Animation Careers in Virginia Overview
The State of Virginia is home to a number of schools that offer programs for aspiring animators. In the third or fourth year of training, many programs offer the opportunity to work at a local design studio, production company or creative agency. These internship opportunities can lead to a salaried position as an animator, with room to grow. If you are an experienced animator and you plan to move to Virginia to take advantage of what the state has to offer, you may find senior-level positions at places such as Costa+Designs in Virginia Beach, ImageWorks in Chantilly or Studio Kinate in Fairfax.
The State of Virginia also offers plenty of opportunities to teach at schools such as the Virginia Tech, the Art Institute of Washington, and Regent University. The state also offers a film incentive package that helps keep the motion picture and video industry strong and a low cost of living, which is a plus for graduates starting out in entry-level positions.
Employment and Salary Trends for Virginia Animators
Virginia is home to 47,510 professionals working in Arts, Design, Entertainment, Sports, and Media occupations. Of this large group, 410 are salaried multimedia artists and animators averaging $62,260 per year. In 2012-2013, the state was home to around 500 multimedia artists and animators averaging $58,980 per year.
Across the nation, employment for animators and multimedia artists is expected to increase six percent for the 2012-2022 decade. The states with the highest employment levels for animators and multimedia artists are California, New York, Washington, Texas and Georgia.
The highest paying states for animators and multimedia artists are:
- California ($82,170)
- Washington ($75,740)
- Massachusetts ($73,470)
- New York ($70,660)
- Idaho ($69,450)
In Virginia and across the U.S., the industries with the highest levels of employment are the Motion Picture and Video industries, Computer Systems Design and Related Services, Software Publishers, Advertising, Public Relations, and Related Services, and Other Information Services.
‘Independent Artists, Writers, and Performers’ has the second highest concentration of employment for animators and multimedia artists, along with an impressive average annual salary of $75,150 per year.
The top paying industries for animators and multimedia artists are:
- Wholesale Electronic Markets and Agents and Brokers ($81,760)
- Other Information Services ($80,310)
- Software Publishers ($76,090)
- Independent Artists, Writers, and Performers ($75,150)
- Motion Picture and Video Industries ($73,950)
In addition to Costa+Designs, ImageWorks and Studio Kinate, aspiring animators may find employment opportunities at the following studios and creative agencies:
- BES Studios, Richmond
- Otto Design & Marketing, Norfolk
- Stimulus Advertising and Web Design, Lynchburg
- Studio Kinate, Fairfax
- The Martin Agency, Richmond
- TriVision Studios, Chantilly
Although animation jobs can be found in a number of Virginia cities, the state’s largest cities might offer a greater number of opportunities. Consider Virginia Beach, Norfolk, Chesapeake, Arlington, Richmond, and Newport News.
Virginia Animation Training Programs
If you are ready to start training for a career in animation, consider enrolling in a program at the School of Visual Arts (SOVA) at Virginia Tech, Regent University, or Virginia State University. These schools offer Bachelor of Arts (BA) and Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) degrees in Animation, as well as a BFA in Studio Arts, which explores 3D Animation and Modeling, Digital Video and Visual Effects, and more.
Awesome Animation Fact: During the end fight in Disney’s Beauty and the Beast (1991), Gaston's original line was "time to die!" Disney decided this line was too dark for an animated film, so it was changed to "Belle is mine!" But you can still see Gaston's lips mouth the original line in the film. –E! Loves