job Training and Certifications Required to Become an Animator

After obtaining their education, animators require some job training either through internships or with entry-level positions. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (, newly hired artists and animators usually start with routine work while observing senior members on the staff. They practice animation techniques, developing the skills needed to handle more complicated tasks. No certification is required to become a professional animator; certifications in computer proficiency, however, can be helpful in an animator's job search.

Featured School Choices: