What does an Animator do?

Animators perform a number of different tasks, with the end goal of creating visual works that can be displayed through different media sources, including film, TV, websites, and social media. This role requires storyboarding, drawing using physical and digital tools, creating frames for animation, and pulling frames together into moving pictures. Animators must be able to work collaboratively as well as independently and often on tight deadlines.

Animators do not require a degree for entry level positions. However, Bachelor's degree in art, animation, or similar fields may be preferred. This role requires individuals who are extremely detail-oriented and who possess necessary communication skills for collaborative work.

What responsibilities are common for Animator jobs?
  • Receive and examine design requirements for each project
  • Research various design techniques to provide accurate designs for requested animations
  • Create multiple design drafts and collaborate with teams and stakeholders for final direction
  • Use requested design tools, including physical and digital tools, to create initial designs
  • Create and elaborate on storyboards for requested projects
  • Use existing tools to draw final frames to be animated
  • Utilize industry animation tools or methods to finalize animation projects
  • Work collaboratively with other animators to ensure consistency and accuracy of animated designs
What are the typical qualifications for Animator jobs?
  • 0-1 years of experience drawing and animating
  • Experience using animation software, such as Adobe Animate, Maya, Cinema 4D, or Blender
  • Proven ability to draw across different types of artistic styles
  • Experience implementing different animation styles, including traditional animation, 3D computer animation, 2D vector animation and others
  • General computer literacy, including experience with common operating systems (Windows, Linux, MacOS) and productivity tools
  • Strong desire and ability to work collaboratively to fulfill project demands
  • Ability to work independently as needed
  • Comfort presenting and explaining animations, storyboards and designs to stakeholders
  • Significant attention to detail and patience to work carefully and efficiently
EducationBachelor's Degree
Work/Life Balance
3.5 ★
Salary Range--
Career Opportunity
3.7 ★
Avg. Experience2-4 years

Animator Salaries

Average Base Pay

$3,000 /month
Same as national average
Not including cash compensation
See More Insights
$2K
Median: $3K
$7K
See More Insights
Glassdoor Estimated Salary

Animator Career Path

Learn how to become an Animator, what skills and education you need to succeed, and what level of pay to expect at each step on your career path.

L2
Animator
$35,800/yr
L3
Senior Animator
No Salary Reports
L4
Lead Animator
No Salary Reports
L2

Average Years of Experience

0 - 1
13%
2 - 4
70%
5 - 7
9%
8+
8%
Not including years spent in education and/or training
See Career Path

Animator Insights

Read what Animator professionals have to say about their job experiences and view top companies for this career.
Streamline StudiosStreamline Studios
Animator and Rigging Artist
15 Sept 2020

“Streamline is quite divers working environment which you will be having equal chance to work and grow as local Malaysians.”

GramGram
Junior Animator
2 Dec 2020

“Working at Gram fuels my desire to be great animator and work in its industry.”

CodeLabs (Pakistan)
Animator
4 Jan 2022

“Best place to work with creative minds and everyone helps other to be better and i feel blessed to be working with such creative minds”

KingKing
Animator
18 Feb 2020

“The best place to work if you want a great balance in your personal life.”

Xentrix StudiosXentrix Studios
3D Animator
3 May 2022

“If you are ready to work 24/7 then you will get a good salary raise.”

CD PROJEKT REDCD PROJEKT RED
Technical Animator
14 Mar 2021

“People are really nice and kind”

Toon City
Animator
24 May 2021

“Sometimes a decent and good pay depending on the projects.”

Sinking Ship EntertainmentSinking Ship Entertainment
Animator
16 Sept 2020

“Really talented and awesome people to work with.”

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Animator Interviews

Frequently asked questions about the role and responsibilities of animators

An animator spends their day creating animations and visual effects for industries like video gaming, television, movies, or advertising. They typically work on a computer or tablet with common software programs. They communicate with clients to understand the specifics of their projects. They may generate ideas or storyboards with other types of artistic media.

Talented animators can easily find work in a wide variety of industries, entertainment and otherwise. Working as an animator is a great way to get paid to create art. Animators are able to share their talents and vision with lots of viewers. Animators can focus on just one type of animation or try lots of different projects.

Animation is highly detail-oriented, and animators need extensive software skills. Animators spend many hours on a computer or other device. Projects are often deadline-based, meaning animators may need to work long hours. Freelance workers may find working from home isolating and lonely.

Related Careers

Concept Artist
$52,800
No skills overlap
Environment Artist
13% skills overlap
3D Artist
$37,000
13% skills overlap
Character Artist
50% skills overlap

Animator jobs