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Are there real careers in the anime industry if you live in the US?

It's no secret that real anime is made in Japan. So, for us residents of the amazing United States, is it possible to get a career doing something related to anime?

The short answer is YES. It is certainly a niche market, but the industry has been growing at an incredible rate and the popularity of anime has been very obvious. I see anime peeker decals on any given day if you drive around Dallas for long enough.

So, "what does a career in the anime industry look like?" you may be wondering... Well, it can look like a variety of things. Let's review some of the possible career paths:

- Illustrator

- Animator

- Voice actor

- Mangaka

- Artist

- Pro Cosplayer

Those examples do not include the generic careers that fit every industry such as marketing and retail stores. Also, the examples may seem redundant being that we have illustrator and artist. For clarification, let's go into detail.


An illustrator draws the scenes, the characters, and everything else you see in manga and anime. You can draw buy hand and/or digitally with drawing tablets and computers.


Animators give the illustrations life. They often will be illustrators themselves but will use software programs such as procreate and adobe animate to bring movement to the illustrations.

Voice Acting

Voice acting is acting out only the voice of the character. Of course, the rest of the character will be animated. In the US, voice dubbing is done mainly in Texas and California and certain studios such as Funimation and Sentai Filmworks.


Mangaka is the term for the people who create manga. Mangaka is a blanket term that could also include the various roles necessary to create manga such as storyboarder, story writer, and illustrators. As a mangaka, you do not necessarily need to work for a studio - you can create your very own manga and make money through crowdfunding or simply selling your work!


I chose to give artists their own separate career path in the industry because plenty of artists would not consider themselves illustrators or mangakas. They create their own art and sell them at conventions, do commissions, have their own following - the possibilities are endless.

Pro Cosplayer

Believe it or not, some people have managed to make a significant amount of money cosplaying. Professional cosplayers can get paid to attend conventions/events and also offer their wisdom in the form of classes.

If you are passionate about anime and wish to start a career in the industry you love, The Anime Institute of Texas is here to help!

The Anime Institute of Texas is the very first and only school in the US dedicated to teaching the skills of the anime industry.

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