When it comes to ranking schools with the best animation programs (or any program), what makes it the “best” depends on whom you ask. Talk to your best buddy and he might say cost is everything, while your favorite aunt might care more about convenience than anything. Nevertheless, at the end of the day, college ranking agencies have the final word. While cost and convenience are still important to just about every student and parent on the planet, college ranking agencies focus on the quality of the program and student experience.
Most college ranking agencies consider common factors such as the number and variety of program offerings, faculty resources (teacher-student ratio), graduation and retention rates, financial resources, student selectivity (who gets in, who doesn’t), and peer assessment. In the District of Columbia, a number of the state’s accredited colleges and universities made the list of best schools.
Thanks to an increasing demand for top talent across the country, a number of these best DC schools now offer programs for animators and other digital artists. One of the best is Corcoran College of Art + Design. Degrees offered include an A. F. A. in Digital Media Design and Graphic Design and a B. F. A. in Digital Media Design and Graphic Design.
Another popular option for DC locals is ITT Technical Institute (VA). It’s not an easy daily commute, but it can be if you’re planning to go home just on the weekends. ITT Technical Institute offers a B.S. Digital Entertainment and Game Design; A.A.S Visual Communications; A.A.S. Graphic Communications and Design and an A.A.S Information Technology Multimedia Option.
DC Animators – Employment and Salary Outlook
Employment and Salary Trends for District of Columbia (DC) Animators
As of May 2009, 100 salaried animators and multi-media artists lived in Washington DC. This figure decreased slightly (from 110) in 2002. Fortunately, salaries are on the rise. In 2002, salaried DC animators averaged $45,780. In 2009, they averaged $58,350. As of May 2009, the mean annual wage for animators nationwide was $62,810 per year. The lowest paid animators earned $32,360 per year and the highest paid animators earned $99,130 per year.
It is important to keep in mind that many animators are self-employed or work as independent contractors. The Bureau of Labor Statistics does not report employment or salary information for these artists. This means some DC animators may earn more or less than the average. Not only this, but there are possibly hundreds of independent animators working here and their number s could also be on the rise.
More Programs to Consider: