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What 3D Artists Can Expect from the Job Market in 2020

Does 3D design have a bright future, and should you follow this career path? Take a look to find out more about the future of the 3D artist job market.

Working as a 3D designer is complicated yet thrilling. There are always new things to learn and modern techniques to master. Any technological advancement will have an impact on 3D designs, so the trends in this field are ever-changing, and you’ll need to work hard to stay on top of everything.

The career is well worth it, however. The salary tends to be higher than average, and you can specialize in many different areas, interior design, architecture, science, medicine; all of these fields could use a talented 3D artist.

But just because 3D artists are currently sought after doesn’t mean that this is a stable career. Or does it? Let’s take a closer look at the job of a 3D artist and see whether 2020 is expected to be a good year for this career or not.

The Rising Popularity of 3D Modeling

3D modeling started developing over 50 years ago when Ivan Sutherland invented the first 3D modeling software in the late ’60s. The technology has undergone some significant changes in the last half a century, and it’s still not done developing.

In the past few years, we’ve seen a rise in the interest in 3D modeling, especially with the development of 3D printers and Virtual Reality.

3D printers are allowing us to interact with 3D designs in entirely new and unique ways. They’re applicable in numerous industries, from architecture to construction, to children’s toy development.

Virtual reality software allows us to experience 3D designs in full. Interior designers can create a virtual walk-through and enable clients to examine every nook and cranny of a room before any remodeling even starts to take place.

All these new technologies have had a significant impact on the entire field of 3D design and have made it evident that 3D artists can serve essential purposes across different industries.

Current Trends in 3D modeling

Today, 3D artists can easily find jobs in the movie industry, game development, architecture, and marketing.

Just think, without 3D animators, we wouldn’t have such incredible Marvel movies, we wouldn’t be able to enjoy the dragons from Game of Thrones to the fullest, and we wouldn’t have such popular video games as Fortnite.

3D artists are precious in the field of marketing, as well. 3D product animations are highly engaging and can help with lead generation and conversion - something that’s of utmost importance to any business.

Architectural visualization through 3D design has proven to be highly beneficial to everyone involved in the design and construction of a project, so 3D artists are extremely valuable in this field.

These are just some of the examples of the many fields where 3D artists are needed. As 3D software continues to develop and advance, more and more areas and industries will start to see the benefits of hiring a 3D designer for different purposes.

3D Artist Career Paths

To find a job as a 3D artist, you need to have the relevant skills and education. Most companies will require you to have at least a bachelor’s degree, although some will hire you with a relevant certificate.

As mentioned, 3D artists can work in the fields of architecture, marketing, movies, and video games, but these aren’t the only options.

You’ll also be able to find employment in:

● Manufacturing and Production

● 3D concept

● Motion graphic design

● UI graphic design

● 3D printing

● Medical Illustration

● Interior design

● Engineering

Currently, the job market is oversaturated with 3D artists working in illustration or book design, so these might be the fields that are currently best-avoided.

Some of the growing job categories for 3D artists include mobile advertising, social media marketing, and video editing and design. If you’re looking to become a 3D artist, specializing in these fields can prove to be fruitful.

Freelance Opportunities

While most 3D designers prefer to specialize in a single field and work for a single company, this isn’t a necessity. Many 3D artists can find suitable jobs with satisfying salaries as freelancers.

This can be excellent as a long-term career plan, and as a way to build up your resume. Joining some of the more popular freelance marketplaces can open up many opportunities, and you can get a chance to collaborate with local experts, as well as with those from renowned companies around the world.

Freelancing is now more popular than ever before, and you can have greater creative freedom and create better working schedules that allow you to have a better work-life balance.

What You Can Expect as a 3D Artist

3D artists have a lot to offer in almost any industry. They can work closely together with architects and bring to life astonishing new homes and buildings before the construction process even begins. In the movie industry, they can breathe new life into animated characters and create realistic, life-like creatures and scenes.

Essentially, there isn’t a field where a 3D artist wouldn’t be helpful, and this is precisely why the entire 3D market size is expected to grow. By 2020, it’s supposed to reach an astonishing worth of $175.1 billion, achieving a compound annual growth rate of 21%.

This is good news for 3D artists. There should be plenty of job opportunities for them in the coming year, especially in the fields of movie animation and video games.

Should you pursue the career path of a 3D artist, there are a few things that might be of concern to you. Are there any education and experience requirements, and what kind of salary can you expect?

Educational Requirements

If you’re interested in working in graphic or media art, it’s possible to find companies that don’t have any specific educational requirements. As long as you can showcase your knowledge and talent, you’ll be good to go.

However, the majority of companies, regardless of their niche, will require you to have a certain educational background. You’ll typically need at least a certificate, if not an associate’s or bachelor’s degree in graphic design or a similar field.

If you’re interested in becoming a 3D artist in the field of science or medicine, you’ll need an additional set of skills. Computer design is often not enough here, and you’ll need to have adequate knowledge of biology or another relevant field.


The job market for multimedia artists and animators is expected to grow in 2020, and along with it, you can expect some salary increases as well. Of course, the salary of a 3D artist depends on their level and their location.

On average, 3D artists can expect a salary of $53,521. In the USA, 3D artists receive the highest wages in cities like San Francisco and Los Angeles, while the lowest salaries are in Orlando and Chicago.

The best way to stand out to potential employers and to receive a higher salary is to complete internships while you’re in college (whether that’s a traditional brick-and-mortar college or an online one doesn’t matter).

The Bottom Line

The future of 3D design appears to be bright. The developing technologies have allowed 3D artists to find new tasks and new positions across a variety of different industries.

If you’re looking to become a 3D artist, finding a lucrative job in 2020 should be much more comfortable, whether you want to work in an office or as a freelancer.

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