How to Become an Animation Instructor


You’re passionate about animation, but maybe you’re tired of the unpredictable and insecure nature freelance work, or looking for something to supplement your freelance work. Or, you’re passionate about animation and looking for a new challenge, or a way to share what you’ve learned with a wider audience.


Either way, if you’re passionate about animation, maybe it’s time to consider a career as an animation instructor!


Animation instructors can work for a variety of different organizations, ranging from elementary schools to universities, and from government agencies to non-profit artist-driven organizations.


If you’re interested in learning more about what it takes to get into this field, read on below! We’ve prepared an overview of what it takes to qualify for a position in this field. We’ve even included actual "Animation Instructor" job postings, as well as a list of scholarships that are relevant to this field.



Experience You’ll Need

Employers will typically require that you have relevant, hands-on animation and visual arts experience and will likely consider previous teaching experience to be an asset, although it might not be required if you are proven to be highly competent and experienced in animation.



Education Required to Become an Animation Instructor

Although the educational requirements for working in this field will vary from job to job, employers will typically require that you have earned at least an associate’s degree in a visual arts discipline. 


Success Tip: Your best bet is to have a relevant education combined with instructional experience and work experience in animation. Employers also tend to favour animation experience over instructional experience.





What is an Animation Instructor?

Animation instructors are responsible for instructing and engaging students in animation. They must instruct students in either traditional or modern animation techniques, or both. Their students may be school-aged children and adolescents, or they may be working professionals looking to expand or diversify their digital media skills.



General Job Duties

What does an animation instructor do?


Although their duties can vary based on the nature of the specific job they are working, animation instructors are generally responsible for the following:


• Instructing students in the concept of animation

• Preparing lesson plans and delivering instruction

• Reinforcing a positive learning environment

• Instructing students on how to use computer programs to create animation

• Maintaining current knowledge of modern animation techniques

• Maintaining student records, including marks and attendance

• Maintaining the structure of the classroom, if applicable

• Develop and maintain genuine, positive and consistent communication with students (and parents, if applicable)





Are You a Good Fit for This Profession?

There’s no sense pursuing a career that you’re not a good fit for, as it can cost you a lot of wasted time and energy. To be well suited for a career in this field, you need to have certain personal traits and characteristics, as well as professional interests, including:


• You’re passionate about art and animation, whether it’s digital or manual

• You have hands-on experience with animation and a high level of competence in the field

• You’re willing to take on the challenge and change of pace of learning to teach your craft

• You’re interested in the flexible nature of the schedule that many animation instructors enjoy

• You have the patience needed to teach a skill in which you are proficient to those who might be brand new to the field and exploring the concepts for the first time

• You’re willing to take the time to create comprehensive lesson plans

• You’re comfortable with public speaking and keeping order in a classroom setting



Average Salary Level in This Line of Work

As with any other career field, the level of pay you could earn as an animation instructor can vary, typically depending on the following factors:


• The size, type and budget of your employer 

• The region in which you work

• The specific responsibilities of your job

• Your education, skill and experience level, as well as your professional reputation (if applicable)


Unfortunately, there is no salary information available from reliable sources for the specific occupation of “Animation Instructor”. We can however, get a decent idea of what those this field earn by looking at the average salary levels of workers in closely related occupational fields.


Animation Instructor Salary - Canada (Alberta figures only available): According to the 2015 Wage and Salary Survey of the Government of Alberta, the average salary level of Albertans working in the Animators occupational group is $58,099 per year, and that of workers in the Secondary School Teachers group is $73,966 per year. At the time of writing, similar statistics were not available for other provinces or territories, or the whole of Canada.


Animation Instructor Salary - United States: According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median salary level of Americans working in the Postsecondary Teachers, All Other occupational group is $74,630 per year while that of workers in the Multimedia Artists and Animators group is $76,560 per year.



Who Employs Animation Instructors?

Animation instructors can be employed with any organization that teaches animation, at any level and for any purpose. Some types of employers may include:


• Elementary schools

• Middle schools and high schools

• University, colleges and career training-focused post-secondary institutions

• Municipal, regional and federal governmental agencies

• Private companies and web-based businesses that teach animation, and possibly other courses online

• Arts organizations, typically non-profit and charitable in nature, such as TAIS - Toronto Animated Image Society


Success Tip: Animation instructors can also be self-employed as the owners of digital arts academies or as freelance instructors.



Job Opportunities - Current Openings

Our job below board has "Animation Instructor" postings in Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom and Australia.



Work Environment

Setting: Animation instructors can be perform their work in a variety of setting, ranging from classes, to corporate boardrooms, even in their own home or a coffee shop via online instruction or home-based course outline preparation.


Hours: The working hours in this profession can vary based on the type of employment arrangement that exists. For example, animation instructors that work in an elementary or high school classroom setting would likely have hours that reflect the operating hours of the school, while online instructors might have quite irregular or flexible hours.



Similar Occupations in Our Database

Listed below are careers in our database that are similar in nature to 'animation instructor', as they may be in the same field, or they may involve many of the same skills, competencies and/or responsibilities.


Adult Education Instructor 

• Elementary School Teacher

• Film Animator

• High School Teacher

• Graphic Designer

• University Professor 

• Visual Effects Artist




Please consult the following resources to learn more about what it takes to become an animation instructor:


• Careers: “Animator.” (March 31, 2017). Government of Alberta - Alberta Learning and Information Service. Retrieved Oct. 1, 2018.


• Careers: “Secondary School Teacher.” (February 1, 2012). Government of Alberta - Alberta Learning and Information Service. Retrieved Oct. 1, 2018.


• Occupational Employment and Wages: "Multimedia Artists and Animators.” (May, 2017). United States Bureau of Labor Statistics. Retrieved Oct. 1, 2018.


• Occupational Employment and Wages: "Postsecondary Teachers, All Other.” (May, 2017). United States Bureau of Labor Statistics. Retrieved Oct. 1, 2018.


*Please Note: Much of the information used in the creation of this career guide was sourced from actual Animation Instructor job postings, which are not listed here as references, due to the brief nature of their online availability.



How to Become an Animation Instructor



Scholarships for Becoming an Animation Instructor

The "Relevant Fields of Study" section below shows fields of study relevant to a career as an animation instructor. You can search for scholarships matched to those fields of study on our All Scholarships by Major page.


Success Tip: Be sure to apply for any scholarships that you even barely qualify for, as there are millions of dollars of scholarships that go unused every year due to a lack of applicants!



Relevant Fields of Study

Studying one of the university majors listed below is an excellent starting point for working as an animation instructor.


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Animation Instructor