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

Written by Michelle BurtonFebruary 22, 2011
Did you know... Historically, The Digital Animation & Visual Effects School (DAVE School at Universal Studios Orlando) has placed a fair number of its graduates in the gaming industry, but now they have a new program specifically designed for careers in gaming. The program was designed and is overseen by a senior production supervisor who led teams on Ghostbusters and Kinect Star Wars. Learn more at www.DaveSchool.com.
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Animation Careers in Missouri

Overview - Animators work in a variety of industries from advertising to film and video to gaming and design. This means animators can be found working in a multitude of environments such as computer design firms, advertising and marketing agencies, post-production, and film studios. Education is also a top career field for animators, so if you would like to work in the field while passing along your knowledge and experience to the next crop of talented professionals, Missouri has a number of institutions to help you achieve your goals. The state also has the means to accommodate animators of all kinds. Missouri offers:

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  • The Missouri Film Commission—a full-service organization
  • Webster University Anime Society
  • Webster University School of Communications Animation Program
  • More than 1,000 technology and computer design firms
  • 132 Colleges and Universities with opportunities to study animation and teach animation

Most art and animation programs offered at Missouri colleges are accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). In addition to offering degrees in animation, multi-media art, or computer science with a focus in animation, a number of Missouri colleges also offer animation certificates, enrichment courses, or other non-degree animation programs.

Employment and Salary Trends for Missouri Animators

As of 2009, approximately 490 animators worked in production studios, ad agencies, academic institutions, and computer design firms throughout the state of Missouri. Across the nation, employment in the animation (and multi-media) industry is expected to grow by 14 percent for the 2008-2018 decade. This is higher than all occupations in the “artists and related workers” industry. At 12 percent, art directors are second in employment growth, followed by fine artists at 9 percent.

As of May 2009, the mean annual wage for animators overall was $62,810 per year. The lowest paid animators earned $32,360 per year and the highest paid animators earned $99,130 per year. As of May 2009, animators in the state of Missouri earned a mean salary of $47,610 per year.

The highest paying states for animators are:

  • California ($76,010 per year)
  • Maryland ($66,850 per year)
  • Washington  ($64,840 per year)
  • New York ($62,150 per year)

Animation Career Opportunities in Missouri

Aspiring film and video animators may find employment or internship opportunities at the following animation studios in Missouri:

  • GIS Virtual, St. Louis
  • Trinity Animation, Lees Summit
  • Brisk Interactive, Kansas City
  • Ozark Motions, St. Louis
  • Branit FX, Kansas City
  • Moh Visuals, St. Louis
  • Bazillion Pictures, Kansas City
  • AniMagic Productions, St. Louis

Animators interested in working in the advertising and public relations industries may find employment at the following firms:

  • Fuse Advertising, St. Louis
  • Hughes Group, St. Louis
  • Kochan & Company, St. Louis
  • Advertising Savants, St. Louis

Computer technology and design animators may find employment at:

  • Winntech Digital Systems, Kansas City
  • Scottrade Inc., St. Louis
  • IBM, Kansas City

Although animation positions can be found in many cities throughout the state, most are located in Kansas City, St. Louis, Springfield, Independence, and Columbia. 

Missouri Animation Training Programs

Missouri offers access to a number of renowned animation programs and concentrations offered at schools such as Kansas City Art Institute and Webster University. Other notable animation programs are offered at:

  • Maryville University of St. Louis, College of Arts & Sciences
  • Evangel University, Springfield
  • Missouri Western State University, St. Joseph
  • ITT Technical Institute, Arnold
  • Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts at Washington University, St. Louis (integrated program)

More Animation related programs to consider:  

To get started on a career in animation, the first step is to select one of the following degree programs, then choose a school.

  • Animation
  • Multi-media art
  • Computer science with a focus in animation or multi-media art
  • Fine art with a focus in animation
  • Advertising with a focus in animation

In addition to offering a degree in animation or multi-media art, most of the schools listed in this article offer degrees in the related fields mentioned above.

SOURCE: May 2009 BLS State Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates,

2008-18. http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oessrcst.htm