How To Become A 2D Animator? Step By Step Guide

Published: October 11, 2023

Two-dimensional animators or 2D animators, produce designs that communicate a story. They employ their artistic abilities to create visuals resembling two-dimensional movements, such as logos or graphics.

If you appreciate art, narrative, and visual effects, you might be interested in learning further about 2D animators, including their usual work tasks and educational qualifications.

In this article, we describe what a 2D animator does, list some of their talents, discuss how to become a 2D animator and reveal their typical pay and career prospects.

Let’s begin and explore the steps in becoming a 2D animator.

What is 2D Animation?

2D Animation is performed by producing a series of pictures that appear to display motion and mobility when viewed in sequence.

The definition of this sort of Animation is “the method of shooting consecutive sketches or postures of characters or models to create the appearance of motion when the movie is exhibited as a series.

The image sequence employed is exceptionally accurate and specific; hundreds of particular photographs may be needed to make just a few minutes of video.

We must highlight here that 2D animation vastly differs from 3D animation, and both have their own function and skill set requirements. This is why we recommend you read the differences and understand better the requirements of becoming a 2D animator.

What Does A 2D Animator Do?

A 2D animator creates the appearance of movement by designing visual representations. They create scenes, draw visuals on canvas, and use computer software to tell a tale. These pros can produce a wide range of animations, including logos, action graphics, and ads.

They can work in a variety of areas, including technology, entertainment, and architecture. Some 2D animators operate as freelancers, while others work for film studios, marketing firms, or software businesses.

4 Steps To Become A 2D Animator

Let us now explore the different steps that you can undertake and are required to become a 2D animator.

Here are the 4 amazing steps

  1. Complete A Qualification
  2. Gain Experience In Animation
  3. Develop A Portfolio
  4. Look for a Job

1. Earn a Degree or a Certificate

To become a 2D Animator, the first and foremost thing you need to do is complete a relevant qualification. While you may study animation methods and work as a freelancer without a degree, many firms prefer individuals with a bachelor’s degree.

2D animators often have a degree in visual arts, media arts, graphic design, or a related subject such as communications. Pursuing a mix of art and computer science subjects at the university level is beneficial to prepare for a job in this sector. Among the standard classes you may take while pursuing your degree are:

  • Technical Design In 2D
  • Graphics For Space and Animation
  • Model Development
  • Origins And Methods of Motion Graphics Animation
  • Animation Scripting

If your Bachelor’s degree is not in a relevant field to 2D Animation, it does not mean that you get to give up on your dream of becoming a 2D animator. On the contrary, you can learn 2D Animation by taking one of these best 2D animation courses and building your relevant skill set before entering the industry.

2. Gain Experience In 2D Animation

If your goal is to freelance or work for a company or firm, gaining experience can help you demonstrate your skills as a 2D animator. Build your own project if you have no expertise to help you develop a portfolio. For example, you might animate and make a short film to demonstrate your abilities to potential employers.

Promote the project on your professional website and social media networks. You may also look for freelancing gigs to help you acquire experience presenting ideas to customers and obtaining feedback, which will put you well on your way to becoming a 2D animator.

3. Develop Your Portfolio

 How to Become A 2D Animator, 2D Animator at Work

To become an expert 2D animator, not only do you require to put in hours of practice, but you should be motivated by passion and interest in the subject. This is where the idea and need to build your portfolio come into play.

Once you have developed specific animations and reels and even probably displayed them on your own social media or website, you should ensure that all of these are arranged and combined in one place.

This portfolio or collection must be in digital format and secured in original form, probably in the form of sketches on paper or a free hand drawing on computer software.

Developing your portfolio and updating it, especially in a digital form ready to be shared with a single click, is critical in today’s times to secure jobs and gigs; after all, we live in a digital era.

4. Get An Entry-level Job

You can join a studio or relevant firm to gain practical experience as a 2D animator. While it is not always required to join a professional organization to obtain work, 2D animators might profit significantly from doing so.

Joining an association might connect you with other experts in the animation business. Via an organization, you can meet possible mentors who can give professional assistance and career guidance. Networking with other professionals in the organization might lead to job prospects.

Specific organizations also hold conferences and educational seminars to assist you in improving your Animation and technical abilities.

What are the Skills Required to Be a 2D Animator?

How to Become A 2D Animator, 2D Animator at Work, Skills Needed to Be A 2D Animator

It is appreciable and essential that if you want to learn 2D Animation, you must develop the following skills in your professional profile and your temperament. Below we have listed the 5 most essential skills required to become an excellent 2D animator.

  1. Understanding of Animation Processes
  2. Creativity
  3. Technical Skills
  4. Communication Skills
  5. Time Management

What is the average salary of a 2D Animator?

According to, the average yearly salary for a 2D Animator in the United States is $47,693.

Wages for 2D Animators in the United States vary by area. The following are sample 2D Animator wages extracted from for specific locations of the United States, as compared to the national average ($54,132):

LocationAverage Salary Per AnnumComparison with National Average
Los Angeles, CA$73,22235.27%
Austin, TX$60,00310.85%
Denver, CO$59,0849.15%
New York, NY$48,618-10.19%
Cincinnati, OH$64,79519.70%

How To Become A 2D Animator - FAQs

How Do I Start A 2D Animation Career?

As discussed in this write-up, you can start your 2D animation career by getting a relevant qualification. If you have already graduated from college, then you can look into these best animation courses to help you get started in the animation industry.

What Qualifications Do I Need To Be A 2D Animator?

To become a 2D animator, you need a bachelor’s degree or course in a relevant field like visual arts, media arts, and graphic design.

Do 2D Animators Get Paid Well?

2D animators can receive handsome salaries depending on their region or area. For example, a 2D animator in Los Angeles, CA, earns $73,222 per year, which is 35.27% above the national average.

How Many Years Does It Take To Become A 2d Animator?

To become a 2D animator, at least 4 years are required, given that you are getting a relevant university-level qualification. However, if your university degree is not in a relevant field, you need anywhere from 4 to 6 months to enroll in an animation course and learn the appropriate skills.


Animation has tremendously affected how we tell tales, from its early paper roots to its present digital branches. And with its employment and means being more accessible than ever before, even young children can use it and make their own animations and games.

Therefore, this blog aims to help and aid anyone interested in 2D Animation and guide them on how to become a 2D animator. After all, the desire to work as an animator on your favourite films, games, or other media is a worthy aim.

We also wanted to cover the animation creation process and assist you in starting your journey to becoming a 2D Animator hence the suggestion for checking out the best 2D animation courses.

We wish you the best of luck in your pursuit of becoming a successful 2D animator!