A Guide To Animator Careers (Including Jobs And Salaries)

Indeed Editorial Team

Updated 17 March 2023

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Animators are multimedia artists who draw images or create models to generate movement. Animation is an exciting field of work, and there are many opportunities for animators in industries such as media, entertainment and gaming. If you want to pursue a career in animation, you may benefit from understanding the variety of roles and the different paths available for you to take. In this article, we explore the different paths available for animator careers and provide a list of 11 jobs in animation, including their primary duties and average salaries.

What Are The Different Paths For Animator Careers?

All animator careers involve creating images and special effects for various types of media. These could include television shows, films, video games or content designed for mobile phones. If you want to pursue a career in animation you may choose to focus on a particular area, as listed below:

  • Game development: Game developers design and develop compelling video games for use on a computer, game console or mobile device. This role requires both technical ability and creativity.

  • Character animation: It is essential for animators to create memorable and realistic characters that connect with an audience. Character animators have both artistic and technical training, which enables them to produce high-quality character and background designs.

  • Visual effects: A visual effects animator adds special effects to animation work. They may work alongside a visual effects supervisor, art director or other animators and use their expertise to create a realistic image of an abstract idea.

  • Advertising: Animators can work in advertising and use their technical skills to develop animations for digital campaigns.

Related: 12 Popular Animation Careers (With Job Duties And Salaries)

What Are The Different Types Of Animation?

Animators may create various types of animations, either by hand or using digital animation software on a computer. Here are some common types of animation:

  • Traditional: Traditional animators draw a series of images by hand. They then photograph each image frame by frame and play them together to create motion.

  • Digital: Digital animators use dedicated computer software to create characters and settings. They may create computer animations in 2D or 3D.

  • Motion graphics: Motion graphic animators concentrate on creating graphics to accompany a live-action production. An example of a motion graphic is a computer-animated logo on a television advertisement.

  • Stop-motion: Stop-motion animators are similar to traditional animators, but instead of using hand-drawn images, they use objects such as puppets, miniatures, clay figures and similar props. They then position and photograph them to create a series of images.

Related: How To Become A 3D Animator: Skills, Salary And Duties

Animator Salaries And Benefits

The national average salary for an animator is ₹22,324 per month. How much you can expect to earn as an animator depends on several factors, such as the size and type of industry that you are working in. Those with more experience and particular skills may earn more. For instance, an animator who specialises in 2D earns an average salary of ₹21,228 per month, while those who specialise in 3D animation earn an average salary of ₹30,019 per month.

Working as an animator can be very rewarding and lead to job prospects in many industries. Animators also get a lot of satisfaction from the creative elements of their work, using their imagination to create interesting concepts and designs and then seeing them materialise.

Related: What Is A 3D Animator? (Job Description And Requirements)

11 Types Of Animator Careers

Here are some high-demand animator careers for you to consider:

1. Lighting Technician

National average salary: ₹19,695 per month

Primary duties: Lighting technicians are design specialists who handle lighting gear and software to create distinct aesthetic conditions for various forms of media such as film, video and advertisements. They may develop a chroma key for a green screen and help produce simulations to add shade and lighting to animations. It is possible to find a role as a lighting technician with a degree in design or lighting technology.

2. Production Assistant

National average salary: ₹17,430 per month

Primary duties: Production assistants work behind the scenes of television, radio and film productions assisting the producers and senior staff. Their responsibilities may include managing a catalogue of digital images, answering phones, working with guests, distributing scripts and reviewing production schedules. Some larger productions may require production assistants to have a bachelor's degree, but it may be possible for those with an associate degree to find work on a smaller production.

Related: Top Jobs In The Arts (With Duties And Earning Potential)

3. Video Editor

National average salary: ₹18,663 per month

Primary duties: Film or video editors may work at a studio, broadcasting company, advertising agency or another similar organisation. Video editors use software to split, organise and combine video clips, still pictures, sound effects and animation effects. They often follow a script or screenplay to assemble the raw footage into a cohesive film or video. They can gain relevant technical skills by studying for a degree in animation or a degree in film and video with a specialism in animation.

4. Web Developer

National average salary: ₹22,765 per month

Primary duties: Web developers design and create websites and are also responsible for their maintenance. They typically work with organisations to make sure their websites function at full speed and can cope with the anticipated level of web traffic. A lot of web developers are self-employed and work on a freelance basis, though some may work in a full-time role for a large organisation that employs its own team of web designers and developers.

5. 3D Modeller

National average salary: ₹21,241 per month

Primary duties: 3D modellers are animation specialists who create 3D characters and settings for various purposes. Candidates typically require some formal education in design and animation, though it is also possible to enter this field with a background in computer science or game design. A 3D modeller may work in several industries, such as film, advertising, automobiles, aerospace and medicine.

6. 3D Creative Designer

National average salary: ₹21,607 per month

Primary duties: 3D creative designers are art design specialists. They may work for multimedia companies and advertising firms. Some of the responsibilities of a 3D creative designer include creating design concepts, storyboarding and creating character outlines for an artist or animator to use to produce an animation. They may use various tools when developing 3D or stop-motion prototypes of their designs, including computer software or physical materials.

7. Graphic Designer

National average salary: ₹20,729 per month

Primary duties: Graphic designers use visual elements to create illustrations and designs for print or digital media. They develop concept designs using computer software and image processing applications. They typically follow a design brief or instructions provided by their clients.

Related: What Is A Motion Graphics Designer? (And How To Become One)

8. 3D Artist

National average salary: ₹23,804 per month

Primary duties: 3D artists are designers who create 3D models of objects, characters and settings, typically using specialised animation or modelling software. They may also conduct research to produce authentic character portrayals and realistic settings for films, adverts and video games. 3D artists often work alongside other professionals, such as creative designers and animators, to produce a concept or storyboard for animation.

Related: What Is an Animator? Definition, Qualifications and Skills

9. Video Game Designer

National average salary: ₹26,692 per month

Primary duties: Video game designers develop video games for computers and other gaming systems. They are responsible for creating the game's concept and its mechanics. They may also create the game's story, characters, sounds and other effects.

10. Art Director

National average salary: ₹43,580 per month

Primary duties: Art directors oversee the work of animators, illustrators, graphic designers and multimedia professionals in television, film, advertising and related areas. You typically require a few years of industry experience before you can become an art director. Many art directors begin their careers in animation or graphic design.

11. Animation Producer Or Director

National average salary: ₹40,676 per month

Primary duties: Animation producers or directors employ and supervise a team of animators. They are responsible for managing the entire production process and some of their duties include managing schedules, budgets and deliverables. You typically require a minimum of three to five years of experience in animation before you can become an animation director or producer.

Salary figures reflect data listed on Indeed Salaries at time of writing. Salaries may vary depending on the hiring organisation and a candidate's experience, academic background and location.

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