The state of New York supports about one-and-three-quarter-million commercial businesses, with roughly twenty percent of them located in New York City. Recent global technological leaps in video animation have greatly strengthened the economic demand for New York animators.
New York Schools and Training Programs for Animation
Colleges, Universities and learning centers all over the state of New York offer various training opportunities in animated design. Aspiring animators attending New York colleges can major in fine arts, photography, visual communications or even computer science. New York State colleges with animation design programs include Sage College of Albany and Sanford-Brown Institute in Melville, as well as Rochester Institute of Technology and Everest Institute in Rochester and Syracuse University in Syracuse, among others. New York City favorites include Columbia University, NYU, Fashion Institute of Technology and literally dozens more.
Some aspiring New York animators opt for online certification programs from any of a number of accredited schools. Popular online colleges with animation degree programs 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. Many of today's online animation schools also feature physical locations. ITT Tech has campuses in Albany, Getzville and Liverpool. The Art Institute conveniently serves New York City residents.
Working as an Animator in New York
New York companies hire local animators to help create TV cartoons and video games, as well as medical images, engineering studies, fund raising campaigns and promotional materials, among other things. Businesses in the state of New York that hire animators include TV stations, photo finishing labs, product manufacturers, online news syndicates, event planners and many more.
Some New York animators work for state-local animation studios like Flickerlab and Stretch-Films in New York City, or Animatus Studio in Rochester. Other local animators work for top New York State graphic-design-oriented IT firms like Badass Builders and Google Team Marketing in Rochester, as well as Broadview Networks and WIS-International in Syracuse. Leading New York City info tech companies include AOL, Bloomingdale's, I-Cube and literally thousands more.
On average, animation artists in the state of New York who are employed full time by U.S. businesses earn about $66,340 per year, with a mean hourly wage of around $31.90. New York ranks second among states (behind only California) in average incomes paid to professional animators. This data, collected by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, is based on the incomes of roughly 3,000 animators employed full time by U.S. companies. However, it does apply to part time animators, freelance artists and locals employed with foreign businesses.
Skills of a Professional Animator
A career in animation design starts with talent. Animation artists are skilled illustrators, adept at rendering recognizable forms, especially characterizations. Nonetheless, professional artists need training in various drawing styles, methods and techniques. They also must become entirely proficient with animation-related software packages. Professional animators currently use 3D Studio Max for three-dimensional animated films and Toon Boom Digital Pro for flat-screen moving images. Other important qualifications include photography, web design, programming languages and interactive media, as well as project management potential.