Home » Cartoonist

Description: Cartoonists have a natural talent for drawing that can be transformed into various mediums. Their work can appear in magazines, newspapers, graphic novels, computer games, and/or Internet publications.

Knowledge Required:  A cartoonist must have the artistic ability and strong communication skills. One must have the knowledge and understanding of local and global issues in order to create captivating stories. Strong artistic and business skills are required to have when working with various clients.

Skills: Attention to detail, illustration, drawing, graphic design, communication, computer-aided design, sense of humor, creativity critical-thinking and storytelling.

Career Path: No formal training is necessary to become a cartoonist.  There are illustration and figure drawing courses offered at various colleges and universities that would hone in on your craft. It may be of interest to study business practices. Most cartoonists are freelancers; therefore they manage their own projects and business.

Best Cities for this job: Los Angeles, California; Portland, Oregon; New York City, New York; Washington D.C.

Median Annual Income: National: $54,450 Starting: $30,000. Disclaimer: The Bureau of Labor Statistics does not track the salaries of cartoonists. The salaries found are from industry sources.

Future Growth: Cartoonists should experience a growth rate of just 8 from 2013 to 2020. The number of syndicated cartoonists is around 250, the 8 percent equates to the creation of 20 new slots over the years.

From the field: “I really try my best to focus on issues concerning communities of color because I just don’t see that stuff tackled enough in cartooning and political cartoons” – Keith Knight

Did You Know:  In Japan, more paper is used to print comic books than to make toilet paper! 


View more Day at Work videos »