Multimedia artists are the ones who create special effects in film and video. This job requires a good amount of natural skills, and formal education and training are increasingly important due to technology. Those who can get jobs earn a high salary.
This is a lucrative craft and pays more than many other jobs – such as hair and makeup – for those who can get work in this somewhat small market. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 26,560 combined jobs for multimedia artists and animators. These talented individuals were earning an average median yearly salary of $58,510 at that time.
Approximately 35 percent (7000) of multimedia artists and animators had jobs with the motion picture and video industry. This includes movies, documentaries, and television (including music videos). Advertising companies employed about 3000 multimedia artists, as well. Firms involved in computer systems design also hired about 3000 artists. Yet another group of about 3000 were hired by software publishing companies.
Although some highly skilled artists may find work in this industry without an education, it is increasingly important to get formal training. The typical multimedia artist should set a goal of at least a bachelor’s degree. There are also many colleges or art schools that have master’s degree programs for this field.
Fine arts is the common major for multimedia artists. Of course, it is important to pick a fine arts program that has plenty of specific multimedia training classes. Courses in CGI graphics and other multimedia special effects are vital to the development of an artist or animator. Some schools also have specific courses in animation. It is best to have general multimedia schools and animation skills to increase the chance of getting a job after graduating from a university arts degree program or art school.
The National Association of Schools of Art and Design is an accrediting body for quality schools. Prospective students of multimedia art and animation should consider attending such an art school, as these have been accredited by this national organization. In the Resources section below, you can find a link to a search page. On that page, you can select any state and then find a list of accredited art schools.
Click on each school’s name to find out what art-related courses and degree programs they offer. Naturally, a master’s degree is the best. Some schools even offer an associate’s degree, but this may not be enough to get a job as a multimedia artist or animator.
National Association of Schools of Art and Design: Accredited Schools for Fine Arts
Bureau of Labor Statistics: Jobs and Salary for Multimedia Artists and Animators