How to Become A Computer Animator

People working as computer animators use state of the art computerized technology to create animated objects. They derive their inspiration from the real-life objects surrounding them. Computer Animators use their artistic talents to create mesmerizing animations and often get employed in various industries such as film, gaming, television, business and so on. If you are a skilled artist who is well-versed in digital art, this career might be a good fit for you.

Should I Become a Computer Animator?

Computer animation is a very competitive industry as it uses the most revolutionary and latest technology in most projects. Therefore, employers look for candidates who can create a digital image of any object without overlooking any minute details and can stay up to date with the latest technologies. To stay ahead in this field, an ideal candidate must have an outstanding artistic touch. In addition to that, you must be an excellent team player with very good time management skills because often such projects require teamwork and have tight deadlines.

The following table highlights the main aspects of this career, as stated by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics for Multimedia Artists and Animators in 2019.

Education Required

At least a bachelor’s degree

Major Requirement

Computer Animation, Graphic Designing or Fine Arts


Not required but optional


1 to 5 years

Key Skills

Computer Animation, Communication, Time-management, Graphic Designing skills; Attention to detail and creativity etc.

Annual Mean Salary (2019)

$84,780 (Special Effects Artists and Animators)

Job Outlook (2018-2028)

4% (Multimedia Artists and Animators)

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Career Outlook for Computer Animators

As per the data reported by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics in 2018-19, all Multimedia Artists and Animators earned an annual mean salary of $84,780 in 2019 which almost equates to $40.76 mean wage per hour. In addition to that, BLS predicted a 4% employment growth for this career between 2018 and 2028. This percentage is considered to be as fast as the average of other careers since Computer Animators are in demand. Their popularity is rising because of the groundbreaking technology being used in production of high-quality animated films, video games and TV Shows etc.

Furthermore, Motion Picture and Video Industries was reported by the BLS as the top paying industry for this occupation with an annual mean salary of $100,910. In 2019, California was listed as the state with the highest employment numbers (11,910) whereas, Connecticut was named as the top paying state with an annual mean salary of $105,770.

Steps to Becoming a Computer Animator

If you are interested in working as a Computer Animator, you must complete the following steps to begin working in the field.

Step-1: Getting a Bachelor’s Degree

Computer graphics is a very competitive and technical field requiring in-depth knowledge about various fundamental concepts such as, sketching, lighting, modeling, graphic designing and so on. That is why, majority of individuals working in this capacity complete at least a 4-year bachelor’s degree with courses in computer science, fine arts, graphic designing or computer animation etc.

Step-2: Building a Portfolio

Since it is an artistic career, just graduating with a bachelor’s degree is not sufficient. People create portfolios to highlight their best work through which employers can assess their artistic style and the extent of their capabilities. The way you build your portfolio not only displays your artistic flare but also hints at your work ethic and determination. That is why, prospective computer animators must create strong portfolios to get hired.

Step-3: Career Advancement

It is self-evident that computer animation involves working with advanced technology that keeps evolving and upgrading. To stay in demand and get hired for big budget projects, computer animators regularly upgrade themselves by learning to work with the latest software and technology.

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