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Iowa Animation Careers: Employment & Salary Trends, Job Opportunities, & Colleges Offering Animation Programs in Iowa

Written by AnonymousNovember 23, 2015
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Animation Careers in Iowa Overview

 The State of Iowa attracts a good number of animators interested in production, advertising, education, and computer design and technology. Animators interested in computer design and technology may find employment at one of more than 800 technology firms located throughout the state. Those interested in teaching can choose from 66 colleges and universities across the state and more than 1,400 elementary and secondary institutions. 

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Advertising animators have hundreds of creative agencies to choose from and film and video animators have access to variety of animation and film studios thanks to the Iowa Film Office, which offers incentives for film productions of all kinds—including animated productions. Just a few studios include Right Purdy Animation and Design Studio in Iowa City and Grasshorse Studios in Winfield. 

Employment and Salary Trends for Iowa Animators

Iowa is home to 18,340 professionals working in Arts, Design, Entertainment, Sports, and Media occupations. Around 70 are salaried multimedia artists and animators averaging $57,590 per year, down from $64,820 in 2013 when the state was home to 100 artists. Nationwide, the mean annual wage for animators and multimedia artists is $69,410 and overall employment for this group is expected to increase by six percent for the 2012-2022 decade.

The top five highest paying states for animators are:

  • California ($82,170)
  • Washington ($75,740)
  • Massachusetts ($73,470)
  • New York ($70,660)
  • Idaho ($69,450)

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)

The states with the highest employment levels for animators and multimedia artists are California, New York, Washington, Texas and Georgia. In Iowa 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 salary of $75,150 per year.

Job opportunities for salaried and independent animators can be found at agencies and studios such as:

  • ChromaVantage, Waterloo
  • Right Purdy Animation and Design Studio, Iowa City
  • Effective Digital Presentations, Davenport
  • Grasshorse Studios, Winfield
  • 3B Entertainment, Des Moines
  • Flynn Wright, Des Moines
  • Fusion Farm, Cedar Rapids
  • Hellman Associates, Waterloo
  • JD Gordon Creative Labs, Sioux City
  • McCormick Advertising, Des Moines
  • Meyocks Group, Des Moines
  • MindFire Communications, Le Claire
  • North Forty, Hiawatha
  • Sculpt, Iowa City
  • Trilix Group, Des Moines
  • Williams Interactive/Phantom EFX, Cedar Falls

Aspiring animation instructors might consider the University of Northern Iowa in Cedar Falls, Eastern Iowa Community College in Davenport, Loras College in Dubuque or Iowa Lakes Community College in Estherville, to name a few.

Although animation jobs can be found in many cities across the state, a greater number of opportunities can be found in larger cities such as Des Moines—the state’s largest city, Cedar Rapids, Davenport, Sioux City, and Waterloo.

Iowa Animation Training Programs

Iowa is home to a number of schools that offer animation programs. Some of the most popular options include:

  • Ashford University, Clinton
  • Drake Univesity, Des Moines
  • Eastern Iowa Community College, Davenport
  • Iowa Lakes Community College, Estherville
  • Loras College, Dubuque
  • University of Northern Iowa, Cedar Falls

More Animation related programs to consider:  

Awesome Animation Fact: Did you know that animated Japanese films and television shows account for 60 percent of the world's animation-based entertainment? –