Iowa’s handful of production companies, ad agencies, and 800+ technology firms keep Iowa animators fairly busy. This means, the state is definitely worth a look if you want to get your start in animation off the beaten path. Not only this, but if you have that special entrepreneurial spirit, Iowa just might be the best place to start your own animation company. Nine of the state’s largest communities ranked high in Forbes Best Places for Business. Not only this, but Iowa is the 2nd most livable state in the U.S. and the cost for doing business her e is the lowest in the nation. Of course, these advantages attract other businesses too—including production studios!
Iowa’s status as a “right to work state” has many benefits for animators, but so does the academic climate here. The state is home to 65 colleges and universities, and plenty of community colleges where students can train to become an animator or take animation classes.
Iowa Animation Schools
Aspiring animators living in Iowa may choose a community college to get started or a four-year university. The most popular place to train is Drake University. Degrees offered include a B.A. or B.F.A. in graphic design. These programs require the completion of 2D and 3D design, drawing, digital production, and other specific courses for animators.
Other schools with programs for aspiring animators include the Department of Art at the University of Northern Iowa, Cedar Falls; Ashford University, Clinton (Computer Graphic Design, Animation Track); Loras College, Dubuque (Integrated Visual Arts with Animation Studies); Eastern Iowa Community College, Davenport; Iowa Lakes Community College, Estherville.
More Animation related programs to consider:
Employment and Salary Trends for Iowa Animators
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the State of Iowa is home to 70 salaried multimedia artists and animators. They work for a variety of animation studios, film studios, creative agencies, software publishers, in computer systems design and related services, mobile communications, and more. They earn an average salary of $57,590 per year, up from $44,870 for 2009. The average salary for animators and multimedia artists nationwide is $61,370 per year. The lowest paid animators and multimedia artists average $35,510 per year and the highest paid animators average $112,030 per year.