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.

  • 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
  • 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
3.6 ★
Avg. Experience2-4 years

Animator Salaries

Average Base Pay

$69,896 /yr
Same as national average
Not including cash compensation
See More Insights
$38K
Median: $70K
$129K
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
$69,896/yr
L3
Senior Animator
$110,364/yr
L4
Lead Animator
$99,711/yr
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
Sep 15, 2020

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

GramGram
Junior Animator
Dec 2, 2020

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

CodeLabs (Pakistan)
Animator
Jan 4, 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
Feb 18, 2020

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

Snowball StudiosSnowball Studios
Animator
Sep 18, 2019

“1. Extremely poor management: I was promised a 20 sec/ week quota before agreeing to work here.”

CD PROJEKT REDCD PROJEKT RED
Technical Animator
Mar 14, 2021

“People are really nice and kind”

Toon City
Animator
May 24, 2021

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

Sinking Ship EntertainmentSinking Ship Entertainment
Animator
Sep 16, 2020

“Really talented and awesome people to work with.”

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Animator Interviews

Related Careers

Concept Artist
$75,038
No skills overlap
Technical Artist
$80,896
25% skills overlap
3D Artist
$62,624
13% skills overlap
Character Artist
$73,980
50% skills overlap

Animator Jobs

Frequently asked questions about the roles and responsibilities of an animator

When working as an animator, the most common skills you will need to perform your job and for career success are Maya, Illustration, Zbrush, Autodesk 3ds Max, and Rendering.

The most similar professions to animator are:
  • Concept Artist
  • Technical Artist
  • 3D Artist
  • Character Artist

The most common qualifications to become an animator include a minimum of a Bachelor's Degree and an average of 0 - 1 years of experience not including years spent in education and/or training.