Find The Best Visual Artist Jobs For You

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Average Salary
$74,591
Average Salary
Job Growth Rate
4%
Job Growth Rate
Job Openings
12,755
Job Openings

Visual Artist Careers

Visual artists can be found in almost any industry, but they thrive more specifically in animation, game development, film production, and other similar artistic fields. They are highly creative professionals that work on projects focused on visual art. Any big-name movie, advertising campaign, or art installation needs at least one visual artist at the helm.

Most employers require their visual artists to at least have a college diploma. We found that employed American visual artists commonly hold degrees in fine arts, graphic design, photography, and animation.

A visual artist in the United States earns an average yearly salary of roughly about $94,000. That's more or less $45 an hour. Suppose you want to cash in a bigger paycheck. In that case, you might want to look for employers that offer more competitive salaries like Nvidia, Truth Hardware, Columbia Pictures Industries, or NBC Universal, which pay $106,000 or more to their visual artists on average.

There is more than meets the eye when it comes to being a visual artist. For example, did you know that they make an average of $35.86 an hour? That's $74,591 a year!

Between 2018 and 2028, the career is expected to grow 4% and produce 3,000 job opportunities across the U.S.

What Does a Visual Artist Do

There are certain skills that many visual artists have in order to accomplish their responsibilities. By taking a look through resumes, we were able to narrow down the most common skills for a person in this position. We discovered that a lot of resumes listed artistic talent, communication skills and computer skills.

When it comes to the most important skills required to be a visual artist, we found that a lot of resumes listed 13.6% of visual artists included maya, while 11.4% of resumes included visual development, and 10.8% of resumes included graphic design. Hard skills like these are helpful to have when it comes to performing essential job responsibilities.

When it comes to searching for a job, many search for a key term or phrase. Instead, it might be more helpful to search by industry, as you might be missing jobs that you never thought about in industries that you didn't even think offered positions related to the visual artist job title. But what industry to start with? Most visual artists actually find jobs in the retail and technology industries.

How To Become a Visual Artist

If you're interested in becoming a visual artist, one of the first things to consider is how much education you need. We've determined that 63.2% of visual artists have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 8.3% of visual artists have master's degrees. Even though most visual artists have a college degree, it's possible to become one with only a high school degree or GED.

Choosing the right major is always an important step when researching how to become a visual artist. When we researched the most common majors for a visual artist, we found that they most commonly earn bachelor's degree degrees or associate degree degrees. Other degrees that we often see on visual artist resumes include master's degree degrees or high school diploma degrees.

You may find that experience in other jobs will help you become a visual artist. In fact, many visual artist jobs require experience in a role such as graphic designer. Meanwhile, many visual artists also have previous career experience in roles such as artist or internship.

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Average Salary
$74,591
Average Salary
Job Growth Rate
4%
Job Growth Rate
Job Openings
12,755
Job Openings

Visual Artist Career Paths

Top Careers Before Visual Artist

Artist
9.4 %

Top Careers After Visual Artist

Artist
12.5 %

Visual Artist Jobs You Might Like

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Tell us your goals and we'll match you with the rights job to get there.

Average Salary for a Visual Artist

Visual Artists in America make an average salary of $74,591 per year or $36 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $112,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $49,000 per year.
Average Salary
$74,591
Find Your Salary Estimate
How much should you be earning as an Architect? Use Zippia's Salary Calculator to get an estimation of how much you should be earning.

Best Paying Cities

City
ascdesc
Average Salarydesc
Redmond, WA
Salary Range80k - 143k$108k$107,619
Sacramento, CA
Salary Range71k - 122k$94k$93,586
New York, NY
Salary Range51k - 97k$71k$71,122
Boston, MA
Salary Range49k - 92k$68k$67,551
Houston, TX
Salary Range50k - 87k$67k$66,630
Sarasota, FL
Salary Range42k - 75k$57k$56,522
$35k
$143k

Recently Added Salaries

Job TitleCompanyascdescCompanyascdescStart DateascdescSalaryascdesc
Multimedia Visual Effects Artist
Multimedia Visual Effects Artist
CoSA VFX, Inc.
CoSA VFX, Inc.
09/04/2020
09/04/2020
$150,00009/04/2020
$150,000
Visual Development Artist
Visual Development Artist
Riot Games, Inc.
Riot Games, Inc.
05/11/2020
05/11/2020
$104,31205/11/2020
$104,312
Visual Effect Artist
Visual Effect Artist
Muse VFX LLC
Muse VFX LLC
05/04/2020
05/04/2020
$68,16205/04/2020
$68,162
Visualization Artist
Visualization Artist
Halon Entertainment LLC
Halon Entertainment LLC
04/30/2020
04/30/2020
$76,17604/30/2020
$76,176
Visualization Artist
Visualization Artist
Halon Entertainment LLC
Halon Entertainment LLC
04/30/2020
04/30/2020
$77,11504/30/2020
$77,115
See More Recent Salaries

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Visual Artist Demographics

Gender

male

57.6 %

female

37.2 %

unknown

5.2 %

Ethnicity

White

73.1 %

Hispanic or Latino

11.6 %

Asian

8.3 %

Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

25.0 %

French

14.6 %

German

10.4 %
See More Demographics

Visual Artist Education

Majors

Fine Arts
25.5 %

Degrees

Bachelors

63.2 %

Associate

12.6 %

Certificate

10.0 %

Top Colleges for Visual Artists

1. University of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, PA • Private

In-State Tuition
$55,584
Enrollment
10,764

2. Northeastern University

Boston, MA • Private

In-State Tuition
$51,522
Enrollment
13,760

3. Harvard University

Cambridge, MA • Private

In-State Tuition
$50,420
Enrollment
7,582

4. New York University

New York, NY • Private

In-State Tuition
$51,828
Enrollment
26,339

5. Carnegie Mellon University

Pittsburgh, PA • Private

In-State Tuition
$55,465
Enrollment
6,483

6. University of Southern California

Los Angeles, CA • Private

In-State Tuition
$56,225
Enrollment
19,548

7. University of Texas at Austin

Austin, TX • Public

In-State Tuition
$10,610
Enrollment
40,329

8. Stanford University

Stanford, CA • Private

In-State Tuition
$51,354
Enrollment
7,083

9. Northwestern University

Evanston, IL • Private

In-State Tuition
$54,568
Enrollment
8,451

10. University of Michigan - Ann Arbor

Ann Arbor, MI • Public

In-State Tuition
$15,262
Enrollment
30,079
See More Education Info

Online Courses For Visual Artist That You May Like

After Effects - Motion Graphics & Data Visualization
udemy
4.6
(5,605)

Using Adobe After Effects create beautiful VFX Visual Effects, data visualization & VFX Compositing...

Visual Effects for Games in Unity - Beginner To Intermediate
udemy
4.6
(1,687)

By the end of this course you will have started your own portfolio as a Triple-A Visual Effects artist for Games...

Fundamentals of VFX
udemy
3.6
(287)

The Complete Guide to Creating High-End Visual Effects...

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Top Skills For a Visual Artist

The skills section on your resume can be almost as important as the experience section, so you want it to be an accurate portrayal of what you can do. Luckily, we've found all of the skills you'll need so even if you don't have these skills yet, you know what you need to work on. Out of all the resumes we looked through, 13.6% of visual artists listed maya on their resume, but soft skills such as artistic talent and communication skills are important as well.

Best States For a Visual Artist

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as a visual artist. The best states for people in this position are Washington, Maine, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island. Visual artists make the most in Washington with an average salary of $105,068. Whereas in Maine and New Hampshire, they would average $105,002 and $104,395, respectively. While visual artists would only make an average of $103,378 in Rhode Island, you would still make more there than in the rest of the country. We determined these as the best states based on job availability and pay. By finding the median salary, cost of living, and using the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Location Quotient, we narrowed down our list of states to these four.

1. New Hampshire

Total Visual Artist Jobs:
45
Highest 10% Earn:
$181,000
Location Quotient:
1.38
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

2. Washington

Total Visual Artist Jobs:
195
Highest 10% Earn:
$177,000
Location Quotient:
1.44
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

3. Rhode Island

Total Visual Artist Jobs:
26
Highest 10% Earn:
$178,000
Location Quotient:
1.15
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here
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Top Visual Artist Employers

1. DreamWorks Animation
3.3
Avg. Salary: 
$74,591
Visual Artists Hired: 
15+
2. The Walt Disney Company
4.8
Avg. Salary: 
$123,678
Visual Artists Hired: 
7+
3. Activision Blizzard
4.7
Avg. Salary: 
$77,323
Visual Artists Hired: 
5+
4. Nvidia
4.8
Avg. Salary: 
$124,020
Visual Artists Hired: 
4+
5. San Jose State University
4.4
Avg. Salary: 
$49,095
Visual Artists Hired: 
4+
6. Independent Artists
2.9
Avg. Salary: 
$102,262
Visual Artists Hired: 
3+