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The job of a concept artist is to make visual representations of creatures, characters, environments, vehicles, and other artistic assets. You should know about the design and how to create one that needs to blend well with any creative project. Your typical job includes drawing or painting these creative assets and providing references for any ideas you need to illustrate. The general qualifications needed to become a successful concept artist include illustration skills, design understanding, and knowledge of Photoshop.

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Concept Artist Responsibilities

Here are examples of responsibilities from real concept artist resumes representing typical tasks they are likely to perform in their roles.

  • Create many MEL scripts to help automate routine daily tasks and improve overall productivity.
  • Apply 3D knowledge to produce zBrush sculpted/texture character busts to provide better visualization for concepts select in-game.
  • Create pitches for new and old IP.
  • Create art assets such as 3D models, UV maps, textures, and concept art.
  • Rig character for animation in Maya.
  • Design & animate VFX for mobile games!
  • Prepare 3D models for production using Maya 3d.
  • Create 3d and 2d vector assets for facebook game
  • Assist with QA of code within Xcode environment.
  • Create character concepts and models for an unreleas online game
  • Develop designs and character concepts for PC and App games.
  • Establish the overall visual aesthetic for in-game and marketing assets.
  • Create an environmental concept piece base off a layout for a theme park.
  • Train groups of artists in ZBrush and 3DSMax techniques for next-gen art pipeline.
  • Help the sole FX artist by creating, implementing and integrating additional particle FX.

Concept Artist Job Description

Perhaps the hardest question to answer when deciding on a career as a Concept Artist is "should I become a Concept Artist?" You might find this info to be helpful. When compared to other jobs, Concept Artist careers are projected to have a growth rate described as "as fast as average" at 4% from 2018 through 2028. This is in accordance with the Bureau of Labor Statistics. What's more, is that the projected number of opportunities that are predicted to become available for a Concept Artist by 2028 is 3,000.

On average, the Concept Artist annual salary is $89,408 per year, which translates to $42.98 an hour. Generally speaking, Concept Artists earn anywhere from $58,000 to $136,000 a year, which means that the top-earning Concept Artists make $78,000 more than the ones at the lower end of the spectrum.

Once you've become a Concept Artist, you may be curious about what other opportunities are out there. Careers aren't one size fits all. For that reason, we discovered some other jobs that you may find appealing. Some jobs you might find interesting include a Graphic Designer/Production, Visual Merchandiser, Visual Designer, and Graphic Designer Internship.

Concept Artist Jobs You Might Like

5 Concept Artist Resume Examples

Concept Artist Skills and Personality Traits

We calculated that 11% of Concept Artists are proficient in Storyboard, Maya, and Art Direction. They’re also known for soft skills such as Artistic talent, Communication skills, and Computer skills.

We break down the percentage of Concept Artists that have these skills listed on their resume here:

  • Storyboard, 11%

    Created character designs, environment/architecture concept art, storyboards, cinematic illustrations, and helped pitch new projects

  • Maya, 10%

    Sketched raw ideas, Modeled and Rendered them in MAYA.

  • Art Direction, 7%

    Gained experience working collaboratively with a team while receiving art direction.

  • Graphic Design, 7%

    Develop graphic design and marketing materials.

  • Design Concepts, 6%

    Produce design concepts for environments, characters and hundreds of vehicles.

  • Photoshop, 5%

    Edited hundreds of product photography daily utilizing advanced Photoshop tools and techniques

"Storyboard," "Maya," and "Art Direction" aren't the only skills we found Concept Artists list on their resumes. In fact, there's a whole list of Concept Artist responsibilities that we found, including:

  • Artistic talent can be considered to be the most important personality trait for a Concept Artist to have. According to a Concept Artist resume, "Animators and artists should have artistic ability and a good understanding of color, texture, and light" Concept Artists are able to use Artistic talent in the following example we gathered from a resume: "Provide vocal talents; help to create sound effects and VFX. "
  • While it may not be the most important skill, we found that many Concept Artist duties rely on Communication skills. This example from a Concept Artist explains why: "Multimedia artists and animators need to work as part of a team and respond well to criticism and feedback." This resume example is just one of many ways Concept Artists are able to utilize Communication skills: "Created CAD visuals for junior department as well as created all store communication planograms. "
  • Computer skills is also an important skill for Concept Artists to have. This example of how Concept Artists use this skill comes from a Concept Artist resume, "Many multimedia artists and animators use computer programs or write programming code to do most of their work." Read this excerpt from a resume to understand how vital it is to their everyday roles and responsibilities, "Used computer software to take images that the team and I drew and upload them in to video games. "
  • In order for certain Concept Artist responsibilities to be completed, the job requires the skill "Time-management skills." According to a Concept Artist resume, "The workdays required by most studio and game design companies can be long, particularly when there are tight deadlines" As an example, this snippet was taken directly from a resume about how this skill applies: "Created 100+ finished paintings under tight deadlines while maintaining high quality standards. "
  • Another common skill for a Concept Artist to be able to utilize is "Creativity." Artists and animators must be able to think creatively to develop original ideas and make them come to life. A Concept Artist demonstrated the need for this skill by putting this on their resume: "Communicated well with creative director and team leads to produce conceptual assets for Wizard 101 and unannounced MMO titles. "
  • See the full list of Concept Artist skills.

    We've found that 75.3% of Concept Artists have earned a bachelor's degree. Furthermore, 6.7% earned their master's degrees before becoming a Concept Artist. While it's true that most Concept Artists have a college degree, it's generally possible to become one with only a high school degree. In fact, one out of every eight Concept Artists did not spend the extra money to attend college.

    Those Concept Artists who do attend college, typically earn either Graphic Design degrees or Animation degrees. Less commonly earned degrees for Concept Artists include Fine Arts degrees or Photography degrees.

    When you're ready to become a Concept Artist, you might wonder which companies hire Concept Artists. According to our research through Concept Artist resumes, Concept Artists are mostly hired by Activision Blizzard, Meta, and Electronic Arts. Now is a good time to apply as Activision Blizzard has 4 Concept Artists job openings, and there are 3 at Meta and 2 at Electronic Arts.

    But if you're interested in companies where you might earn a high salary, Concept Artists tend to earn the biggest salaries at Facebook, Microsoft, and Sony Corporation of America. Take Facebook for example. The median Concept Artist salary is $166,182. At Microsoft, Concept Artists earn an average of $150,632, while the average at Sony Corporation of America is $117,600. You should take into consideration how difficult it might be to secure a job with one of these companies.

    View more details on Concept Artist salaries across the United States.

    The three companies that hire the most prestigious concept artists are:

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    What Graphic Designer/Productions Do

    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.

    In this section, we take a look at the annual salaries of other professions. Take Graphic Designer/Production for example. On average, the Graphic Designer/Productions annual salary is $39,876 lower than what Concept Artists make on average every year.

    While the salaries between these two careers can be different, they do share some of the same responsibilities. Employees in both Concept Artists and Graphic Designer/Productions positions are skilled in Art Direction, Graphic Design, and Design Concepts.

    As far as similarities go, this is where it ends because a Concept Artist responsibility requires skills such as "Storyboard," "Maya," "Zbrush," and "Game Engine." Whereas a Graphic Designer/Production is skilled in "Adobe Creative Suite," "Company Website," "Final Layouts," and "Signage." So if you're looking for what truly separates the two careers, you've found it.

    Graphic Designer/Productions tend to make the most money in the Finance industry by averaging a salary of $66,101. In contrast, Concept Artists make the biggest average salary of $100,837 in the Media industry.

    The education levels that Graphic Designer/Productions earn is a bit different than that of Concept Artists. In particular, Graphic Designer/Productions are 3.9% less likely to graduate with a Master's Degree than a Concept Artist. Additionally, they're 0.0% more likely to earn a Doctoral Degree.

    What Are The Duties Of a Visual Merchandiser?

    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.

    The next role we're going to look at is the Visual Merchandiser profession. Typically, this position earns a lower pay. In fact, they earn a $46,402 lower salary than Concept Artists per year.

    In addition to the difference in salary, there are some other key differences that are worth noting. For example, Concept Artist responsibilities are more likely to require skills like "Storyboard," "Maya," "Art Direction," and "Graphic Design." Meanwhile, a Visual Merchandiser might be skilled in areas such as "Customer Service," "Store Management," "Sales Goals," and "Sales Floor." These differences highlight just how different the day-to-day in each role looks.

    On average, Visual Merchandisers earn a lower salary than Concept Artists. There are industries that support higher salaries in each profession respectively. Interestingly enough, Visual Merchandisers earn the most pay in the Retail industry with an average salary of $33,956. Whereas, Concept Artists have higher paychecks in the Media industry where they earn an average of $100,837.

    On the topic of education, Visual Merchandisers earn similar levels of education than Concept Artists. In general, they're 4.2% less likely to graduate with a Master's Degree and 0.0% more likely to earn a Doctoral Degree.

    How a Visual Designer Compares

    A visual designer is someone who creates designs for a variety of platforms such as Internet and intranet sites, games, and wearables. The duties of visual designers depend on the specific project or industry in which they are working. Duties include creating user-centered interaction models, working with information technology and business teams to resolve complex issues, and designing logos, icons, and infographics. The qualifications to become a visual designer include possessing strong problem-solving, communication, and negotiation skills and obtaining a bachelor's degree in design.

    The third profession we take a look at is Visual Designer. On an average scale, these workers bring in lower salaries than Concept Artists. In fact, they make a $2,506 lower salary per year.

    Using Concept Artists and Visual Designers resumes, we found that both professions have similar skills such as "Maya," "Art Direction," and "Graphic Design," but the other skills required are very different.

    Some important key differences between the two careers are a few of the skills necessary to fulfill responsibilities. Some examples from Concept Artist resumes include skills like "Storyboard," "Zbrush," "Game Engine," and "Visual Style," whereas a Visual Designer might be skilled in "Online," "Adobe Creative Suite," "Design Solutions," and "Photography. "

    Visual Designers make a very good living in the Technology industry with an average annual salary of $100,045. Whereas Concept Artists are paid the highest salary in the Media industry with the average being $100,837.

    Visual Designers are known to earn similar educational levels when compared to Concept Artists. Additionally, they're 2.1% more likely to graduate with a Master's Degree, and 0.1% more likely to earn a Doctoral Degree.

    Description Of a Graphic Designer Internship

    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.

    The fourth career we look at typically earns lower pay than Concept Artists. On average, Graphic Designer Interns earn a difference of $50,523 lower per year.

    While their salaries may vary, Concept Artists and Graphic Designer Interns both use similar skills to perform their jobs. Resumes from both professions include skills like "Art Direction," "Graphic Design," and "Design Concepts. "

    While some skills are shared by these professions, there are some differences to note. "Storyboard," "Maya," "Zbrush," and "Game Engine" are skills that have shown up on Concept Artists resumes. Additionally, Graphic Designer Internship uses skills like Adobe Creative Suite, Company Website, Blog Posts, and Communication on their resumes.

    In general, Graphic Designer Interns make a higher salary in the Hospitality industry with an average of $49,375. The highest Concept Artist annual salary stems from the Media industry.

    In general, Graphic Designer Interns reach similar levels of education when compared to Concept Artists resumes. Graphic Designer Interns are 4.6% less likely to earn their Master's Degree and 0.0% more likely to graduate with a Doctoral Degree.