Special Effects Artists and Animators

risk level
Based on 1,093 votes
by year 2031
or $47.57 per hour
as of 2022

Want this summary on your site? Embed code:

Automation risk

48% (Moderate Risk)

Moderate Risk (41-60%): Occupations with a moderate risk of automation usually involve routine tasks but still require some human judgment and interaction.

More information on what this score is, and how it is calculated is available here.

Some quite important qualities of the job are difficult to automate:

  • Originality

User poll

37% chance of full automation within the next two decades

Our visitors have voted there's a low chance this occupation will be automated. This assessment is further supported by the calculated automation risk level, which estimates 48% chance of automation.

What do you think the risk of automation is?

What is the likelihood that Special Effects Artists and Animators will be replaced by robots or artificial intelligence within the next 20 years?


The following graph(s) are included wherever there is a substantial amount of votes to render meaningful data. These visual representations display user poll results over time, providing a significant indication of sentiment trends.

Sentiment over time (quarterly)

Sentiment over time (yearly)


Moderate growth relative to other professions

The number of 'Special Effects Artists and Animators' job openings is expected to rise 5.4% by 2031

Total employment, and estimated job openings

* Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics for the period between 2021 and 2031
Updated projections are due 09-2023.


Very high paid relative to other professions

In 2022, the median annual wage for 'Special Effects Artists and Animators' was $98,950, or $47 per hour

'Special Effects Artists and Animators' were paid 113.7% higher than the national median wage, which stood at $46,310

Wages over time

* Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics


Moderate range of job opportunities compared to other professions

As of 2022 there were 35,990 people employed as 'Special Effects Artists and Animators' within the United States.

This represents around < 0.001% of the employed workforce across the country

Put another way, around 1 in 4 thousand people are employed as 'Special Effects Artists and Animators'.

Job description

Create special effects or animations using film, video, computers, or other electronic tools and media for use in products, such as computer games, movies, music videos, and commercials.

SOC Code: 27-1014.00


If you're thinking of starting a new career, or looking to change jobs, we've created a handy job search tool which might just help you land that perfect new role.

Search jobs in your local area


Leave a comment

motiondelacruz (Highly likely) says
Bro, ai graphic design is already here. In twenty years, the entire process will have been already fully automated by about 5 or 10 years.
Oct 23, 2022 at 02:13 AM
BibirMengkeroet (Moderate) says
If you're talking about special effects as VFX, then yes, you'll be replaced. In fact, AI Inpainting for video is currently under development and it will become public soon. Some 3D animators have already been replaced by motion capture. I think 2D animators are safe from AI for about 1-3 years.

However, special FX will never be replaced by AI. But you can count on your fingers the number of movies nowadays that still use special effects.
Sep 13, 2022 at 02:52 PM
Santa Claus (Highly likely) says
New AI image generators can produce results on par with human artists. While not quite there yet, it is just a matter of time. When art directors can produce high-quality results in minutes for pennies, there will be a strong incentive against hiring professional artists. This will also discourage new artists from spending years honing their skills and perhaps choosing a different profession altogether.
Sep 10, 2022 at 03:30 AM
Ale (No chance) says
I think it is impossible but even if A.I manage to make animation it won't have much quality because animation requires imagination and originality too which A.I won't be able to give in animation.
Jul 30, 2022 at 07:20 AM
Kate (Low) says
Nowadays, there are already ways of making procedural animations. It might be the case that we will just need programmers to write the code to 'educate' the AI. Consequently, it will be able to learn and animate by itself.
Jul 12, 2022 at 06:05 AM
sal says
I do not think that the robot will replace the graphics engine, whether in cartoons or in influential films. This is not a new concept.

Motion capture suits appeared decades ago and they do not eliminate the need for humans in the final product. If that were to happen, they would already be retired.
Jul 10, 2022 at 01:34 AM
Jonas (Moderate) says
Modelling tools and retopology tools are already being automated. 3d scanning and script writing as well. I think that animators still will supervise but tools will definitely be more and more automated.
Jun 08, 2022 at 05:34 AM
ur mom (No chance) says
Art can't be made by robots. We've seen this time and time again, especially when people use AI to change a perfectly made 24 fps animation to 60 fps. Animation has to have a human touch to be appealing, so there's no way animation can be automated and still have people interested.
Mar 25, 2022 at 08:27 PM
R (Highly likely) says
Like any other art form, AI can provide infinite “creative” samples to choose from
Jan 15, 2022 at 07:22 AM
j (No chance) says
Animation quality would go down by a lot if animation were automated. As an animator, animation needs a human touch. It doesn't look right if it's automated.
Jan 12, 2022 at 03:16 AM
Mikael says
Working in visualization of film, I can't see AI. doing what we do in any foreseeable future. The reason for this is that a lot of the 3d process is a creative feedback-loop between the client and the artist. It's just open talk.

Also, would you have an AI do Lookdev when the client is looking for something stylized? The only way this would work would be if the AI. would be able to have that same back and fourth of ideas. It just can't.
Jan 05, 2022 at 02:24 PM
Bee (No chance) says
Creativity is a strictly biological phenomenon
Oct 03, 2021 at 01:12 AM
elon musk (Low) says
Frankly... AI-generated animation stinks
Sep 07, 2021 at 09:35 AM
R. M. Staff (No chance) says
I don't think complex creativity involved in making animations can be replicated. Style choice, message, Easter eggs, and so forth are personal choices of the writers, so I don't think automation will take over easily.
Jun 27, 2021 at 09:37 AM
ShinySnom22 (No chance) says
Robot made art and animation is less likely then Jesus being real.
Jun 17, 2021 at 03:21 AM
Shiva (Uncertain) says
It's the ai world anything can happen
Apr 20, 2021 at 04:34 PM
Sade (Low) says
I believe that it wouldn't happen because Animation takes a long time to make. And if a AI makes a mistake on a Animation or something like no emotion or anything on character that pretty much human than it's pretty much boring.
Mar 24, 2021 at 08:39 PM
Wyatt (Moderate) says
It is known that computers can create full animations without humans. It is not very good, or creative, but they still can.
Mar 19, 2021 at 02:53 PM
Daniel Castro (No chance) says
There is no way that a job like this will get took an away this job requires creativity which robots don’t have
Mar 10, 2021 at 07:01 PM
Quickmawz says
Robots DO have creativity. Just look at ai image generators like modjourney and dalle.
Sep 29, 2022 at 11:28 PM
tyler (Low) says
what kind of robot could animate? possible, but unlikely.
Feb 28, 2021 at 02:33 AM

Leave a reply about this occupation

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

People also viewed

Graphic Designers
Computer Programmers
Fine Artists, Including Painters, Sculptors, and Illustrators
Web Developers