Build a Career in Animation (Complete Study Guide)


In 2017, the Bureau of Labor Statistics has shown that multi-media artists and animators were able to earn around $70,530 per year. Just imagine getting paid for developing cartoon characters like the Ice Age, Bolt, and Batman. Yes, that’s an animation- turning the real-life characters in the animated cartoon form. Want to build a career in animation? Read till the end to know about the pros and cons of a career in animation, career paths in animation, top universities to consider for building a career in animation and more.

Let’s Define Animation

Earlier, cartoons were static. Do you remember reading comics? Animation has brought life to such static cartoons used in comics and made them dynamic.

In a simple manner, we can say that animation is a process that allows us to create an illusion of motion with the help of static pictures. We just simply put them in such sequence or apply such techniques that make the pictures move in a natural way.


Career In Animation

Having a career in animation would be rewarding because technology always tends to rise since the very first existence of human beings. Can you determine what can be the next trend?

No, Right? Look at the pattern- first Disney came into existence in the year 1923 and after that, Cartoon Network also became popular with it in the year 1992.

Once you develop a character, it may also last for a lifetime in someone’s heart as Walt Disney did with Mickey Mouse.

And if you love to draw out things, you should opt for such a career because there are few artists who get success on the paper. So we recommend you to move towards trends not away from them. 

What Do You Need To Get Into Animation?

Those who are in the animation field are crackerjack in so many skills. So our Leverage Edu team has worked hard to show the reality. Without these skills it would be difficult for anyone to pursue animation as a career:

  • Drawing
  • Good Communication Skills
  • Storytelling
  • Basic Knowledge About Computers
  • High Imagination Capability
  • Continuous Learning Attitude

Pros of Having A Career In Animation


  • Freedom To Show Your Creativity

If you are drawing out something you have seen in the dreams, believe me, it’s totally okay. Nobody is going to stop you. And you can even get hired because of the cartoon that you have created just for fun.

  • Inspire

Our ultimate purpose in life is to make an impact. After all, we are here to learn, teach and help each other. A career in animation will give you this opportunity to inspire. Like any other artist, you would be able to portray your feelings and thoughts to the real world.

  • Flexibility

If the project is all yours, you may work at 3 A.M or 5 A.M. You will have full control over your life but the situation may vary if you work as an employee.


  • Worried About Job? Choose Freelancing

For over the last few years, people are transitioning from jobs to freelancing because it offers them flexibility so that they can go outside to get inspiration for the next characters and stories. Moreover, they can either work for a corporate client or get in touch with the entertainment industry.

Cons of Choosing Animation Career


  • Strict Deadlines

You will have to deal with stern deadlines if you are working as an employee in a company. Moreover, you will have to follow the demands of the employer. They won’t give you the level of flexibility that you may get in doing your own projects in freelancing.

  • Patience

A single aspect of the project may consume a lot of time. You have to be very patient when it comes to making a complex character. Sometimes animators just end up embellishing hairs of the character for days.

  • Up-to-Date

As you know the technology is changing intensively and you will have to keep yourself updated in this career because technology directly affects the nature of this field.

Career in Animation

Which Career Path To Choose In Animation?


An animator is the most traditional career path in this field. So an animator basically makes animation and produces a series of visual effects for media using various software programs and illustrations. He acts as a planner, creator, and coordinator. Primarily, an animator works in video industries, games, advertising agencies, motion pictures, and specialist design companies.

3D Modeler

As the name suggests, 3D modelers usually construct visual images and models in 3D shapes. A 3D modeler works in the following industries:

  • Aerospace
  • Environmental agencies
  • Firms
  • Automotive industry
  • Real estate
  • Government Agencies
  • Forensics
  • Interior Design Firms
  • Technology firms.

Character Rigger

Work of a Character Rigger is to regulate the geometry of characters and fundamental skeletons. Therefore, one has to be quite technical, precise and focused. A character Rigger often works in visual effects houses, design firms, animation studios, and game design companies.

Animation Director

The animation director is the position of a director who elucidates a brief of the project. He ensures that whether the team that includes assistants and various animators is working as per the brief needs or not.

Forensic Animator

A Forensic Animator indulges in the process of recreation of events to extract the data out of the observations taken from the police officers, forensic experts, shreds of evidence, and eyewitnesses. Such animators usually work for law enforcement agencies, attorneys, government, investigation firms, or science labs.


Mathematical Modeler

Well, the mathematicians are also here! The work of a mathematical modeler is to analyze and debug mathematical errors in animation modeling. Sometimes a mathematical modeler introduces new concepts to the various animation-related industries.

Stop Motion Animator

Stop motion animation requires an impeccable amount of skills that comprise of attentiveness, details, and patience. Commonly, it’s called clay animation or claymation. Stop motion is an animated-film producing technique in which objects are manipulated physically. Unlike 2D or 3D animators, Stop motion animator have to set up physical rigs.

Top Universities That Will Make Your Career In Animation

  1. Massachusetts College of Art and Design

The aim of Massachusetts College of Arts and design is to push students through various trendy animation techniques since its establishment (1873). Students get directed towards:

  • Character
  • Documentary
  • Digital Animation
  • Stop Motion

They not only put emphasis on the conventional techniques but also believe in experimenting new things along with studies Moreover, the Northeast Association of Schools and Colleges and the National Association of Schools of Art and Design, they both have accredited it.

  1. School of Visual Arts, New York

The school provides a Bachelor of Fine Arts in animation. Currently, its acceptance rate is 75 percent. The school of visual arts in New York was formed in the year 1947. Like any other best animation schools, School of Visual Arts, New York will also train you on the most up-to-date hardware and software that are currently used in the animation industry. Graduates of this school receive an opportunity to work at WB, Nickelodeon, Disney, and other successful animation studios.

  1. Laguna College of Arts and Design, California

It is believed that those who have earned a degree in Laguna have been through intensive storytelling training. Laguna is a private college which was formed in 1961 in Laguna Beach. Just like the School of Visual Arts, New York, it also offers employment opportunity in well-known studios like Pixar, Cartoon Network, and Industrial Light & Magic.


  1. Florida State University

Do you know Florida State University is situated on the oldest site of higher education in the Florida state? Yes, it is. Florida state university has marked its presence since 1851. A degree of Bachelor of Fine Arts in Motion Picture Arts will is provided here and the course is focused on both digital arts and animation.

Students are guided towards:

  • Cinematography
  • Editing
  • Live Action
  • Sound
  • History of the Film Industry

There are 16 separate colleges and more than 111 facilities, labs, institutes, and centers that accommodate 360 programs together. In 2019, U.S News & World Report ranked it as the 26th best public university in Florida. In addition to this, SACS has also recognized the university.

  1. University of Pennsylvania

In 1740, one of the most competitive universities in Pennsylvania took birth. It is known for providing a digital media design program. The aim of the university is to present a broad overview of digital media in front of students. The University of Pennsylvania also provides employment opportunities in the Electronic Arts, Microsoft, Pixar, Disney, and Zynga. An alumnus of the university, Paul Kanuk has achieved Oscar for the film “Brave.”

  1. Ohio State University

Ohio University is generally called as OSU. This huge public research university was founded in 1870 in Columbus, Ohio. It provides undergraduate as well as graduate degrees in the field of Arts and technologies. OSU’s primary objective is to develop skills and knowledge in gaming, 3D, and digital imaging. Along with this, it also provides a Master of Fine Arts and design keeping in mind the interactive media and digital animation. Statistics tell us that the graduates from Ohio State University have an employment rate of more than 60 percent.


  1. Columbia College of Chicago

When it comes to the list of non-profitable colleges in Chicago, this college has always been in the list since 1890. It provides a degree in bachelor of arts in both computer and traditional animation. Your training will be focused on the 3D and 2D animations. Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association has also recognized it.

  1. Pratt Institue, New York

The Pratt Institute In New York gives an opportunity for you to do a degree in Bachelor of Fine Arts in Digital Arts and Animation. Students are directed to learn 3D and 2D animation. Pratt Institute has nine digital studio classrooms and a highly efficient fiber channel network. In its alumni, Eric Goldberg increases the value of the institute because he was the co-creator for WB and Walt Disney. Moreover, it was accredited by the National Association of Art & Design and Middle States Commission.

  1. Brigham Young University

Brigham generally called BYU is a private and non-profit research university in Provo, United States. You will be provided an undergraduate animation degree in Media Arts. However, it’s designed for students who have a strong desire to get access in the filming careers. During the course, students must master the history, theory, and culture of the film industry. Northwest Commission on College & Universities and National Association of Schools of Art & Design, both have recognized it.

  1. Maryland Institue College of Art (MICA)

Now this one is one of the most prestigious colleges in Baltimore which offers a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Animation. MICA is a private art and design college which was established in 1826. Students in this college are encouraged to learn the creation of contemporary artwork. Students are given instructions to learn and understand the character, technology, and narrative. 2D, 3D, stop motion and a variety of combinations are approached to accomplish creative works. One thing that you will see common in this institute is art. Yes, all the students are linked with the art that includes courses related to science, literature, and history.

MICA has been continuously ranking as one of the top 10 visual arts colleges in Maryland. It received accreditation from the Middle States Association of Colleges, National Association of Schools of Art & Design, and Schools Commission on Higher Education.

Have A Bright Creative Career in Animation

Even though work becomes challenging sometimes but this field will give you a space to showcase your creativity. What? Do you still have any specific questions? Contact Leverage Edu at +91-8826200293 now and we would look to doodle a career map for you.

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