Hawaii is home to more than 9,000 professionals working in Arts, Design, Entertainment, Sports, and Media (ADESM) occupations. They work in a variety of fields from film and video to advertising, publishing and fine art. Thanks to beautiful scenery and the efforts of the Hawaii Film Office, however, artists working in the entertainment industry stay pretty busy. Productions of all sizes come to Hawaii to shoot films, commercials, videos, and print campaigns. Just a few movies filmed here include Jurassic Park, Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark, Pearl Harbor, 50 First Dates, The Descendants, Tropic Thunder, Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Survivor, Hawaii Five-0, and Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides.
Besides a lively film scene, Hawaii is also home to a variety of animation studios and creative agencies such as Blue Water Multimedia, Harris Agency, Hawaii Animation Studios, Home Baked Entertainment, Hyperspective Studios, Inc., MVNP, OrangeRoc, and Team Vision Marketing Agency. These companies and many others routinely hire graduates from Hawaii’s top schools for animators. Continue reading to find out which Hawaii schools offer the best programs for aspiring animators and where to find them.
Hawaii Animation Schools
Hawaii is home to 20 Title IV degree-granting schools. Ten are public, six are private, not –for-profit and four are private for-profit. Some of these schools are considered expensive, while others are considered affordable. Fortunately, because they have Title IV status, all are eligible for federal financial aid programs. This makes them more accessible to students with financial need. The best schools for aspiring animators in Hawaii are:
Hawaii Pacific University – Degrees Offered: BA Multimedia Cinematic Production, BA Integrated Multimedia. Both programs allow students to study motion graphics and animation.
Kapiolani Community College – Degrees Offered: AS Animation
University of Hawaii at Manoa, Academy for Creative Media (ACM) – Degrees Offered: BA Creative Media with a Digital Cinema or Computer Animation & Game Design Track
More Animation related programs to consider:
- Savannah, Atlanta, Hong Kong, France, and Online via SCAD eLearning
Employment and Salary Trends for Hawaii Animators
Hawaii is home to 9,280 professionals working in ADESM occupations, up from 8,730 in 2013. They earn an average salary of $50,420 per year, up from $47,210 in 2013. The ADESM population here includes around 50 salaried multimedia artists and animators, down from 110 in 2013. They earn an average salary of $56,450 per year, down slightly from $56,480 in 2013. However, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that many animators and multimedia artists are self-employed.
The “Independent Artists, Writers, and Performers” group has the second highest concentration of employment in this occupation and at an average annual salary of $75,150, this group is the fourth highest paying “industry” for animators and multimedia artists. Besides this, it is important to note that individual salaries vary by education, experience, industry, location, and other factors. For example, the states with the highest employment levels for animators and multimedia artists are California, New York, Washington, Texas, and Georgia. The highest paying states for animators and multimedia artists are:
- California ($82,170)
- Washington ($75,740)
- Massachusetts ($73,470)
- New York ($70,660)
- Idaho ($69,450)
In Hawaii and across the U.S., the industries with the highest levels of employment are:
- Motion Picture and Video industries
- Computer Systems Design and Related Services
- Software Publishers,
- Advertising, Public Relations, and Related Services
- Other Information Services
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 Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicts that overall employment growth for animators and multimedia artists will average six percent for the 2014-2024 decade. This means that the industry will see 3,900 new jobs in the coming years. While a number of new opportunities may be found in smaller cities throughout the islands, most opportunities can be found in Hawaii’s largest city—Honolulu.
Awesome Animation Fact: Family Guy (1991-present ) was the first animated program since The Flintstones (1960-1966) to be nominated for Outstanding Comedy Series at the Emmys. -BuzzFeed