Illustrator Salary (United States)

Illustrators in the United States usually make around $20.25 per hour. Compensation generally starts at $10.03 per hour and does not exceed $50.12. Experience level and geography each impact pay for this group, with the former having the largest influence. Some workers in this field—more than half—are not awarded benefits. Medical coverage is reported by 38 percent and dental plans are enjoyed by around one third. Women Illustrators just slightly outnumber men in the field. The majority of Illustrators claim high levels of job satisfaction. The information for this snapshot was generated by responses to the PayScale salary survey.
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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Illustrators do not enjoy an increase in earnings as they climb the career ladder. For example, top-notch roles like Technical Illustrator will not offer more money than lower-level jobs in the same field. More commonly, Illustrators take pay cuts as they move into roles as Graphic Designers or Fine Artists, making $8,590 or $3,771 less per year, respectively.

Illustrator Job Listings

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Popular Skills for Illustrator

Survey takers who work as Illustrators typically report just a few professional skills. Illustration and Adobe Photoshop are considered valuable skills and can increase employee pay by 14 percent and 10 percent respectively. It is often found that people who know Adobe Photoshop are also skilled in Adobe Illustrator.

Pay by Experience Level for Illustrator

Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.
For Illustrators, experience in the field tends to play a major role in salary negotiations; pay increases with more experience. Beginning workers can expect to earn $39K starting out, which grows to $51K after five to 10 years. Salary comes to $55K after 10 to 20 years. As Illustrators reach 20 years on the job, salary growth continues to be strong, with earnings averaging $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 of experience is the norm for people in this field—more than half of those surveyed fit this bill.

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.
Austin is home to an above-average pay rate for Illustrators, 52 percent higher than 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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