Medical and Scientific Illustrator

Medical and scientific illustrators combine their knowledge of the biological sciences with their artistic skills. They make illustrations of surgical procedures, human anatomy, plants and animals. These illustrations are used in audio-visual presentations for teaching and lecturing, as well as in medical and scientific handbooks.

Medical and scientific illustrators also work for lawyers (producing exhibits in court cases) and doctors. They can also draw ‘story-boards’ that may serve as guides on movies or TV series, for example, where actors are placed in an emergency room. Advanced computer software is used, which allows ideas to be presented on the Internet or e-mailed between clients. Medical and scientific illustrators often provide schools, hospitals and medical institutions with training-related posters, for example, a dentist’s posters of tooth decay or gum infections or a clinic sister’s illustrations of sexually transmitted diseases.

Personal Requirements

  • aptitude for art, science and biology
  • eye for detail
  • steady hand
  • good eyesight
  • able to concentrate for long periods
  • excellent observation skills
  • patient and persistent
  • perfectionist, meticulously accurate

How to Enter

Schooling & School Subjects

National Senior Certificate meeting diploma requirements for a diploma course

Each institution has its own entry requirements.

What to Study

Diploma: suitable courses in Biotechnology, Biomedical Technology etc. - all the universities of technology.


  • government and private hospitals
  • clinics
  • medical and science book publishers

Further Information

Any of the above-mentioned potential employers, universities of technology or colleges.

Getting Started

  • develop your artistic flair and also your skills of observation and accurate rendition
  • work on your medical and biological knowledge
  • arrange to speak to a medical and scientific illustrator about this type of career

Related Occupations

A PACE Career Centre Product. © All rights reserved | Developed by Netgen (Pty) Ltd. Disclaimer: Please see disclaimer