The Best Training for
Animation in 2021

Animation is the process of creating a sequence of movements from static images, photographs, puppets, or models. Animators bring images to life in film and TV.

If you are creative and enjoy working with graphics software, then animation might be the career for you. Read our article to find the best animation schools and programs in 2021. These programs can help you become an animator in only a couple of years.

Rundown: The Top 10 Animation Schools in 2021

Read below to find a rundown of the 10 best animation schools in 2021. Choose the program that suits your academic and financial preferences the most. All of the tuition costs listed below were sourced from each school’s respective website, and these numbers are subject to change.

School State Programs and Tuition Certifications
Crafton Hills College CA Digital Animation Certification
$46 per unit (in-state)
$351 per unit (out-of-state)
Associate of Science Degree in Multimedia: Digital Animation
$46 per unit (in-state)
$351 per unit (out-of-state)
None
East Los Angeles College CA Associate of Arts in Animation
$46 per unit (in-state)
$282 per unit (out-of-state)
None
McHenry County College IL Animation Certificate
$2,676 total (in-district)
$8,873 total (out-of-district)
$11,145 total (out-of-state)
Digital Media Associate in Applied Science
$6,690 total (in-district)
$22,183 total (out-of-district)
$27,863 total (out-of-state)
None
Montgomery College AL Digital Animation Certificate
$201 per credit (in-district)
$341.80 per credit (in-state)
$467.80 per credit (out-of-state)
Digital Animation Associate of Applied Science
$201 per credit (in-district)
$341.80 per credit (in-state)
$467.80 per credit (out-of-state)
None
Mt. San Antonio College CA Junior Animator Level I Certificate
$46 per unit (in-state)
$310 per unit (out-of-state)
Junior Animator Level II Certificate
$46 per unit (in-state)
$310 per unit (out-of-state)
Associate of Science in Animation
$46 per unit (in-state)
$310 per unit (out-of-state)
None
Northeastern University MA 3-D Animation Certificate
$20,800 total
None
Rhode Island School of Design Continuing Education RI Animation Certificate
$8,870 total
None
Santa Ana College CA 3D Animation Certificate
$317 per unit
Digital Media Arts Associate of Arts
$317 per unit
None
South Dakota State University SD Animation Certificate
$256.55 per credit (in-state)
$372.40 per credit (out-of-state)
None
Stuart Weitzman School of Design PA Time-Based and Interactive Media Certificate
$2,482 total
None
How to Pick the Best Animation School for You

How to Pick the Best Animation School for You

Picking the right school and program is one of the key factors to starting your career. Therefore, it is important to choose the right animation school for you. Read below to learn more about the different factors to consider about how to pick the best animation school.

Program Curriculum

To successfully enter the field of animation, you must possess all the essential animation skills and knowledge. Find out what courses the program includes and whether it offers hands-on training. You can also choose an online college that offers courses you can take from home.

Program Cost

Another crucial aspect of picking the right school is your finances. Pick the program that matches your financial plans the most. Contact the school to find out its different financing plans and special discounts. In some cases, you may be able to get a scholarship.

Job Placement

For those interested in pursuing a career in animation, it is important to look into the job placement rates of the school. Choose a reputable and accredited school that has a high job placement rate amongst its graduates. Some schools also offer career services to help you ace your job interview.

The Best Animation Schools of 2021

Continue reading to find out more information about the best animation schools and programs of 2021. Use the information below to figure out which program has the right benefits for you.

Crafton Hills College

Programs

Digital Animation Certificate, Associate of Science Degree in Multimedia: Digital Animation

Accreditation

The Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges

Online Options

Not available

Crafton Hills College offers comprehensive programs at a very affordable price, especially for in-state students. You can enroll in the school’s Digital Animation Certificate program and get job-ready after only 24 credits. If you would rather get an associate degree, Crafton Hills offers an Associate of Science in Multimedia: Digital Animation.

Digital Animation Certificate Curriculum

2D and 3D animation

Adobe Photoshop

Digital illustration

Adobe Animate

Career education

East Los Angeles College

Programs

Associate of Arts in Animation

Accreditation

The Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges

Online Options

Not available

If you want to learn animation in the heart of Los Angeles, this school is a great option for you. The East Los Angeles College offers an Associate of Arts in Animation to help you learn everything you need to know. Just like many other community colleges, the per-unit prices of the courses are very affordable for in-state residents.

Associate of Arts in Animation Curriculum

Storyboard

Character design

Layout art

3D animation

Digital imaging

Camera techniques

McHenry County College

Programs

Animation Certificate, Digital Media Associate in Applied Science

Accreditation

Higher Learning Commission

Online Options

Not available

McHenry County College is a community college for those who reside in Illinois. The school offers an animation certificate program under its digital media specialization. This is the perfect way to prepare for a junior animator position. You can also enroll in McHenry’s associate degree program if you want a more extensive education.

Animation Certificate Curriculum

Animation techniques

Digital drawing

Design

2D and 3D modeling

Licensing and fair use

Montgomery College

Programs

Digital Animation Certificate, Digital Animation Associate of Applied Science

Accreditation

The Middle States Commission on Higher Education

Online Options

Available

Montgomery College is a regionally accredited online community college that offers plenty of digital tech programs. For those interested in a career in digital animation, its certificate program and its AAS program are both good options. Montgomery College teaches industry-standard animation skills to help you get a job in the real world once you graduate.

Digital Animation Certificate Curriculum

Illustration

Animation

Visual arts

Video editing

Storyboarding

Scripts

Mt. San Antonio College

Programs

Junior Animator Level I Certificate, Junior Animator Level II Certificate, Associate of Science in Animation

Accreditation

The Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges

Online Options

Available

Mt. San Antonio College offers several online and in-person animation programs. The Junior Animator Level I Certificate is a good option if you are just starting your journey as an animator. This school also offers a Level II Certificate. We recommend completing both levels, or doing the full AS in Animation, to be ready for an entry-level animator position.

Junior Animator Level I Certificate Curriculum

Gestures and figures

Animal drawing

Storyboarding

Character development

Graphic design

Portfolio building

Web animation with Flash

New digital media

Northeastern University

Programs

3-D Animation Certificate

Accreditation

The Engineering Technology Accreditation Commission of the Accreditation Board of Engineering and Technology

Online Options

Not available

Just as the program’s name states, this animation certificate is for graduate students who want to gain expertise in 3D animation. Northeastern University reports that its Digital Media and Design graduates work rewarding jobs at Fortune 500 companies. You can build a successful career as an animator in the gaming industry.

3-D Animation Certificate Curriculum

Animation basics

3D modeling

Digital storytelling

Character animation

Special effects compositing

Lighting and surfacing

Rhode Island School of Design Continuing Education

Programs

Animation Certificate

Accreditation

The National Association of Schools of Art and Design

Online Options

Available

The Rhode Island School of Design, or RISD, is one of the best art schools in the country. Therefore, earning a certificate from this school will help you stand out in the job hunt. You’ll learn all the skills you need to get a great job in the field. RISD also offers bachelor’s degree programs if you want something more in-depth.

Animation Certificate Curriculum

Portfolio projects

3D modeling

Digital illustration

Sound design

Drawing

Non-linear editing

Santa Ana College

Programs

3D Animation Certificate, Digital Media Arts Associate of Arts

Accreditation

The Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges

Online Options

Not available

For those looking for an in-depth curriculum, Santa Ana College is for you. Its animation programs are currently only available at the school’s California campus. The curriculum has been approved by animators at DreamWorks, Pixar, Lucas Films, and more.

3D Animation Certificate Curriculum

Drawing

3D modeling

Animation

Storyboarding

Web design with Flash

Textures

Previsualization

South Dakota State University

Programs

Animation Certificate

Accreditation

The Higher Learning Commission

Online Options

Not available

If you reside in South Dakota and are looking to earn a certification in animation, then South Dakota State University might be the school for you. The school offers degree programs and certificates covering a variety of fields. The animation certificate program is a great place to start for a beginner.

Animation Certificate Curriculum

Storytelling

Animation techniques

Lighting and texture

Storyboarding

Digital tools

Stuart Weitzman School of Design

Programs

Time-Based and Interactive Media Certificate

Accreditation

The Middle States Commission on Higher Education

Online Options

Available

The Weitzman School of Design is a prestigious design school affiliated with the University of Pennsylvania. It features a highly specialized animation certificate. It is designed for graduate-level students and experienced professionals wanting to learn more about digital tech, animation, and media.

Time-Based and Interactive Media Certificate Curriculum

Animation

Sounds

Digital photography

Animation architecture

Algorithms

Documentary video

How Much Can You Earn as an Animator?

How Much Can You Earn as an Animator?

According to PayScale, the average animator salary is $55,540 per year. This amount changes depending on your experience, location, and position. If you enter leadership positions in animation, you can earn much more.

Below are some of the most lucrative jobs in the animation field.

The Highest-Paying Animation Roles

Role Required Education Average Salary
Animation Software Engineer Bachelor’s degree $105,125
Head of Animation Bachelor’s degree $104,769
Animation Director Bachelor’s degree $81,039
Animation Developer Bachelor’s degree $77,778
Senior Animator Bachelor’s degree $74,753

Why You Should Be an Animator in 2021

If you are technology-driven and love the visual arts field, then you should become an animator in 2021. This global field brings a competitive salary and a selection of various job opportunities with it. You can become an animator for the gaming industry, film industry, television industry, and more.

You also have the option to specialize in different types of animation. They include 2D, 3D, motion graphics, stop motion, and many more. So, pick the best animation school today to start your journey into this future-proof and constantly evolving field.

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