New Jersey is a great place for aspiring animators and not just because the states’ largest cities, Newark, Jersey City, Paterson, are mere miles from New York. New Jersey is home to a number of small to mid-sized production studios that welcome fresh talent. Just a few include Drive80 Studios in Morristown, Tres 3D in Farmingdale, Core Studios in Red Bank, and Funline Animation and Scientific Animations in Montclair. The state is home to more than 100 technology firms as well as dozens of creative agencies such as Looney Advertising in Montclair, Words & Pictures Creative Services in Park Ridge, and DSM Group in Franklin Lakes. The state also offers access to several colleges and universities that offer top-tier animation programs.
New Jersey Animation Schools
New Jersey is home to 66 Title IV degree-granting schools and dozens of training centers that offer art and design programs. Students can choose from diploma or certificate programs as well as a variety of degrees that will prepare them for a career in animation. Just a few include a Diploma in Cartooning and a BA in Creative Arts and Technology (CAT) with Concentration in Animation. Continue reading to learn more about New Jersey’s best schools for aspiring animators and where to find them.
Bloomfield College - Degrees Offered: BA Creative Arts and Technology (CAT) with a Concentration in Animation, Digital Video
The Kubert School - Degrees Offered: Diploma. This three-year accredited program prepares students for a career in cartooning and illustration
New Jersey City University - Degrees Offered: MA/MFA Computer Arts
Farleigh Dickinson University – Degrees Offered: BA Film and Animation with a Concentration in Animation or Video Game Animation, Minor in Animation
Montclair State University – Degrees Offered: BFA Animation/Illustration
Kean University - Degrees Offered: BFA Studio Art with Concentration in Computer/Video Art, Illustration
William Patterson University - Degrees Offered: BFA Art with Concentration in Computer Art and Animation
More Animation related programs to consider:
- School of the Arts - Florham Campus - Madison, NJ
- Savannah, Atlanta, Hong Kong, France, and Online via SCAD eLearning
Employment and Salary Trends for New Jersey Animators
In 2002, New Jersey was home to 360 animators and multimedia artists. By 2009, the population had increased to a respectable 540. Today, New Jersey is home to 440 salaried animators and multimedia artists. Although the population dipped between 2009 and 2015, overall employment growth for animators and multimedia artists is six percent for the 2012-2022 decade. This means that, nationwide, the talent pool is expected to increase from 68,900 jobs to 73,200 jobs.
The population may have decreased in New Jersey, but salaries for animators and multimedia artists are on the rise. In 2002, the average salary was $49,440. In 2009, it was $59,380. Today, New Jersey-based animators average $64,100. It is important to keep in mind that many animators and multimedia artists are self-employed.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the “Independent Artists, Writers, and Performers” group has the second highest concentration of employment in this occupation. Further, at an average annual salary of $75,150, this group is the fourth highest paying “industry” for animators and multimedia artists. It is important to note that individual salaries will vary by industry, location, company, experience, education, and more.
Awesome Animation Fact: Richard Williams was presented with a Special Achievement Oscar for animation direction and creation of the cartoon characters for Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988). The only time this award had been previously given for animation was to Walt Disney for Show White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937). Disney’s award (along with seven miniature statuettes at the 1939 Academy Awards) was handed to him by the presenter of the award that year—a 10-year-old Shirley Temple. -Getty Images, Moviefone, UCLA