Where Do Animators Work? 5 Options You Never Knew Existed

artist drawing bridge with marker/photo

This may or may not surprise you, but not every professional animator works in Los Angeles!

Animating a major motion picture or television show is likely a dream scenario for many aspiring animators, but the realist in you knows that there are only so many of these jobs to go around. Plus you may not be willing to pack up your life and head for the Hollywood hills.

You’re probably asking yourself, "Where do animators work then?” The truth is, animators work in a wide variety of industries, and in roles that vary quite a bit from what you might expect to find in the studios of Disney or Pixar.

We used real-time job analysis software from Burning-Glass.com to identify the top industries hiring animators, which illustrates the variety of specialized opportunities available for animators.*

Top 5 industries for animators

  1. Professional, Scientific and Technical Services
  2. Educational Services
  3. Insurance Carriers and Related Activities
  4. Publishing Industries
  5. Motion Picture and Sound Recording Industries

As you can see by the fields listed above, animators aren’t strictly working in animation studios. In fact, most work in industries that might not seem like a logical fit. We broke down some of the lesser-known positions for animators to give you a better idea of the types of animation careers out there.

Forensic artists & animators

Forensic artists work in a highly specialized role where they are responsible for recreating crime scenes or events. They work closely with witnesses, police officers and other forensic experts to produce visuals or animations to help illustrate how the event or crime played out in addition to sketches of potential suspects. Forensic artists and animators typically have a background in criminal justice as well as animation, as the work requires a strong grasp of the legal system as well as human form.

Motion graphic designer

Motion graphic designers create visual effects in video or other “moving” formats. These eye catching displays are common used in advertising as a way to stand out while still communicating a brand’s message. Opportunities for motion graphic designers aren’t just limited to those working in film and television. Businesses looking to create a visual splash have started increasing demand for these professionals as websites become more and more engaging.

Interaction designer

Interaction design is another very specialized field whose growth is closely associated with the increase in digital applications and more sophisticated websites. The goal of an interaction designer is to create a user experience that is both intuitive and visually appealing—often some of the best work goes underappreciated because the experience is seamless.

Civil engineering 3D designer

Many jobs for animators encourage them to utilize their creativity to come up with wild, out-of-the-box concepts. This job is not one of them—everything you create is firmly grounded in reality—and with good reason! This specialization is responsible for creating realistic 3D models of projects like bridges, tunnels or other complex engineering work that thousands of people will use every day. To work in this field you will need an education in engineering, but the visualization and design skills that come with being an animator are helpful.

Instructional designer

Instructional designers are responsible for determining the best way to present information to students or trainees. They often have a background in education and utilize their knowledge of how people learn to create effective teaching materials or visual aids. This job requires a breadth of knowledge and a skill for visual layouts and design is beneficial for presenting the most important information in an eye-catching way.

A career in motion

As you can see, the question of where animators work isn’t as cut and dry as you might have thought. There are several niche specializations that allow animators and designers to leverage their skills in unexpected ways.

It’s important to note that many of these specialized roles do require education or training beyond a background in animation or design, but they do show the wide range of career opportunities for animators. If you think you’re considering a career in animation, find out if you have what it takes to become an animator.

*Burning-Glass.com (Analysis of 4,285 ‘Multimedia Artists and Animators’ job postings, March 5, 2014 – March 4, 2015)

About the author

Will Erstad

Will is a Sr. Content Specialist at Collegis Education. He researches and writes student-focused articles on a variety of topics for Rasmussen University. He is passionate about learning and enjoys writing engaging content to help current and future students on their path to a rewarding education.


Related Content

Related Content

This piece of ad content was created by Rasmussen University to support its educational programs. Rasmussen University may not prepare students for all positions featured within this content. Please visit www.rasmussen.edu/degrees for a list of programs offered. External links provided on rasmussen.edu are for reference only. Rasmussen University does not guarantee, approve, control, or specifically endorse the information or products available on websites linked to, and is not endorsed by website owners, authors and/or organizations referenced. Rasmussen University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, an institutional accreditation agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.

logo-accreditation-acen logo-accreditation-ccne chart-credential-laddering-associates-bachelors-masters 0 Credits 90 Credits 180 Credits 48 Credits Start Here HIGH SCHOOL GRADS Start Here TRANSFER STUDENTS Start Here SECOND DEGREE PURSUERS End Here ASSOCIATE'S DEGREE Start Here MASTER'S DEGREE PURSUERS End Here BACHELOR'S DEGREE End Here MASTER'S DEGREE chart-credential-laddering-associates-bachelors 0 Credits Start Here HIGH SCHOOL GRADS Start Here TRANSFER STUDENTS 90 Credits Start Here SECOND DEGREE PURSUERS End Here ASSOCIATE'S DEGREE 180 Credits End Here BACHELOR'S DEGREE chart-credential-laddering-msn chart-credential-laddering-nursing-programs chart-credential-laddering-nursing DNP MSN RN to BSN LPN to RN Bridge Accelerated BSN Professional Nursing ADN Practical Nursing Diploma Pre-Licensure Post-Licensure icon-colored-outline-bank icon-colored-outline-certificate icon-colored-outline-circle-dollar-sign icon-colored-outline-folder-search icon-colored-outline-hand-heart icon-colored-outline-head-blocks icon-colored-outline-head-cog icon-colored-outline-head-heart icon-colored-outline-health-plus-leaves icon-colored-outline-hospital icon-colored-outline-lifelong-learning icon-colored-outline-light-bulb-analytics icon-colored-outline-location-pin icon-colored-outline-magnifying-glass icon-colored-outline-monitor-healthcare icon-colored-outline-monitor-paper-search icon-colored-outline-nurse-rays icon-colored-outline-padlock-shield icon-colored-outline-person-presenter-screen icon-colored-outline-scales ras-logo-flame ras-logo-horizontal ras-logo-stacked icon-colored-advance icon-colored-arrows-cross-curve icon-colored-briefcase-star icon-colored-build icon-colored-bulb-analytics icon-colored-certificate icon-colored-continual-development icon-colored-duo-chatbox icon-colored-folder-mortarboard icon-colored-forward-ribbon icon-colored-gears-clock icon-colored-globe-pen icon-colored-growth icon-colored-hand-bubble icon-colored-hand-stars icon-colored-hands-gear icon-colored-head-blocks icon-colored-head-cog icon-colored-health-plus-leaves icon-colored-hospital-building icon-colored-laptop-cbe-skyscraper icon-colored-laptop-checkmark icon-colored-laptop-webpage icon-colored-location-map icon-colored-location-pin icon-colored-monitor-paper-scan icon-colored-mortarboard-dollar icon-colored-national icon-colored-people-chat-bubbles icon-colored-person-cheer-star icon-colored-person-laptop-checkboxes icon-colored-person-screen-instructor icon-colored-person-whiteboard icon-colored-phone-chatbox icon-colored-police-light icon-colored-prep icon-colored-presenter icon-colored-regional icon-colored-save-time icon-colored-shirt-hat icon-colored-skyscraper icon-colored-state icon-colored-student-centered icon-colored-support icon-colored-world-experience icon-triangle-arrow-up-plant icon-triangle-calendar-pencil icon-triangle-clock-rotating-arrows icon-triangle-display-gears icon-triangle-hand-right-speech-bubble icon-triangle-laptop-coding-brackets icon-triangle-mortarboard icon-triangle-paper-ribbon icon-triangle-person-cheer-star icon-triangle-person-juggle icon-triangle-triple-people-chat-bubble icon-modality-campus icon-modality-field icon-modality-online icon-modality-residential icon-arrow icon-bank icon-camera icon-filter icon-general-chart icon-general-connect icon-general-degree icon-general-discuss icon-general-email icon-general-find icon-general-hat icon-general-heart icon-general-laptop-building icon-general-laptop icon-general-leader icon-general-map icon-general-money icon-general-paperwork icon-general-people icon-general-phone icon-general-speak-out icon-head-heart icon-info-circle icon-mail-forward icon-mglass icon-play-solid icon-quote-mark-left icon-quote-mark-right icon-scales icon-share-square-o icon-simple-chat icon-simple-desktop icon-simple-find icon-simple-hamburger icon-simple-phone icon-spinner icon-tag icon-testimonial-quotes icon-util-checkbox-white icon-util-checkbox icon-util-checked-white icon-util-checked icon-util-chevron-down icon-util-chevron-left icon-util-chevron-right icon-util-chevron-up icon-util-circle-arrow-down icon-util-circle-dot icon-util-language-switch icon-util-loading icon-util-open-window-link icon-util-pdf-link icon-util-refresh icon-util-x rebrand-arrows icon-social-facebook-colored icon-social-facebook-square-colored icon-social-facebook-square icon-social-facebook icon-social-google-plus-square icon-social-google-plus icon-social-instagram-colored icon-social-instagram icon-social-linkedin-square-colored icon-social-linkedin-square icon-social-linkedin icon-social-pinterest-p-colored icon-social-pinterest-p icon-social-twitter-colored icon-social-twitter-square icon-social-twitter icon-social-youtube-play-colored icon-social-youtube-play graduate-cap-star-coin hand-coin hand-heart nurse-stethoscope-rays card-send-smile person-yoga-pose suitcase-star