How to become a medical illustrator

What does an illustrator do?

Illustrators are artists who capture stories, actions and facts in pictures. You give them a face with their drawings, whether in a children's book, a newspaper or on product packaging.

tasks and activities

Illustrators work where texts come to life through images. you visualize a story or a brand message and deal with the history of a company, the goal of an advertising campaign or the thoughts of an author. To the visual key messages to design appropriately, do research If necessary, they intensively use the background knowledge that they need to be authentic Illustration need. They don't just design images, but also vivid Graphicswho have favourited the written word visualize, support or supplement

Typical industries

A broad field of activity opens up for illustrators. you illustrate numerous publications, from school or children's books to scientific treatises, such as scientific, historical or medical texts, to articles in magazines. Another big one Range of activities for illustrators, the advertising. There they illustrate product packaging or posters.

What does an illustrator do?

  • Research of customer needs
  • Converting texts into images
  • Drawing and painting of cartoons, pictures in books or magazines
  • Design of product packaging and posters

Are you looking for an innovative illustrator?

Hard skills and soft skills

The profession of illustrator is not protected. In addition to the ability to to draw and to to paint, or to be able to deal with modern drawing programs on computers, an illustrator must have no specific professional skills feature. Nevertheless, it helps him if he is familiar with the subject and if he works his way into assignments. Only in this way can he deliver the best possible result. Illustrators also have a special one flair For Form and color theory As well as their effect. Theoretical knowledge in the field of art history is therefore a clear advantage in the marketplace.

The soft skills are much more important for illustrators. A basic artistic talent is just as advantageous as a high one creativity and fantasy. Illustrators have good skills Observation and are able to make out details that form a visual message make it come alive. They are also able to work cleanly and on schedule even under pressure.

What does an illustrator have to be able to do?

  • Knowledge in the field of art
  • Creative talent
  • Observation
  • Accuracy and stress resistance

Tedious project acquisition?


The term "Illustrator" is in Germany not protected, which is why there is no standardized training. On the labour market can be found both untrained Illustrators who show their skills in Self study as well as media and graphic designers and people from others Apprenticeships in the creative field. Many illustrators have one Academic degree in art, communication design, architecture or painting - often with a focus illustration.


Illustrators can rely on artistic Specialize in areas such as painting and drawing techniques and styles. You also have the opportunity to concentrate on industries. So to illustrate some illustrators only Children's books, others work exclusively on Product promotion.


The average salary of an illustrator when starting his career is around 20,000 euros gross per year. Depending on the company, experience and reputation, experienced illustrators earn around the 30,000 euros. Top earners reach over 40,000 euros per year.

How much does an illustrator earn?

Starting salary20,000 euros
Average salary30,000 euros
Senior salary40,000 euros

How much does an illustrator earn as a freelancer?

The average Freelancer hourly rate of an illustrator 54 euros. Extrapolated to an 8-hour day, that is Daily rate at about 432 euros (freelancermap price index - as of December 2019).

Illustrator hourly rate40 €50 €54 €65 €

Q1 means that 25 percent of salaries are below this value. Q3 means that 25 percent of salaries are above this value. The median denotes the middle of all data; 50 percent are above or below. The mean is the average.

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