The state of Massachusetts, with its world-famous cultural attractions, thriving media industry and the city of Boston to brag about, is ideal for local artists seeking professional work, especially in the field of animated design. Recent advances in digital technology have made the production of animation art more accessible than ever, multiplying the economic demand for skilled animation artists.
Massachusetts Schools and Training Programs for Animation
Massachusetts maintains many colleges, Universities and training facilities featuring professional certification and degree programs in animated design. Aspiring Massachusetts animators enrolled at local colleges typically major in visual arts, photography or communications design. Popular Massachusetts animation schools include Boston University and Massachusetts College of Art in Boston, the Everest Institute, which has campuses in Brighton and Chelsea, and American Career Institute, featuring locations in Cambridge, Springfield and Framingham.
Lately, more and more Massachusetts artists are acquiring animation skills at home. Professional training is available to anyone, just about anywhere, thanks to a recent avalanche of accredited online degree programs. Popular online schools teaching animated design include the Academy of Art University, Post University, Full Sail University, Stratford Career Institute, University of Phoenix, The Art Institutes and ITT Tech, among others. Some of these schools maintain physical campuses all across America. University of Phoenix has training centers in Braintree and Westborough. ITT Tech has locations in Wilmington and Norwood. The Art Institute has a campus in Brookline.
Working as an Animator in Massachusetts
Countless commercial corporations in Massachusetts enlist the services of professional animators for many assorted tasks. Animation is created for so much more than just entertainment value, although some interactive games and cartoons achieve viral popularity. Still, animation design skills have countless other applications. These include instructional videos, public service announcements, commercial advertising, legal investigation services, mobile app development and website design, to name a few. Massachusetts companies that hire animation design professionals include schools, ad agencies, event planners, TV stations, news syndicates, photo labs, feature film makers and more.
Some Massachusetts animators scout leading local animation studios like Cartoon Features Syndicate in Cambridge, Vault Animation in Brookline, Amazing Animation in Provincetown and Clambake Animation in Watertown. Some Massachusetts artists work for major, graphics-based information technology firms. Leading Massachusetts info tech corporations include Cambridge Information Service in Cambridge, Adheris Incorporated in Burlington, Cass Information Systems in Lowell, Zoom Information in Waltham and Information Engineer in Wellesley.
Based on data collected by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average annual income for a professional animator living in Massachusetts and employed full time by a U.S. business is about $59,670, with an average hourly rate of about $28.70. However, this data pertains only to full time animators employed by U.S. companies and living in Massachusetts, of which there are only 820 reported. Unreported are the ever-elusive incomes of part time artists, freelance professionals and local animators employed by foreign companies.
Skills of a Professional Animator
Professional animation skills include advanced illustration technique, photography, lighting and especially digital graphics. Most animated films are produced using one of several animation software programs. The most currently popular professional versions of animation software are Toon Boom Digital Pro for flat moving images and 3D Studio Max for believable 3D motion. Other important qualifications for professional animation design include web page construction, programming languages and interactive media skills.