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Jaynie Martz <[log in to unmask]>
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SciArt-L Discussion List-for Natural Science Illustration- <[log in to unmask]>
Wed, 4 Nov 1998 12:50:29 -0500
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>Ok, so we've talked about Universities- There are technical colleges for
>science illustrations? You mean like Heald College? Or like Art Academy
>type schools?

Sorry, I didn't have time to study the surveys in any depth......
For instance, I didn't follow up on exactly what institutions were
surveyed, were the surveys voluntary (with room for slight
exaggeration : ), were the job descriptions on the surveys highly
specific or sloppily generalized.....and on and on.  I didn't sign on
with any of the survey sites that required fees, but I am hoping
they adhere to more rigorous surveying standands than the average
web site fare. One other thing that stood out was a tendency
for those artists who pursued higher degrees to actually be
*working* in a artistic field of some sort. Seems that a large
number of Fine Art graduates were working in entirely unrelated
fields.....(maybe that was only temporary). I wish I had
bookmarked these sites so I could pass them on to interested

I tried search headings such as "Illustrator wages"  and
"artist salaries"  "artist pay scales".......

Computer science related jobs pay uniformly high rates......entry
levels starting around 35k-55k. 60-80k was the midrange *norm*
for programmers. THe higher the level of proficiency needed for
the job, the higher the pay........Until you get to *artists* who
also demonstrate a high level of technical proficiency,
resourcefulness and problem-solving capacity......There has been
almost zero recognition/recompension here. I imagine because there
are so few of us in comparison with the hoardes of programmers.
Britt, if you decide to head off on your own after amassing
experience running a web site, the lowest income level was
90K....!!!  (90-150K +.)

Artists will have to work this out on a solo basis........I recently
took my supervisor (pleasantly) to task re what we could do to
catch my pay rate up to modern standards. It seems there was
a great deal we can do, but nobody had ever asked and there is
only one of me here........So, a 'desk audit' has been requested
which will survey my 'peers' in industry.  I had the opportunity
to completely rewrite/upgrade my job description which was
was *pre-computer*!!!  I think men may get paid more because they
are more perenially *vigilant* about making sure their pay matches
the effort expended. I, on the other hand, had rarely even thought
about it........and paid the price. My supervisor didn't even have a
basic working understanding of what it takes to do my job...I
didn't get mad, I got busy looking for ways to help her with this
as I had never realized the depth of non-comprehension on the
upperlings' part. When she became my boss 3 years back and
told me not to bother with monthly reports to 'save time and
paper' I never dreamed that this would cost *me* down the road.

But the bosses can't know what is going on without pertinent
info and so I am reinstating the montly report. This is an area
where my male peers would have been more vigilant all along
I believe....I was churning out the work, focusing intently on
my scientist customers..making sure they were taken care of
and assuming my bosses were taking care of me.....Only, they
weren't. Good lesson. Good wakeup call!!  I take complete
responsibility for working this out. And my boss is working
on it too.......once she was made aware.

Interestingly, while I was doing my own survey searches I
got a call from the supervisor of an illustrator peer who was
doing surveys of her own in hopes of upgrading that
artist's pay grade. I was so pleased to be able to help out.
Synchronicity!! I like that!!