North Carolina is home to a variety of animation conventions and organizations from the annual Animazement Convention held in Raleigh to Spring Lake’s Nippon Anime Society. North Carolina is also home to one of the most welcoming film offices in the U.S. In order to attract productions from action to independent to animated, the North Carolina Film Office offers bonuses such as a 25 percent film incentive, no corporate income tax on the production cap, and no application process. This encourages employment and salary growth in the entertainment industry and area schools have taken notice.
To meet the demands of the industry, some North Carolina schools have developed new animation training programs or enhanced existing ones by adding unique concentrations. As such, aspiring North Carolina-based animators can expect to find a number of competitive programs leading to a BFA or MFA. Continue reading to learn more.
North Carolina Animation Schools
Scroll through the list below to find out which North Carolina schools offer top-tier animation programs and where to find them.
East Carolina University - Degrees Offered: BFA in Studio Art with a Concentration in Animation/Interactive Design
North Carolina State University - Degrees Offered: BFA in Art and Design with a Focus in Animation, Master of Art and Design in Animation
University of North Carolina School of the Arts - Degrees Offered: BFA in Animation, MFA Film Music Composition. The MFA program allows students to score animated films, narrative fiction, documentaries and experimental productions.
More Animation related programs to consider:
- Atlanta, Georgia; Savannah, Georgia; Lacoste, France; and SCAD eLearning
Employment and Salary Trends for North Carolina Animators
The State of North Carolina is home to around 800 salaried animators and multimedia artists, up from 720 in 2009. Employment in the industry overall is expected to increase by six percent for the 2012-2022 decade. Salaries are on the rise too. North Carolina-based animators and multimedia artists average $60,800 per year, up from $50,980 in 2009. In addition, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that the Winston-Salem Metropolitan Area is the ninth highest paying metro area for multimedia artists and animators. Artists living here can expect to average $75,700 per year.
While multimedia artists and animators work in many fields from TV and Film to Science and Technology, the industries with the highest levels of employment for this occupation are:
- Motion Picture and Video Industries
- Computer Systems Design and Related Services
- Software Publishers
- Advertising, Public Relations, and Related Services
- Other Information Services
Employment opportunities can be found in many cities throughout North Carolina, but the state’s largest cities may offer more opportunities and as mentioned, higher salaries. Consider Charlotte—the state’s largest city, Raleigh (second), Greensboro, Durham, and of course, Winston-Salem. Fayetteville, Cary, Wilmington, and High Point are worth exploring as well.
Awesome Animation Fact: So just how did one of the most recognized animated characters in the world get his name? In 1940, Warner Bros. asked its illustrators for sketches of a “tall, lanky, mean rabbit” for a cartoon titled “Hare-urn Scare-urn.” Someone in the office labelled the submission from cartoonist “Bugs” Hardaway as “Bugs’ Bunny” and sent it on. Although his drawings weren’t used, the words that labelled them were given to the rabbit star of the 1940 cartoon “A Wild Hare,” which introduced “Bugs Bunny.” -Facts 'O Fun, A.J. Kovitz