Becoming an Illustration Artist via Online Education?

At the very least, online education can help you lay a foundation and/or open up alternate career paths. Penn Foster Career School is a US school (accredited) offering illustration courses to train individuals to become top-notch illustration artists, animation artists, artists, graphic artists, illustrators, medical illustrators, etc. Currently, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics there are 8,900 people employed as fine artists, including painters, sculptors, and illustrators alone in America, and their average annual salary is $50,630. Multimedia artists and animators make on average $62,810 per year and there are about 28,800 of them employed today. Colleges and universities like Penn Foster Career School that provide online education are successfully launching workers into this field.

Typical Work Locations for an Illustration Artist
  • museum
  • library
  • exhibition hall
  • police department
  • newspaper pressroom
  • university
  • graphic design firm
  • large corporation
  • fashion design firm
  • architecture firm
Potential Advantages and Benefits of Working as an Illustration Artist
  • working in fun creative cities like Seattle and San Francisco
  • your work can be a creative outlet
  • you may get to work with children
  • you will usually get to see the impact of your work
  • in many cases it is more relaxed work environment
  • you usually wont have to be responsible for anyone but yourself
  • depending on the job you may not have to deal with customers at all
  • get to work on various projects
  • you will get to meet with many different people
  • your work can have a lasting impact and could even make you famous
Potential Drawbacks
  • it can be hard to find a job
  • you will likely have to work on your portfolio for free just to be competitive
  • put other people's ideas to art
  • work in messy settings
  • get your work ideas refused occasionally
  • it can be hard to negotiate your pay with potential clients
  • sometimes work varying hours
  • work in environment with little communication with others
  • may get accused of duplicating other's ideas
  • may have to sell your ideas to the boss
Related Professions to Consider
  • Modern fashion designer
  • Graphic designer
  • Architect
  • Sculpture Artist
  • Children's book illustrator
  • Commercial artist
  • Art Gallery Publicist
  • Book publisher
  • Visual communications specialist
  • Visual marketing professional
Possible Interview Questions When Applying to be an Illustration Artist
  • What is the best part about what you do?
  • What is your favorite style of illustration/animation?
  • Please elaborate some of your educational qualifications experiences and skills?
  • Can you tell us some software that you use regularly for illustration?
  • Why do you want to make a profession in illustration?
  • When did you first discover your creative talents?
  • Could you tell us about some of your work?
  • What inspires you to keep going and how do you keep yourself motivated?
  • How will you describe your style?
  • What is your approach to design?
Common Collaborating Professions
  • Set Designer
  • Senior 3d Artist
  • Concept Artist
  • Concept Technician
  • Graphic Artist
  • Production Artist
  • Web Animator
  • Flash Illustrator
  • Illustration Specialist
  • Digital Illustration and portrait artist
Illustration Artist Training books Illustration Artist (More) Popular books Potential Companies to Work For Common College Majors
  • Design and Visual Communications
  • Studio Arts
  • Art Teacher Education
  • Commercial and Advertising Art
  • Graphic Design
  • Photography
  • Digital Art
  • Painting
  • Printmaking
  • Theater Design and Stagecraft

Illustration Artist Salary Information

Category: Fine artists, including painters, sculptors, and illustrators

Total # Employed in the US 8,900
Average Hourly Wage: $24.34/hr
Hourly Wage Range
PERCENTILE
10%25%50%75%90%
$9.46 $14.07 $21.23 $30.86 $41.66
Average Yearly Salary $50,630
Yearly Salary Range
PERCENTILE
10%25%50%75%90%
$19,680 $29,270 $44,160 $64,180 $86,650
Employment Demographics
% OF WORKERS WITH
< High School Diploma High School Diploma Some College Associate Degree Bachelor Degree Master Degree Doctoral Degree
3.1% 11.2% 19.6% 10.0% 42.3% 12.3% 1.6%
Fine artists, including painters, sculptors, and illustrators — WAGES BY STATE, SORTED BY SALARY
STATEAverage Hourly WageAverage Annual Salary
District of Columbia $64.08/hr $133,280
Colorado $33.12/hr $68,900
Delaware $29.71/hr $61,790
Montana $29.66/hr $61,690
Kentucky $29.33/hr $61,000
Oklahoma $27.49/hr $57,180
New Hampshire $26.55/hr $55,220
Michigan $26.35/hr $54,810
Ohio $26.25/hr $54,600
South Carolina $25.65/hr $53,360
North Dakota $25.51/hr $53,060
Indiana $24.64/hr $51,250
Virginia $24.04/hr $50,000
Connecticut $23.59/hr $49,070
Wyoming $22.99/hr $47,820
New York $22.41/hr $46,600
Wisconsin $22.07/hr $45,910
South Dakota $21.93/hr $45,620
Missouri $21.75/hr $45,250
Arkansas $21.58/hr $44,880
Utah $21.54/hr $44,800
Kansas $21.48/hr $44,680
Nebraska $20.95/hr $43,580
Tennessee $20.55/hr $42,750
Louisiana $20.18/hr $41,980
Massachusetts $19.61/hr $40,800
Guam $19.53/hr $40,620
Oregon $19.52/hr $40,600
Mississippi $19.35/hr $40,250
Hawaii $18.47/hr $38,410
New Jersey $17.58/hr $36,560
Iowa $17.39/hr $36,170
Maryland $15.93/hr $33,140
Idaho $15.74/hr $32,740
Nevada $14.91/hr $31,010
Washington $12.64/hr $26,290


Category: Multimedia artists and animators

Total # Employed in the US 28,800
Average Hourly Wage: $30.2/hr
Hourly Wage Range
PERCENTILE
10%25%50%75%90%
$15.56 $20.76 $28.01 $37.21 $47.66
Average Yearly Salary $62,810
Yearly Salary Range
PERCENTILE
10%25%50%75%90%
$32,360 $43,170 $58,250 $77,410 $99,130
Employment Demographics
% OF WORKERS WITH
< High School Diploma High School Diploma Some College Associate Degree Bachelor Degree Master Degree Doctoral Degree
3.1% 11.2% 19.6% 10.0% 42.3% 12.3% 1.6%
Multimedia artists and animators — WAGES BY STATE, SORTED BY SALARY
STATEAverage Hourly WageAverage Annual Salary
Colorado $36.55/hr $76,010
Mississippi $32.14/hr $66,850
Oklahoma $29.88/hr $62,150
California $29.49/hr $61,340
Kansas $28.9/hr $60,120
New York $28.75/hr $59,800
North Dakota $28.55/hr $59,380
Missouri $28.19/hr $58,640
Florida $28.05/hr $58,350
Tennessee $27.93/hr $58,100
Indiana $27.87/hr $57,960
Delaware $27.03/hr $56,230
South Carolina $26.75/hr $55,640
Wyoming $26.64/hr $55,400
Hawaii $26.36/hr $54,820
Connecticut $25.9/hr $53,870
Arkansas $25.77/hr $53,610
Montana $25.67/hr $53,400
Oregon $25.47/hr $52,970
Massachusetts $25.46/hr $52,950
Maryland $25.18/hr $52,370
Wisconsin $24.89/hr $51,780
Ohio $24.55/hr $51,070
Nebraska $24.53/hr $51,010
Utah $24.32/hr $50,580
Louisiana $24.21/hr $50,360
Idaho $24.09/hr $50,100
Iowa $23.67/hr $49,230
Michigan $23.09/hr $48,030
New Hampshire $22.89/hr $47,610
Guam $22.14/hr $46,040
District of Columbia $21.58/hr $44,900
South Dakota $21.41/hr $44,520
Kentucky $21.01/hr $43,710
Alabama $20.28/hr $42,180
Nevada $20.23/hr $42,070
Washington $20.16/hr $41,940
New Mexico $19.26/hr $40,060
West Virginia $17.37/hr $36,130
Maine $16.43/hr $34,170


Category: Artists and related workers, all other

Total # Employed in the US 8,100
Average Hourly Wage: $27.63/hr
Hourly Wage Range
PERCENTILE
10%25%50%75%90%
$11.83 $16.33 $25.54 $37.49 $45.69
Average Yearly Salary $57,470
Yearly Salary Range
PERCENTILE
10%25%50%75%90%
$24,600 $33,960 $53,110 $77,980 $95,030
Employment Demographics
% OF WORKERS WITH
< High School Diploma High School Diploma Some College Associate Degree Bachelor Degree Master Degree Doctoral Degree
3.1% 11.2% 19.6% 10.0% 42.3% 12.3% 1.6%
Artists and related workers, all other — WAGES BY STATE, SORTED BY SALARY
STATEAverage Hourly WageAverage Annual Salary
Florida $38.8/hr $80,710
Idaho $38.07/hr $79,190
Mississippi $37.7/hr $78,410
Hawaii $33.72/hr $70,140
Missouri $33.62/hr $69,940
North Dakota $28.61/hr $59,510
Utah $27.79/hr $57,810
Alabama $27.33/hr $56,850
Wyoming $26.84/hr $55,830
Colorado $25.89/hr $53,860
Delaware $25.86/hr $53,780
Oregon $25.4/hr $52,830
Oklahoma $25.21/hr $52,440
Kansas $22.61/hr $47,030
Kentucky $22.18/hr $46,140
Tennessee $20.96/hr $43,600
New York $20.69/hr $43,040
Ohio $20.59/hr $42,820
Alaska $20.31/hr $42,250
Louisiana $20.12/hr $41,840
New Jersey $19.77/hr $41,130
Connecticut $19.09/hr $39,700
South Carolina $18.93/hr $39,370
Nebraska $17.65/hr $36,710
Montana $17.57/hr $36,560
Iowa $16.56/hr $34,450
Maryland $10.47/hr $21,770


Illustration Programs by State & City