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The pay for illustrations can be as little as a credit in the beginning of your career when it is important just to get exposure, but in general, illustrators are paid per image they produce or for a group of images created for a single project. Some illustrators can earn several thousand dollars for a single illustration, depending on the type of illustration and the client. Freelance work is often uncertain because of the fluctuation in pay rates and steadiness of work. The U.S. Department of Labor reports that median earnings for salaried fine artists, including painters, sculptors, and illustrators, were $49,380 a year in May 2018. The top 10 percent earned more than $97,710, and the bottom 10 percent earned $20,020 or less.

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