IllustratorJob Description, Salary, Career Path, and Trends

Illustrators are artists that use their imaginative skills to create images for various types of companies. You will need excellent drawing, sketching, and painting skills, as well as strong communication skills to succeed in this role.

Illustrators are responsible for creating intrinsic images that tell a story or express an idea or feeling to their clients. People in this field typically use digital media to complete their work, requiring illustrators to understand and utilize CAD software. It is important for illustrators to work with the company’s team to help turn concepts into clever marketable images.

This job opportunity gives individuals the creative freedom to make high-quality pieces for the clients they work with. The longer a person works with their clients, the easier it will be to get their name out there and demonstrate their talent to others. Illustrators that are able to meet strict deadlines and are precise in the work they accomplish will be rewarded with new clients and greater compensation.

Sample job description #1


  • Responsible for producing:
  • Quick Idea Sketches
  • Concept Drawings
  • Final Product Drawings
  • Full Color Product Renderings
  • All Control/Industrial Drawings


  • Contributes to the creation of new product concepts & market segment suggestions for the organization
  • Responsible for inspiration boards based on projects requesting design
  • Performs the 3D model printing tasks that include converting .stp files to .stl files, setting up 3D printer communication, model tray layout, cleaning support from models, ordering supplies, etc.
  • Paint 3D models to accurately represent future products in both color and detail for customer presentation purposes
  • Responsible for constructing thorough R&D packages, which include industrial control drawings, product measurements, texture references, product functions, and more
  • Assists in determining color specifications for products in development
  • Create clay models based on Illustrations/Drawings to help communicate concept
  • Examine CAD drawings, clays, 3D models, and product samples by providing feedback and required revisions


  • Aid team in gathering competitive research, online consumer’s inputs and more
  • Responsible for research on the pet industry, human marketplace online, and in-store
  • Gather consumer reviews on existing products in the marketplace
  • Organizes the information in a logical and clear format to aid in current & future product concepts
  • Assists in the compilation of research into meaningful and thorough documents for the team as well as the CEO, Marketing, and R&D departments

Sample job description #2

This role will provide illustrative and graphic design support to several of our internal departments, as well as external stakeholders and clients. Our ideal candidate should be able to perform well under tight deadlines and be able to manage several long-term projects concurrently with short-term ones as well. These projects may include making high-impact key art for gaming brands, creating digital assets for digital advertising, advertising decks, websites, and social media.


  • Manage all steps of the illustration process starting with rough sketches to communicate your ideas and ending with delivering high-quality photorealistic or stylized key art
  • High attention to detail and work within diverse and established brand guidelines
  • Brainstorm and pitch ideas to appeal to a US gaming audience in addition articulating your concepts and decisions
  • Create and deliver character concept art to internal and external clients
  • Develop illustrative work for our Video Team
  • Provide support to the Graphic Design team as needed
  • Creating logos for our websites including but not limited to Fanbyte and Wowhead
  • Collaborate with various departments including marketing, sales, and website production
  • Ability to work on creative concepts on a team and individually
  • Receive, understand, and apply constructive criticism


  • 3-5 years of professional illustration experience
  • Ability to work in different styles, such as photorealistic and stylized
  • Fluency with Photoshop and Illustrator
  • understanding of visual storytelling
  • good understanding of anatomy
  • strong drawing/linework ability
  • Strong typography, illustration, and conceptual skills
  • Strong communication skills and familiarity with task assignment through Asana
  • Passionate gamer with knowledge of various properties, communities, and trends

Nice to have experience and skills

  • Experience with social media marketing and/or games marketing

Sample job description #3

This position is for someone who wants to learn new things, get their hands dirty, and dive into a fast-paced environment. Applicants should have a proven track record of an impeccable work ethic, ability to meet deadlines, and self-motivation.


  • Visualize core concepts to make scientific, abstract, or complex topics understandable, relatable, and engaging
  • Research existing styles and collaborate to develop differentiated approaches.
  • Create in various transmedia formats from websites to social, from video (short narrative and documentary) to original illustrations, animation, pop-art, print, and or experiential
  • Draft storyboards for animations that visualize voice over scripts
  • Work in Adobe Creative Suite to create animation assets such as vector graphics, gifs, and artwork


  • Highly creative, collaborative, and organized
  • Proven excellence creating in multiple formats and styles for multiple end user groups
  • Comfortable acting with a sense of urgency and purpose while being able to manage multiple projects simultaneously
  • Collaborative in the revision and approval process until the final design is approved
  • 5+ years of experience in a design capacity
  • Creative Agency or equivalent experience preferred
  • Samples of creative briefs or case study samples required

Average salary and compensation

The average salary for illustrator is $56,950 in the United States. Position salary will vary based on experience, education, company size, industry, and market.

LocationSalary LowSalary High
Phoenix, Arizona$78,050$105,600
Los Angeles, California$88,050$119,150
Denver, Colorado$73,350$99,300
Washington, DC$89,412$120,950
Miami, Florida$73,050$98,850
Orlando, Florida$67,350$91,150
Tampa, Florida$68,050$92,050
Atlanta, Georgia$71,350$96,550
Chicago, Illinois$82,050$111,050
Boston, Massachusetts$88,700$120,050
Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota$70,750$95,650
New York City, New York$93,400$126,350
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania$76,050$102,900
Dallas, Texas$74,050$100,200
Houston, Texas$73,700$99,750
Seattle, Washington$85,400$115,550
National Average$66,700$90,250

Sample interview questions

  • What resources and techniques did you use to design your most recent pieces?
  • What kind of design software do you have experience using?
  • How do you keep up with new techniques and tools?
  • How do you find inspiration for an illustration?
  • How do you overcome creative block?
  • What would you do if a client rejected all of your presented drafts?
  • How do you work with a client that doesn’t know what they want?
  • Tell me about a time you had to work under pressure to meet a tight deadline.
  • Do you have experience working in a creative team?
  • How do you decide which pieces to add to your portfolio?
  • How do you start a new project and how do you know when a project is complete?
  • If you need more time on a project, would you ask the client for an extension or turn in what you have completed by the deadline?
  • What would you do if a printed design looks different than how you designed it digitally?
  • How much time did you have to complete [X] piece?

Illustrator Jobs in Ashburn

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