Illustrators are artists who make drawings for their employers. Today's illustrators may need to know how to use computer software as well as pens, pencils, and other tools. Illustrators need to follow directions carefully and apply creative skills to technical projects. They may also need to excellent communication skills to work with photographers, graphic designers and other creative professionals.
Illustrator Job Education Requirements
Many employers emphasize experience and ability over formal education. Having a college degree, however, may expand an artist's career opportunities.
Illustrators should have portfolios that show off their talents and skills. An online portfolio can make it easier to find jobs and freelance opportunities.
Illustrator Job Market
The job market for illustrators and other artists is expected to grow by about three percent over the next decade. This is slower than average growth that could make it difficult for illustrators to find positions. Some states, however, have larger job markets than others. Illustrators who want to explore a wider range of opportunities should consider applying for positions in California, New York and Ohio. These states have the country's largest job markets for artists.
Illustrators who want more job opportunities may want to seek positions as graphic designers. The job market for graphic designers is expected to grow by seven percent. While this growth is still slower than average, it could significantly improve an artist's job prospects.
Illustrator Job Salary Information
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the mean annual wage for an illustrator was $51,120 in May 2014. Some states tend to pay illustrators and other artists larger salaries. The annual mean wage for an illustrator in Arizona, for instance, is around $95,600. Illustrators in New York could expect to earn about $76,000 during the same month.