Special Effects Artists and Animators

risk level
Based on 1,209 votes
by year 2032
or $47.62 per hour
as of 2023

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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

40% 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 2032

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 2023, the median annual wage for 'Special Effects Artists and Animators' was $99,060, or $47 per hour

'Special Effects Artists and Animators' were paid 106.1% higher than the national median wage, which stood at $48,060

Wages over time

* Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics


Lower range of job opportunities compared to other professions

As of 2023 there were 29,940 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 5 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


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Leave a comment

Jason Chen (Highly likely) says
sora ai and generative video models can have a text input create any video or film imagery now, hence no need for armies of humans creating these works of digital art.
Jun 18, 2024 at 10:22 PM
P3S4NT (Highly likely) says
ai art, it steals pieces of art without permission and merges them into something else.
Jun 15, 2024 at 03:06 PM
Max Sky (Moderate) says
ai animation could become super avalible from OpenAI Sora, ngl its scary, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1YEX4t79e0Q
May 08, 2024 at 10:19 PM
no >:( (Low) says
copyright and laws and stuff
May 07, 2024 at 02:48 AM
Max Sky says
it could change in the future you never know.
May 08, 2024 at 10:21 PM
Bryan (student) says
With the amount of new technology and AI coming through the years, people may think about robotic replacement in the industry of artists/designers. I don’t completely agree with them (maybe because I do want to make it my job in the future) but there will always have a limit and as we all know, technology, AI, computer, programming, etc… are made by humans. For me, technology should assist humans, doing daily task for example. But not replace them. And as we all says, they don’t have the originality, creativity of human being.
May 03, 2024 at 09:15 AM
Ro (Highly likely) says
Sora AI
Feb 19, 2024 at 04:39 PM
james adamson says
Everyone here is looking at this from the perspective of a creative. I am also in that bucket, but when the bean counters see something cheaper and more efficient the little nuances and facets of human beauty and creativity will not be considered.
A powerful and forceful director/CEO/MD on board could swing that in human creativity's favour, but look at all the areas in production where the money goes for the lowest common denominator.
Art and money are not good bedfellows and AI art like plastic and industrial streamlining are where we are headed unfortunately.( IMHO.)While we got a bit cleverer at being efficient we will also get A LOT cheaper a lot saddder and A LOT more unpleasant on the eye!

From DaVinci to plastic impressions and AI interpretations of beauty.
I'm thinking of the film Brazil and a horrendous retail park I visited in LA! Gaudy gossip magazines cheap toy shops and the show Black Mirror!
Jan 31, 2024 at 11:12 AM
armando camero says
you'll be replaced by AI if the client is okay with 'good enough' . but you won't if the client needs minor detail adjustments and lots of precision and control
Jan 14, 2024 at 09:33 PM
Navarone (Highly likely) says
Im a 3D rigging artist with 5+ years in the industry and if things keep going the way they are, i think that by 2040, 3D art is going to be just a few directors and producers using AI instead of a pipeline.
Art is dead.
Oct 01, 2023 at 12:30 PM
JD (Highly likely) says
AI art is already being embraced in small ways. the complexity and quality is only going to grow out of convenience to bigger animation companies, and demand from film production studios.
Sep 12, 2023 at 12:41 AM
Joe says
If you'd posed this question to me just two years ago, my response would have been a firm "absolutely not." However, given the emergence of advanced AI generative models, my current perspective leans towards a scenario in which the role may not vanish entirely, but instead undergo a substantial reduction in workforce. So the hundreds of visual effects artists typically employed in a film's production might dwindle down to 5-10 individuals
Sep 02, 2023 at 11:19 PM
dufhbsf (Low) says
Originality is valued in animation and now that demand for original animations is growing it is highly unlikely that this job can get automated
Sep 02, 2023 at 03:19 PM
Tejas Tarambale (No chance) says
Because Animation is not just about videos & art. It needs artistic thinking & different touch which connects you with art & attract you.

People want new things so AI can't give the think which not exist or it can't think its own...

That's why Robot will not get artists place.

Eventually we get Ai for faster processing & giving results to people & by that increases there revenue.

It's my personal opening.
Aug 09, 2023 at 05:25 AM
Rogério (Uncertain) says
Maybe AI could make the in-between animation, but the key frames will still being made by humans.
Feb 04, 2023 at 01:32 AM
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

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