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5 Tips To Get A Job In The Visual Effects Industry

By July 31, 2018 May 6th, 2019 No Comments

The VFX industry continues to grow because we demand it!  We force ourselves to achieve something better than before. We not only seek this visual desire in the films that we watch but also in popular broadcast shows and commercials.

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Shows like: Game of ThronesThe Walking Dead and The Flash are dependent on VFX to tell their story. Truthfully visual effects are incorporated in almost every major show out there right now.  The good news is, this opens up a plethora of job opportunities for someone serious about a career. There are literally hundreds of companies supplying CGI effects for Hollywood, making it an extremely competitive market. Salary List reports that a visual effects artist’s annual income can range from $36,358 to $150,000 per year, with an average salary of $76,902.

Imagine working for companies like…

Industrial Light & Magic

(Star Wars, Indiana Jones, Jurassic Park)

Method Studios

(Game of Thrones, Ghostbusters)

Weta Digital 

(Lord of Rings, Avatar)

Sony Imageworks

(Guardians of the Galaxy, Edge of Tomorrow)


(The Good Dinosaur, Cars, Brave, Wall E)

Let’s take a look at 5 steps that can get you into and KEEP you in the industry.


This is one of the best ways to gain a foothold in this type of career. Make sure the school you choose has instructors that are working in the film and broadcast industry. Instructors that are current professionals working in the industry are much more likely to know the most up to date CG software and digital production art techniques. Not to mention the added benefit that these people can help get you a job by networking directly with you. These types of schools have invested their time in you, and will want to see you succeed, opening up possible internships, that help you to gain the upper hand in your career path.

Quick tips: 

  • Evaluate the curriculum and instructors.
  • Inquire about Job placement after you graduate.
  • Research feedback from former students.



You must always strive to be on top. Dennis Muren, a VFX specialist whose work involved the computer-generated dinosaur effects on Jurassic Park, had this advice to give:

Study art, photography, nature, because you want to have ideas for full shots in your head. Not parts of shots but the whole finished thing, even though you may not be [responsible] for all of that. You want to understand the film making process from the point of view of the director — even if you want to do special effects.

Quick tips: 

  • Develop your own short movies.
  • Learn to structure your work properly.
  • Recognise where VFX fits into a story.



For most interviews, this will be the first thing a future employer will see. Be unique with your showreel, show them who you are and what your best work is. You’ll want to stand out, grab their attention and keep it. Pick out a VFX studio you want to work for the most and see what jobs they are hiring for. Try to keep your showreel focused on showcasing the skills necessary to get that job. Check out our How to Make Your Portfolio or Demo Reel Stand Out article for some tips from our mentors.

Quick tips: 

  • Only show your best work.
  • Keep your reel up to date.
  • Make sure your content is relevant.
  • Keep your reel to 3 minutes or less.



Continue to grow by feeding off your idea’s. Don’t be afraid to try new things, they may not always work, but you’ll never know until you investigate them. When things start to get dull, you need to look for things you may have overlooked before. Also, be careful not to mimic another person’s work. Be original and incorporate your own style creating something new.

Quick tips: 

  • Dare to be original.
  • Put your passion into what you create, ALWAYS.
  • Continue to adapt.



This last tip is primarily focused on keeping your job once you are hired.

One person can make or break a team. Be conscious of your attitude towards the people around you and what you’re working on. Don’t be afraid to have someone critique your work and vice versa. Constructive criticism helps build experience and will help you create good relationships with others. The people around you are the key to branching out in the industry, possibly introducing you to future employers.

Quick tips: 

  • Communicate.
  • Be positive.
  • Offer your judgment and help.

So there you have it, 5 tips to help you get a job in the VFX industry. Be sure to share this post with your friends or family who are looking to get into the Visual Effects Industry.

Learn more about how CG Spectrum can get you started in this career path and check out our full offering of courses in the link below.

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Nick Fredin

Author Nick Fredin

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