Animation is the illusion of motion attributed to things that are immobile, such as drawings and inanimate objects. It is also among the most popular career choices in today's job market. The state of Alabama is alive with opportunities for illustrators seeking employment in the field of animation.
Alabama Schools and Training Programs for Animation
Many Alabama Universities, colleges and training programs teach the skills needed for professional animation work. Popular educational options include South University in Montgomery and Fortis Institute, which has campuses in Birmingham, Dothan, Mobile, Montgomery and Foley. Also available are numerous nationwide accredited online schools like the Academy of Art University, Full Sail University, Stratford Career Institute and quite a few others. Some animation schools, University of Phoenix for instance, offer a choice of campus-based or online training programs. University of Phoenix has a campus in Birmingham.
Working as an Animator in Alabama
Different types of businesses hire professional animators for different reasons. Much animation is created for entertainment purposes, as in cartoons and video games. However, animation is also used in how-to videos, diagnostic imaging, law enforcement, engineering and educational media, among others.
Some Alabama illustrators work for local animation studios like Langsmith Consulting or Millie Models in Huntsville, Praytor Animation in Mobile, Key Frame Animation Studio in Allgood or AJJ Animation in Tuscaloosa. Some animators are employed by info tech firms specializing in computer graphics. Successful examples include Bentley Systems in Madison, Vertical Corporation in Auburn and Team-TSI in Albertville, as well as Infomedia in Birmingham, Corporate Images in Mobile and JK-Preg Illustration in Montgomery. Other Alabama companies that hire animators include educational institutions, hospitals, mobile phone service providers, web designers, software developers, consulting firms and more.
A full time professional animator employed by a U.S. company in the state of Alabama earns, on average, about $47,400 per year. The mean hourly wage for a professional animator is around $22.80. In that respect, Alabama ranks 42nd among states. However, this data only applies to the few dozen full time Alabama animators employed at U.S. companies. It does not account for the incomes of part time animators or local freelance professionals.
Skills of a Professional Animator
Traditional animation methods are largely a thing of the past. These days, most animation is created using sophisticated graphic software. Therefore, an animator must have solid computer graphic skills in addition to advanced illustration technique. Animation is a competitive field, so the more applicable skills you possess, the better off you are when looking for work. Other important related skills include web design, programming, photography and interactive media.