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Illustrator Salary (United States)

For Illustrators, hourly wages usually total $20.25 per hour. Career duration is the biggest factor affecting pay for this group, followed by geography. Although over a third have medical coverage and just under one in three have dental coverage, a majority claim no health benefits at all. Women Illustrators just slightly outnumber men. Job satisfaction is reported as high by the vast majority of workers. This snapshot results from replies to PayScale's 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%
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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  
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  
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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As Illustrators transition into upper-level roles, like Technical Illustrators, they often do not see a change in salary. Technical Illustrators usually earn the same amount as Illustrators. Illustrators most often advance into Graphic Artist & Designer and Fine Artist positions even though the median salaries are $9K lower and $4K lower, respectively.

Illustrator Job Listings

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Popular Skills for Illustrator

Professional skills reported by Illustrators are few in number. Illustration and Adobe Photoshop are considered valuable skills and can increase employee pay by 14 percent and 10 percent respectively. Those educated in Adobe Photoshop tend to be well versed in Adobe Illustrator.

Pay by Experience Level for Illustrator

Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.
Experience and income seem to be closely related; in general, the survey respondents who had worked for more years reported higher incomes. Salaries for the relatively untried average out to around $39K, but survey participants with five to 10 years of experience earn a significantly higher median of $51K. Illustrators with one to two decades of relevant experience report an average salary of approximately $55K. More than 20 years of experience seem related to solid financial gains; veterans in this group report earning a median of $67K. More than half of respondents report one to nine years of experience. Experienced employees who have 10-20 years of experience make up about a seventh of the workforce; inexperienced individuals who have been working for less than one year comprise less than one-tenth, and senior people with more than 20 years under their belt fill out the remaining one in six.

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.
With a pay rate for Illustrators that is 52 percent greater than the national average, Austin offers a comfortable salary for those in this profession. Illustrators will also find cushy salaries in San Francisco (+39 percent) and New York (+17 percent).

Related Job Salaries

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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%