Animation Careers in Texas Overview
Established in 1971, the Texas Film Commission was established in order to support the Lone Star State’s growing film community. In recent years, the Commission has also supported the animation and visual effects community by attracting major productions such as Spy Kids as well as productions such as The Ant Bully, and The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron. The state is home to the famous South By Southwest (SXSW) film festival (Austin) as well as dozens of animation and visual effects companies.
In Texas, just a few of the top industries for animators are the motion picture and video industries, advertising and public relations, and software publishing. Animators interested in working in education can choose from a number of academic institutions. In addition to dozens of animation studios (as mentioned), the state is home to thousands of creative firms and technology companies, and many of them are willing to pay top dollar for top talent.
Employment and Salary Trends for Texas Animators
Texas has the fourth largest population of salaried multimedia artists and animators in the U.S. Most animators here live in the Austin-Round Rock-San Marcos metropolitan area. However, you can still find viable employment opportunities in large cities such as Dallas, Fort Worth, Houston, and San Antonio.
Texas’s 1,580 multimedia artists and animators average $56,990 per year up from $52,740 in 2008. While the film industry, software publishing and advertising have the highest employment levels, the “wholesale electronic markets and agents and brokers” pays the most at an average salary of $81,760 per year.
With an average annual salary of $80,310, “Other Information Services” is the second highest paying industry for animators and multimedia artists. The third is software publishers ($76,090), the fourth is independent artists, writers, and performers ($75,150), and the fifth is the film and video industry ($73,950).
As mentioned, Texas is home to a variety of studios, creative agencies, technology firms and more that routinely hire promising graduates. Just a few employment options include:
- Agency Creative, Dallas
- Aspyr, Austin
- Austin Visuals, Austin
- Bioware Austin, Austin
- Certain Affinity, Austin
- Edge of Reality, Austin
- Fuzion Agency, Houston
- GSD&M, Austin
- Hallaron Advertising, The Woodlands
- Illusion Studio, Houston
- John Manlove Marketing & Communications, Pasadena
- KingsIsle Entertainment, Plano
- Miller Ad Agency, Dallas
- MMI Agency, Houston
- MPS Studios, Dallas
- Multimedia Games, West Lake Hills
- NCsoft, Austin
- Planet Texas Studios, Austin
- Powerhouse Animation Studios, Austin
- Saint Elmo Soundstage, Austin
- Spiderwood Studios, Utley
- The Richards Group, Dallas
- Troublemaker Studios, Austin
- Zynga Austin, Austin
If you are interested in teaching, you’re in luck. Texas is home to more than 250 accredited colleges and universities, dozens of community colleges, more than 9,000 elementary and secondary schools, and thousands of independent art and design programs and centers.
Texas Animation Training Programs
Texas is home to a variety of top colleges that offer animation programs. Some of the best Texas animation schools and programs include:
- Art Institute of Fort Worth, Fort Worth - BFA Media Arts and Animation
- Art Institute of Houston, Houston - BFA Media Arts and Animation
- Art Institute of San Antonio, San Antonio - BFA Media Arts and Animation
- Sam Houston State University, Huntsville - BFA Computer Animation
- Texas A&M University, College Station - BS, MS, MFA in Visualization. The Visualization program is interdisciplinary, so it allows students to study Computer Generated Animation.
- The Art Institute of Austin, Austin – BFA Media Arts and Animation
- The Art Institute of Dallas, Dallas - BFA Media Arts and Animation
- University of Texas at Dallas, Dallas - BA Arts and Technology with an Animation Track, MA, MFA Arts and Technology with an Animation Track, PhD Arts and Technology with an Animation Track
- University of the Incarnate Word, San Antonio – BFA 3D Animation and Game Design with a 3D Animation Track or Game Design Track
Just a few of the best community colleges for animators in Texas are Houston Community College, which offers a Certificate in Multimedia/Video & Animation, Collin College (McKinney), which offers a Certificate and an Associate in Applied Science (AAS) in Animation, and Richland College (Dallas), which offers a Certificate and an Associate Degree in Animation.
More Animation related programs to consider:
- Atlanta, Georgia; Savannah, Georgia; Lacoste, France; and SCAD eLearning
If you are serious about a career in animation, you can get started by enrolling in a program at an accredited college or university. As mentioned earlier, program options range from a Certificate in Multimedia/Video & Animation to a PhD in Arts and Technology with an Animation Track.
Awesome Animation Fact: Bugs Bunny cartoons air in countries outside of the United States. In most cases, the original US cartoons are simply redubbed in the native language and the characters are usually given names more fitting for the country in which they are appearing. For example, in Finland, Bugs Bunny is called Väiski Vemmelsääri.-Facts ‘O Fun, A.J. Kovitz