Online Illustration Degrees
Illustrators are employed all across the American job spectrum to create visual graphics that present ideas and augment text. Students who study illustration at college degree or arts training programs find careers in advertising, public relations, the news media, in education, healthcare, sales and manufacturing, and entertainment sectors. They can work as designers of digital and print presentations, publications, greeting cards, medical and scientific applications.
Colleges and independent art schools offer training programs and undergraduate degrees dedicated to illustration, or at least offer an illustration focus within a larger graphics arts curriculum. Courses in a comprehensive illustration program often introduce students to a combination of hands-on drawing methods in addition to computer-aided illustration software used in commercial print and online publishing.
Among the illustration trades, multi-media artists should have the greatest number of job opportunities over the next decade, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). For those who wish to work in the scientific or medical illustration trades, there are college degree programs that include coursework in anatomy, physiology, chemistry, or geology. Often illustration training programs include studies in broad artistic techniques, including sketching, printmaking, color theory, sculpture, painting, and art history.
The BLS reports that artists and illustrators held approximately 208,000 jobs in 2004, with about 29,000 jobs with median annual earnings between $25,990 and $51,730. Multi-media artists earned between $37,980 and $70,730. With experience, illustration and arts specialists can rise to positions as art directors with design, media, and advertising companies. The top percentage of art directors earned more than $123,320 in 2004.