Computer Animation Salary: Average Salary of a Computer Animator

Published Sep 03, 2009

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Films like 'Finding Nemo' and 'Wall-E' have impressed both children and adults, but without the skills of Computer Animators, these stories could never have been told. Computer Animation professionals transfer sketches into the moving 2-D and 3-D images that audiences see on screen. Computer Animators made an average of $62,000 per year in 2008, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS),

Computer Animation Career Summary

By transforming hand-drawn images into animations, Computer Animators bring even the most fantastical stories to life. They work primarily in the television, film, advertising and computer services industries. The creations of Computer Animators can be found everywhere, from Saturday morning cartoons to the commercial for your favorite crackers.

One important job of Computer Animators is drawing storyboards that display, in still images, the sequence of a proposed animation. Once a storyboard is approved, Computer Animators advance to the digital side of the animation process. Using computers, they create 2-D or 3-D images from the sketched storyboards and employ various software to animate the images.

Computer Animators must be creative and artistically inclined individuals with excellent attention to detail. Not only do Computer Animators sketch the main characters and scenarios in an animation, they also create every background, set and prop. A full animation can take anywhere from days to years to complete.

Computer Animation Career Outlook and Salary Information

As of May 2008, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that the average salary for a Computer Animator was around $62,000 per year. The bottom ten percent of salaried Computer Animators earned an average of approximately $31,000 annually, while the top 90% made close to $100,000 a year.

The majority of Computer Animators worked in the film and video industry, earning around $72,000 annually. The second highest-earning industry for Computer Animators was specialized design services, which paid an average of $71,000 a year.

BLS figures from 2006 showed that the Computer Animation field was expected to grow by 26% through 2016, which was well above average for all occupations. However, job competition for Computer Animation positions was expected to be keen.

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