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Multimedia Artist Job Stats

Multimedia Artists


Artist And Multimedia Artist Earnings, Training, and Jobs Statistics

What Multimedia Artists Do

Multimedia artists and animators create animation and visual effects for television, movies, video games, and other media. They create two- and three-dimensional models and animation.

Work Environment

Although most multimedia artists are self-employed, some work for the motion picture and video industry. They often work long hours, especially when deadlines are approaching.

How to Become a Multimedia Artist or Animator

Many multimedia artists and animators pursue a bachelor’s degree in computer graphics, art, or a related field to develop a good portfolio of work and learn the strong technical skills that many employers prefer.


The median annual wage of multimedia artists and animators was $58,510 in May 2010.
Job Outlook

Employment of multimedia artists and animators is expected to grow by 8 percent from 2010 to 2020, slower than the average for all occupations. Expected growth will be due to increased demand for animation and visual effects in video games, movies, and television. However, growth will be slow as companies increasing hire animators who are overseas. In addition, competition for jobs will be tough because there are many people interested in entering the occupation.

Similar Occupations

Compare the job duties, education, job growth, and pay of multimedia artists and animators with similar occupations.

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  • Multimedia artists and animators typically do the following:
  • Create graphics and animation using computer programs and illustration
  • Work with a team of animators and artists to create a movie, game, or visual effect
  • Research upcoming projects to help create a realistic design or animation
  • Develop storyboards that map out key scenes in the animation
  • Edit animation and effects based on feedback from directors, head animators, game designers, or clients
  • Meet with clients, head animators, games designers, and directors to review deadlines and development timelines

Multimedia artists and animators often work in a specific medium. Some focus on creating animated movies or video games. Others create visual effects for movies and television shows. Visual effects, also called computer generated images or CGI, include creating animation from images of actors performing or designing scenery or backgrounds for locations.

Artists and animators can further specialize within these fields. Within animated movies and video games, artists often specialize in characters or scenery and background design. Video game artists may focus on level design: creating the look, feel, and layout for the levels of a video game.
Animators work in teams to develop a movie, visual effect, or electronic game. Each animator works on a portion of the project, and then they put the pieces together to create one cohesive animation.
Some multimedia artists and animators create their work primarily using computer software or by writing their own computer code. Many animation companies have their own computer animation software that artists must learn to use.

Other artists and animators prefer to work by drawing and painting by hand and then translating that work into computer programs. Some multimedia artists use storyboards, which look like a comic strip, to help visualize the final product during the design process.


The median annual wage of multimedia artists and animators was $58,510 in May 2010. The median wage is the wage at which half the workers in an occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $33,840, and the top 10 percent earned more than $99,830.

n May 2010, annual median wages of multimedia artists and animators in the industries employing the most multimedia artists and animators were as follows:

  • Motion picture and video industries $66,190
  • Software publishers            65,290
  • Computer systems design and related services            56,000
  • Advertising, public relations, and related services            55,890

Multimedia artists and animators often work long hours; it is not unusual for them to work 50-hour weeks. When deadlines are approaching, they may work nights and weekends.

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012-13 Edition, Multimedia Artists and Animators, on the Internet at