Character Designer

Create the appearance of complex animated characters.

Quick Stats


Salary Range
$34,000 – $100,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor


What do Character Designers do?

A Character Designer creates the look and feel of animated characters. Character Designers are only found in certain cases where characters are complex and important enough to merit specialized attention. When that happens though, a Character Designer is hired to blend skills from across fields to create vivacious, well rounded characters. In this role, you work mainly in video games, animation, and illustration.

At this position you are a cross-breed between several different (and more common) positions. You are an Illustrator, Concept Artist, Animator, and Game Artist meaning that you (respectively) design your characters, bring them to life, then flesh out their look.

In the beginning stages of your work you imagine and sketch out the first draft of characters. As this is happening, you storyboard your character by writing their past and their future, and place them within the context of the narrative to give them life and depth.

If you are working on a virtual character, you then use computer graphics and 3D modeling to design and animate your form by adding in color, molding its movements, and adding its sounds. You continue to refine your characters throughout the game, making sure the way it roars and flips its mane is correct.

To do this work you must be very imaginative and creative, and have the breadth and depth of animation knowledge to make your creation come to life: You are responsible for a character from conception to death, so you must be well versed in all technical proficiencies that are generally split between several fields.


Should I be a Character Designer?

You should have a bachelor's degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Detail Oriented: You pay close attention to all the little details.
  • High Achiever: You love the challenge of tackling difficult work.
  • Reliable: You can always be counted on to do a good job.

  • Also known as: Character Animator, Character Artist, Character Technical Designer

    How to become a Character Designer

    Most Character Designers have a Bachelor's degree. Chart?chd=s:aut9aa&chl=|certificate+%2820%25%29|associate%27s+%2819%25%29|bachelor%27s+%2862%25%29||&cht=p3&chs=466x180&chxr=0,0,62
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