A degree in illustration can open the door to a wide range of careers from advertising and publishing to medical and politics. Just a few job titles include book illustrator, advertising illustrator, medical illustrator, and political cartoonist. The state of Arizona is home to dozens of advertising agencies, publishing houses, and newspapers as well as hundreds of medical institutes that need illustrators to work in marketing, patient education, and exhibit creation. Just a few employment options include J. Walter Thompson (advertising), The Arizona Heart Institute, The Arizona Republic (Phoenix newspaper), and The University of Arizona Press.
The state is also home to dozens of graphic design companies, web design firms, and schools that are always looking for talent. The number of schools and job options make Arizona a great place to start a career in illustration. Not only this, but the state offers a good quality of life thanks to more sunny days per year than just about every other state, a lively art and culture scene (Arizona has more museums and art galleries than most other states), a low cost of living, and amazing scenery such as the Grand Canyon and the Colorado River.
Arizona Illustration Schools
Arizona is home to several art schools and traditional colleges that offer a degree in illustration or illustration Track. These schools offer a variety of degree levels including a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.), Bachelor of Fine Arts (B. F. A.), and a Master of Fine Arts (M.F.A.). Scroll through the list below see what Arizona’s illustration schools have to offer.
The Art Center College of Design – Degrees Offered: B. A. Illustration, Animation, Graphic Design
The University of Arizona – Degrees Offered: B. A. or B. F. A. Studio Art with Visual Communications Emphasis (Illustration or Design Track); M. F. A. Studio Art (Emphasis 2D Studies, 3D Studies)
More Arizona Schools with Illustration related programs:
- Atlanta, Georgia; Savannah, Georgia; Lacoste, France; and SCAD eLearning
Employment and Salary Trends for Arizona Illustrators
Arizona is home to hundreds of illustrators working in industries from advertising and publishing to legal and medical. In 2010, the state was home to 200 salaried Fine artists/illustrators and hundreds of self-employed illustrators. This is an increase over 2006, when the state was home to 150 artists. While the population of salaried illustrators increased, salaries decreased slightly. In 2006, Arizona illustrators earned $46,710. In 2010, they earned $45,100.
Nationwide, there are more than 23,000 salaried fine artists/illustrators and thousands of freelancers. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts a 9 percent increase in the population between 2008 and 2018, when the talent pool is expected to reach 25,700. In 2010, the median annual wages of illustrators nationwide were $42,650. The lowest paid illustrators earned less than $20,780, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $83,410. The middle 50 percent earned between $29,230 and $60,650.
It is important to note that the illustration field is filled with freelancers, independent contractors, and business owners. The Bureau does offer a few figures for these individuals. According to the Bureau, the average salary for independent artists is $51,340. However, “earnings for self-employed artists vary widely.” If you’re just starting out, you can expect to earn as much as the lowest paid salaried illustrators while gaining experience and establishing a reputation. Seasoned freelance artists may earn more than the highest paid salaried illustrators. Like other self-employed workers, however, freelance artists are responsible for their own benefits.