How to become an Animator

How to become an Animator

Animators create videos, movies and short animations using 2D and 3D technology. They can work in all kinds of mediums, from traditional pencil and paper, to stop-motion, 3D modelling, rotoscoping, pixel art, and much more.

If you’re curious and creative, have a passion for the arts, and want to bring stories to life, becoming an Animator could be perfect for you.


About you:


  • Creative and inquisitive
  • Great problem solver
  • Can work in teams and alone
  • Excellent time management skills
  • Great attention to detail
  • Good tech skills
  • Works well under pressure
  • Fantastic communicator


The job:


  • Creating preliminary sketches and diagrams
  • Planning storyboards and sequences
  • Designing characters, backgrounds and models
  • Using software to create animations
  • Working with other creative professionals, including writers, voice actors, and producers
  • Consulting with clients to capture their vision
  • Keeping up to date with art trends and software developments


Lifestyle Impact: Low


  • Part Time opportunities: Low – around 28% of Animators work part-time (source:
  • Average hours for full-time workers: 44 hours a week, which is average (source:
  • Animators’ salary (average) $70,000* per year (source: *Salaries vary depending on your skills and experience.
  • Future career growth: Very strong (source:
  • Most of your work will probably be done indoors, and during normal business hours.


Animators are most in demand in these locations:


This is a small occupation, with only around 2,100 people working as Animators in Australia in 2021 (source: Demand is highest in New South Wales and Victoria, and around 84% of Animators live in capital cities. Most Animators work in the Professional, Scientific and Technical Services, and Arts and Recreation Services industries.


How to become an Animator in Australia


To become an animator in Australia, you’ll need to build up a strong portfolio of work. Formal qualifications aren’t necessary, but are strongly encouraged and can boost your skills and employability.


Step 1 – Complete Year 12 with a focus on English and Arts.


Step 2 – Complete a relevant VET qualification, such as a Diploma of Screen and Media.


Step 3 – You might like to consider a relevant undergraduate qualification, such as a Bachelor of Arts or Design.


Step 4 – Start building a strong portfolio of work, and consider creating a professional website or blog to host your work.


Step 5 – Find work as an Animator in-house for a company, or consider freelance work.


Find out more here –


Similar Careers to Animator



Graphic Designer


Web Designer


Advertising Manager

UX Designer


Find out more about alternative careers.


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)


What do Animators do?


Animators create a wide variety of animated media, from cartoons to UX designs, in many different mediums.


Which industries employ Animators?


Animators are mostly employed in the Professional, Scientific and Technical Services, and Arts and Recreation Services industries.


What options are there for career progression?


There are lots of different kinds of animation you might like to consider. You could create advertisements for television, work on cartoons and TV shows, or produce professional content for a business.


Do I need to go to university to become an Animator?


Not necessarily – but you’ll need to have a strong portfolio of work that shows off your skills. Earning a qualification can be a good way to develop your skills and learn more about the industry.


Where do Animators work?


Animators can work in-house for a creative agency or a film or television studio, or they can work freelance, including from their own homes.


What are 3 things I can do right now to help me become an Animator?


If you’re in high school and you’d like to find out if a career as an Animator is right for you, here’s a few things you could do right now:

  1. Start flexing your creative muscles and choose a medium which interests you. Get out the pen and paper and draw, or learn how to create 3D models, and brush up on industry standard software.
  2. See if you can find work experience in an arts or animation-based setting. This will help you see if you might enjoy the work, and can help you start building important contacts for the future.
  3. Talk to an Animator to see what a day in their life is like. If you don’t know anyone, see if you can watch videos or documentaries about a career in animation.

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