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What You Wanted to Know About a Medical Illustration Career

eye-illustrationMedical Illustration--A Closer Look
Many people are familiar with what illustrators do; they draw and create  images of things, scenes, and concepts for advertising, media, and businesses. Artists who decide to become medical illustrators receive advanced training and education in communications and the life sciences.

Medical illustrators work closely with doctors, scientists, and medical specialists in order to render images for use in research, education, public relations, and patient care. They often perform background research on the topics and subjects they are asked to illustrate.

Illustration

Medical illustrators confer with science experts to validate illustration concepts  and sometimes observe laboratory techniques and surgery procedures to help in their creative process.

medical-illustratorThe Field of Medical Illustration Is Changing
In the past, medical illustration was primarily focused on anatomical drawings and related needs for the medical and educational community. While this is still an important function of the job it has expanded to other fields due to the rapid growth in science, technology, and medicine.

Medical illustrators have expanded their duties by producing computer generated images and animations to educate the public in health care, medical information, and proactive health maintenance techniques. Lawyers call on medical illustrators to produce images for juries and the court in order to explain complex ideas related to personal injury and malpractice lawsuits.

Hospitals and healthcare agencies use the services of medical illustrators to provide graphics and images for their websites to inform and educate the public on various programs, information, and services.

There are several specialties that are available in this job category such as illustration for:

operating-room
* Surgery
* Veterinary medicine
* Ophthalmology
* Computer animation/three-dimensional models
* Medical publishing
* Pharmaceutical advertising
* Medical-legal work
.

college-students-pen-drawingCareen Training and Education
Some graphic artists start their illustration careers by attending a graphic design school. They go on to earn their bachelor's degree in art and premed courses at qualified education centers.

Many medical illustrators have a master's degree from accredited two-year graduate programs in medical illustration.

There are currently several specialized programs in the United States and Canada that are officially accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP). The number of available positions for these programs are limited and competition for these openings is high.

If you are currently attending or are planning on enrolling at a graphic design college for your career training, check with your college counselor about what you need to do to pursue a career in medical illustration.

people-walking-on-streetThe Job Market for Medical Illustrators
In general, the prospects for artist  jobs will grow approximately 12 percent thorough 2018 according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (2008). Competition for these openings will be high.

Medical illustrators should experience a constant demand for their services due to the relatively small number of professionals in this area of work.

Since medical illustration has a broad career path, the salary range for this job group is varied. In 2006 medical illustrators who worked for universities or institutions made a yearly salary of $44,000 to $55,000 including benefits. Medical illustrators who have extended experience in multimedia, computer graphics, multimedia and animation should command higher salaries.

The mean annual salary for artists and related workers was $51,600 in 2008  (BLS May 2008).


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  • Online and Bachelor's programs include B.S. in Advertising, B.S. in Web Design, B.A. in Interior Design, and more
  • Curriculum focus on preparing students for a creative career by teaching them the fundamentals of advertising and design
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Keiser University Campus , West Palm Beach
  • Ranked among the Best Colleges in the South in 2015 by U.S. News and World Report.
  • Ranked the 13th  Best College for Veterans in 2015 by U.S. News and World Report.
  • A private institution founded in 1977 with a current total undergraduate enrollment of over 15,00.
  • Its student-faculty ratio is 12:1, and 89.3% of classes have fewer than 20 students.
  • Has students attend one class at a time to ensure easy access to faculty and a more hands-on education.
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About Brightwood College

Brightwood College offers accelerated programs that combine flexible schedules and professional instruction to create a rewarding learning experience for individuals focused on gaining the skills for specific careers. Brightwood College is owned and operated by Education Corporation of America.

About Education Corporation of America

Education Corporation of America's institutions broaden access to postsecondary educational opportunities.

  • Recognized as a Top 20 Best Online Bachelor’s Program by U.S. News & World Report in 2016.
  • Online, campus-based, and evening courses offered in 95 areas of study, including Business, Nursing, Psychology, & more.
  • Endorsed by G.I. Jobs and Military Advanced Education magazine as a Military Friendly School in 2015. 
  • Features small class sizes, with a student-to-faculty ratio of 23 to 1.
  • 88% of Regent University students receive financial aid, with $18 million awarded in institutional scholarships & aid each year.
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  • Online Courses

Sullivan University is a private institution of higher learning dedicated to providing educational enrichment opportunities for the intellectual, social and professional development of its students.