Computer Drawing Specialist Job Info

Learn about the type of work a computer drawing specialist performs. Explore education and training requirements in addition to necessary skills, employment outlook and salary to determine if this is the right career choice.

Career Definition for Computer Drawing Specialists

A computer drawing specialist might be found designing a well-known logo, working in the motion picture industry as a computer animator, teaching at a top university or generating art for display or sale at a gallery. In all cases, a computer drawing specialist applies a variety of software programs to a virtual art project much as a traditional artist applies pencil to paper. A computer drawing specialist has the expertise to use technology to render art in many formats. These specialists can pursue many different career paths, including computer graphics, computer-aided design or teaching computer arts.

Education Associate's degree for entry-level positions, bachelor's degree for upper-level positions; teachers will need a master's degree or additional teaching credentials
Job Skills Customer service, interpersonal skills, adaptability, artistic ability, mechanical aptitude
Median Salary $50,710 (architectural and civil drafters), $63,970 (multimedia artists and animators), $46,900 (graphic designers)
Career Outlook -3% (architectural and civil drafters), 6% (multimedia artists and animators), 1% (graphic designers)

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Education Required

An associate degree is required for most entry-level positions - such as graphic designer assistants or computer art technicians - in the computer drawing field. A bachelor's degree is needed for many of the higher-level jobs a computer drawing specialist might pursue, such as an architectural drafter or computer animator. Those who wish to teach computer drawing may need an additional teaching credential or master's degree, depending upon the school in which they want to work.

Skills Required

In all cases, artistic and mechanical ability and a high level of comfort with ever-changing computer technology are needed to succeed in a computer drawing career. Additionally, strong interpersonal skills will be required to work successfully with clients, engineers, contractors and the many other professionals you'll encounter as a computer drawing specialist.

Career and Economic Outlook

The opportunities for a computer drawing specialist are varied, as is the economic outlook. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that computer drawing specialists working as architectural drafters earned a median annual income of $50,710 as of May 2015. Those working as multimedia artists and animators earned a median salary of $63,970, and those working as graphic designers earned a median of $46,900.

The BLS projects 3% decline for jobs in the fields of architectural drafting, 1% growth for graphic design jobs, and 6% growth for the multimedia/animation field from 2014-2024. However, graphic designers as well as multimedia artists and animators who work in the computer systems design industry are predicted to find more job opportunities, per the BLS.

Alternative Careers

Related careers are:

Illustrator

For individuals interested in using both traditional drawing tools and computer technology to create art, a career as an illustrator could be a good choice. These professionals create artwork for publications, greeting cards and commercial products. No formal education requirements exist for illustrators, but many of these artists choose to pursue a fine arts degree to sharpen their skills, build a portfolio and learn new techniques. The BLS projected a 3% increase in job opportunities for fine artists, including illustrators, between 2014 and 2024. In May of 2015, the BLS determined that these artists received a median yearly wage of $46,460.

Web Developer

If using computer software to create images and designs for websites sounds interesting, becoming a web developer should be a career to consider. Web developers work with a team of designers to plan and create content for web pages. Using programming languages, they add images, text, video and other elements. Developers also fix issues and analyze site traffic.

Educational requirements are dependent on the employer, but generally, an associate degree in a web design field is sufficient to gain employment. However, some companies may require a computer science degree and courses in design. Job opportunities should be good for web developers during the 2014-2024 decade, with a 27% increase predicted by the BLS. These website professionals earned a median income of $64,970, according to BLS figures from 2015.


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