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Medical Illustration Major

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Medical Illustration

42 Bachelor's Degrees Annually
40 Master's Degrees Annually
#89 in Popularity
$58,370 Median Salary

Types of Degrees Medical Illustration Majors Are Getting

The following table lists how many medical illustration/medical illustrator graduations there were in 2018-2019 for each degree level.

Education Level Number of Grads
Bachelor’s Degree 42
Master’s Degree 40
Graduate Certificate 2

What Medical Illustration Majors Need to Know

O*NET surveyed people in occupations related to medical illustration/medical illustrator and asked them what knowledge areas, skills, and abilities were important for their jobs. The responses were rated on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being most important.

Knowledge Areas for Medical Illustration/Medical Illustrator Majors

This major prepares you for careers in which these knowledge areas are important:

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  • Design - Knowledge of design techniques, tools, and principles involved in production of precision technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.
  • Computers and Electronics - Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Fine Arts - Knowledge of the theory and techniques required to compose, produce, and perform works of music, dance, visual arts, drama, and sculpture.
  • Education and Training - Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.

Skills for Medical Illustration/Medical Illustrator Majors

When studying medical illustration/medical illustrator, you’ll learn many skills that will help you be successful in a wide range of jobs - even those that do not require a degree in the field. The following is a list of some of the most common skills needed for careers associated with this major:

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  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Active Learning - Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
  • Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.

Abilities for Medical Illustration/Medical Illustrator Majors

As you progress with your medical illustration/medical illustrator degree, there are several abilities you should pick up that will help you in whatever related career you choose. These abilities include:

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  • Originality - The ability to come up with unusual or clever ideas about a given topic or situation, or to develop creative ways to solve a problem.
  • Visualization - The ability to imagine how something will look after it is moved around or when its parts are moved or rearranged.
  • Fluency of Ideas - The ability to come up with a number of ideas about a topic (the number of ideas is important, not their quality, correctness, or creativity).
  • Visual Color Discrimination - The ability to match or detect differences between colors, including shades of color and brightness.
  • Arm-Hand Steadiness - The ability to keep your hand and arm steady while moving your arm or while holding your arm and hand in one position.

What Can You Do With a Medical Illustration Major?

People with a medical illustration/medical illustrator degree often go into the following careers:

Job Title Job Growth Rate Median Salary
Fine Artists, Including Painters, Sculptors, and Illustrators 6.8% $49,380

Who Is Getting a Bachelor’s Degree in Medical Illustration?

42 Bachelor's Degrees Annually
86% Percent Women
10% Percent Racial-Ethnic Minorities*
The major attracts more women than men. About 86% of the recent graduates in this field are female.

Racial-Ethnic Diversity

At the countrywide level, the racial-ethnic distribution of medical illustration/medical illustrator majors is as follows:

Racial-Ethnic Diversity of Medical Illustration/Medical Illustrator Students with Bachelor's Degrees
Race/Ethnicity Number of Grads
Asian 2
Black or African American 1
Hispanic or Latino 1
White 32
International Students 2
Other Races/Ethnicities 4

Geographic Diversity

Students from other countries are interested in Medical Illustration/Medical Illustrator, too. About 4.8% of those with this major are international students.

How Much Do Medical Illustration Majors Make?

Salaries According to BLS

The median salary for someone in a career related to medical illustration/medical illustrator is $58,370. This median refers to all degree levels, so you may expect those with a more advanced degree to make more while those with less advanced degrees will typically make less.

To put that into context, according to BLS data from the first quarter of 2020, the typical high school graduate makes between $30,000 and $57,900 a year (25th through 75th percentile). The average person with a bachelor’s degree (any field) makes between $45,600 and $99,000. Advanced degree holders make the most with salaries between $55,600 and $125,400.

Median Salary for a Medical Illustration Major  58,370
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Median Salary for a High School Graduate  ( 30000 to 57900 )
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250K
Median Salary for a Bachelor's Degree Holder  ( 45600 to 99000 )
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250K
Median Salary for an Advanced Degree Holder  ( 55600 to 125400 )
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250K

Some careers associated with medical illustration/medical illustrator require an advanced degree while some may not even require a bachelor’s. In general, the more advanced your degree the more career options will open up to you. However, there is significant time and money that needs to be invested into your education so weigh the pros and cons.

How much schooling do you really need to compete in today’s job market? People currently working in careers related to medical illustration/medical illustrator have obtained the following education levels.

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Education Level Percentage of Workers
High School Diploma - or the equivalent (for example, GED) 27.7%
Post-Secondary Certificate - awarded for training completed after high school (for example, in agriculture or natural resources, computer services, personal or culinary services, engineering technologies, healthcare, construction trades, mechanic and repair technologies, or precision production) 0.3%
Some College Courses 37.5%
Bachelor’s Degree 35.6%
First Professional Degree - awarded for completion of a program that: requires at least 2 years of college work before entrance into the program, includes a total of at least 6 academic years of work to complete, and provides all remaining academic requirements to begin practice in a profession. 0.3%

Online Medical Illustration Programs

In the 2018-2019 academic year, 11 schools offered some type of medical illustration/medical illustrator program. The following table lists the number of programs by degree level, along with how many schools offered online courses in the field.

Degree Level Colleges Offering Programs Colleges Offering Online Classes
Certificate (Less Than 1 Year) 0 0
Certificate (1-2 years) 0 0
Certificate (2-4 Years) 0 0
Associate’s Degree 0 0
Bachelor’s Degree 0 0
Post-Baccalaureate 0 0
Master’s Degree 4 0
Post-Master’s 1 0
Doctor’s Degree (Research) 0 0
Doctor’s Degree (Professional Practice) 0 0
Doctor’s Degree (Other) 0 0

Is a Degree in Medical Illustration Worth It?

The median salary for a medical illustration/medical illustrator grad is $58,370 per year. This is based on the weighted average of the most common careers associated with the major.

This is 46% more than the average salary for an individual holding a high school degree. This adds up to a gain of about $369,400 after 20 years!

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You may also be interested in one of the following majors related to medical illustration/medical illustrator.

Major Number of Grads
Medical Informatics 1,497
Other Medical Illustration and Informatics 43

References

*The racial-ethnic minorities count is calculated by taking the total number of students and subtracting white students, international students, and students whose race/ethnicity was unknown. This number is then divided by the total number of students at the school to obtain the racial-ethnic minorities percentage.

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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