Computer Animator: Career Outlook for Computer Animators

Published Sep 01, 2009

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As the entertainment industry becomes more and more reliant on digital imaging, Computer Animators may find numerous job prospects as multimedia animators or graphic designers. Read on to find out more about the typical responsibilities, earnings potential and future outlook for multimedia animation and graphic design.

Multimedia Animation Overview and Career Outlook

Many multimedia Computer Animators work in film and television, creating and editing digitally animated special effects such as cartoons, action scenes and digitally reproduced stunt doubles. Others have careers as gaming designers, developing interactive plots, characters and other digital components of video games. Multimedia Computer Animators in both the motion picture and gaming industries are responsible for digitizing and scanning hand-drawn images, visual and character development, storyboard creation and 3D modeling.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS),, reports that the majority of career opportunities are in large cities with thriving entertainment industries, such as Los Angeles and New York. According to the BLS, job growth is projected between the years of 2006 and 2016, but qualified individuals should expect competition for these careers to be high. Job prospects will be better for animators who are proficient in digital imaging. The BLS also reports that multimedia computer animation specialists made an average annual salary of $56,330 in May 2008.

Web and Graphic Design Overview and Career Outlook

Web and graphic design Computer Animators convey strategic business messages to the public by designing digital images, messages and other communications for advertising campaigns and company websites. Computer Animation professionals working in web and graphic design are often employed by advertising and publishing companies or by advertising departments at larger firms. Those working within larger companies are frequently responsible for liaising with other departments to coordinate budget and production schedules for graphic design campaigns. In addition to graphic design skills, business acumen and communications expertise are required.

Many web and graphic design Computer Animators pursue careers as freelance consultants, working as independent contractors on digital design projects for various clients. Graphic designers with bachelor's degrees typically start off in entry-level positions, but may eventually ascend to more senior roles, such as chief designer or creative director. The BLS projects employment for graphic design professionals to grow at an average rate through 2016. According to, graphic designers made an average annual salary of $41,300 in 2007, with maximum potential earnings exceeding $72,200.

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