Occupation Info


Overview: Illustrators draw, paint, or sketch scenes, persons or abstract forms to support and explain text material in books, speeches, advertisements or motion pictures. They formulate the concept and themes of their illustrations and present their ideas to clients for approval.
Duties: Interview clients to determine the purpose of the illustration, e.g., is it for advertising, supplementing text in books, exhibits, etc. Determine the theme or message to be communicated.

They prepare draft proposals of the illustration to capture the basic idea, drawing style and colors. They review the proposals with clients to decide upon a final choice.

They produce the final version of the illustration and combine it with the text or other artistic materials for the final product.

Attend artistic exhibits and workshops and conferences to get new ideas and learn about new materials and techniques that can be used in illustrations. Call upon clients for new business.

Degree(s): A.S. Music 
A.S. Dance 
A.S. Art: Concentrations in Art & Design or Art History 
A.S. Theatre: Concentrations in Acting or Technical Theatre 
Job Outlook: Employment of illustrators is expected to grow about as fast as the average for all occupations through 2018. Competition for jobs as artists will be keen because there are more qualified candidates than available jobs. Demand for illustrators who work on a computer will increase. Illustrators who work in publishing may see job opportunities decline as newspapers continue to cut staffs.
Salary Range (National Average): $27,000 to $32,000
Education Level: Training for this occupation generally requires an Associate Degree from a 2 year or community college.
Additional Training/Education: Illustrators should hold an associate or bachelor's degree in fine arts from a college or school of art. Specialized training in an art school is crucial in fields such as medical illustration. It is important for a new graduate to have a professional portfolio of work to show potential employers. Courses in computer-assisted design are helpful.
Recommended Skills:
  • Inspecting and testing products or services to assure they meet the desired specifications.
  • Talking, giving speeches, or speaking in a group to convey information, explain ideas, or give instructions.
  • Identifying the most appropriate equipment and tools needed to get a job done.
  • Weighing out the options in a situation or a problem and logically choosing the best course of action.
  • Analyzing requirements for a new product or service and creating a design to satisfy those needs.
  • Painting, drawing, crafting, sculpting and creative designing.
  • Using your hands to operated fine instruments and precision tools.
Recommended Values:
  • Being able to express creative ideas through the arts.
  • Doing something where you can physically see the results of your work.

* National data collected by the Department of Labor in 2014 with projections through 2024. For New York green job information .

* For New York salary data information .

* For New York green job information .

Understanding acquiring positions in this field may be enhanced through continuing academic study (i.e. earning a baccalaureate or a master's degree) and/or work experience in the field, Queensborough Community College has established transfer agreementswith other institutions for students who wish to further pursue their educational goals. Students are highly encouraged to meet with one of our Career Services to fully understand the opportunities available through study in their degree program.

Cultural Centers

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Kupferberg Holocaust Resource Center and Archives

Using the lessons of the Holocaust to educate current and future generations about the ramifications of unbridled prejudice, racism and stereotyping.

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QPAC: Performing Arts Center

QPAC is an invaluable entertainment company in this region with a growing national reputation. The arts at QPAC continues to play a vital role in transforming lives and building stronger communities.

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QCC Art Gallery

The QCC Art Gallery of the City University of New York is a vital educational and cultural resource for Queensborough Community College, the Borough of Queens and the surrounding communities.