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Highest Paying Industries for Fine Artists, Including Painters, Sculptors, and Illustrators

The top 77 highest paying industries for fine artists, including painters, sculptors, and illustrators (ranked by average annual salary) are listed in Table 1. The entry level salary (as measured by the salary of the lowest 10% paid earners) and the number of employment in those industries are also shown. As shown in the table, with an average annual salary of $94,660, wholesale electronic markets and agents and brokers is the highest paying industry for fine artists, including painters, sculptors, and illustrators. It is followed by software publishers industry (average annual salary $89,750). The salary and employment information is computed from data published by U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics in May 2015 [1]. For more information about salaries of fine artists, including painters, sculptors, and illustrators in a specific industry, use the links in the table.

Table 1. 77 Highest Paying Industries for Fine Artists, Including Painters, Sculptors, and Illustrators

Industry Average Salary i # of
Empl. i
1 Wholesale Electronic Markets and Agents and Brokers
$94,660
n/a
2 Software Publishers
$89,750
480
3 Research and Development in the Physical, Engineering, and Life Sciences
$80,910
90
4 Scientific Research and Development Services
$79,440
n/a
5 Temporary Help Services
$75,510
110
6 Employment Services
$73,790
120
7 Administrative and Support Services
$71,610
130
8 Administrative and Support and Waste Management and Remediation Services
$71,610
130
9 Computer and Electronic Product Manufacturing
$70,150
40
10 Engineering Services
$70,120
30
11 Publishing Industries (except Internet)
$69,950
950
12 Health Care and Social Assistance
$67,370
60
13 Wholesale Trade
$65,750
320
14 Federal Executive Branch (OES Designation)
$64,790
140
15 Information
$63,810
1,940
16 Federal government, including USPS
$63,800
140
17 Advertising, Public Relations, and Related Services
$60,410
160
18 Architectural, Engineering, and Related Services
$59,920
100
19 Motion Picture and Video Industries
$59,160
950
20 Motion Picture and Sound Recording Industries
$59,080
960
21 Lime and Gypsum Product Manufacturing
$57,610
n/a
22 Newspaper, Periodical, Book, and Directory Publishers
$54,170
480
23 Management of Companies and Enterprises
$53,610
60
24 Miscellaneous Nondurable Goods Merchant Wholesalers
$52,580
50
25 Other Services (except Federal, State, and Local Government)
$52,030
1,380
26 Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services
$51,730
870
27 Public sector -- Federal, state, and local government, including government owned schools and hospit
$50,400
700
28 Federal, State, and Local Government (OES Designation)
$50,010
400
29 Federal, State, and Local Government
$50,010
400
30 Colleges, universities, and professional schools - Privately owned
$49,210
90
31 Miscellaneous Manufacturing
$48,890
220
32 Other Miscellaneous Manufacturing
$48,520
210
33 Colleges, Universities, and Professional Schools
$48,390
360
34 Educational Services - State government owned
$48,260
280
35 Merchant Wholesalers, Durable Goods
$48,180
60
36 Colleges, universities, and professional schools - State government owned
$48,020
280
37 Newspaper Publishers
$47,820
180
38 Merchant Wholesalers, Nondurable Goods
$47,240
100
39 Amusement Parks and Arcades
$47,020
140
40 Management, Scientific, and Technical Consulting Services
$46,390
80
41 Manufacturing
$46,110
850
42 Miscellaneous Durable Goods Merchant Wholesalers
$45,770
40
43 State government, including schools and hospitals
$45,280
370
44 Educational Services
$44,840
680
45 Local government, including schools and hospitals
$40,860
200
46 State Government, excluding schools and hospitals (OES Designation)
$40,670
80
47 Educational Services - Privately owned
$40,610
390
48 Paper and Paper Product Merchant Wholesalers
$40,550
40
49 Specialized Design Services
$40,370
330
50 Foundries
$39,740
n/a
51 Printing and Related Support Activities
$39,700
60
52 Building Finishing Contractors
$37,790
n/a
53 Nonstore Retailers
$37,660
70
54 Painting and Wall Covering Contractors
$37,640
n/a
55 Electronic Shopping and Mail-Order Houses
$37,210
50
56 Religious, Grantmaking, Civic, Professional, and Similar Organizations
$36,800
70
57 Theater Companies and Dinner Theaters
$36,740
130
58 Performing Arts Companies
$36,730
130
59 Specialty Trade Contractors
$36,620
n/a
60 Construction
$36,270
n/a
61 Independent Artists, Writers, and Performers
$36,000
3,660
62 Nonmetallic Mineral Product Manufacturing
$35,630
270
63 Primary Metal Manufacturing
$35,330
90
64 Performing Arts, Spectator Sports, and Related Industries
$35,270
3,980
65 Other Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services
$34,570
60
66 Arts, Entertainment, and Recreation
$34,360
4,470
67 Glass and Glass Product Manufacturing
$34,310
200
68 Civic and Social Organizations
$34,170
n/a
69 Foundation, Structure, and Building Exterior Contractors
$33,810
n/a
70 Retail Trade
$32,020
700
71 Other Miscellaneous Store Retailers
$30,970
570
72 Miscellaneous Store Retailers
$30,970
570
73 Clay Product and Refractory Manufacturing
$30,560
30
74 Museums, Historical Sites, and Similar Institutions
$29,350
140
75 Amusement, Gambling, and Recreation Industries
$19,190
350
76 Promoters of Performing Arts, Sports, and Similar Events
$18,650
190
77 Other Amusement and Recreation Industries
$18,150
200
See also: Highest paying cities for fine artists, including painters, sculptors, and illustrators.