Artist Salary and Wage Information

Wage Rate Low (<10%) Median (50%) High (>90%)
Hourly Wage $10.10 $25.85 $47.10
Annual Wage $21,000 $53,700 $97,900
  • "Low (<10%)" indicates that 10% of workers earned less and 90% earned more.
  • "Median (50%)" indicates that 50% of workers earned less and 50% earned more.
  • "High (>90%)" indicates that 90% of workers earned less and 10% earned more.
  • "N/A" indicates that data in not available
*The annual salary and wage data presented above represents U.S, Based workers with full-time employment and year-round schedules.

Additional Information
Artists design, illustrate, or portray a wide variety of ideas using a wide variety of mediums. An artist may portray ideas related to history, nature, fantasy, literature, or pure imagination, depending on the demands of the project and the artist's goals. Artists may work in a number of mediums, such as paint, ink, clay, collage, digital software, metal, stone, and more. Some artists create work for commercial purposes, others create work purely for its aesthetic value.

As of 2012, the median annual wage for artists was $58,460. The lowest ten percent of art directs earned less than $21,000 a year, while the top ten percent earned more than $98,000 a year.

For the top five industries where artists and related workers are employed, the median annual salaries are as follows:

Federal Executive Branch $73,000
Personal Care Services $37,100
Advertising, PR, etc. $65,150
Higher Education Institutions $52,800
Misc. Store Retailers $38,950
The figures above are based on full time employment.

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