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.Read More...
Employment opportunities can be found with advertising firms, publishing houses, media companies, fashion houses, and medical and government organizations, among others. Illustrators are often self-employed. There are a variety of training options available for illustrators, including associate's, bachelor's, and master's degrees.These programs offer training in various elements of the visual arts (including digital illustration technology), as well as build a portfolio of illustrations for prospective clients or employers.
The illustrator's main duties include visualizing and producing artwork and line drawings based on concepts provided by clients or colleagues. They normally determine the type of medium and technique that is best suited to create the desired artwork and then employ the needed techniques to create it. The illustrator communicates with their clients throughout production and incorporates their feedback; they must produce a final product that meets all of their clients' needs.
- 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
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
Search for more jobs:
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
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
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 29 votes.