How to Become a 3D Artist?

Are you thinking of becoming a 3D Artist or already started your career and planning the next step? Learn how to become a 3D Artist, what skills you need to succeed, how to advance your career and get promoted, and what levels of pay to expect at each step on your career path. Explore new 3D Artist job openings and options for career transitions into related roles.

Steps to Become a 3d Artist

Entering the world of a 3D artist can be an exciting adventure — if you know what you're doing. The road can also be bumpy when you have no idea where to start. Use these steps to become a 3D artist:

Learn how to use 3D software.

The first step to becoming a 3D artist is to learn the software. It's the basis for everything you do. There are plenty of options to choose from, so narrowing down the list when you're just starting out may feel overwhelming.

Do a bit of research and find out what other aspiring 3D artists are using or start with Photoshop to get the hang of the basics. A few of the common options beginners use to create 3D visualizations include:

  • Blender.
  • AutoCAD.
  • Meshmixer,
  • Morphi.
  • Leopoly.

Create a portfolio.

In addition to your technical credentials, employers hire 3D artists that bring a solid portfolio to work. Once you've truly mastered your drawing skills, it's time to showcase your artwork. It's essential to include 15 to 20 items that exemplify your skills as a 3D artist. Aim for a diverse selection of pieces that exhibit your talent, creativity, and experience.

Upload your portfolio to your website, and you'll open the doors to new possibilities. Headhunters may even choose to browse it before they contact you about a 3D artist job. Keep expanding your portfolio and add new work as you finish new projects.


Start networking.

Networking is vital in any line of work, and even more so when you're striving to build a name for yourself. Aspiring 3D artists may find it helpful to meet a variety of like-minded people. You can learn a lot from each other by sharing experiences and knowledge. You may even bump into influential people who may want to hire you or know someone who does.


Constantly work to improve your skills.

Mastering the role of a 3D artist is directly related to what you put into it. Some people develop advanced skills in just six months, while others spend years perfecting their craft. The important thing is to push yourself to the limit. As technology advances, there will always be new things to learn and discover in this exciting field. So look for inspiration all around you and feed your creativity by coming up with fresh and innovative ways to step up your game, like:

  • Practice daily with challenging projects just outside your skillset.
  • Research what other 3D artists are producing.
  • Harness the power of social media for peer feedback.

Consider earning your degree.

Consider earning a bachelor's degree if you want a shorter path to success in a marketing firm or design studio. You can study in a related area such as:

  • Graphic design.
  • Animation.
  • Fine arts.

What type of degree should you pursue to become a 3d Artist?

50% of people working as a 3d Artist earned a Bachelor's Degree

What skills do you need to be a 3d Artist?

  • Adobe Photoshop
  • MEP AutoCAD
  • 3D Modeling
  • BIM
  • Revit MEP
  • navisworks
  • Maya
  • CAD Software
Based on resume data from Glassdoor users who reported working as a 3d Artist in the United States.

3D Artist Career Path

3D Artist

2 - 4Years of Experience
$53K - $88K /yrMost Likely Range
Learn More
20% advanced to

Senior 3D Artist

2 - 4Years of Experience
$78K - $128K /yrMost Likely Range
Learn More

Lead 3D Artist

5 - 7Years of Experience
$73K - $121K /yrMost Likely Range
Learn More

Total Pay Trajectory

3D Artist Career Path

3D Artist I
3D Artist
Senior 3D Artist
Game Artist Manager
Lead 3D Artist
Head 3D Artist
Are you paid fairly? Get a free, personalized salary estimate based on today's job market
Get Your Estimate

Related Careers in the Arts & Design Industry

Interested in other Arts & Design careers? Below are occupations that have high affinity with 3D Artist skills. Discover some of the most common 3D Artist career transitions, along with skills overlap.

Concept Artist
0% skills overlap
12% transitioned to Concept Artist