Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility
Business of Animation Logo

Breaking Down Animation Job Descriptions for Job Seekers

ben marvazi 2020

Make More Money as an Animator

Check out our FREE TRAINING on How Animators Can Make Over $10,000 Per Month

"Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do."

Steve Jobs

Embarking on a career in the animation industry can be an exciting and fulfilling experience. However, navigating through the multitude of animation job descriptions might feel overwhelming for both new and seasoned animators. 

Gaining a deeper understanding of these job descriptions is key to finding the perfect role that aligns with your skills and passion. In this informative guide, we will break down the most common animation job descriptions, helping you make informed decisions as you advance in your animation career.

Cover GIF by NobleDame via Tenor

Key Animation Job Descriptions Explained

artist drawing the characters from the Lion King, with Simba, Nala, Rafiki, Pumba and Timone

GIF by DrawholicGifs via Tenor


As the cornerstone of the animation industry, animators create the illusion of life and motion by crafting sequences of images or frames. Animators work with various mediums, including 2D, 3D, stop-motion, and digital. 

They are responsible for conceptualizing and executing the movement and expressions of characters, creatures, and objects, ensuring that their work aligns with the project's vision and style.

Storyboard Artist

Storyboard artists translate the script or concept into a visual narrative. They create a series of panels that depict the sequence of events, camera angles, and character movements. These artists play a crucial role in pre-production, as their work serves as a blueprint for the entire project, helping the team visualize the final product.

Character Designer

Character designers are responsible for creating the visual identity of characters in an animated project. They work closely with directors and writers to develop appealing and unique character designs that fit the story and style of the project. 

Their work may include sketches, color schemes, and turnarounds to provide a comprehensive view of the characters.

Diving Deeper into Animation Job Descriptions

a nature scene panning through trees, plants and mist created by a background animator

GIF by Art GIF via Tenor

Background Artist

Background artists create the environments and settings in which the animated story takes place. They ensure that the backgrounds effectively support the narrative and complement the character designs. These artists may work in various styles and techniques, including painting, digital art, and 3D modeling.

Rigging Artist

Rigging artists play a critical role in 3D animation by building the skeletal structure and controls for 3D models. They ensure that the characters and objects can move and deform realistically, enabling animators to create believable motion and expressions.


Compositors are responsible for seamlessly combining various elements, such as characters, backgrounds, and visual effects, into a single, coherent image. They work closely with animators, background artists, and VFX artists to ensure that the final composition achieves the desired visual style and storytelling goals.

Niche Animation Job Descriptions Worth Exploring

Niche Animation Job Descriptions such as Visual Effects (VFX) Artist which created this realistic looking flame

GIF by Joukka via Tenor

Visual Effects (VFX) Artist

VFX artists create digital effects, simulations, and enhancements that elevate the visual storytelling of an animated project. They may work on various aspects of the project, including particle effects, dynamic simulations, and matte paintings.

Texture Artist

Texture artists focus on creating the surface qualities of 3D models, such as color, texture, and material properties. They ensure that the models look realistic and consistent with the project's visual style, working closely with modelers, riggers, and lighting artists.

Animation Director

Animation directors oversee the entire animation production, from pre-production to post-production. They collaborate with writers, designers, and artists to develop the project's vision and ensure that the final product meets quality standards and deadlines. 

Animation directors also provide creative guidance and support to the team throughout the production process.

The Business Side of Animation Job Descriptions

two man characters shaking hands and smiling at the same time

GIF by RutheCartoons via Tenor

Animation Producer

Animation producers manage the business aspects of an animated project, ensuring that it is completed on time and within budget. They are responsible for securing funding, hiring the team, and overseeing the day-to-day operations of the production. 

Producers work closely with animation directors and other key personnel to bring the project to life while maintaining financial and logistical control.

Animation Marketing and Promotions Specialist

Marketing and promotions specialists work to generate interest in animation projects, studios, and individual animators. They develop and execute marketing campaigns, create promotional materials, and liaise with media outlets to secure coverage. These professionals play a crucial role in creating a strong brand image and attracting clients, audiences, or investors.

Animation Sales and Distribution Specialist

Sales and distribution specialists are responsible for getting animated projects in front of the right audiences. They negotiate deals with distributors, television networks, and streaming platforms to ensure that projects reach as many viewers as possible. 

These professionals also work to maximize revenue from merchandising, licensing, and other ancillary sources.

Expanding Your Skillset: Overlapping Animation Job Descriptions

mushroom character smiling and punching with a VFR headset on and two controllers

GIF by KuliRam via Tenor

Motion Graphics Designer

Motion graphics designers create dynamic visuals and animated elements for various media, including television, film, and digital platforms. They often work with graphic design, typography, and video editing, making this role a great option for those looking to expand their skill set and explore the intersection of animation and design.

Game Animator

Game animators bring characters, creatures, and objects to life within the world of video games. They create animations that enhance gameplay, storytelling, and player immersion. This role requires a solid understanding of game design principles and the ability to work with game engines and tools.

Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) Animator

VR and AR animators create immersive experiences for emerging technologies, such as virtual reality headsets and augmented reality applications. They work with specialized software and hardware to develop interactive environments and characters, making this role an exciting option for animators interested in cutting-edge technology and new media.

Tips for Navigating Animation Job Descriptions and Finding Your Perfect Fit

old man looking at a document of Animation Job Descriptions with a magnifying glass

GIF by gifmaking123 via Tenor

Assess Your Skills and Interests

Before diving into the world of animation job descriptions, take some time to evaluate your skills and interests. Make a list of your strengths and areas where you excel, and consider which roles align with your passions and abilities. This self-assessment will help you narrow down the job descriptions that are most relevant to you.

Research Industry Trends

Staying informed about the latest industry trends can help you identify new and emerging roles in the animation sector. Keep an eye on popular animation techniques, technologies, and software to stay ahead of the curve and discover job descriptions that may not have existed a few years ago.

Build a Diverse Portfolio

A strong and diverse portfolio showcasing your work in various animation styles and techniques can make you stand out to potential employers. Tailor your portfolio to the job descriptions that interest you, and don't be afraid to experiment with new mediums or tools to demonstrate your adaptability and growth.

Network with Industry Professionals

group of people sitting at a table working together to create a pink car

GIF by Luisritx via Tenor

Networking can be a powerful tool for understanding the different job descriptions within the animation industry. Connect with industry professionals on social media, attend events, and join online forums to learn more about the roles they play and the skills they use daily. Networking can also lead to valuable mentorship opportunities and job leads.

Pursue Continuing Education

The animation industry is continually evolving, and staying up-to-date with the latest techniques and tools is crucial for success. Consider enrolling in workshops, online courses, or certificate programs to expand your skillset and stay competitive in the job market. 

The Animation Business Accelerator Program is an excellent resource for those looking to grow their animation business or studio.

Embracing the Diversity of Animation Job Descriptions

Pink background with the word Diversity flashing in different colors

GIF by kochstrasse via Tenor

Understanding the diverse range of animation job descriptions is the first step towards finding your perfect fit in the industry. By assessing your skills and interests, researching industry trends, building a diverse portfolio, networking with professionals, and pursuing continuing education, you can unlock your potential and thrive in your animation career.

If you're ready to kickstart your career in the animation industry, consider joining the Animation Business Accelerator Program to gain access to on-demand video lessons, mentorship, resources, and a supportive community. 

And don't forget to check out our blog on "How to Start an Animation Studio" for more valuable insights and guidance on building a successful career in the world of animation.

rocket for boa

Lacking Business Skills as an Animator?

Transform your animation skills into a profitable business with our expert-led free training.
Business of Animation Footer Logo
Helping Animators Succeed

Feeling Stuck in Your Animation Career? Learn How to Break the $10,000 Per Month Barrier!

crossmenuchevron-down linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram