Cartoonist Training and Degree Programs

Learn what training and education programs are available for cartoonists and how degree programs can help a nascent career in cartooning. Explore job options for cartoonists beyond the funny pages and comics. Schools offering Children`s Book Illustration degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Training Do I Need to Be a Cartoonist?

There is no specific training or education required to become a cartoonist. Similarly, no specific background is required by this career, as cartoonists come from various fields, including art, writing and journalism. Even though it isn't required, earning a degree can help you become a better cartoonist and a more competitive job candidate.

Training Requirements No specific training is required to become a cartoonist; earning a degree is helpful in finding a job
Program Fields Illustration, writing, journalism; some for-profit schools offer degrees specifically in cartooning
Other Requirements Internships may be available, especially in journalism degrees
Possible Careers Character designer, storybook artist, newspaper artist
Median Salary (2019)$62,540 (for cartoonists)*
Job Outlook (2016-26)7% growth (for all fine artists, including painters, sculptors, and illustrators)**

Source: *,**U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Degrees Can I Earn?

Because no specific degree requirements exist for becoming a cartoonist, you may consider several different degree options. A degree in illustration could provide you with the training necessary to refine your drawing skills and teach you about computer graphics. An illustration degree will focus on the creation of images, but that is usually only half of a cartoonist's job.

In addition to creating images, a cartoonist must also be able to tell a story, often in a limited writing space. A degree in either writing or journalism will help train you in these aspects of cartooning. You should also be aware that for-profit schools may offer degrees specifically in cartooning. These degrees tend to be very specific and for those specifically set on a career as a cartoonist.

How Can A Degree Help Me?

Earning a degree can help you in several different ways. In a degree program, you'll enhance your skills in drawing and writing. You may also be able to gain practical experience in an internship at a business that requires cartooning. In particular, if you enroll in a journalism program, you might be able to get an internship at a newspaper. Completing an internship will not only provide you with practical experience, but it will also allow you to make professional contacts, which may help you find a job in the future.

Where Can I Work?

Cartoonists work in a wide range of employment environments. One place that people typically think of cartoonists working is at a newspaper, where they create comic strips and may work as the illustrator, storyteller or both. You may also commonly find employment working for publishing companies, creating images for children's books, comic books or graphic novels. Some other jobs that you can get as a cartoonist involve creating and designing characters for video games and movies or illustrating animated television shows. Because of the wide range of jobs available, training in areas such as storytelling, drawing and digital animation will enhance your ability to find a job.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

  • 1. Degree Options:
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