Student Goals:
Introduce students the career options of the art and design field.

Student Objectives:
Provided with multiple lectures, examples, study guides, guided practices and student resources, the students will be able to demonstrate an understanding of the art and design careers, by producing various portfolio based projects the demonstrate the skills and knowledge established by the Program Of Study, to a task completion rate of 80% or higher after 2 years in the program.

Program Of Study Requirements:
101 - Identify career paths within the vocational profession.
102- List occupational requirements.
103 - Demonstrate research and organizational skills.


Career Exploration:

009001   13.1.11  A.  Relate careers to individual interests, abilities, and aptitudes.

009002   13.1.11  B.  Analyze career options based on personal interests, abilities, aptitudes, achievements, and goals.

009003   13.1.11  C.  Analyze how the changing roles of individuals in the workplace relate to new opportunities within career choices.

 009024  13.3.11 D. Develop a personal budget based on career choice.


How Do I Become a Professional Illustrator or Artist?

Learn how to become a professional illustrator. Research the education, career requirements and experience required for starting a career as a professional illustrator.



Should I Become a Professional Illustrator or Artist?

Professional illustrators are fine artists who produce pictures found in books and publications. With the advancement in technology, illustrators can use computer software programs to create images through techniques like drawing and stenciling.


An illustrator is considered a special type of fine artist. Fine artists are employed by businesses, or work for themselves. Artists that are self-employed create their own schedules, but weekend and evening hours are common. Freelance artists need to promote and advertise their business, and there could be time lapses between clients. Thus, they have less job security than artists hired by a company. Talent, experience, and illustration skills are preferred over education; however, enrolling in a formal training program helps individuals improve their artistic abilities and provides them with portfolio, art samples.


Career Requirements

Degree Level - High school diploma or equivalent, many fine artists pursue an undergraduate or graduate degree


Degree Field - Fine arts, illustration, multimedia or another related arts program


Experience - Two to five years


Key Skills

Creative and artistic ability, manual dexterity to create illustrations, interpersonal skills for marketing, proficient in illustration software programs like Adobe Illustrator and InDesign

Salary (2014)


$43,890 per year (Median salary for all fine artists, including painters, sculptors, and illustrators

Sources:, Job postings (August 2012), U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)


Step 1: Learn to Draw or Create Images

Before considering formal training or even thinking about a career as a professional illustrator or artist, artists must learn how to draw. Artists and illustrators often develop a personal style. Whether it is through a sketchbook or computer illustration program, learning how to draw and create images will be an essential part of becoming an artist.


Success Tip:

Assemble a portfolio. Some formal training programs require applicants to submit a portfolio for admission consideration. Artwork done at school or home can be used to represent an artist's best work and talent.


Step 2: Consider Formal Training Program

Fine artists, including illustrators, generally pursue formal training programs to improve artistic skills and career prospects. Undergraduate and graduate programs like a Bachelor of Fine Arts or Master or Fine Arts are available to teach students about drawing, the history of art and 3D illustration. Students take elective courses to learn how to draw human figures, create children's illustrations, develop book illustrations, and use computer art programs. The work completed in these courses is ideal for inclusion in an artist's portfolio.


Success Tip:

Consider medical illustration training. Studying medical illustration at the graduate level can help increase job opportunities, according to the BLS. Medical illustration master's degree programs teach illustrators how to develop detailed images of various living organisms and medical procedures.


Step 3: Look for Employment Opportunities

Career opportunities are available in a variety of industries, and illustrators can find employment creating drawings for greeting companies, publishers and engineering companies. Recent graduates can search for employment through job postings and submit their portfolios for review. Illustrators may also need to continue drawing to keep their skills up-to-date while they look for a job.


Success Tip:

Consider self-employment. To be successful as a self-employed illustrator it's a good idea to specialize in a field like cartoons or children's books. A freelancer has to constantly search for new projects, but once the artist establishes a reputation it's easier to keep regular clients and attract new ones.


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A Central Montco Technical High School Program!


Students must be prepared to make a major commitment. It is our assumption that students entering the program are here to lay a foundation for a career in a design field and will be required to meet rigorous and stringent standards. Strong communication skills, both verbal and written, are required as is the ability to read and analyze. Serious students will find that the program will provide them with an excellent opportunity to develop the skills necessary to succeed in the job market or advance in education. _Most of the students graduating from the program _continue their education.


Steve Bross

Commercial Art Instructor


Central Montco Technical High School

821 Plymouth Road

Plymouth Meeting, PA 19462


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