Job Description

An animator will work in a range of industries to design, create and edit animations, they produce images that appear to come to life on screen, this could be in films, music videos, computer games, website, commercials and other media. They use a range of techniques to make images appear to move this is normally 2D drawn animation, 2D computer, 3D computer generated or stop frame or stop motion animation.

Entry Requirements

There are various ways in which you can get into this job role and the entry requirements can vary depending on what you choose to do:

A college course

You could do a college course that will teach you some of the skills you'll need to get started as a junior animator. Courses include:

  • Level 3 Diploma in Creative and Digital Media
  • Level 3 Diploma in Games, Animation and VFX Skills

You'll usually need:

  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, for a level 3 course

The following local colleges offer courses in digital:

Or your local 6th form may offer a relevant course

An apprenticeship 

You could take an advanced or higher apprenticeship in creative and digital media, or visual effects. This may help you to get a job as an animation assistant.

You'll usually need:

  • 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English and maths, for an advanced apprenticeship
  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) and A levels, or equivalent, for a higher or degree apprenticeship

A university course

You could do a foundation degree, higher national diploma or degree. The most useful courses include practical skills and work placements. Relevant courses include:

  • animation
  • art and design
  • computer games development
  • animation production
  • visual effects

You'll usually need:

  • 1 or 2 A levels, or equivalent, for a foundation degree or higher national diploma
  • 2 to 3 A levels, or equivalent, for a degree

Click here to search for a suitable course.

Career Tips

You'll need a showreel and portfolio to highlight your best animation work and ideas. Make your work easy to find, either on your own website or blog, or on a video-sharing website.

You may find it useful to do some related voluntary or paid work. You can contact broadcasting companies, advertising agencies, animation studios or computer games companies to find out about work experience opportunities.

You could take short courses in animation skills and software packages run by film schools, regional screen agencies and private training providers.

Career Path and Progression

With experience, you could progress from animator to lead animator and animation director.

You could also work for larger animation studios, games developers, interactive media designers or video post-production firms.

You might decide to go freelance or start your own studio.

Related careers you may be interested in:

  • Computer games developer
  • Computer games tester
  • Model maker
  • TV or film production runner
  • Video editor

Required Skills

  • Excellent creativity and artistic skills
  • Patience
  • The ability to concentrate for long periods of time
  • Excellent IT skills
  • A good eye for detail
  • Good communication skills
  • Able to work to deadlines

Salary Range

£14,000 to £36,000

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