Animation Careers in Alaska Overview
Alaska is home to nearly 3,500 professionals working in Arts, Design, Entertainment, Sports, and Media (ADESM) occupations. Some are craft artists and floral designers, while others are producers and directors or graphic designers. To date, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) has not determined the exact number of animators working in Alaska. However, there are quite a few animation and production studios located in main cities such as Anchorage, Fairbanks, and Juneau.
Besides an impressive population of artists, Alaska is home to an active film office. The Alaska Film Office, which offers special incentives, easy access to stunning landscapes, and tax breaks for hiring local talent, has attracted a wide variety of major Hollywood productions. Just a few include The Bourne Legacy (2012), The Grey (2011), The Big Year (2011), Resident Evil – Afterlife (2010), The Proposal (2009), Into the Wild (2007), 30 Days of Night (2007), The Guardian (2006), Insomnia (2002), and The Edge (1997).
Thanks to the efforts of the Film Office, local production and animation studios have remained productive, which leads to plenty of job opportunities for Alaska-based animators and filmmakers.
Employment and Salary Trends for Alaska Animators
As mentioned, the BLS has not reported employment and salary information for animators. However, the state is home to nearly 3,500 professionals working in (ADESM), as mentioned, up from just over 3,300 in 2013. They average $51,840 per year, up from $45,960 in 2013. 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.
Animation Career Opportunities in Alaska
In Alaska 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. The group ‘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.
Whether freelance or salaried, job opportunities for aspiring animators in Alaska can be found at agencies and studios such as:
- Blueberry Productions, Anchorage
- Brinster & Company, Homer
- Crystal Clear Creative, Wasilla
- D'zine Alaska, Anchorage
- Evergreen Films, Anchorage
- Grayling Media, Fairbanks
- MSI Communications, Anchorage
- Neumuth Advertising, Fairbanks
- Porcaro Communications, Anchorage
- Snowflake Multimedia, Nome
- Solstice Advertising, Anchorage
- Spawn Ideas, Anchorage
- The Robbins Agency, Anchorage
- William Fraser Digital Creative Agency, Anchorage
Alaska is home to more than 300 technology firms. Some may offer many opportunities for animators with a computer science background. While job opportunities are available in many cities and towns in Alaska, a larger number of opportunities are likely to be available in major cities such as Anchorage, Fairbanks, Juneau, and Badger.
Alaska Animation Training Programs
Alaska is home to seven Title IV degree-granting institutions. Several offer programs for aspirin animators. Options include the University of Alaska-Anchorage and the University of Alaska-Fairbanks.
More Animation related programs to consider:
- Atlanta, Georgia; Savannah, Georgia; Lacoste, France; and SCAD eLearning
Awesome Animation Fact: Spirited Away (2001) became the first animated film to win the top prize at the Berlin Film Festival and the first movie to have earned $200 million at the worldwide box office before opening in the United States. -SFGate