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Visual Effects Jobs in NYC

New York City's supply of visual effects jobs has grown rapidly in recent years. This has been fueled by the city's current television production boom and by the increasing demand for CGI in all forms of media. NYC is home to some very prominent VFX companies, such as Mr. X (Vikings, The Strain, Ben-Hur), Shade (Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice, Daredevil, and The Molecule (The Purge, The Americans), all of whom are members of NYC's Visual Effects Society.

Entry-level visual effects artists typically land jobs through outstanding portfolio reels, and by demonstrating a comprehensive knowledge of any software used in their line of work. Some of the major software packages used by the industry include Autodesk Maya, Adobe After Effects, Photoshop, Nuke, and Cinema 4D. These software packages have a steep learning curve, and prospective visual effects artists will usually either teach themselves the package, or enroll in a training course or art school to learn. Visual effects artists may break into the industry by working on independent smaller-scale productions to build out their portfolio reel before moving on to bigger mainstream studios for employment.

According to Glassdoor, some of the highest-rated visual effects companies in NYC include Comedy Central, Digital Elixir Studios, The Studio, Tronic Studio, Nickelodeon Digital, and Augenblick Studios.

In NYC, the most popular visual effects jobs are UX Designers, Video Editors, Character Riggers, Graphic Designers, CGI Modelers, Compositors, and Color Gradists.

Some of the top cities for finding jobs in visual effects tend to be Los Angeles, NYC, Chicago, San Francisco, and Miami. You could build a successful career in visual effects in any one of these cities. However, out of those cities, NYC ranks second in terms of the total number of visual effects jobs available and the average level of salaries in the field. Among those cities, about 15% of all visual effects jobs are located in NYC.

The top ranked schools in NYC with programs and degrees in visual effects are New York University (NYU, $49,962 per year, out-of-state), Colombia University ($49,300 per year, out-of-state), and Syracuse University ($41,794 per year, out-of-state), according to rankings published by the Hollywood Reporter and Hack College in 2016.

The following are estimates of salaries and wages for visual effects jobs in NYC, which were compiled from, Glassdoor, and the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics:

Multimedia Artists, Animators, and CGI Artists - $71,000 per year, or $34.13 per hour

Graphic Designers - $59,000 per year, or $28.37 per hour

Editors - $80,000 per year, or $38.46 per hour

Art Director Assistants - $90,000 per year, or $43.27 per hour

Creative Directors - $132,000 per year, or $63.46 per hour

Animators - $58,000 per year, or $27.88 per hour

Graphic Designers - $59,000 per year, or $28.37 per hour

Art Directors - $131,000 per year, or $62.98 per hour

Professionals working in visual effects in NYC also tend to work in the following industries, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics: Architecture, Marketing, Advertising, Gaming, Virtual Reality, Technology, Interactive Entertainment, Engineering.

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