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What type of art/design jobs get highest paid?

I want to get a job in art/design and right now i think i wanna be an animator. However, animation jobs like that don't get paid well. Does anyone have any advice?#college #art #animation #artist #design

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Beth’s Answer

Hi Angela!

[Disclaimer: I am not an animator... I was trained as an industrial designer and now do software design.] There are a couple of components to your question that I want to unpack one by one. First of all, I also thought that art and design jobs weren't highly paid when I was in high school and I almost let that discourage me from pursuing my interests.

Art and design careers aren't necessarily low paid, they're just competitive to get into - some fields more than others. Low job availability and the high desirability of the fields can lead to a lot people struggling early on in their careers but I think that once people become successful within their fields, they can achieve higher salaries. I would encourage you to do some research on salary levels in different fields on glassdoor and paysa so you can assess. For example, here's the salary range for Animation artist - they make an average of $150,000.

So we've established that animation can be a lucrative career. However, how competitive is it? I can't speak from direct experience as I'm a user experience designer but I believe that animation is a pretty competitive field that can be difficult to get into and begin making salaries in that range. There are a couple of things I'd suggest to help you be successful. First, going to a college with a strong art and design program (ideally in a geography with a lot of animation jobs) will help you to set up your network and prepare your portfolio to get you that first job out of college. Second, think about your portfolio as you go through college. Ask yourself, will this work help me get the job that I want or is it just fulfilling the assignment? If it doesn't do both, think of a design or solution that will. Third, ask yourself, what do I love about animation? Is it the creativity of storytelling? Is it illustrations that come to life? Is it creating movement? Find a specialty within animation and cultivate it. Animation is more than just people working at Pixar, there are lots of little sub-fields within it and opportunities to leverage animation outside of the traditional sense. Finding your niche can help you to differentiate in a crowded marketplace and to find satisfaction in other job titles. One field I'd recommend you look into is Motion design. It's highly related to animation, just as lucrative, and there are a lot of job opportunities in the tech field.

Beth recommends the following next steps:

Research art and design salaries
Research fields that are tangentially related to animation
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Corey’s Answer

I was told from my main 2D animation teacher that Story Board Artists are the highest paid. His reasoning is that they turn words into images. They draw thousands of pictures for films to be sequenced. Many of the pictures are scribbles or sketches, but it does not matter because they still propose the initial environment, characters, props, etc. Story boards are redrawn many times due to idea changes or just plain nonacceptance from the writers, directors, producers, etc.

As Beth has replied, animation is very competitive. I have been graduated for nearly a year and still have not found work. I only find people that want animation,only to find out they all say they have no budget for it. Essentially, they want the work for free. For an example of what you have to be better than, here is a link to my YouTube. Also, I have had conference calls with big studios and all of them prefer Vimeo to YouTube. I myself, do not like Vimeo, so I refuse to post there.

I would also like to add that because I was so focused on learning my craft, I did not take the resume building classes (career development) seriously. My advice for that is to still take your general education as serious as time allows you to, or be prepared to pay someone for writing your professional resume. Something I am going to do very soon. For example I had a resume reviewed recently and they told me that I am viewed as 88% laborer and 12% engineer to hiring managers that used keyword based software to weed out candidates.

I know others that I went to school with that are good, but not necessarily at the same work ethic level as me, yet they have jobs. I assume it is because of people they know and how they look on those resumes.

Good Luck to you,


Corey

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Gwendolyn’s Answer

Hi Angela! The Creative Group's yearly Salary Guide is one of my favorite resources for this topic. Visit https://www.roberthalf.com/salary-guide/creative-and-marketing and scroll down to choose from a variety of art and design jobs and their salaries in your state. For example, in Houston, Texas this year the Current Salary Range for a Graphic Designer is $45,360 - $89,910. Hope this helps!


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