Illustrator Salary

Earnings for Illustrators in the United States come in at around $20.22 per hour on average. Location and years of experience each impact pay for this group, with the former having the largest influence. Men are slightly outnumbered by their female counterparts who answered the questionnaire, who make up a slight majority at 53 percent. Work is enjoyable for Illustrators, who typically claim high levels of job satisfaction. While some workers in this profession — the greater part — do not have any health coverage, roughly two-fifths do receive medical benefits and about a third have dental insurance. This report is based on responses to the PayScale salary survey.
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$23,523 - $77,844
(Median)
$24K
$45K
$78K
MEDIAN: $44,588
10%
50%
90%

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$9.94 - $50.18
(Median)
$9
$20
$50
MEDIAN: $20
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$34K$68K$102K
Salary
$23,523 - $77,844  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $5,960  
Profit Sharing
$6,000  
Commission
$1,000  
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).
)
$21,127 - $99,987  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 12 Jan 2016 | Individuals Reporting: 162
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$50$100$150
Hourly Rate
$9.94 - $50.18  
   
Hourly Tips
$0.50  
Overtime
$0.71 - $145.44  
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$100K$200K$300K
Bonus
$0.00 - $5,960  
   
Commission
$1,000  
Profit Sharing
$6,000  
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).
)
$21,127 - $99,987  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 12 Jan 2016 | Individuals Reporting: 212
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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

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

Common Career Paths for Illustrator


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As Illustrators transition into upper-level roles like Technical Illustrators, it's possible that they won't see a change in salary. Technical Illustrators earn the same amount as Illustrators on average.

Illustrator Job Listings

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Popular Skills for Illustrator


Illustrators who responded to the survey indicated only a few skills that they use on the job. Most notably, skills in Adobe Photoshop, Illustration, Adobe Illustrator, and Adobe InDesign are correlated to pay that is above average. Those familiar with Adobe Photoshop also tend to know Adobe Illustrator.

Pay by Experience Level for Illustrator

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


In general, experience and pay appear to be strongly linked; those with more experience usually bring in higher incomes. Relatively untried employees who have less than five years' experience make $39K, but folks with five to 10 years under their belts enjoy an appreciably larger median of $48K. Illustrators see a median salary of $55K after reaching one to two decades on the job. Big financial gains seem to result from working for more than two decades; veterans in this group report earning $64K on average.

Pay Difference by Location

National Average: $43,054

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

For Illustrators, busy Austin offers a higher-than-average pay rate, 54 percent above the national average. Illustrators will also find cushy salaries in San Francisco (+42 percent), Los Angeles (+21 percent), Boston (+21 percent), and Seattle (+9 percent). Trailing the national average by 16 percent, Atlanta is the market with the smallest paychecks.

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Experience Affects Illustrator Salaries




National Average
$43,000


Skills That Affect Illustrator Salaries

Adobe Photoshop
up arrow 3%

Illustration
up arrow 2%

Adobe Illustrator
0%

National Average
$43,000

Adobe InDesign
up arrow 1%

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 40 votes.

Gender

Female
53 %
Male
47 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
4%
1-4 years
48%
5-9 years
20%
10-19 years
13%
20 years or more
16%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits
Medical: 41%
dental benefits
Dental: 32%
medical benefits
Vision: 25%
dental benefits
None: 58%
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