Cartoon Animation: Employment Outlook for a Career in Cartoon Animation

Published Oct 13, 2009

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In 2006, there were 87,000 multimedia artists and animators in the United States. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics, that number is expected to swell 26% to 110,000 by 2016. Cutting-edge software applications for gaming platforms, Web interfaces and personal mobile communication devices are attributed for the growth in animator and multimedia artist positions.

Cartoon Animator Overview and Career Outlook

Cartoon animators bring life to characters, settings and the overall plots of video games, commercials and small and big-screen films. They create animation through the use of concept drawings and interactive design software that bring 3-dimensional movements to linear character sketches. Typically, cartoon animators have a bachelor's or master's degree in animation, graphic arts or multimedia design.

Internships provide practical work experience and help build an animator's portfolio. Many cartoon animators work for production companies, advertising agencies, graphic design firms and software development companies that produce games and interactive Web content. The U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics (BLS), reports the median annual earnings of a motion picture and video production animator to be $57,310 as of 2006.

Multimedia Artist Overview and Career Outlook

Multimedia artists have a broader creative canvas than animators. Like animators, they draw, design and program images to move realistically in film, television, video games, interactive software and Web-based applications. However, multimedia artists may also use other mediums, such as sculpture, to model 3-dimensional objects. Many multimedia artists work for design firms, publishing companies and advertising agencies and are charged with creating storyboards for commercials, movies and interactive Web content.

Multimedia artists usually earn a bachelor's degree in multimedia art, animation, graphic design or conceptual art. Professionals with the most extensive portfolios that illustrate their best work have the best opportunity for employment in this highly competitive industry. According to the BLS, the median salary for salaried multimedia artists was $51,350 in 2006.

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