Professional animators work to produce art that moves.

Today's animators produce imagery by hand, through clay modeling and through computer software. Working in animation requires you to be well trained in fine art and computer technology.

Animators work in a number of different industries, including video games, stop motion television/film, mobile media and film effects.

The animation field has changed over the years, and most animators now work in a freelance capacity. Being a successful animator requires you to learn new technology, apply for new contracts continuously and work hard.

It will be hard to get work in the animation field without experience that you can show in a portfolio. Keep each school project accessible for your portfolio as prospective employers will need to evaluate your past work before hiring you.

Start with a hard copy portfolio. In this professional art portfolio, you should have a bio that explains your training and work experience. It should also include animation stills and story boards.

Enhance your portfolio with a demo reel of your successful animation projects. Most people use either a DVD format or a website link.

Include a professional resume and your contact information on both the digital and hard copies of your portfolio.

Many colleges help students to get internships, so that they can gain this valuable work experience.

If you are following a non-traditional animation training course, you may look for work as an assistant to an animator for 6 months to a year. You can find animators in a non-competitive area and offer to work for free or low cost. You can use this mentor relationship to develop your portfolio and learn valuable trade secrets.

Volunteer your services to companies and friends in order to further enhance your skills and portfolio. If you don't know of anyone who needs animation services, contact businesses, such as television programs, film producers, websites and business people to volunteer your services on a project. Make sure this project has a definitive end date so that you can work your way into paid work.

CLICK HERE to watch industry professionals working in ANIMATION talk about their jobs, experience and top tips!