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Motion Graphics Artist: Salary, Duties and Requirements

Learn about the education and preparation needed to become a motion graphics artist. Get a quick view of the requirements as well as details about degree programs, job duties and experience needed to find out if this is the career for you.

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A portfolio showcasing one's work experience is a key requirement for employment as a motion graphics artist. Motion graphics artists typically have an associate's or bachelor's degree in a relevant field, which helps them develop material for their portfolio and demonstrate their skills to potential employers.

Essential Information

Visually creative and artistic people who like working with computers might enjoy a career in motion graphics. Motion graphics artists develop video and animation that portrays motion. Their work is most often in the form of digital media created for television, film, or the Internet. Most people working in this field have a bachelor's degree. However, an associate's degree or certificate program, coupled with experience, may be helpful as well.

Required Education Bachelor's degree (typical); certificate or associate's degree programs also available
Other Requirements Work experience portfolio or reel
Projected Job Growth (2014-2024)* 6% (multimedia artists and animators)
Average Salary (2015)* $70,300 (multimedia artists and animators)

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Salary Information for Motion Graphics Artists

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, motion graphics artists, sometimes referred to as multimedia artists, earned an average annual wage of $70,300 in 2015 (www.bls.gov). The same report indicated that earnings were highest for those artists worked in travel arrangement and reservation services, with an average salary of $85,750; the average annual wage at motion picture industries, the largest employer of multimedia artists, was $73,270.

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Job Duties

Using computer programs, motion graphics artists create animated 2- and 3-dimensional images. Artists use video and animation to give the impression of action through changing images. Work is produced for media, such as the Internet, television, and film. Mediums include broadcast titles, commercial and Web ads, movie trailers, music videos, video signage, and content for mobile devices.

Artists might also use video and photography equipment to capture images or audio devices for multimedia projects. They identify the best techniques and methods to communicate material.

Motion graphics artists are responsible for the creative process at different stages. Conceptualization, storyboarding, animating, and editing are just a few of the phases involved. Other duties may include keyframing and typography.

Education Requirements

A bachelor's degree is often required to be considered for employment. According to O*Net Online, 62% of multimedia artists and animators had bachelor's degrees, and 19% had associate's degrees in 2012. Those without formal education need proven experience and competency in the field. For those pursuing a career in motion graphics, a portfolio or reel that showcases their work is usually necessary.

Motion graphics artists use a host of computer programs and technologies. Aspiring professionals might take relevant coursework, including:

  • Computer-aided design
  • Interactive media
  • Graphics and photo editing
  • Video creation
  • Web design

Professional certificate programs in multimedia arts are available online. Such programs might provide a springboard for students who are just beginning to explore the field. Advanced online certificate programs might be geared towards portfolio development, or provide continuing education in current software.

A motion graphics artist needs to be artistically talented, creative and able to use computer-aided design software to develop motion graphics. Many work on animation for mobile apps, films or television shows.

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