Illustrator Salary (United States)

Illustrators in the United States typically take home $20.25 per hour. The range in pay spans from $10.03 per hour to $50.12. Career duration and the particular city each impact pay for this group, with the former having the largest influence. While a majority report receiving no health benefits, more than half do receive medical coverage, and around one third have dental, as well. Women make up a slight majority of Illustrators (53 percent). Most Illustrators like their work and job satisfaction is high. This overview is based on answers to PayScale's salary questionnaire.
Illustrator Salary (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$25,942 - $71,301
(Median)
26K
35K
46K
61K
71K
MEDIAN: $45,923
10%
25%
50%
75%
90%
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Illustrator Salary (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$10.03 - $50.12
(Median)
10
14
20
34
50
MEDIAN: $20
10%
25%
50%
75%
90%
Add this chart to your site: 640px    300px

National Salary Data

 (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$50K$100K$150K
Salary
$25,942 - $71,301  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $5,034  
Commission
$15.00 - $9,000  
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).
)
$21,364 - $100,555  
PayScale
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 3 Sep 2014 | Individuals Reporting: 99
National Hourly Rate Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$50$100$150
Hourly Rate
$10.03 - $50.12  
   
Overtime
$0.57 - $146.81  
National Annualized Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$100K$200K$300K
Bonus
$0.00 - $5,034  
   
Commission
$15.00 - $9,000  
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).
)
$21,364 - $100,555  
PayScale
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 3 Sep 2014 | Individuals Reporting: 155
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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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Additional career progression does not lead to a big boost in pay for Illustrators. At the upper end, those who move into a Technical Illustrator role will bring in a similar salary to their current position. Illustrators most often move into positions as Graphic Designers or Fine Artists, where they typically take pay cuts of $8,590 or $3,771 per year.

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. Illustration and Adobe Photoshop are considered valuable skills and can increase employee pay by 14 percent and 10 percent respectively. The majority of those 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.
For many but not all Illustrators, a key factor in salary decisions is experience; more experience generally yields higher pay. Salaries start at $39K, which grows to $51K after five to 10 years. After 10 to 20 years, salary hovers around $55K. After spending 20 years in the field, salary continues to increase for Illustrators and pay is expected at $67K. Experienced employees who have 10-20 years of experience make up 14 percent of the workforce; inexperienced individuals who have been working for less than one year comprise 6 percent, and senior people with more than 20 years under their belt fill out the remaining 17 percent. Between one and nine years is the typical spectrum of experience for those in this line of work—of those who took the survey, a majority land within it.

Pay Difference By Location

Austin
up arrow 52%
San Francisco
up arrow 39%
up arrow 17%
National Average
$44,000
Larger circles over a city indicate a job is popular in that location.
For those looking to make money, Illustrators in Austin enjoy an exceptional pay rate, 52 percent above the national average. Illustrators will also find cushy salaries in San Francisco (+39 percent) and New York (+17 percent).

Related Job Salaries

Experience Affects Illustrator Salaries

National Average
$44,000

Skills That Affect Illustrator Salaries

National Average
$44,000
Adobe Illustrator
up arrow 1%

Job Satisfaction

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

Gender

Female
53%
female alumni
 
Male
47%
male alumni

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
6%
1-4 years
44%
5-9 years
19%
10-19 years
14%
20 years or more
17%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits Medical: 38% dental benefits Dental: 30%
vision benefits Vision: 22% employee benefits None: 61%
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