Which Industries & Professions Use Animation?

Knowing what animation is, what the industry entails, and the various career paths within it is vital for anyone considering taking up animation classes or making a career change. This content provides insight into what animation is, the different industries that require animators, and the various roles available, including working as an illustrator, game developer, VFX artist, and more.

Key Insights

  • Animation involves manipulating static images to create the illusion of movement, and it's not limited to creating movies or television shows; it also involves creating moving graphics for websites and video games.
  • Animators can find work in several fields such as filmmaking, medical or mathematical animation, illustration, game development, and visual effects (VFX) creation.
  • Popular software in the animation industry includes Adobe After Effects and Premiere Pro.
  • According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment for animators and special effects artists is expected to grow about 5%, with Californian employing the most animators in the United States.
  • Animation is widely used in marketing, web design, and the video game industry, helping brands stand out and creating engaging content for websites and games.
  • Noble Desktop offers comprehensive live online and in-person animation classes, including a 'Motion Graphics Certificate' course that teaches animation with After Effects, video editing with Premiere Pro, and audio editing with Audition.

Animators use computers and other tools to manipulate still images, giving them the illusion of movement. An essential aspect of receiving professional animation training to set yourself up for a career change is learning what fields and industries that training will help you find work in. Each industry will have different requirements and expectations for prospective employees, and you should consider these expectations when you start your training. This is true for students who have an idea of what kind of work they want to do and those who aren’t yet sure what path to take after learning Animation skills.

What is Animation?

Animation is the process of photographing a still image—typically a drawing—then making slight modifications to the image while taking successive pictures. An animator will rapidly show these pictures to make it appear as if the image is moving. Animation skills are great to have in many different jobs. Animators don’t just create movies or television shows. They also create moving graphics for websites, video games, or visual effects. Most animators now use software to create the graphics, though some still use drawings and sketches to bring their imagination to life.

Read more about what animation is and why you should learn it. 

What Can You Do with Animation Skills?

Learning animation opens doors to different fields. The most obvious field is filmmaking: producing visual effects, developing computer-generated special effects, or creating images for any media type. Movies, television, the internet, and (video) games all rely on Animators for their products. Yet, Animators can also work as Medical or Mathematical Animators, Illustrators, Games Developers, and VFX Artists. Illustrators focus on still images, both hand-drawn and computer-generated, while Medical or Mathematical Animators, Games Developers, and VFX Artists develop 3D moving images. After Effects and Premiere Pro are the go-to animation software for professionals. 


Common Industries That Use Animation

Animators create a wide variety of content and work in many industries. While some animation is hand-drawn, most of today’s animation is computer generated, with the help of applications like Adobe After Effects and Animate.

Movies and Television

Animators create the animation that appears in movies and television shows. This includes animated special effects. There is a huge variety of different types of animations used in the movie and television industry. For instance, 2D Animators work with the traditional style of animation that uses a two-dimensional space. South Park and The Simpsons are popular 2D animations. 3D animation is done with a computer, resulting in characters and scenes that look three-dimensional or more life-like. Toy Story is a popular 3D animated movie. Stop motion is yet another type of animation. It involves working with models or puppets and moving them a bit, frame by frame. Isle of Dogs is an example of stop-motion animation.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects that employment for animators and special effects artists will grow about 5 percent in the next ten years, which is about average compared to other occupations. It says that part of the growth will be related to consumer demand for special effects in movies and television and demand for three-dimensional movies. BLS also reports that California employs the most animators in the United States, more than the other top four states put together.


Animation is widely used in marketing. One of the most challenging things in this field is to stand out since consumers are exposed to thousands of marketing messages every day. Animation is a way to help a brand get noticed compared to the thousands of brands they are competing with. Animation in advertising is also popular because it has universal appeal and can be cheaper to create than other types of content.

Market research analysts and marketing specialists are on the Bureau of Labor Statistics Most New Jobs list, which contains the 20 jobs with the most significant projected change in employment in the next ten years. Digital marketing jobs, in particular, are expected to increase substantially in the future because digital media has become such an integral part of modern life. In a recent LinkedIn report, researchers called digital marketing “the most in-demand skill globally.”

Web Design

Some animators work in web design, creating animated content for websites. The first websites were made up of text. However, as technology has changed, movement and animation have become an integral part of most sites. In fact, it is now rare to find a site that consists of only text. Web Designers use these elements because research has shown that animation and other types of motion graphics are effective ways to boost traffic and retain customers.

Websites have become an essential part of business around the world, and the job outlook is good for any job related to web design. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that web development and digital design jobs will increase by 23 percent over the next ten years, much faster than the average growth rate for all occupations. It says that Washington, California, and New York are the top employers of web and digital interface designers.

Video Games

Video gaming is a popular activity throughout the world. For instance, according to the Entertainment Software Association, 65 percent of American adults and 71 percent of kids play video games. All these players need new content, and animators play an important role in creating that content. They generate animated content for a variety of media, including mobile devices and desktop gaming systems. Animators often specialize in a specific type of game animation, for instance, characters or scenery. For these reasons, they often work as part of a team.

The video game industry is an enormous, multi-billion-dollar industry that grows every year. This makes game design an excellent career to be in. According to a recent comparison by the World Economic Forum, the video game market is more than a hundred billion dollars and is roughly four times more than movie box office revenues and three times more than music industry revenues.

Learn Animation Skills with Noble Desktop

Many experts agree that animation is much easier to learn when taken either in a live online class or in person. Noble Desktop provides animation classes in both formats. Class sizes are small, and instructors can give students plenty of attention and feedback. 

In just a few days, students can learn how to use Adobe After Effects in Noble Desktop's bootcamp. This class is ideal for people new to the field of animation and motion design. Those with more time can learn what it takes to become an Animator in Noble’s comprehensive Motion Graphics Certificate course. This class teaches animation with After Effects, video editing with Premiere Pro, and audio editing with Audition.

Key Takeaways

  • Animators work in many different industries.
  • One of the most common places to find animators is in the film and television industry.
  • Animation is prevalent in marketing because it has universal appeal and can be a way to make a brand stand out from the competition.
  • Animated content has become an integral part of many websites.
  • Lots of animators design characters, scenery, and other types of animated content for video games.
  • Noble Desktop offers a range of different animation classes both live online and at its New York City campus.

How to Learn Animation

Master animation with hands-on training. Animation is the process of manipulating still images so that they appear to move, often using software like After Effects, Cinema 4D, or Adobe Animate.

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