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The Ultimate Guide on How To Get A Job In Animation

ben marvazi 2020

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Figuring Out How to Get a Job in Animation

Embarking on a career in the animation industry can often feel like a daunting task, filled with numerous hurdles and uncertainties. Whether you're fresh out of school with a degree in hand or someone contemplating a career change into this dynamic and creative field, you're likely trying to figure out how to get a job in animation.  

It's a simple question that many before you have pondered and one that this blog aims to address in a detailed and actionable manner. We've compiled a comprehensive guide designed to navigate you through the various stages of breaking into the animation industry.

a person holding up a large target in front of them

Cover GIF by juliaveldmanc via GIPHY 

From educational requirements and portfolio building to networking strategies and interview preparation, this blog offers a roadmap filled with practical advice and tips. Our goal is to equip you with the knowledge and insights you need to not just land a job in animation but to thrive in your chosen career path. 

So, if you're wondering how to get a job in animation, you've come to the right place. Let's dive in and explore the steps you can take to turn your animation career dreams into reality.

Educational Requirements

Formal Education

When you're contemplating a career in the animation industry, one of the initial questions that might cross your mind is whether getting a formal degree is essential. The question "How to get a job in animation" often starts with this educational quandary (notice the educated use of words, there). 

While possessing a degree in animation, graphic design, or a closely related field can certainly give you an edge, it's not the end-all-be-all. 

In fact, many employers and animation studios place a higher emphasis on your portfolio and hands-on experience than on your academic credentials. This is particularly true for roles that are more artistic in nature, where your creative prowess can speak volumes more than a diploma.

a dynamic animation of a black and white lightbulb

GIF by Sociality Squared via GIPHY

Online Courses and Certifications

The internet has become a treasure trove of educational resources, especially when it comes to specialized fields like animation. 

If you're looking for a professional to show you how to get a job in animation, you'll be pleased to know that there are a plethora of online courses and certifications that can equip you with the skills you need. 

These online platforms offer a range of courses, from beginner to advanced levels, covering everything from the basics of animation to specialized software training. 

What makes these online courses particularly appealing is their flexibility. You can learn at your own pace, which is a significant advantage for those who may already be juggling other commitments like a day job or family responsibilities. 

Moreover, these courses often come with their own set of assignments and projects, providing you with practical experience and work that you can add to your portfolio. 

Therefore, online courses can serve as an excellent alternative or even a supplementary addition to traditional educational pathways when you're figuring out how to get a job in animation.

Building a Portfolio

an animation portfolio on a website

GIF by Atlas Acopian via GIPHY

Quality Over Quantity

In the realm of animation, your portfolio serves as your professional calling card. It's the tangible representation of your skills, creativity, and potential. 

As you’re planning out how to get a job in animation, it's crucial to understand that what employers are really looking for is a high standard of work, rather than a large volume of mediocre projects. 

Your portfolio should be a curated collection of your finest work, pieces that you are proud of and that showcase your abilities in the best light. When an employer or studio is reviewing portfolios, they're not counting the number of projects; they're assessing the quality, creativity, and skill level demonstrated in the work. 

So, if you're wondering how to get a job in animation, one of the most effective strategies is to focus on elevating the quality of each piece you include in your portfolio. In this industry, quality really trumps quantity - every time.

Diversify Your Work
several colorful birds moving together

GIF by AniMaan via GIPHY

Another essential aspect to consider when building your portfolio, especially when you're figuring out how to get a job in animation, is the range of work you include. 

Versatility is a highly valued trait in the animation world. Employers and studios appreciate animators who can adapt to different styles and mediums, be it 2D animation, 3D modeling, character development, or even motion graphics. 

By showcasing a diverse set of skills and styles, you're not just demonstrating your technical abilities; you're also showing your creative range and adaptability. This can make you a more appealing candidate for a broader array of jobs in the animation field. 

Networking and Mentorship

a mentor and a student looking out of a large window with overflowing idea papers around them

GIF by richard a chance via GIPHY

Keep an Eye on Industry Events

When it comes to figuring out how to get a job in animation, never underestimate the power of networking. 

Industry events, such as animation festivals, conferences, and workshops, offer a golden opportunity to connect with people who can significantly influence your career trajectory. These events are often frequented by studio heads, hiring managers, and seasoned professionals who can provide invaluable insights into how to get a job in animation.

But it's not just about meeting potential employers; these gatherings also allow you to connect with fellow animators, industry experts, and mentors who can offer guidance, critique your work, and even recommend you for job openings. 

The relationships you build at these events can serve as long-term assets in your quest to secure a job in the animation industry.

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Join Online Communities

The internet offers so many platforms where you can engage with a community of like-minded individuals. 

Online forums, social media groups, and specialized websites focused on animation can be full of information and resources. These platforms offer a unique space to learn new techniques, share your portfolio, and receive constructive feedback from professionals and enthusiasts alike. 

As you navigate the path of how to get a job in animation, these online communities can serve as both a learning resource and a networking tool, connecting you with people who can help you move forward in your career.

Job Search Strategies

a website advertising new positions to be hired

GIF by ListenMiCaribbean via GIPHY

When you're on the hunt for animation roles, specialized job boards can be your best friends. Websites like Animation Guild, Indeed, and LinkedIn offer a plethora of job listings tailored to the animation industry. 

These platforms allow you to filter job openings based on your skills, experience level, and location, making your job search more targeted and efficient. If you're wondering how to get a job in animation, these job boards can serve as excellent starting points, offering a wide range of opportunities from internships to full-time roles.

Preparing for Interviews

Mr. Crab saying "Hello I like money" in an interview


Research the Company

When you're gearing up for an interview in the animation industry, one of the most critical steps you can take is to thoroughly research the company you're applying to. 

This is not just about reading the "About Us" section on their website; it's about delving into their past projects, understanding their company culture, and getting a sense of their artistic philosophy. This is often something you can look up on LinkedIn as well.

Knowing these details can give you a significant edge during the interview. It allows you to tailor your responses to align with the company's values and goals, thereby demonstrating that you're not just knowledgeable but also a good cultural fit. 

This level of preparation can be invaluable when you're trying to figure out how to get a job in animation, particularly at a company where you see long-term career potential.

Be Ready to Showcase Your Work
a vintage animation of a ski-jumper almost losing his skies

GIF by Fleischer Studios via GIPHY

Interviews in the animation industry often go beyond the typical question-and-answer format. You should be prepared to provide a detailed walkthrough of your portfolio. 

This is your opportunity to showcase not just your technical skills but also your creative thought process. Discuss the challenges you faced during each project, the solutions you came up with, and why you made specific artistic choices. 

Some companies may also administer a small skills test during the interview to assess your technical abilities and problem-solving skills. This could range from a quick drawing exercise to a more complex animation task. 

As you prepare for this crucial phase in your journey of how to get a job in animation, remember that your portfolio is your most powerful tool. Being able to discuss it in depth can set you apart from other candidates and bring you one step closer to landing that dream job.

How To Get A Job In Animation In Today’s Economy

the Boss Baby loosening his tie in his chair after a long day of work

GIF by DreamWorks Animation via GIPHY

Learning how to get a job in animation demands a blend of educational background, a robust portfolio, and effective networking skills. And we know, it’s not always easy.

It's important to arm yourself with the necessary skills, either through formal education or alternative learning platforms. Coupled with that, creating a portfolio that not only showcases your best work but also shows your versatility can significantly enhance your marketability

But your journey doesn't end there. Networking, both online and offline, can open doors to opportunities you might not have even known existed. Engaging with industry professionals, attending relevant events, and participating in online communities can all contribute to expanding your professional circle. 

It's crucial to remember that knowing how to get a job in animation is more like a marathon than a sprint. It requires sustained effort, strategic planning, and a dash of perseverance. 

As you navigate the complexities of how to get a job in animation, take heart in knowing that with the right approach, your animation career aspirations can indeed become a reality.

Unsure about your approach? If you’re an animator who’s looking to start your own studio or grow your career, check out our blog on How to Start an Animation Studio and GET FREE TRAINING to kickstart your animation career today.

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