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Best Online Animation Associate Degree Programs, Jobs, and Salaries

Danel Redelinghuys - May 03, 2022


If you are intrigued by animation and looking for the best online animation associate degrees, look no further. This article will dive into the best online Associate Degrees in Animation. We will discuss important aspects of an online animation associate degree, as well as the skills needed for animation associate degree jobs.

Check out this article to learn about the best online animation associate degrees. We will cover the best programs, costs, and job prospects in the field.

Continue reading for information on admission requirements, average tuition, and the length of the best online animation associate degrees. You’ll learn about excellent schools that offer online animation associate degrees, and the average salary you could earn after completing your degree. Continuing your education at one of the best online animation associate degree schools is the first step in your future career as an animator.

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Where Can I Get an Animation Associate Degree Online?

Some of the top schools to get an animation associate degree online include Rasmussen University, Glendale Community College, Santa Monica College, and Miami International University of Art & Design. These are the best institutions to study animation online that can help you start your animation education.

What Schools Offer the Best Animation Associate Degrees?

  • Rasmussen University
  • Glendale Community College
  • Santa Monica College
  • Miami International University of Art & Design
  • West Valley College

What Are the Admission Requirements for an Online Animation Associate Degree?

The admission requirements for an online animation associate degree include an application form, high school transcripts, and an admission interview or interview with a pathway advisor. Some schools also require you to take a placement exam and sign enrollment documents. For most programs, there is no minimum grade point average (GPA) requirement, otherwise it is around 2.0.

Most application forms for admission into an online animation associate degree program have an online format. There will most likely be an admissions interview, so make sure you prepare well for all possible college interview questions . Most schools will ask for high school transcripts and require a high school diploma or GED equivalent.

Most schools do not list a portfolio as a requirement for admission into an animation program. Admission requirements vary depending on the school and type of degree program. Visit the school’s website and request information about application requirements from the school directly before you apply.

Online Animation Associate Degree Admission Requirements

  • Application form
  • High school transcripts
  • Admission interview or pathway advisor interview
  • Enrollment documents
  • High school diploma or GED

How to Get an Animation Associate Degree Online

You obtain an animation associate degree online by meeting all graduation requirements. Each school has specific graduation requirements, so you should contact the school directly to determine specific degree requirements before applying. Common graduation requirements for an animation associate degree include completing a particular number of credits and achieving a specific GPA score.

Students should be able to complete specific activities learned during their online program. For example, you should be able to use digital photography to tell a story and communicate with an audience. Below is a breakdown of specific degree requirements to qualify for graduation.

Animation Degree Requirements

  • Required credits. An associate animation degree is usually two years long and requires students to complete around 60 to 90 credit hours to qualify for graduation.
  • General education courses. During the online program, you’ll need to complete general education courses that amount to approximately 15 to 32 credits, depending on the institution. General education refers to a broad range of required knowledge in key subjects outside of your chosen major, such as history, science, math, and literature.
  • Upper-level and lower-level animation courses. Required courses for an online animation associate degree include drawing foundations, figure drawing, and drawing for animation.
  • Minimum Grade Point Average (GPA). Not all schools have a minimum for graduation, but some schools will require an average GPA of 2.0. You may need to get a grade of C or above for each course.

Best Online Animation Associate Degree Programs and Schools: Overview

School Program Accreditation
Academy of Art University Associate of Arts Degree in Animation and Visual Arts National Association of Schools of Art and Design
CUNY Borough of Manhattan Community College (BMCC) Animation and Motion Graphics Program Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE)
Glendale Community College Associate of Arts Degree in Animation Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC)
Madison Area Technical College Associate of Arts Degree in Animation Higher Learning Commission (HLC)
Miami International University of Art & Design Online Associate of Arts in Graphic Design Degree Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Milwaukee Area Technical College Animation Associate of Applied Science Higher Learning Commission
Rasmussen University Graphic Design Associate’s Degree Higher Learning Commission
Santa Monica College Associate in Science Degree in Animation ACCJC and Western Association of Schools and Colleges
SUNY Broome Community College Visual Communication Arts Associate Degree MSCHE
West Valley College Associate in Arts in Studio Art for Transfer Degree ACCJC

Best Schools for Animation: Top Online Animation Associate Degree Programs

Many top institutions offer animation associate degree programs online, and finding the best school for you can be challenging. Below, you’ll find further details on the top schools for online animation associate degrees.

The fantastic online programs offered at these schools will help you learn animation and break into the animation industry. Continue reading to learn about tuition costs, average graduation rate, and admission requirements for each school.

1

Academy of Art University

San Francisco, CA

The Academy of Art University is a private art university that was founded in 1929. It is a superior institution for students interested in earning an art degree. The Academy of Art University has an accessible admissions policy and offers over 129 degree programs to students from over 112 countries.

Associate of Arts Degree in Animation and Visual Arts

This degree program at the Academy of Art University teaches students the fundamentals of producing animation. Students will learn about visual effects, 2D animation, 3D animation, and storyboarding. After completing this program, animation students are prepared for an entry-level animation job. To graduate from this degree program, students must complete 66 credits.

Associate of Arts Degree in Animation and Visual Arts Overview

  • Accreditation: National Association of Schools of Art and Design
  • Tuition: $1,041 per 3-credit unit for domestic students and $1,091 per unit for international students.
  • Required Credits: 66 credits
  • Program Length: 4 semesters at 15 credits per semester
  • Learning Format: 100% online
  • Academy of Art University Graduation Rate: 47%

Associate of Arts Degree in Animation and Visual Arts Admission Requirements

  • GPA: No minimum requirement
  • Standardized Tests: Not required
  • Application Fee: $50
  • Minimum Education: High school diploma or equivalent
  • Other Requirements: Application form

Applying to Academy of Art  University

  1. Complete the application form
  2. Pay the application fee
  3. Submit official high school transcripts
  4. Wait for news of admission

2

CUNY Borough of Manhattan Community College

New York, NY

BMCC was established in New York City in 1963, and is known for its business degree programs and training. It offers over 50 associate degree programs, and there are approximately 20,000 students currently enrolled in its associate degree programs.

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Animation and Motion Graphics

Students will learn the basics of 2D animations, 3D animations, special effects, and motion graphics during the animation and motion graphics program. They must complete 60 credits to qualify for graduation. Once college students have graduated, they can get a job as special effects artists, animators, or graphic designers.

Animation and Motion Graphics Overview

  • Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education
  • Tuition:  $2,400 per semester
  • Required Credits: 60 credits
  • Program Length: 4 semesters at 15 credits per semester.
  • Learning Format: 100% online
  • CUNY BMCC Graduation Rate: 27%

Animation and Motion Graphics Admission Requirements

  • GPA: 2.0 for transfer students
  • Standardized Tests: Not required
  • Application Fee: $65, $70 for transfer students
  • Minimum Education: High school diploma or equivalent
  • Other Requirements: Application form

Applying to Borough of Manhattan Community College

  1. Complete an application form
  2. Pay the application fee
  3. Submit high school transcripts or equivalent
  4. Submit GPA score if you are a transfer student
  5. Track your application online and await news of admission

3

Glendale Community College

Glendale, CA

Glendale Community College was founded in 1927 and currently has approximately 10,000 students enrolled in its full-time degree programs. It offers many degrees, and is known for its art, business, marketing, and management degree programs.

Associate of Arts Degree in Animation

The Associate of Arts Degree in Animation at Glendale community college is 24 credits and prepares animation students to transfer to a four-year degree or gain an entry-level job in animation, gaming, or visual effects. Students will learn essential aspects of animation, such as character design and 2D and 3D animation techniques.

Associate of Arts Degree in Animation Overview

  • Accreditation: ACCJC
  • Tuition: $46 per 3-credit unit, $46 per unit plus a $225 fee for non-residents
  • Required Credits: 24 credits
  • Program Length: 2 semesters at 12 to 15 credits per semester
  • Learning Format: Hybrid, currently 100% online
  • Glendale Community College Graduation Rate: 31%

Associate of Arts Degree in Animation Admission Requirements

  • GPA: No minimum requirement
  • Standardized Tests: Not required
  • Application Fee: None
  • Minimum Education: High school diploma or GED
  • Other Requirements: Students must have completed ART 150, ART 152, ART 201, ART 205, and ENGL 120 or ESL 151 courses before enrolling

Applying to Glendale Community College

  1. Fill out the application form
  2. Complete placement and online orientation
  3. Meet with a counselor
  4. Complete your program plan
  5. Register for classes

4

Madison Area Technical College

Madison, WI

Madison Area Technical College was founded in 1912 and offers a broad range of degree programs, including online degrees. Currently, it has 22,852 students enrolled in its 195 degree programs and is known for its esteemed undergraduate programs.

Associate of Arts Degree in Animation

This fantastic degree program offered by Madison Technical College teaches students basic technical skills for digital arts, digital modeling, texturing, rigging, and animation. Once students have graduated with their 63 credits, they are qualified for careers as game designers, character animation designers, storyboard artists, and more.

Associate of Arts Degree in Animation Overview

  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
  • Tuition: Approximately $9,881.55
  • Required Credits: 63 credits
  • Program Length: 4 semesters at 12 to 16 credits per semester
  • Learning Format: Hybrid
  • Madison Area Technical College Graduation Rate: 24%

Associate of Arts Degree in Animation Admission Requirements

  • GPA: No minimum requirement
  • Standardized Tests: Not required
  • Application Fee: N/A
  • Minimum Education: High school diploma or equivalent
  • Other Requirements: Students must complete courses of 2D Fundamentals and 3D Fundamentals to enroll in this program, and petition for admission to animation program

Applying to Madison Area Community College

  1. Complete the application form
  2. Submit high school transcripts or equivalent
  3. Attend a meeting with an advisor

Miami International University of Art & Design | Miami, FL

Miami International University of Art & Design offers art degrees for students interested in breaking into the art industry. The university was launched in 1965 and currently has students from over 60 countries. At its global campus, students can access classes at any time, and do not need to follow a specific schedule.

Online Associate of Arts in Graphic Design Degree

This program helps students learn the necessary knowledge to become graphic designers, art directors, or game designers. Students must complete 90 credits during which time they will learn about digital arts, graphic design, 2D animations, and 3D animations. Students will gain hands-on experience to prepare them for the art or entertainment industry.

Online Associate of Arts in Graphic Design Degree Overview

  • Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
  • Tuition: $575 per credit
  • Required Credits: 90 credits
  • Program Length: 6 quarters at 15 credits per quarter
  • Learning Format: 100% online
  • Miami International University of Art & Design Graduation Rate: 15%

Online Associate of Arts in Graphic Design Degree Admission Requirements

  • GPA: No minimum requirement
  • Standardized Tests: None
  • Application Fee: N/A
  • Minimum Education: High school diploma or equivalent
  • Other Requirements: None

Applying to Miami International University of Art & Design

  1. Complete an application form
  2. Submit high school transcripts within 10 days after applying
  3. Complete a virtual college interview with an admissions counselor

6

Milwaukee Area Technical College

Milwaukee, WI

The Milwaukee Area Technical College offers over 170 certificate and degree programs to help students learn essential skills for their dream job. It is known for its excellent hands-on learning and career services. The school has helped 25,397 students complete their degree or certificate programs.

Animation Associate of Applied Science

During this Animation Associate of Applied Science, students will learn the fundamental 3D and 2D animation skills and other essential skills for animation. The course consists of 64 credits and ensures that students complete many projects to help them build their portfolios. After completion, students can become 3D modeling specialists, texture artists, or character designers.

Animation Associate of Applied Science Overview

  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
  • Tuition: $3,396.50 per 15 credits
  • Required Credits: 64 credits
  • Program Length: 4 semesters at approximately 15 credits per semester
  • Learning Format: Hybrid
  • Milwaukee Area Technical College Graduation Rate: 16%

Animation Associate of Applied Science Admission Requirements

  • GPA: No minimum requirement
  • Standardized Tests: None
  • Application Fee: N/A
  • Minimum Education: High school diploma or equivalent
  • Other Requirements: None

Applying to Milwaukee Area Technical College

  1. Complete an application form
  2. Create an online student account
  3. Submit your official high school transcripts
  4. Register for classes and pay for tuition

7

Rasmussen University

Online

Rasmussen University offers over 50 online degree programs in business, design, health sciences, and education through online schooling. Founded 120 years ago, the national university provides training to help people enter industries including art, education, and entertainment.

Graphic Design Associate's Degree

Students completing the Graphic Design Associate's Degree at Rasmussen University will learn basic essential graphic design skills. Students will gain strong creative skills as they learn about web design and how to use Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, and Adobe Creative Suite. By the end of this degree program, students will graduate with 91 credits and be well prepared to become web designers or graphic designers, both of which aid animation production.

Graphic Design Associate's Degree Overview

  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
  • Tuition: $260 per credit
  • Required Credits: 91 credits
  • Program Length: 4 semesters at 15 credits per semester OR x quarters at 15 credits per quarter
  • Learning Format: 100% online
  • Rasmussen University Graduation Rate: 44%

Graphic Design Associate's Degree Admission Requirements

  • GPA: No minimum requirement
  • Standardized Tests: None
  • Application Fee: None
  • Minimum Education: High school diploma or GED
  • Other Requirements: None

Applying to Rasmussen University

  1. Fill out an online application form
  2. Complete an online placement exam
  3. Sign enrollment documents
  4. Complete the online orientation

8

Santa Monica College

Santa Monica, CA

Santa Monica College offers over 180 in-person and online undergraduate and graduate degrees. It was opened in 1929 and presently has 25,948 students enrolled in undergraduate programs. Undergraduate students at Santa Monica College can study digital arts and sciences, business, animation, and more. If you decide to attend its online school, many program options in visual development are available.

Associate in Science Degree in Animation

The online animation degree at Santa Monica college consists of 60 credit hours and teaches students about animation foundation, 3D design, and 2D animation production processes through real-world experience and visual storytelling. Santa Monica’s online animation school prepares students for career opportunities in the field of animation as video game designers and multimedia artists, as well as students transferring to a four-year degree.

Associate in Science Degree in Animation Overview

  • Accreditation: ACCJC and Western Association of Schools and Colleges
  • Tuition: $46 per unit
  • Required Credits: 60 credits
  • Program Length: 4 semesters at 15 credits per semester
  • Learning Format: 100% online, hybrid option available
  • Santa Monica College Graduation Rate: 31%

Associate in Science Degree in Animation Admission Requirements

  • GPA: No minimum requirement
  • Standardized Tests: California High School Proficiency Exam
  • Application Fee: None
  • Minimum Education: High school diploma or equivalent
  • Other Requirements: None

Applying to Santa Monica College

  1. Create an account on OpenCCC
  2. Complete an application form
  3. Apply for financial aid if needed
  4. Complete the orientation
  5. Meet with a counselor to discuss an education plan
  6. Enroll in classes

9

SUNY Broome Community College

Binghamton, NY

This college was founded in 1946 and has been offering liberal arts, health sciences, technology, engineering, and math degrees to its students ever since. SUNY Broome Community College has 5,528 enrolled students and currently offers around 58 degree programs, many of which are online and cater to online students.

Visual Communication Arts Associate Degree

The Visual Communication Arts Associate Degree is a 100% online degree that prepares students for a job in animation, video game development, and graphic design or transfer to a four-year animation or visual communication degree. Online students must complete 62 credit hours of study by the end of the two years to qualify for graduation.

Core courses needed during this off-campus program include Introduction to 3D Design, Introduction to Computer Graphics, and a few general education courses.

Visual Communication Arts Associate Degree Overview

  • Accreditation: MSCHE
  • Tuition: $2,544 per semester for New York residents, $5,088 per semester for non-residents
  • Required Credits: 62 credits
  • Program Length: 4 semesters at 15 to 16 credits per semester
  • Learning Format: 100% online
  • SUNY Broome Community College Graduation Rate: 27%

Visual Communication Arts Associate Degree Admission Requirements

  • GPA: No minimum requirement
  • Standardized Tests: AP and IP tests
  • Application Fee: None
  • Minimum Education: High school diploma or GED
  • Other Requirements: None

Applying to SUNY Broome Community College

  1. Complete an application form
  2. Submit official high school and college transcripts
  3. Apply for financial aid and scholarships
  4. Conduct an interview with an academic advisor
  5. Pay for tuition

10

West Valley College

Saratoga, CA

West Valley College was founded in 1963 and offers in-person and online courses to help students earn an undergraduate degree or certificate. The university offers approximately 179 degrees and certificates in history, graphic design, biology, and animation. West Valley College currently has 7,842 students enrolled in in-person and online courses.

Associate of Arts in Studio Art for Transfer

West Valley College provides a two-year program for the online animation major. This 60-credit hours program is meant to prepare students to meet the minimum art undergraduate degree requirements for acceptance at a four-year CSU university, but the skills earned will also equip graduates for career opportunities in the field of animation. Online students will learn about 2D and 3D modeling and animation, the basics of color, and the history of art.

Associate of Arts in Studio Art for Transfer Overview

  • Accreditation: ACCJC
  • Tuition: $46 per unit for California residents, $290 for non-residents
  • Required Credits: 60 credits
  • Program Length: 4 semesters at 15 credits per semester.
  • Learning Format: 100% online
  • West Valley College Graduation Rate: 40%

Associate of Arts in Studio Art for Transfer Admission Requirements

  • GPA: No minimum requirement
  • Standardized Tests: California High School Proficiency Exam
  • Application Fee: None
  • Minimum Education: High school diploma or equivalent
  • Other Requirements: 18 years of age or older

Applying to West Valley College

  1. Create an account on OpenCCC
  2. Complete and submit the application form
  3. Apply for financial aid if needed
  4. Complete the guided self-placement
  5. Attend orientation
  6. Enroll in desired classes

What Is an Online Animation Associate Degree?

An online animation associate degree is a degree program that lasts 18 months to two years and teaches students animation principles, graphic design principles, and other essential skills needed for a career in animation. Earning an animation associate degree online is an affordable and flexible option, enabling students to complete their degree from anywhere by taking online classes.

Students do not need to stick to a set schedule, and they have the freedom of deciding when and where to complete their degree. Most programs are completely online or offer a hybrid mix of online and on-campus courses. An animation associate degree online program is perfect for those who are working while studying. It is also a great option for travel lovers and people who simply want to do their degree at home instead of on-campus.

Online vs In-Person Animation Degrees

Whether you should study an online vs in-person Associate Degree in Animation program depends on your personal circumstances. You can complete an online animation degree anywhere, as long as you have a personal computer. An online degree usually has recorded lessons and no set schedule, but some online degrees may require students to attend live lectures at specific times.

An in-person degree is a program that requires students to attend classes and complete assignments on campus. Read the section below to find out about the five major benefits of learning animation online and in-person degrees in animation. This list of benefits can help you decide whether to earn your associate degree in animation online vs on campus.

Top 5 Benefits of an Online Associate Degree in Animation

  • Flexible schedule. When you study online, you can access educational material at any time. It may also increase the quality of learning because you can review recorded lessons more than once and at any time of the day.
  • Study from anywhere. When studying online, you can access your course material from anywhere as long as you have an internet connection. You could learn while you travel or simply sit at a coffee shop for a change of scenery.
  • Work while you study. Online education can be beneficial if you have a job and want to work while you study. Online animation school will allow you to complete your schoolwork within your own scheduled free time.
  • Study at a lower cost. An online animation program can help you save money because you will not have to pay for transport, college housing, or other expenses related to studying on campus.
  • Improve time management skills. While completing an online animation degree, you will improve your time management skills because there is no set schedule. You’ll have to decide how much time you will spend studying each day, and how long you should spend on each course within the degree program.

Top 5 Benefits of an In-Person Associate Degree in Animation

  • Feel part of a community. Attending classes and completing a degree in person will help on-campus students meet new, like-minded people. You can make friends easily, and become part of an amazing animation student community.
  • Access to campus facilities. Campus facilities will help you gain hands-on experience and practice. While studying in person, you will be able to use any campus facilities you need, such as an art studio, computer, or recreation center.
  • Communication with your professors. An on-campus degree can allow students to make better connections with professors. In-person settings will also make asking instructors for help or feedback much easier than it is online because you will know them on a deeper level after communicating in person.
  • It creates a structured routine. Some people function best when they have a set routine. When studying on campus, you will receive a set class schedule that you can design yourself by enrolling in scheduled classes.
  • Fewer distractions. You will not have any distractions while learning on campus because a professor is in front of you teaching when you are in class. This means you may be more inclined to listen and learn without the distractions of your mobile device or home.

What Types of Online Associate Degrees Can You Get in Animation?

Students can get a few different types of online associate degrees in animation, including an associate of applied science, an associate of science, and an associate of arts. It is essential to research the difference between the three kinds of animation associate degrees to decide which associate degree suits your career goals best.

Is It Better to Get an Associate of Applied Science or Associate of Arts in Animation?

It’s better to earn an Associate of Applied Science if you need to start your career as soon as possible. An Associate of Applied Science will prepare you for a job in graphic design, animation, or digital media design.

If you want to continue your studies after earning your associate degree, and further your future job qualifications with higher education, you should opt for an Associate of Arts in Animation. Completing an Associate of Arts will prepare you to transfer to a four-year degree program. Make sure you consider all program options before you apply.

How Much Does an Animation Associate Degree Cost?

An animation associate degree costs $10,024 according to the 2021 figures by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). The tuition cost of online Associate Degrees in Animation will typically be less than completing it on campus.

It may seem pricey, but many financial aid options can help you afford an Associate Degree in Animation. Contact your school to find out what financial aid options are available, such as scholarships and grants.

How Long Does It Take to Get an Animation Associate Degree Online?

It typically takes two years to get an animation associate degree online. Some schools state that students can complete an animation associate degree in 18 months, but the average length is two years. You can find out the length of your degree program on the school’s website.

Animation students will need to complete between 60 and 90 credits to qualify for graduation. You will need to complete 15 to 22 credits on average each semester to get your animation associate degree in two years.

Are Online Animation Associate Degrees Respected?

Yes, online animation degrees are respected. Students in distance education get the same level of education as someone studying in person. Animation associate degrees earned online from top accredited universities and schools are respected in the job market.

Online animation associate degrees are also respected because more people are starting to study and work remotely. NCES notes that in 2019, approximately 3,450,125 students completed their degree online , or 17 percent of post-secondary students in the US.

Is Animation Hard to Learn Online?

No, animation is not hard to learn online. While learning about animation techniques, you will need to practice. If you have a computer with the essential programs used by animation artists, you will be able to use animation design software to draw and practice digitally.

Read the technical requirements and program outlines carefully before you enroll to determine what you’ll need in distance education to learn the principles of animation. You can also find the program’s course list to see if you will be able to complete them remotely and with ease.

Animation Bootcamp vs Online Animation Associate Degree: Which Is Better?

An online animation bootcamp is better for people with limited time and who want to complete their education in a few weeks or a few months. An associate degree, on the other hand, will typically take two years to complete. Bootcamps typically involve a broad range of skills and topics, whereas an associate degree will be more specialized.

They are both fast methods of learning skills, but if you are in a hurry to start your career as an animator or video game designer, a bootcamp will get you on track more quickly. However, be aware of the job requirements, as some will require a certain level of education. Below is a list of the benefits of pursuing an animation bootcamp versus an animation associate degree.

Top 5 Benefits of an Online Animation Associate Degree

  • Improve your soft skills. In a degree program, you’ll work on many exciting projects and take a few general education courses, which will help you further develop your soft skills .
  • Complete your degree in two years. You can achieve an online animation associate degree in just two years, which is much shorter than completing an online bachelor’s degree.
  • Gain hands-on experience. Projects and assignments you complete during your program will help you gain experience with real-world projects you will work on after obtaining your associate degree. This experience will also help you network and build connections with classmates and professors.
  • Build a portfolio. An Associate Degree in Animation can help you build a strong portfolio of your best work using schoolwork done for projects. A strong portfolio will help online animation school students find work in a highly competitive job market.
  • Study at an accredited institution. Universities and colleges are usually accredited, which means they have met all the education requirements outlined by an accrediting body.

Top 5 Benefits of an Animation Bootcamp

  • Complete your education in a few months. Bootcamps are intensive learning programs, and are much shorter than a bachelor’s or associate degree. You can learn the animation skills of industry professionals in a few weeks or months.
  • High job placement rate. Coding bootcamp graduates have a high job placement rate because bootcamps have many partners that hire bootcamp school graduates.
  • Build an extensive network. During a bootcamp program, students are given opportunities to meet new people and build a professional network. Building a network will help you have a successful career.
  • Get career coaching. Most bootcamps have career services that help students prepare for interviews, prepare a resume, and contact potential employers. Some bootcamps also offer students internship experience.
  • A bootcamp is more affordable. Bootcamps are much shorter than an associate or bachelor’s degree, and can be much more affordable. Many bootcamps also offer different payment options and financial aid to help you pay for your bootcamp.

Why You Should Get an Animation Associate Degree Online

You should get an online animation associate degree because an online animation school can give you a foundation that will help you start your career in the creative industry in as little as two years. An online animation associate degree typically costs less than an on-campus degree and allows you to study anywhere at any time.

You should get an online Associate Degree in Animation if you are working or want to travel while you study, or if you prefer to learn in your own home and at your own pace.

What Courses Do You Take in an Online Associate Degree Program in Animation?

During your online associate degree program, you can expect to take key courses including introduction to 3D animation, advanced animation, design interactive displays, and modeling. There are many fascinating courses to choose from that will teach you design skills that are essential for animation.

Below are five online courses typically found in animation degree programs, though this list is not exhaustive. Search for other possible courses on your school’s official website.

Animation Concepts

This course teaches students about the production process involved in creating 3D concepts. Students will learn about digital and traditional drawing methods for creating working mechanical and architectural 3D environments.

Design Interactive Displays

This course involves a real project where students learn about the production and interactive design of programs and simulations as a team. They will be immersed in a production environment working on a project for an actual client.

Advanced Animation Studio

This is a two-part course that is project-based. Students work in professional studios to make a professional-grade demo reel. They will have extensive access to the studio and instructor and learn essential elements of digital 3D targeting.

Modeling

Modeling courses teach students how to produce 3D models using theories, software, and fundamental techniques. They will learn to create models digitally, using specific processes and focusing on texture mapping and topographical density.

Digital Design Production

Students will learn and then practice producing digital graphics for numerous tools, platforms, settings, and environments during this course. These real-world projects help students gain valuable real-world experiences that will prepare them for a career in the field of animation.

Continuing Education Paths for Online Animation Associate Degree Graduates

After completing an online animation associate degree, students can continue their education journey by transferring to a bachelor’s degree program, such as a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Animation. An associate degree will give you a strong animation foundation, but pursuing continuing education by studying for a bachelor’s degree will help you fine-tune your skills and further qualify you for jobs in the industry.

You are more likely to get a higher salary if you have a higher degree level. According to Statista, associate degree graduates earn an average salary of $48,753 , and bachelor’s degree graduates earn an average salary of $73,499.

If you are interested in continuing your education but feel that a bachelor’s degree is too long, you can opt to take an animation course through a certificate program, bootcamp, or a massive online learning course (MOOC). These learning options are well-respected and affordable. Be sure to choose an education pathway that offers a certificate upon completion to show on your resume to possible employers.

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What to Look For in the Best Animation Associate Degree Programs

When choosing a program, the criteria you should look for in the best animation associate degree programs include cost, career services, faculty credentials, learning format, and dual degree options. Consider your degree options carefully and choose a degree program that fits all the detailed criteria below.

Cost

When searching for the best animation associate degree, you should consider the program’s tuition cost and whether it fits your budget. Many schools offer students financial aid options, such as grants and scholarships. Ask prospective schools about the financial aid options available and how you can apply.

Flexibility and Format

Would you prefer to attend classes in person, or in the comfort of your own home? The flexibility and format of a degree are essential things to consider. You may want to do an online animation associate degree if you have a daytime job, or you could opt for a hybrid program where some of the time is spent learning on-campus in a classroom.

Career Services

Some universities and colleges provide career services to students. Career services help students write a resume, prepare for interviews, and find a job. Choose a school that offers career coaching services to improve your chances of getting a job and help you with your job search process.

Faculty Credentials

While completing an associate degree , you will attend classes or watch lectures that professors lead. It is important to research who will be instructing you and find out if they are industry certified. Finding a program with the best instructors will ensure you receive a fantastic education.

Continuing Education or Dual Degree Options

If you want to further your studies after completing an associate degree, you should look for a school that offers an Associate Degree in Animation with transferable credits. This way, you can transfer to an undergraduate, four-year degree program once you finish your associate degree.

If you want to complete two degrees in a shorter time, you should look for a school or program that offers dual degree options. A dual degree plan allows you to complete an associate’s and a bachelor’s degree simultaneously or a degree in two majors.

What Is the Most Affordable Online Animation Associate Degree?

The most affordable online animation associate degree is the Associate in Science Degree in Animation from Santa Monica College. Santa Monica College has different fees for California residents, non-residents, and international students.

The cost of all 60 credits over the two years amounts to $2,760, and all fees mentioned above cost $224. For California residents, the cost per unit is $46, and students also need to pay fees such as health, student resources, student benefits, and student representation. The total cost of an Associate Degree in Animation at Santa Monica College costs $2,984 for residents.

Additional fees for non-residents of California cost $224 for the entire two-year period. The total cost of this degree for non-residents is $4,424.

Can I Get an Animation Associate Degree Online for Free?

No, students cannot get an online animation associate degree for free. Although there are ways to learn about animation for free, it will not result in an associate degree credential. You can learn about animation for free by completing a MOOC, or finding other free resources such as MIT OpenCourseWare, which gives people access to free lectures, exams, videos, and notes.

If you are interested in completing a degree but don’t have the finances to fund it, you can apply for federal aid to help you pay for your degree. Federal student aid includes grants, scholarships, loans, and work-study programs. You can apply for federal student aid through the government, university, or college. Find out directly from your school what your options are.

Salary and Job Outlook for Online Animation Associate Degree Graduates

Student sitting at a desk drawing a character on a computer monitor using an electronic sketch pad.
Completing an online animation associate degree will prepare you for a high-paying creative job in animation.

There are many jobs you can get after completing an animation associate degree. Earning an Associate Degree in Animation will prepare you for the job market and help you get a high-paying animation job.

How Hard Is It to Get a Job With an Animation Associate Degree?

It is not hard to get a job with an animation associate degree. The online Associate Degrees in Animation mentioned above prepare students for employment through hands-on activities and real-world projects. They teach students the necessary modeling, drawing, and animation skills needed to become successful professionals in the animation field.

What’s the Average Online Animation Associate Degree Salary?

According to PayScale, a graduate of an animation associate degree program earns an average salary of $56,000 per year. There are many different specializations in the animation field, and each specialization has a different salary. For example, an animator earns an average salary of $57,799 per year, lighting designers earn $59,951 per year, and art designers earn between $55,000 and $78,000 per year, depending on experience.

What Jobs Can You Get With an Online Animation Associate Degree?

The jobs you can get with an online animation associate degree include character animator, special effects artist, or graphic designer. Many schools, colleges, and other establishments offer career services. They can help you learn how to become a graphic designer or any other animator profession, such as a texture artist or a digital artist.

Animation Degree Jobs

  • Character Animator
  • Special Effects Artist
  • Graphic Designer
  • Art Director
  • Medical Animations Specialist

Potential Careers With an Online Animation Degree

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How Much Money Can You Make With an Online Animation Associate Degree?

People with an online animation associate degree can earn an average annual salary in the six figures depending on various factors such as experience, job role, performance, and education. The higher your education, the more you can earn.

There are many high-paying jobs for people who have an online Associate Degree in Animation. Below we will discuss five of the highest-paying online animation associate degree jobs in detail to help you begin your journey towards a rewarding career in animation.

Highest-Paying Online Animation Associate Degree Jobs and Salaries: Overview

Animation Associate Degree Jobs Average Salary
Video Game Designer $67,051
Medical Animator $66,948
Visual Effects Artist $63,127
3D Animator $61,000
Lighting Technician $50,000

Best Jobs for Online Animation Associate Degree Grads

There are many jobs for animators, but it can be difficult to find out what the best jobs for online associate degree holders in animation are. The section below will break down the average salary and job outlook of some of the best online animation associate degree job prospects. Read below to learn about these creative careers in the animation field.

1

Video Game Designer

Average Salary: $67,051

A video game designer is accountable for designing the story and visual development of a video game. They work in a team to create a plot and design characters and environments. Video game designers work closely with programmers and artists to reach a deadline and create a functional video game.

2

Medical Animator

Average Salary: $66,948

Medical animators work in the healthcare industry. They typically illustrate medical procedures, medical conditions, and healthy body parts. They help people understand certain medical concepts and achieve medical advancements. Sometimes medical animators create artificial body parts.

3

Visual Effects Artist

Average Salary: $63,127

Visual effects artists work in the video game and film industry and create animations using industry-standard software. They make special effects and characters for movies, TV shows, and video games. Visual effects artists work closely with a production team. Senior-level visual effects artists also manage teams to ensure that deadlines are met.

4

3D Animator

Average Salary: $61,000

3D animators typically work in the film, television, and entertainment industries. They create three-dimensional animations for movies, video games, and short films. They focus on developing specific objects, characters, and backgrounds. Retouching images and sketching storyboards are also part of the job description.

5

Lighting Technician

Average Salary: $50,000

Lighting technicians work in the entertainment industry and are responsible for operating the lighting systems during a show or production. They work under a lighting or art director. Lighting technicians move and set up lights and perform maintenance to ensure optimal quality of light during productions.

Best Jobs According to Your Major

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Is an Online Animation Associate Degree Worth It?

Yes, pursuing an online animation associate degree is worth it. Pursuing an online animation associate degree enables students to study anywhere and anytime, and the tuition of an online Associate Degree in Animation is less than that of an in-person degree. This degree is also worth it because graduates earn a favorable salary and have many job options.

Many schools provide career services to help students improve their chances of being hired. If you want to become an animator but don’t want to complete a four-year degree, you should pursue an online animation associate degree to get into animation and achieve your career goals.

Additional Reading About Animation

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Online Animation Associate Degree FAQ

Where can I find animation jobs?

You can find animation jobs through your university or college if they offer career services. If your school does not provide any career services, you can look for jobs on online job boards like ZipRecruiter, LinkedIn, and Indeed.

What is the tuition of an animation bootcamp?

The average cost of a bootcamp is $11,727 . Tuition costs vary for each bootcamp. You should research to find an animation bootcamp that is best for you and your lifestyle, and find out directly from its website or admission advisor about the tuition costs.

What equipment do I need for an online animation associate degree?

To complete an animation degree online, you will need a steady internet connection and a functional laptop or personal computer. Some schools will provide you with the necessary equipment, but it is important to contact the school to find out what you need for an online animation associate degree.

Are there remote animation jobs for animation associate degree graduates?

Yes, there are many animation jobs that are available for remote working. You can conduct a search on the Internet to find some of the best remote jobs for online animation associate degree graduates.

About us: Career Karma is a platform designed to help job seekers find, research, and connect with job training programs to advance their careers. Learn about the CK publication.

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Danel Redelinghuys

About the author: Danel is a content writer and English teacher. She has completed education about teaching English as a second language and individualized learning methods. She is eager to share her love for teaching and learning by helping others find their passions and access the tech industry.

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