Associate programs in animation typically feature hands-on training as well as classroom instruction. They may take anywhere from 18 months to two years to complete. Some programs are offered in conjunction with other areas of fine arts, including web design, information technology and new media. An internship or practicum is a common requirement. Many programs can be found at technical schools and community colleges, as well as some universities.
Typically, students must possess a high school diploma or equivalent to enroll, and some programs may require prior completion of art courses, such as painting, sketching, and sculpting. Artistic skills are often preferred by schools offering this program.
Associate of Science in Animation
Courses included in associate level animation programs commonly cover art and design topics as well as the technological aspects of animation. Students may also be asked to complete a computer animation project for graduation that showcases all that they've learned during the course of the program. Internship experience may also be expected for this program, which helps students develop a professional portfolio before entering the workforce. Courses may include:
- Computer graphics
- Digital storytelling
- Animation history
- Web page design
- Visual effects
- Video production and design
Popular Career Options
Graduates of animation associate's degree programs may qualify for several entry-level jobs in the animation industry. Some job titles may include:
- Scene builders
- Web designers
- Character designers
- Technical directors
Continuing Education Information
Although entry-level employment is available to graduates of an associate's degree program, there are bachelor's and graduate degree programs available. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics, those who wish to be art directors, multimedia artists, graphic designers and animators typically need at least a bachelor's degree (www.bls.gov). Bachelor of Fine Arts in Animation programs can feature courses in numerous animation backgrounds, as well as specific areas of concentration, such as claymation, 2-D and 3-D design. There are also Master of Fine Arts in Animation programs, in which students perfect the arts of computer animation as well as hone their skills in designing and illustrating.
Employment Outlook and Salary Information
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) revealed an annual median salary of $63,970 for multimedia artists and animators in 2015. According to the BLS, average job growth of 6% is expected for these professionals from 2014 to 2024.
Animation associate's programs include lab-based training and traditional lecture-based sessions, giving students the fundamental skills needed for employment as animators. Graduates may also elect to pursue a bachelor's or master's degree in animation to open up opportunities in art direction or graphic design.