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Animation. Graphic Design. Game Art.

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

Written by Michelle BurtonSeptember 22, 2015
Did You Know.....Full Sail University offers online degree programs in computer animation, game art, and game design? Learn more about Full Sail University's online programs.
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Ohio is the seventh largest state in the U.S. and home to a large number of major companies. This makes Ohio an attractive option for aspiring professionals in many fields. Just a few major Ohio-based companies include Lockheed Martin, American Greetings, Ernst & Young, and Procter & Gamble. Corporate giants such as these combined with the state’s impressive number of media companies and production studios means that aspiring animators will find a variety of career opportunities in a number of diverse settings.

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In addition to job opportunities, Ohio offers a higher average salary for animators than 20+ other states as well as a stable economy with nine consecutive declines in unemployment. In fact, the Bureau of labor Statistics reported in August 2015 that the largest over-the-month increases in employment occurred in California (+36,200), Florida (+19,600), and Ohio (+14,600). Ohio also has vibrant arts and culture scene, with major art museums in every major city including the Cleveland Museum of Art, the Toledo Museum of Art, Columbus Museum of Art, Cincinnati Art Museum, Akron Art Museum, and Dayton Art Institute.

Besides a lively art and culture scene and career opportunities, Ohio is home to a large collection of schools that offer top-tier art and design programs. Just a few include Columbus College of Art & Design, Cleveland Institute of Art, and the College of Fine Arts School of Art + Design at Ohio University. 

Employment and Salary Trends for Ohio Animators

In 2013, Ohio was home to 450 salaried multimedia artists and animators. They averaged $57,880 per year. Today, the population is around 330 averaging $56,120 per year. It is important to note that these figures are for salaried multimedia artists and animators, not the thousands of animators that work independently. In fact, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, today, ‘Independent Artists, Writers, and Performers’ has the second highest concentration of employment for animators and in 2012, about 57 percent of workers were self-employed. In addition, at $75,150 per year, independent animators and multimedia artists  earn the fourth highest average salary in the industry.

Nationwide, as of March 25, 2015, animators and multimedia artists averaged $69,410 (mean) ($63,630 median). Those entering the industry can expect to see a six percent increase in employment for the 2012-2022 decade. This means, 4,300 new jobs will be added in the coming years. 

Animation Career Opportunities in Ohio

Ohio is home to hundreds of creative agencies, production studios, public relations firms, technology companies and more. Just a few options for aspiring animators and multimedia artists include:

  • 2Reveal Studios, Columbus
  • 2Tall Animation Studio, Columbus
  • Cooper-Smith Advertising, Toledo
  • Fahlgren Mortine, Columbus
  • Flaming Medusa Studios, Cincinnati
  • Flourish Agency, Cleveland
  • Gyro, Cincinnati
  • HFA, Akron
  • Landor, Cincinnati
  • Lightborne Communications, Cincinnati
  • LPK, Cincinnati
  • Mills James Creative Media, Columbus, Cincinnati and Cleveland
  • Resource/Ammirati, Columbus
  • Rockfish Interactive, Cincinnati
  • Ron Foth Advertising, Columbus
  • SBC Advertising, Columbus
  • TRIAD Communications, Akron
  • TWIST Creative, Cleveland
  • WRK Advertising, Toledo

More Animation related programs to consider:  

There are more than 2,000 computer systems and design firms in the state of Ohio, so opportunities for animators with a computer science background are plentiful in the state. Although these and other opportunities can be found across the state, a larger number of opportunities can be found in major cities such as Cleveland, Columbus, Cincinnati, Toledo, and Akron.

Ohio Animation Training Programs

As mentioned, Ohio is home to a number top art and design schools as well as traditional colleges that offer programs or courses for aspiring animators. In addition to Columbus College of Art & Design, Cleveland Institute of Art, and the College of Fine Arts School of Art + Design at Ohio University, consider the following:

  • Bowling Green State University, Bowling Green
  • Kent State University, Tuscarawas
  • Miami University, Oxford
  • Ohio State University College of the Arts, Columbus
  • University of Akron, Akron

These schools and others offer programs such as Digital Art and Animation, Games and Animation, Art and Technology with 3D Modeling and Animation, Computer Design, Animation and Game Design and of course, Animation. During your search, consider schools that have been accredited by an agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education (USDE), the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) or the both. For a full list of recognized agencies, visit the U.S. Department of Education Database of Accredited Postsecondary Institutions and Programs here.

Awesome Animation Fact: Hanna-Barbera wrote and directed 114 Tom and Jerry cartoons at the MGM cartoon studio in Hollywood, California between 1940 and 1957. The original series is notable for having won the Academy Award for Best Short Subject (Cartoons) seven times. -Listverse