How to become an Animator


estimated salary
What do they do?

Looking for a career that’s always moving? You should become an Animator…

Animators create collections of images in order to make them into moving, animated sequences. Their work is used for a variety of platforms and purposes – from adverts, films, TV, and computer games, to music videos and websites.

An Animator’s role could involve using a variety of creative techniques to reach the end product, including drawing by hand or using digital software to create computer-generated animations, along with models or puppets.

General duties for an Animator could include:

  • Gathering concepts from clients or a director
  • Creating storyboards to represent the narrative
  • Producing aesthetically pleasing sketches and illustrations
  • Animating images with the appropriate timing, pace, and movement in mind
  • Using technical software (e.g. Maya, Flash, After Effects) to assist with animation
  • Working with other members of the team to compose layers (e.g backgrounds, FX)
  • Presenting designs and communicating ideas
Is it right for me?

If you want to become an Animator, you’ll need to be creatively minded, artistic, and good at drawing.

As animating will be your day-to-day, you’ll also need to have an interest in animation and its aesthetics, whether it’s collecting every single Pixar film or spending your Saturdays watching back-to-back episodes of Pokemon.

But remember, although knowing every single line to Finding Nemo off by heart is a good place to start, becoming a great Animator also relies on your technical ability and communication skills.

Other key skills and attributes for an Animator include:

  • An excellent eye for detail
  • Good team working ability
  • An aptitude for good storytelling
  • Flexibility
  • Patience and commitment
  • An ability to work under pressure and meet deadlines
Career Progression

Junior Animator

Up to £12,000


Up to £18,000

Senior Animator

Up to £30,000

What's it really like?

Working as an Animator is great for me, and I genuinely couldn’t imagine doing anything else. I love bringing different characters to life, and it allows me to use my creativity in a unique way. Whether I’m putting together a storyboard, sketching the sequence frame-by-frame, or animating them digitally – each task involves a lot of patience, imagination, and technical ability. And although long hours are common when deadlines are near, it’s all worthwhile when I get to go home and show my finished work to my kids – they’re my biggest fans.

Get qualified

You’ll usually need proven experience in animation to become an Animator. This could come in the form of a degree, other relevant/similar qualifications, or previous work experience. However, it is possible to start from the bottom as an Animation Studio Runner, where you’ll gain the skills needed to progress upwards.

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