Washington DC, which has about 618,000 local residents and well over 100,000 commercial businesses, is home to about a hundred full time animation artists, as well as hundreds more freelance professionals pursuing employment in animated film design. Washington DC's thriving visual media industry provides many valuable opportunities in this field.
Washington DC Schools and Training Programs for Animation
A dozen or more Washington DC area colleges, Universities and art schools feature classes and degree programs in animation art. Aspiring animators attending local design colleges often major in photography, digital arts or visual mass media. Well-known Washington DC art schools include Gallaudet University, Catholic University of America, University of the District of Columbia and The Boston University Center for Digital Imaging Arts, among others.
Beyond the local design colleges are various virtual educational options. Popular accredited online art colleges featuring degree programs in animation design include The Art Institutes, Stratford Career Institute, ITT Tech, University of Phoenix, Strayer University and DeVry. Numerous online schools also features physical locations. University of Phoenix and Strayer University both have campuses in Washington DC.
Working as an Animator in Washington DC
Animation professionals in Washington DC work for many different types of local businesses. These may include photography studios, travel agents, product manufacturers, software developers, educational media providers, ad agencies, TV stations and many more. Some DC artists are employed by local animation studios like Michael Lentz Design or Flipbook Productions. Others team up with local motion picture companies. Desirable DC movie producers include Asgard Entertainment, Giganova Productions, Huqa Entertainment, SK Media Group and ZDF German Television, to name just a few. Some animators work for local IT corporations. DC digital info tech firms include Corporate Visions, Lightningcast Incorporated, Broad Daylight, Silver Sphere Designs and Winstar Communications, among hundreds of others.
According to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, full time animators employed in Washington DC earn, on average, about $62,670 per year, with a mean hourly rate of around $31.00. If Washington DC were a state, it would rank fourth among states in terms of average annual income for professional animators.
Skills of a Professional Animator
Among the most indispensable skills required of professional animators are advanced drawing and coloring technique and accomplished, truly innovative digital art. Animators are also talented storytellers with exceptional communication and other interpersonal skills. Most animators are also familiar with photography, model making and set design. Key animators are expected to possess additional technical qualifications such as web page construction, fluency in programming languages and interactive media development.