Illustrators in the United States take home an average $19.83 per hour. Geography is the biggest factor affecting pay for this group, followed by tenure. Job satisfaction is high and work is enjoyable for most Illustrators. While a little more than half report receiving no health benefits, a little over a half do receive medical coverage, and close to a third have dental, as well. Women make up a slight majority of Illustrators (57 percent) survey respondents. The information for this snapshot was generated by responses to the PayScale salary survey.
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$22,233 - $79,285
$22K
$43K
$79K
MEDIAN: $43,426
10%
50%
90%

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$10.00 - $50.25
$10
$20
$50
MEDIAN: $19.83
10%
50%
90%

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National Salary Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
)
$0$32K$64K$96K
Salary
$22,233 - $79,285  
   
Bonus
$50.68 - $10,186  
Total Pay (?
XTotal Pay combines base annual salary or hourly wage, bonuses, profit sharing, tips, commissions, overtime pay and other forms of cash earnings, as applicable for this job. It does not include equity (stock) compensation, cash value of retirement benefits, or the value of other non-cash benefits (e.g. healthcare).
)
$21,050 - $93,245  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 18 Jan 2017 | Individuals Reporting: 135
National Hourly Rate Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
)
$0$17$34$51
Hourly Rate
$10.00 - $50.25  
   
Hourly Tips
$0.42  
Overtime
$7.00 - $48.00  
National Annualized Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
)
$0$50K$100K$150K
Bonus
$50.68 - $10,186  
   
Total Pay (?
XTotal Pay combines base annual salary or hourly wage, bonuses, profit sharing, tips, commissions, overtime pay and other forms of cash earnings, as applicable for this job. It does not include equity (stock) compensation, cash value of retirement benefits, or the value of other non-cash benefits (e.g. healthcare).
)
$21,050 - $93,245  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 18 Jan 2017 | Individuals Reporting: 201

Find Out Exactly What You Should Be Paid

United States (change)

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Job Description for Illustrator

An illustrator creates drawings for physical and digital products and purposes. These drawings are often used in publications such as magazines and books, as well as products such as greeting cards, calendars, packaging, and digital illustrations. An illustrator often uses pen/pencil drawings or watercolors, but the use of digital illustration applications is now common as well.

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Illustrator Tasks

  • Develop artwork for specific projects that meets requirements.
  • Use design and artistic software to alter and improve artwork.
  • Deliver finished illustrations for a variety of projects, within deadlines and according to specifications.
  • Research and interpret design and retail market trends.

Common Career Paths for Illustrator


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At the upper end, Illustrators who move into an Art Director role can end up with a hefty increase in pay. The average income for Art Directors is a much higher $56K per year. Many Illustrators go on to become Graphic Artists & Designers or Graphic Designers despite the fact that median compensation in those roles is reportedly $6K lower and $2K lower, respectively.

Illustrator Job Listings

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Popular Skills for Illustrator


Job skills reported by Illustrators are limited. Most notably, skills in Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, Adobe InDesign, and Illustration are correlated to pay that is above average. Those listing Graphic Design as a skill should be prepared for drastically lower pay. Most people who know Adobe Photoshop also know Adobe Illustrator.

Pay by Experience Level for Illustrator

Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.


Experience is an important factor influencing the compensation of Illustrators. The average inexperienced worker's salary is approximately $39K, and people with five to 10 years of experience bring in more at around $44K on average. After working for 10 to 20 years, Illustrators make a median salary of $61K. More than 20 years of experience mean a somewhat bigger median paycheck of $62K, but it's not much more than what less experienced people make.

Pay Difference by Location

National Average: $41,670

Larger city markers indicate a job is popular in that location.

San Francisco offers some of the highest pay in the country for Illustrators, 84 percent above the national average. Illustrators can also look forward to large paychecks in cities like Austin (+59 percent), Cleveland (+58 percent), San Diego (+34 percent), and Los Angeles (+32 percent). Illustrators in Minneapolis make 25 percent less than the national average, proving that location is a major factor in pay. Atlanta and Chicago are a couple other places where companies are known to pay below the median — salaries are 5 percent lower and 3 percent lower, respectively.

Related Job Salaries

Key Stats for Illustrator

Gender

Female
57 %
Male
43 %

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 29 votes.
051
Less than 1 year
5%
1-4 years
51%
5-9 years
20%
10-19 years
13%
20 years or more
11%
Location:
Years in Fields/Career:
United States (change)

Experience Affects Illustrator Salaries




National Average
$42,000


Skills That Affect Illustrator Salaries


Adobe Illustrator
0%

National Average
$42,000


Adobe InDesign
up arrow 1%

Graphic Design
up arrow 23%

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 29 votes.

Gender

Female
57 %
Male
43 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
5%
1-4 years
51%
5-9 years
20%
10-19 years
13%
20 years or more
11%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits
Medical: 44%
dental benefits
Dental: 33%
vision benefits
Vision: 25%
dental benefits
None: 54%
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