Becoming an Illustrator 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. Graphic designers make on average $47,820 per year and there are about 200,870 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 Illustrator
  • photoshop department
  • coreldraw department
  • medical office
  • media department
  • short film
  • web designing
  • art department
  • educational department
  • animation department
  • cartoon department
Potential Advantages and Benefits of Working as an Illustrator
  • you get to work flexible hours
  • you get to meet different people
  • you get to travel frequently
  • you get to use your creativity
  • you get to work away from the office
  • you get to impact on people positively
  • you get to make people appreciate art
  • you get to apply the skills across different industries
  • your work can have a lasting impact and could even make you famous
  • you get to learn new ideas continually
Potential Drawbacks
  • you have to explain a little about your process when creating an illustration
  • you have to manage tools and materials to produce your work
  • you have to manage time to create an illustration
  • you have to set your illustration goals for the future
  • an education isn't the only thing you need to do to prepare to get hired
  • you have to conduct the assessment need of the illustration
  • you have to make illustrations according to the target audience
  • you may encounter opposition to your ideas
  • you will need to become familiar with computer software that is constantly changing and evolving
  • you may have to deal with difficult customers or clients
Related Professions to Consider
  • Graphic Designer
  • Medical Illustrator
  • Children's Book Illustrator
  • Courtroom Illustrator
  • Editorial Illustrator
  • Fashion Illustrator
  • Book Cover Illustrator
  • Greeting Card Illustrator
  • Advertising Illustrator
  • Conceptual Illustrator
Possible Interview Questions When Applying to be an Illustrator
  • When did you start illustrating?
  • What makes up an effective creative team?
  • What is your experience in the design and illustration field?
  • What is your educational background?
  • What things give you the greatest satisfaction at work?
  • What motivates you?
  • What are your computer skills do you have in illustration?
  • How is your material management?
  • What do you consider to be your greatest artistic achievement to date and why?
  • What are some of your strengths as an artist?
Common Collaborating Professions
  • Graphic Designer
  • Teacher
  • Engineer
  • Architect
  • Creative Director
  • Animator
  • Marketing Director
  • Cartoonist
  • Game Designer
  • Writer
Illustrator Training books Illustrator (More) Popular books Potential Companies to Work For Common College Majors
  • Art
  • Classical Studies
  • Design
  • English
  • Game Design
  • General Studies
  • Humanities
  • Interior Design
  • Fashion Design
  • Writing

Illustrator 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: Graphic designers

Total # Employed in the US 200,870
Average Hourly Wage: $22.99/hr
Hourly Wage Range
PERCENTILE
10%25%50%75%90%
$12.71 $15.93 $20.76 $27.95 $36.75
Average Yearly Salary $47,820
Yearly Salary Range
PERCENTILE
10%25%50%75%90%
$26,440 $33,130 $43,180 $58,140 $76,450
Employment Demographics
% OF WORKERS WITH
< High School Diploma High School Diploma Some College Associate Degree Bachelor Degree Master Degree Doctoral Degree
2.7% 13.0% 19.3% 14.1% 42.5% 7.1% 1.1%
Graphic designers — WAGES BY STATE, SORTED BY SALARY
STATEAverage Hourly WageAverage Annual Salary
Florida $32.74/hr $68,110
Colorado $27.49/hr $57,180
Oklahoma $27.25/hr $56,680
Delaware $26.82/hr $55,780
Mississippi $24.94/hr $51,880
Missouri $24.66/hr $51,290
Virginia $24.6/hr $51,170
Kansas $24.56/hr $51,080
North Dakota $24.45/hr $50,850
District of Columbia $23.28/hr $48,420
Idaho $23.13/hr $48,100
Indiana $22.76/hr $47,340
New York $22.35/hr $46,490
Nebraska $22.22/hr $46,220
Connecticut $21.68/hr $45,100
Wyoming $21.32/hr $44,350
Arkansas $21.3/hr $44,290
New Hampshire $21.24/hr $44,180
Tennessee $21.23/hr $44,150
Alabama $21.22/hr $44,130
Montana $20.67/hr $42,980
Ohio $20.62/hr $42,890
Utah $20.61/hr $42,870
Puerto Rico $20.5/hr $42,630
Guam $20.46/hr $42,550
Oregon $20.45/hr $42,540
South Carolina $20.39/hr $42,410
North Carolina $20.24/hr $42,100
Hawaii $20/hr $41,600
Alaska $19.83/hr $41,250
Maine $19.29/hr $40,120
Wisconsin $19.19/hr $39,910
Washington $19.07/hr $39,660
Michigan $18.89/hr $39,280
Kentucky $18.64/hr $38,780
Louisiana $18.62/hr $38,730
New Mexico $18.41/hr $38,290
New Jersey $17.99/hr $37,420
Massachusetts $17.52/hr $36,440
California $17.32/hr $36,030
Maryland $17.26/hr $35,910
Iowa $17.24/hr $35,860
South Dakota $17.12/hr $35,610
Nevada $16.64/hr $34,610
Pennsylvania $16.17/hr $33,630
West Virginia $15.44/hr $32,120


Category: Multi-Media 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%


Illustration Programs by State & City