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Jobs that Require Drawing Skills

A woman drawing up plans for a an architectural project.

If you love to draw and you have a talent for it, you can parlay that into a wonderful career. You might think that you must limit yourself to a career as a painter or sketch artist, but many careers using this talent exist.

You can enjoy each day of your career-life doing your favorite creative activity. Of course, each of many careers involving drawing has its own requirements. Some only require art school while others involve earning a master’s degree.

Some of these careers involve drawing by hand, others use computer-assisted techniques, and some use unique media such as food.

Jobs that Require Drawing Skills

Advertising designer

A woman drawing up plans for advertising and marketing.

You could earn an average salary of $71,723 annually as an advertising designer. This position regularly uses calligraphy, graphic design, illustration, and photography, so it requires a range of artistic talents rather than just drawing skills. You must be able to conceptualize original and visually compelling designs for inclusion in digital and print advertisements.

These begin as basic sketches and develop into finished works of art for inclusion in an ad. They also need good presentation skills for pitching their ideas to both their marketing team and their clients.


Animators discussing an animation project.

You could earn an average salary of $17.20 per hour as an animator. The animator creates animated cells either by hand or on the computer for cartoons, educational courses, video games, and animated films. What often begins as a hand drawing, they transform into a two- or three-dimensional graphic animation using computer software.

They storyboard ideas and draw the animation. In many computer animation studios, a lead animator creates the unique art of the characters while a position called a tweener creates the drawings between two major cells.

Architectural drafter

Architect drawing up plans on an upright board.

You could earn an average salary of $60,786 per year as an architectural drafter. This position assists an architect by preparing detailed drawings and floor plans based upon the lead architect or client. They may use hand drafting or a CAD program to create these drawings.

Their work often includes drafting interior room specifications.

Art director

The art director checking on the photos of the photoshoot.

You could earn an average salary of $70,944 annually as an art director. You work your way up to this upper-level executive position, often beginning as a graphic artist, then a manager. This position guides the art or design team to create original works for each client.

They often mentor artists and other professionals in their offices. The art director exhibits impeccable drawing skills and capably oversees the development of both the theme and layout of an advertisement, fashion brand,  magazine, newspaper, etc. They previously created designs themselves and now oversee others in the process.

Art teacher

An art teacher instructing the student in drawing.

You could earn an average salary of $18.91 per hour as an art teacher. These individuals work at every education level. You might find a job doing this at a Montessori school or a college.

It is often taught at all education levels with high school and college the most common. You must earn both a bachelor’s and master’s degree to teach as well as earn a state certificate to teach in any US state. Some schools must follow a state-provided curriculum, others allow each teacher to develop their own curriculum and assignments.

You need talent as an artist, the ability to explain and show, by example, plus an innate ability to communicate and to work positively with children. You also must be able to adapt your teaching methods to a student’s learning style.

Cake decorator

A close look at a pastry chef decorating a cake.

Perhaps you love baking and drawing. You can earn a living as a cake decorator. You would earn an average of $25,090 annually. Instead of art school or college, you would graduate from a culinary school.

Your workday would include decorating multi-tiered wedding cakes, ornate birthday cakes with themed characters which may or may not use a baking form, so the cake takes the shape of a character. You might even design the baking form and make it to create a unique cake.

Costume designer

A costume design team working and discussing.

You could earn an average salary of $36,650 annually working as a costume designer. A costume designer might work in television, theater, or film, designing character costumes. This requires historical research, fashion design skills, and the ability to translate the director’s vision to clothing and textiles.

They also work with the art director and choreographer to ensure their designs and the material will suit the movement required of the actors. This career requires consummate communication skills and an associate’s or bachelor’s degree in fashion design.


The desk and drawing of a drafter with tools.

You could earn an average salary of $53,480 annually working as a drafter. In this position, you prepare technical drawings for engineers and architects based upon their measurements and rough schematics. You create precise technical drawings for construction crews and site managers to reference in the building of a structure.

Some drafters work with engineers to develop product schematics for use in manufacturing. Drafters typically specialize in a specific area, such as aeronautical, architectural, civil, electrical, electronics, mechanical, pipeline, and photovoltaic.

Each specialization includes its own tie-ins – architectural drafters integrate building codes with site plans; mechanical drafters integrate math formula; civil drafters integrate topographical maps and surveys, etc. This position requires a bachelor’s degree and expertise in CAD software.

Fashion designer

A fashion designer in action making designs.

You could earn an average salary of $16.13 per hour in the job of fashion designer. These artists exhibit both talents at hand drawing and the use of CAD programs. Designers of haute couture hand draw unique designs typically for their own fashion brand.

The majority of fashion designers work for off-the-rack apparel companies, taking inspiration from haute couture runway shows. These designers work using both hand drawing and CAD programs. The fashion designer must understand color theory, have a knowledge of fabrics and textiles, and artfully blend these together.

Concept artists

A concept and graphic artist doing a drawing.

You could earn an average salary of $55,682 annually with a career as a concept artist. These concept artists develop the artistic details that capture location or character expression in animations, comic books, graphic novels, films, illustrated storybooks, and video games. To bring out the characteristic expressions literally and figuratively, does require those skills.

You need hand-drawing skills and CAD skills to do this job. You also need consummate communication skills and an associate’s or bachelor’s degree in art, film, or animation.

Furniture designers

A furniture designer at work on a chair design.

You could earn an average salary of $57,350 annually with a career as a furniture designer. A furniture designer creates original designs based on client requests or their own inspiration. They may work independently or as a team member. Their furniture concepts must combine the aesthetic and the functional.

Some of these designers may also design sets or furniture for stage or film sets. The position also requires knowledge of business, finance, marketing, manufacturing, and sales. You need hand-drawing skills and CAD software skills and the ability to deftly design in 3D.

This designer also selects materials and textiles. Some may design and build bespoke pieces while other designers craft sample designs for client approval before going to manufacturing. A bachelor’s degree in art is common, while a Master’s of Fine Art is recommended.

Game designer

A game designer working on the terrain of the game.

You could earn an average salary of $85,240 annually. You’ll use CAD software for 2D or 3D game development. Many game designers also program computers, so they can create apps independently. These designers may create apps for arcade games, computer gaming, gaming consoles, online games, mobile phones, or tablets.

They can also work with a team that may include an audio engineer, graphic artists, a quality assurance tester, writers, editors, and other designers. When working alone, the entire game from concept to beta testing becomes their responsibility.

Graphic artist/designer

Graphic designers working on an aircraft model.

You could earn an average salary of $17.50 per hour or an annual salary of $56,030 working as a graphic designer. As a graphic designer, you create unique images for use in marketing and manufacturing. These might appear on product packaging, in ads, on clothing or websites, etc.

You need superb hand-drawing skills and CAD program talent. This position typically works with a creative team. This job requires a bachelor’s degree in fine arts, photography, 3D design, graphic design, or visual art.

Jewelry designer

A jewelry designer working on multiple necklaces.

You could earn an average salary of $54,484 annually. A jewelry designer sketches then create unique jewelry using materials such as gold, silver, platinum, and semi-precious and precious stones. This requires talent using a variety of materials and may require metalworking. This job requires a bachelor’s degree in fine art, fashion design, or textile design.


An illustrator at work on a sketch with a pencil.

You could earn an average salary of $43,756 annually working as an illustrator. You would create the original drawings for any print or digital advertisement or publication. They develop these designs to be used for web advertising, logos, and children’s book images as well as drawings to be included in reports, print media, store displays, billboards, and commercials.

Illustrators can be employed by a business entity or a contract agency or they can be self-employed freelancers.

Industrial designer

An industrial designer working on small parts of a machine.

You could earn an average salary of $62,704 annually as an industrial designer. Industrial designers develop the schematics for cars, toys, stereos, etc. Their educations combine both art and engineering to conceive and design functional and aesthetic products.

Interior designer

A close look at an interior designer working on the plan.

You could earn an average salary of $58,197 annually as an interior designer. Your daily duties would involve creating breathtaking and functional indoor and outdoor residential, commercial, industrial, and public spaces. You would work on new buildings and on renovating or remodeling projects.

The interior designer both hand-sketches room layouts with built-ins and furnishings and use CAD to create presentation designs to show clients. You may work with a furniture designer to create pieces for a client or shop for furnishings for the client’s space. You need a good taste, superior communication skills, and drawing talent.

Landscape architect

This is a close look at a landscape architect working on the backyard design.

You could earn an average salary of about $70,000 annually as a landscape architect. You need superior hand-drawing skills, drafting skills, and CAD design skills for this position which creates complex outdoor designs of green spaces, parks, yards, etc.

You also need extensive knowledge of plant life and which plants thrive in specific environments. You’ll also work in various hardscapes and often collaborate with architects or urban planners. This career requires a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in landscape architecture.

Makeup artist

A makeup artist doing body paint for a model.

You could earn an average salary of $24,300 annually as a makeup artist. You would combine a love of cosmetics and art. While most people think of MUAs as doing people’s facial makeup, these artists also work doing body painting. They may create complex makeup using water or oil-based paints to transform a human being into a character using makeup and paintbrushes.

You can start with a certificate from a cosmetology school, but more advanced work typically requires a bachelor’s degree in art.

Motion graphics designer

You could earn an average salary of $70,289 annually as a motion graphics designer. This position adds visual effects and cinema effects to existing animations. It requires intimate knowledge of CAD software, 2D and 3D graphic and video design, plus the ability to work with claymation and to create special effects for television and film.

You need a film degree at the bachelor’s level to get started in this career.

Multimedia Artist

This is a still of a claymation skit of a man and woman.

You could earn an average salary of $63,800 annually as a multimedia artist. You would work on a team with animators to create animations using CAD programs, 2D or 3D designs in video modeling software, and using animation techniques including claymation and CGI for use in films, music videos, special effects, commercials, or electronic games. You work with a team including other artists, writers, audio engineers, and programmers.

You do need hand-drawing skills and terrific communication skills. The post requires a bachelor’s degree in at least one of the following:  graphic designs, visual art, fine arts, digital photography, 3D designing, computer science, multimedia animation, or software development.


A car painter using an airbrush tool on the red car.

You could earn an average salary of $37,570 annually as a painter. Whether you paint homes, autos, boats, or commercial and industrial complexes, painters get creative in a technical manner every day. House painting interiors or exteriors requires vocational skills that you can pick up during high school.

You can then obtain on-the-job training. More complex assignments, such as painting murals may require art classes and a portfolio.

Tattoo artist

A tattoo artist working on a client's forearm tattoo.

You could earn an average salary of $51,921 annually as a painter. As a tattoo artist, you would paint your art onto a client’s skin using special equipment that injects the ink into their skin using needles. These artists create original designs as well as drawing onto the client art that they bring into the shop.

This position requires great communication skills, and the ability to scale art, determine appropriate placement, and conceptualize a design. Your work must be flawless since you have no ability to erase a mistake. You need vocational training and licensing from your state of residence.

Technical illustrator

A technical illustrator working on the container of the product.

You could earn an average salary of $17.50 per hour. Using hand drawing and CAD software, the technical illustrator creates graphics for technical publications, books, and user manuals. They also illustrate product descriptions or flesh out ideas from text descriptions and/or product prototypes.

You would need a bachelor’s degree for this position.

Textile designer

A textile designer working with various fabric samples.

You could earn an average salary of $23.45 per hour as a textile designer. Textile designers develop repeat designs by hand illustration or using CAD software. These designs are either printed on, knitted into, or woven into the fabric yardage to be used for apparel, curtains, or furniture upholstery.

They often work on a freelance basis but can be employed by a fabric manufacturer or apparel brand. Textile designers are also responsible for researching and forecasting trends for their product specialty.

Urban planner

This is a close look at an urban planning team at work.

You could earn an average salary of about $70,000 annually as an urban planner. This position requires both a bachelor’s and a master’s degree and both hand drafting and sketching abilities combined with knowledge of and prowess with GIS and remote sensing.

You combine satellite data with topographical maps or other map types to create designs for environmental plans, land developments, planned unit developments, etc. You would also design housing developments from scratch, plotting each lot of land, streets, green spaces, etc.