Updated August 18, 2021
Average Artist Salary
$72,000 yearly
$34.84 hourly

Entry level Salary
$50,000 yearly
10 %
90 %
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PercentileAnnual SalaryMonthly SalaryHourly Rate
90th Percentile$103,000$8,583$50
75th Percentile$87,000$7,250$42
25th Percentile$60,000$5,000$29
10th Percentile$50,000$4,167$24

Average Artist Salary By State

The darker areas on the map show where artists earn the highest salaries across all 50 states.

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Average Salary:

Artist average salary by State

StateAvg. salaryHourly rateJob Count
District of Columbia$54,842$26.3744
New Hampshire$61,640$29.6345
New Jersey$56,500$27.1677
New Mexico$63,734$30.6425
New York$56,734$27.28403
North Carolina$56,068$26.96148
North Dakota$48,328$23.2311
Rhode Island$60,028$28.8625
South Carolina$57,807$27.7956
South Dakota$51,036$24.5416
West Virginia$53,869$25.9014

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Highest Paying Cities For Artist

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CityAvg. salaryHourly rate
Novato, CA$69,253$33.29
Reno, NV$67,273$32.34
Austin, TX$63,695$30.62
Baton Rouge, LA$62,590$30.09
Port Saint Lucie, FL$61,331$29.49
Bellevue, WA$60,890$29.27

The largest raises come from changing jobs.

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How much does an Artist make?

The average Artist salary is $72,459 per year, or $34.84 per hour, in the United States. People on the lower end of that spectrum, the bottom 10% to be exact, make roughly $50,000 a year, while the top 10% makes $103,000. As most things go, location can be critical. Alaska, California, Nevada, Oregon, and Arizona provide the highest Artist salaries.

Average Artist Salary Over Time

Compare salaries for individual cities or states with the national average.

    YearAvg. salaryHourly rate% Change

    How Much Do Artists Make In Different Industries?

    Artist salaries can vary on many factors, including what industry a job is in. In fact, jobs with Media, Finance, and Retail companies tend to be the highest paying. Furthermore, an Artist can make a yearly salary of $91,871 while working for Media companies. All the while, other Artists are making $79,321 at Finance companies and $77,554 at Retail companies. One industry Artists may want to avoid is the Hospitality industry as it offers the lowest average salary at $70,278.
    RankIndustryAverage Artist SalaryArtist Salary Range

    High Paying Artist Jobs

    Average JOB Salary by Field

    Visual Merchandiser

    Avg. salary: $55,553

    A visual merchandiser is responsible for arranging product displays at retail outlets, attracting customers to purchase the items. Visual merchandisers should be updated with the latest trends in the market to prioritize retail displays and floor plans. They must also be knowledgeable on product information to assist customers with their inquiries and concerns. Visual merchandisers should be creative in setting up the uniformity of the store's visuals within the budget goals. The designs must be appealing enough to drive the customers around the premises, potentially generating revenues and increasing profitability.
    71,121 Visual Merchandiser Jobs
    Freelance Designer

    Avg. salary: $67,072

    Freelance designers are creative, independent contractors who create visual and graphic designs for their clients. They develop text and illustrated versions of brands, messages, and communications with strong visible influence with their clients. Typical activities include networking, seeking projects, and negotiating prices to their customers. They manage client proposals, develop concepts, present solutions, and ensure the timely completion of projects. Freelance visual and graphic designers are creative, self-motivated as well as result and deadline oriented.
    45,352 Freelance Designer Jobs
    Graphic Designer Internship

    Avg. salary: $44,499

    In a graphic design internship, one of the primary responsibilities is to accomplish tasks while under the supervision of more experienced colleagues. An aspiring graphic designer may use this opportunity to observe and participate in designing for various industries, handle different clients, participate in creative meetings, and learn strategies from experts. Furthermore, there may also be technical tasks involving research and analysis, gathering materials, coordinating with vendors, and producing reports and other necessary documentation. They may also be responsible for maintaining a database and responding to calls and inquires.
    119,309 Graphic Designer Internship Jobs
    Graphic Designer/Production

    Avg. salary: $48,365

    A Graphics Designer in production is the person in charge of designing and interpreting ideas pointed out by the client or the company. The graphics designer must use market standard applications and techniques to produce attention-grabbing designs intended to market a product, service, or company. Graphic designers are an integral part of a company's digital marketing, especially over the internet. The graphic designer must have a good eye for style, typesetting, and the use of colors.
    82,376 Graphic Designer/Production Jobs
    Graphic Designer, Marketing

    Avg. salary: $44,082

    A graphic designer of marketing specializes in developing creative imagery as part of a company's marketing efforts. Their responsibilities typically revolve around coordinating with the marketing team to share insights and strategies, conceptualizing designs in adherence to objectives and deadlines, and preparing presentations. One may also subject designs into various revisions and edits as needed. Furthermore, as a graphic designer, it is also essential to keep abreast of the latest trends and have an understanding of the target audience.
    109,139 Graphic Designer, Marketing Jobs
    Motion Graphics Designer

    Avg. salary: $59,746

    A motion graphic designer specializes in producing artworks used in television, film, and web. Their responsibilities often revolve around submitting within a deadline, attending creative meetings, collaborating with fellow designers, following directives from clients, producing trial designs, and editing them in adherence to senior designers or clients' recommendations. There are also instances when a motion graphic designer must manage documentation, address inquiries and concerns, and report to higher-ranking personnel. Furthermore, one may choose to work for a company or independently.
    42,666 Motion Graphics Designer Jobs
    Job TitleAnnual SalaryMonthly SalaryHourly RateJob Openings
    Visual Merchandiser$55,553$4,629$26.7171,121
    Freelance Designer$67,073$5,589$32.2545,352
    Graphic Designer Internship$44,500$3,708$21.39119,309
    Graphic Designer/Production$48,366$4,030$23.2582,376
    Graphic Designer, Marketing$44,083$3,674$21.19109,139
    Motion Graphics Designer$59,746$4,979$28.7242,666
    Job Openings

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    Which Companies Pay Artists The Most?

    If you insist on knowing when your check is going to come and for how much, then you'd be better off working for companies like Pixar and Cbs as they offer the highest salaries for Artists.

    How much should you get paid?

    Tell us about yourself to get a free, personalized Zippia Salary Report and suggestions on how to increase your pay.

    Recently Added Artist Salaries

    CompanyJobLocationDate AddedSalary
    PeoplereadyPhotoshop ArtistEvansville, IN12/17/2021$27,131
    PeoplereadyPhotoshop ArtistEvansville, IN12/17/2021$27,131
    The CreperieCrepe ArtistHelena, MT12/11/2021$20,870
    The CreperieCrepe ArtistHelena, MT12/11/2021$20,870
    LeidosVFX ArtistReston, VA12/02/2021$57,200
    LeidosVFX ArtistReston, VA12/02/2021$57,200
    Randstad UsFX ArtistBend, OR12/01/2021$71,000
    University of CaliforniaArtist (Graphic Designer)Davis, CA10/29/2021$51,945
    Randstad UsLighting ArtistRedmond, WA10/21/2021$73,045
    Randstad UsLighting ArtistSan Mateo, CA10/14/2021$150,000

    Average Artist Salary by Demographic

    Artist Gender Pay Gap

    Male Income
    Female Income
    Median Artist Income by Race
    Black or African American Artists have the highest average salary compared to other ethnicities. White Artists have the lowest average salary at $77,539.
    Black or African American
    Hispanic or Latino
    Black or African American$82,497
    Hispanic or Latino$78,318
    Average Artist Salary by Education Level
    Artists with a Bachelors degree earn more than those without, at $82,813 annually. With a Masters degree, Artists earn a median annual income of $77,430 compared to $76,608 for Artists with an Associate degree.
    High School Diploma or Less
    Some College/ Associate Degree
    Bachelor's Degree
    Master's Degree
    High School Diploma or Less$66,873
    Some College/ Associate Degree$76,608
    Bachelor's Degree$82,813
    Master's Degree$77,430

    Artist Salaries FAQs

    Can artists make a good living?

    Yes, artists can make a good living. Despite the adage about starving artists, you can make a comfortable living as an artist with the right planning and training.

    Step one: don't put your eggs all in one basket. Meaning, it's important for an artist to have multiple revenue streams. These can include art galleries, market websites (e.g., Etsy, eBay, OfferUp), social media, local festivals, and even the coffee shop down the street.

    As for your art, thinking outside the box and aiming for originality and uniqueness is essential. To sell art, it's important to grab the viewer's attention with pieces that are distinctly different from what already exists. It's also important to cultivate the unique aesthetic style that sets you apart from other artists.

    Finally, have the right mindset. This includes having enough motivation and determination to make a lot of art, as well as the hustle to get your art across those multiple revenue streams we talked about. Finally, an artist needs to take criticism with civility and adapt their art.

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    How much do most artists make a year?

    The average art job pays around $44,898 a year, ranging between $24,000 to $108,873. One reason for so much variability is because there are so many different types of artists and artist jobs.

    Artist Type and Pay Rate:

    • Art Director,- $94,220

    • Multimedia Artist - $75,270 a year

    • Fashion Designer - $73,790 a year

    • Lead Technical Artist - $89,999 a year

    • Senior Environment Artist - $89,634 a year

    • Platform Artist - $82,135 a year

    • Technical Artist - $78,384 a year

    • Lead Environment Artist - $74,144 a year

    • Industrial Designer - $68,890 a year

    • Landscape Architect - $69,360 a year

    • Graphic Designer - $52,110 a year

    • Interior Designer - $56,040 a year

    • Drafter - $56,830 a year

    • Musician - $39,300 a year

    • Video Editor - $63,780 a year

    • Fine artist - $56,025 a year

    The location also plays a role in how much you can make as an artist.

    Highest-paid cities include:

    • San Francisco, CA - $57,471 a year

    • Fremont, CA - $55,075 a year

    • San Jose, CA - $53,563 a year

    • Oakland, CA - $52,961 a year

    • Tanaina, AK - $52,766 a year

    • Hayward, CA - $51,852 a year

    • Jackson, WY - $51,727 a year

    • Norwalk, CT - $51,612 a year

    • Sunnyvale, CA - $51,602 a year

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    How much does a fine artist earn?

    A fine artist earns an average of $56,025 a year. However, this can range from as low as $19,570 a year to as high as $122,900 a year. One reason there is such high variability is that fine artists come in many shapes and colors.

    The work of fine artists is to produce artwork using a wide variety of media and techniques. This includes Painters, Sculptors, Book Illustrator, Caricature Artist, Comic Artist, Comic Book Artist, Comic Illustrator, Commercial Artist, Concrete Sculptor, Editorial Cartoonist, Fashion Illustrator, and Freelance Artist.

    Highest-paying states for a fine artist:

    • California - $85,840 a year

    • Connecticut - $81,910 a year

    • New Jersey -$72,280 a year

    • Massachusetts - $68,060 a year

    • Minnesota - $67,860 a year

    • Maryland - $64,920 a year

    • Michigan - $64,470 a year

    Lowest-paying states for a fine artist.

    • South Carolina - $24,010 a year

    • Puerto Rico - $34,280 a year

    • North Carolina - $39,040 a year

    • Missouri - $39,080 a year

    • Tennessee - $43,560 a year

    • Indiana - $43,680 a year

    • Arizona - $47,050 a year

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