Job openings for trained 3D animators will keep pace with the overall growth of the American economy through the end of the decade. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicts the animation jobs openings will grow at the same rate as the average growth for all occupations through 2014. That means that while growth in animation jobs is hardly explosive, the entertainment and digital publishing industries will continue to need newly trained 3D animators to fill positions on a regular basis.
3D animators can either fill niche positions in the trade, or become generalists who work on multiple aspects of any given project. Depending on their training and experience, entry level animators can find roles as painters, illustrators, modelers, and technical directors. Jobs will open for 3D animators in the entertainment industry, in manufacturing, training and marketing sectors, and in government and education.
New hires are expected to help with a wide range of 3D animation tasks in DVD production, video and console game design, motion picture effects, internet site production as well as ad design, television broadcast animation and for live entertainment that requires animation (music concerts, comedy shows, amusement rides).
There will also be ample openings for corporate, education, health care, and governmental operations, including trade shows, office training films, military hardware and flight training video, medical procedure animations, and college course animations broadcast in the classroom or through internet streaming video. While some of these positions might not sound as exciting as a position at Pixar, it does reflect the huge demand for animators and 3d artists in a variety of areas.
Because the competition will be brisk for the better paying animation jobs, the BLS recommends that students attend comprehensive programs that allow them to produce their own accomplished demo reels.