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Salary, Wages, Pay: Artists and Related Workers




Median annual earnings of salaried art directors were $61,850 in 2002. The middle 50 percent earned between $44,740 and $85,010. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $32,410, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $115,570. Median annual earnings were $67,340 in advertising and related services.

Median annual earnings of salaried fine artists, including painters, sculptors, and illustrators, were $35,260 in 2002. The middle 50 percent earned between $23,970 and $48,040. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $16,900, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $73,560.

Median annual earnings of salaried multi-media artists and animators were $43,980 in 2002. The middle 50 percent earned between $33,970 and $61,120. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $25,830, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $85,160. Median annual earnings were $58,840 in motion picture and video industries.

Earnings for self-employed artists vary widely. Some charge only a nominal fee while they gain experience and build a reputation for their work. Others, such as well-established freelance fine artists and illustrators, can earn more than salaried artists. Many, however, find it difficult to rely solely on income earned from selling paintings or other works of art. Like other self-employed workers, freelance artists must provide their own benefits.