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Adobe Photoshop Illustrator: Job Description & Info

Read about a career in Adobe Photoshop illustration. Research the educational and skill requirements, and learn about the job description and employment and salary outlook for an Adobe Photoshop illustrator.

Job Definition for an Adobe Photoshop Illustrator

Adobe Photoshop illustrators are specific types of graphic designers who use computer applications like Adobe Photoshop to create graphics and illustrations. Rather than starting with a blank canvas, Photoshop illustrators work in depth on one or more photographs taken for a project, stretching the bounds of reality through edits and artistic adjustments to multiple images in a myriad of ways. Adobe Photoshop illustrators are frequently employed by advertising firms, publishing houses and graphic design firms. Typical duties of an Adobe Photoshop illustrator include brainstorming ideas, sketching, creating draft illustrations, discussing ideas with co-workers and finalizing illustrations.

Education Bachelor's degree
Job Skills Strong computer and marketing skills, knowledge of Adobe Photoshop and design principles, and good communication and teamwork skills
Median Salary (2018)* $50,370 (for graphic designers)
Job Growth (2016-2026)* 4% (for graphic designers)

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Educational Requirements

While the education requirements for a career as an Adobe Photoshop illustrator vary by employer and position, most jobs require a bachelor's degree in graphic design or a related field. For some employers, you may be able to substitute a combination of experience and education. Common courses in a bachelor's degree program that can prepare you for a career in graphic design include fundamentals of design, Photoshop basics, illustrator basics, color theory and figure drawing.

Required Skills

If you're hoping to work as an Adobe Photoshop illustrator, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that you need the following traits:

  • Extremely strong computer skills
  • Understanding of Adobe Photoshop, as well as competing illustrator programs
  • Thorough knowledge of design and aesthetic principles
  • Ability to work well in a team and communicate one's ideas clearly
  • Marketing skills

Employment and Salary Outlook

While jobs in graphic design, including positions for Adobe Photoshop illustrators, are expected to remain competitive, the employment outlook is good. The BLS projected that employment in this field should grow by 4% from 2016-2026. According to the BLS in May 2018, graphic designers had a median salary of $50,370. The BLS also noted that the specialized design services industry offered the highest level of employment in the same year.


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