Architectural Illustrator

Create 3D digital designs of a building.
picture of Architectural Illustrator

Quick Stats

Salary Range
$30,000 – $72,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor

What do Architectural Illustrators do?

For those who don’t have the skills (that is, those without an architecture degree), seeing what a building will look like just by reading a blueprint can be a difficult thing. But for an Architectural Illustrator, it’s all in a day’s work. An Architectural Illustrator acts as a kind of Translator, turning confusing design directions into 2D or 3D pictures of a future building.

As an Architectural Illustrator, you work mostly with Architects to turn the image and design ideas in their heads into something everyone can understand. You might work with a Landscape Architect to show off the garden they’re planning for a college campus, a regular Architect to explain how their finished apartment building will fit with the rest of the street, or a City Planner to illustrate their concept of how a new outdoor shopping area will work.

You get your directions for how the picture should look directly from the Architect. Once you have your instructions, you start drawing using pen, pencil, paint, or even specialized computer design programs. You can create illustrations of the house or building from all angles, including from up above or far away to include how the backyard will look.

The pictures you create have a lot of uses. They might convince potential developers to support a future project. They could also be used by Real Estate Agents to show homeowners what their new place will look like. Or they could be incorporated into presentations in an effort to win bids, or for stockholders to explain business growth.

Should I be an Architectural Illustrator?

You should have a bachelor's degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Trustworthy: You are known for your personal integrity and honesty.
  • Reliable: You can always be counted on to do a good job.
  • Team Player: You're able to listen, communicate, and work with tons of different people.

  • How to Become an
    Architectural Illustrator

    Most Architectural Illustrators have a Bachelor's degree. Chart?chd=s:agc9ea&chl=no+college+%281%25%29|certificate+%288%25%29|associate%27s+%283%25%29|bachelor%27s+%2882%25%29|master%27s+%286%25%29|&cht=p3&chs=466x180&chxr=0,1,82
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