There are a plethora of art career options available to those with an interest in the arts that take advantage of their creativity. What your skills are and the kinds of professions you can use them for should be taken into account while picking an art career path. In this post, we go through the various job categories available in the art business, as well as the typical pay and essential responsibilities for each position.
List of potential art careers
You can choose from a wide range of career options in the art world. A list of 35 art careers is shown below:
National Average Hourly Wage: $11.06
Primary responsibilities: An actor with an art career performs character interpretations and portrayals to entertain an audience in live performances, film, television, and other performing arts venues. To depict their characters, actors may or may not remember and adhere to a script. They may also work in a variety of settings, including amusement parks, production studios, live theaters, and more.
National Average Hourly Wage: $22.65
Primary responsibilities: A sculptor with an art career creates three-dimensional creations like sculptures and statues utilizing a variety of hard materials, including marble, stone, ice, wood, glass, and metal, which combine or shape together.
3. A metalworker
National Average Hourly Wage: $16.84
Primary responsibilities: A metalworker with an art career reading and interpreting designs, cutting, shaping, positioning, aligning, and welding various types of metal required to produce various sorts of structures in collaboration with construction firms or manufacturers. Metal fabricators may create components for use in vehicles, electronics, aircraft, and structures.
4. A baker/decorator
National Average Hourly Wage: $12.56
Primary responsibilities: A baker with an art career designs the patterns, pictures, and flowers that are used to adorn cakes and other baked goods. When creating their creations, cake designers work with fondant, icing, and other edible materials.
5. A graphic artist
National Average Hourly Wage: $17.67
Primary responsibilities: A graphic artist with an art career has responsibilities like meeting with customers or the design team to establish the project’s parameters and using specialized computer tools to produce visual concepts that convey ideas to audiences in a way that enthralls, inspires, and informs them. Layout and production of artwork for websites, applications, brochures, reports, ads, books, and periodicals are created by graphic designers.
National Average Hourly Wage: $16.06
Primary responsibilities: Painting the inside as well as the outside of homes, businesses, and other structures is some of the jobs of a painter with an art career. In addition to painting, painters may also be in charge of cleaning up after themselves after finishing a project.
7. A floral artist
National Average Hourly Wage: $13.80
Primary responsibilities: A floral artist with an art career cuts and arranges live, dried, and silk flowers as well as other plants into artistic displays to produce floral arrangements. Customers may also receive assistance from floral designers in selecting the flowers, containers, and other accents that will be utilized in their creations.
National Average Hourly Wage: $14.57
Primary responsibilities: A photographer with an art career has a variety of tasks like using technical camera expertise with an aesthetic eye to take images of people, locations, or things. Wedding and event photographers, a freelance lifestyle and industrial photographers, and photographers for photography studios are all options for photographers. Numerous photographers specialize in one particular area of photography, like maternity, family, wedding, landscape, and culinary photography. Photographers could also be in charge of editing the images they take and selling them to customers.
9. A carpenter
National Average Hourly Wage: $14.30
Primary responsibilities: A carpenter with an art career deals with using wood to make and create a variety of things, including furniture and cabinets.
10. A screen printer
National Average Hourly Wage: $13.17
Primary responsibilities: A screen printer with an art career deals with pushing ink or paint via mesh stencils so it can be printed upon the surface of a canvas, also known as a substrate, which can be made of cardboard, wood, fabric, or paper.
11. A preschool instructor
National Average Hourly Wage: $12.50
Primary responsibilities: A preschool teacher with an art career develops the core learning abilities required for academic success for kids between the ages of 2 and 5 to prepare them for kindergarten. To introduce young children to subjects like reading, arithmetic, and science, preschool teachers frequently employ arts and crafts, singing, dancing, and other activities. Children are also taught about their development and growth and how to identify their gifts and skills.
12. Interior designer
National Average Yearly Wage: $58,515
Primary responsibilities: An interior designer with an art career deals with creating a useful, secure, and aesthetically pleasing interior arrangement employing furniture and ornamental elements like colors, lighting, fabric, photographs, and more is the main responsibility. Reading blueprints and creating designs that adhere to building norms and inspection requirements are skills that interior designers must possess.
13. Intern in graphic design
National Average Hourly Wage: $12.60
Primary responsibilities: A graphics design intern with an art career attends meetings and works on current projects with the design team while working as a professional graphic designer’s assistant to observe how innovative ideas are translated into workable outcomes. Building your portfolio with the work produced throughout an internship in graphic design is possible. Interns in graphic design also help senior graphic designers with administrative duties like keeping file systems up to date, creating mailing materials, doing client research, and producing reports.
14. Visual artist
National Average Yearly Wage: $72,184
Primary responsibilities: A visual artist with an art career conceptualizes and develops designs and layouts for a range of digital platforms, such as applications, websites, motion pictures, and video games, while adhering to a client’s brand standards.
15. Sous chef
National average yearly salary: $48,452
Primary Responsibilities: This position in art careers answers to the head chef and serves as next in command by directing the cooking and preparing of all food created in the kitchens of restaurants, hotels, and dining establishments.
16. A gallery assistant
National Average Hourly Wage: $12.43
Primary Responsibilities: A gallery assistant with an art career handles administrative duties that make the gallery run efficiently, including taking calls, replying to mail, generating purchase orders, keeping an eye on gallery visitors, and offering customer service. In addition to helping to set up and take down art exhibits, gallery assistants frequently plan and coordinate the gallery’s activities.
National Average Hourly Wage: $17.01
Primary responsibilities: An artist with an art career makes art using their chosen media, like paintings, drawings, pottery, or carvings. Some artists create art using a variety of media.
National average yearly salary: $41,427
Primary responsibility: A musician with an art career deals with using sound to create art. Musicians can orchestrate, compose, direct, sing, play, perform, and compose music in a wide range of genres. They can make their art by singing and playing one or more musical instruments. They can record their song in a studio or perform them live.
19. A creative director
National Average Yearly Wage: $80,211
Primary responsibilities: A creative director with an art career creating the advertising strategy, providing direction and control to the creative team to ensure they create work according to the advertising plans, and managing the creative team of designers, copywriters, artists, and marketers at advertising and marketing organizations.
20. A production artist
National Average Hourly Wage: $17.77
Primary responsibilities: Working with the creative team to develop an executive design and produce commercial artwork using specialist software. Production designers guarantee that a person, business, or product’s branding style is maintained by adhering to brand guidelines for colors, fonts, and production quality across all media, including films, television programs, websites, mobile applications, and print advertisements.
21. Art instructor
National Average Hourly Wage: $18.75
Primary responsibilities: Encourage students to express themselves artistically through drawing, painting, sculpture, pottery, and other media to help them identify and nurture their artistic abilities. Children are also taught the fundamentals of art concepts including shapes, colors, textures, and other art styles by art teachers.
National Average Hourly Wage: $36.05
Primary responsibilities: Investigate news stories by speaking with sources and gathering data; after writing a news article to convey the story in-depth and objectively, the reporter is responsible for the story. A journalist may use a magazine, newspaper, radio, TV, or the internet to publish their articles.
National Average Yearly Wage: $43,890
Primary responsibilities: Produces two-dimensional artwork and graphics for a variety of industries, including fashion design, books, periodicals, websites, guides, and brochures.
24. An architect
National average yearly salary: $110,955
Primary responsibilities: Designing the blueprints for the construction of residential and commercial buildings, including houses, offices, bridges, and roads. Architects are in charge of making sure a building complies with all applicable state and federal rules, is aesthetically pleasing, and is structurally safe and sustainable.
25. Creative Services Director
National Average Yearly Wage: $62,719
Primary responsibilities: Determine the best marketing plan for attracting and retaining their target audience by analyzing their target market. Directors of creative services also keep an eye on the day-to-day activities of the complete marketing and creative team to make sure that their advertising approaches are carried out effectively.
National Average Yearly Wage: $51,967
Primary responsibilities: Manages the art or display collections in a museum. A museum curator’s duties may involve researching the background of exhibitions, organizing and preparing exhibitions, acquiring objects for exhibitions, developing educational programs, keeping records, developing budgets and fundraising plans, advertising, and public relations, depending on their role, level of experience, and the museum they’re working for.
27. A music instructor
National Average Hourly Wage: $30.41
Primary responsibilities: Teaching pupils the fundamentals of music theory as well as how to play a musical instrument and utilize proper voice inflection when singing and performing.
28. A makeup artist
National Average Hourly Wage: $31.04
Primary responsibilities: Applying makeup on the face and parts of the body in a way that highlights attractive traits and conceals or smoothes faults requires the use of cosmetic products and a variety of cosmetic procedures.
29. A landscape designer
National Average Yearly Wage: $64,506
Primary Responsibilities: Designing landscapes that enhance the area’s aesthetic appeal and practicality for public spaces like parks, playgrounds, university campuses, residential neighborhoods, and commercial spaces. Choosing the positions of things like buildings, roads, and pathways within these ecosystems may also fall within the purview of landscape architects.
National Average Yearly Wage: $62,930
Primary responsibilities: Creates concepts for and designs items and materials that give customers a pleasant, useful, or attractive experience. Designers work in a variety of fields, including fashion design, product development, and marketing design, depending on their current position, experience, and sector.
31. Art director
National Average Yearly Wage: $71,628
Primary responsibilities: Managing the visual look and style of publications like newspapers, periodicals, films, television shows, and product packaging. Advertising art directors make ensuring the design team accurately portrays and communicates the client’s brand, image, and purpose in their work.
National Average Hourly Wage: $51,234
Primary responsibilities: Conducting research, writing, editing, and proofreading high-quality advertising material, including social media postings, blogs, internet commercials, websites, pitches for sales, emails, E-books, white papers, press releases, case studies, newsletters, and more. To generate material that will enthrall and move their audience to action, copywriters use several talents, including good search engine optimization, written communication, the fundamentals of design, HTML, and more.
33. A pastry chef
National average yearly salary: $48,807
Primary Responsibilities: Makes a range of baked items, including bread, pastries, and desserts. Restaurants, bakeries, hotels, bistros, and cafes all employ pastry cooks.
34. Marketing Director
National average yearly salary: $82,400
Primary responsibilities: Oversees the duties of the marketing team while leading the department’s analysis of the needs of the target market, competitor research, development of successful marketing campaigns, and implementation of the marketing strategy. To identify opportunities for enhancement, marketing directors also assess and analyze a marketing campaign’s performance.
35. A tattooist
National Average Yearly Wage: $52,145
Primary responsibilities: Create tattoo designs depending on the preferences of the client, then use ink and tattoo needles to apply the artwork to the client’s body. Certain tattoo artists additionally carry out piercings and other forms of body alteration.
What abilities are typical for professions in the arts?
The skill set of an artist will vary on their area of specialization, but the following are some typical abilities for occupations in this sector:
- Creativity: Creativity aids artists in coming up with concepts for new works.
- Design software: This category of software aids in the digital polishing of the creations of illustrators, graphic artists, and animators.
- Time management: This is a skill that artists employ to meet deadlines for a variety of endeavors. It guarantees they complete their task on schedule and can provide them the opportunity to take on new clients.
- Art supplies: To produce amazing pieces of art in their specialized fields, artists employ a variety of art supplies. A painter utilizes an easel and a range of paints and paintbrushes, whereas an illustrator employs tablets, pencils, and computer software.
How to locate jobs in the arts
While there are many ways to acquire a job in the arts, think about following these broad guidelines:
1. Think about getting a degree
Even though not all art jobs require a degree, seeking one can help you stand out to recruiting managers. Think about majoring in art and concentrating on a field you’re passionate about, like fine arts, animation, or photography. You might get information about these topics by doing this.
2. Build a portfolio.
Build a portfolio that showcases your finest artistic work after choosing a niche. Through your portfolio, you may show potential employers and customers your range of skills and distinctive artistic voice. Consider including any of your accomplished artwork in your portfolio if you obtained a formal degree.
By applying for an internship, you can expand your list of professional instances of your work. You can improve your abilities, expand your network of contacts in the sector, and build your portfolio with the aid of an internship. Before looking for part- or full-time employment, you may also consider freelancing opportunities to help you develop your portfolio. Ensure the artwork in your portfolio showcases your versatility as an artist, exhibits your skill set, and matches the work of the organization you wish to work with.
3. Begin networking.
Expanding your professional network inside the art industry is the next step in the process of seeking art employment. By networking with people in the business, whether through their degree programs, internships, or professional groups, many people can get employment. Talk to experts in your industry, and connect with artists that inspire you on social media. By going to industry fairs or artist exhibitions, you can expand your creative network. A few of your contacts might let you know about a job opening and give you a reference for a job. Your chances of landing the job may rise as a result.
4. Develop your skills
Take classes or courses in art, such as drawing, painting, sculpture, or graphic design to refine your skills and develop your creative ability.
5. Gain experience
Look for opportunities to gain experiences in the art industry, such as internships, apprenticeships, or entry-level positions. This can help you develop your skills and build a network of contacts.
6. Consider further education
Some art careers require advanced degrees, such as a Master’s in Fine Arts. Consider pursuing further education to deepen your knowledge and skills in your chosen field.
7. Research career options
There are many different career paths in art, including fine arts, illustration, graphic design, art education, and more. Research career options to find the one that aligns with your interests and skills.
8. Build a business plan
If you plan to be a freelance artist, build a business plan to set goals for your art career, including your target market, pricing strategy, and marketing plan.
The work environment for people in art careers
The work environment for people in art careers can vary depending on the specific field and role. Here are some examples of work environments for different art careers:
- Fine artists: Fine artists may work in a variety of settings, such as studios, galleries, museums, or other cultural institutions. They may work independently, create their work, or work in collaboration with other artists.
- Illustrators: Illustrators may work in-house for design agencies, publishing houses, or animation studios, or they may work freelance from their studios. They may work with other artists, writers, and art directors to create illustrations for a variety of mediums, including books, magazines, advertising, and product packaging.
- Graphic designers: Graphic designers may work for design agencies, marketing firms, or other organizations, or they may work freelance from their studios. They may work in collaboration with other designers, writers, and art directors to create visual content for various media, including print, digital, and social media.
- Art educators: Art educators may work in schools, colleges, universities, or community centers, teaching art to students of all ages. They may work in classrooms, studios, or other instructional settings and may work independently or as part of a team of educators.
- Multimedia artists and animators: Multimedia artists and animators may work for animation studios, game development companies, or other organizations, or they may work freelance from their studios. They may work in collaboration with other artists, writers, and animators to create digital content for various media, including films, television shows, video games, and advertising.
The work environment for people in art careers can vary widely depending on the specific field and role. Some may work independently, while others may work as part of a team or for an organization. However, most art careers require creativity, dedication, and passion for the work.
Salary and prospects for People in art careers
The salary and prospects for people in art careers can vary depending on the specific field, level of education, experience, and location. Here are some examples:
- Fine artists: According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median annual wage for fine artists was $48,960 in May 2019. The job outlook for fine artists is not as strong as other art careers because of the competition for limited job opportunities.
- Illustrators: According to the BLS, the median annual wage for illustrators was $52,110 in May 2019. The job outlook for illustrators is expected to grow by 1% from 2019 to 2029, which is slower than the average for all occupations.
- Graphic designers: According to the BLS, the median annual wage for graphic designers was $52,110 in May 2019. The job outlook for graphic designers is projected to grow by 3% from 2019 to 2029, which is about as fast as the average for all occupations.
- Art educators: According to the BLS, the median annual wage for postsecondary art, drama, and music teachers was $69,960 in May 2019. The job outlook for postsecondary teachers is projected to grow 9% from 2019 to 2029, which is much faster than the average for all occupations.
- Multimedia artists and animators: According to the BLS, the median annual wage for multimedia artists and animators was $75,270 in May 2019. The job outlook for multimedia artists and animators is projected to grow 4% from 2019 to 2029, which is about as fast as the average for all occupations.
The salary and prospects for people in art careers can vary depending on the specific field and role. Some fields, such as postsecondary education, have a better job outlook than others, such as fine arts. However, with the increasing demand for digital media and creative content, there will likely be continued growth in the need for skilled artists in a variety of industries.
Employers of people in art careers
People in art careers can be employed by a variety of organizations, including:
- Advertising agencies: Advertising agencies hire graphic designers, illustrators, and art directors to create ad campaigns for their clients.
- Publishing companies: Publishing companies hire illustrators, graphic designers, and book cover designers to create book covers, illustrations, and other visual content for books and magazines.
- Animation studios: Animation studios hire multimedia artists and animators to create animated films, television shows, and video games.
- Design agencies: Design agencies hire graphic designers, art directors, and web designers to create visual content for their clients.
- Museums and galleries: Museums and galleries hire fine artists, art historians, and curators to manage collections and plan exhibitions.
- Educational institutions: Educational institutions such as schools, colleges, and universities hire art educators to teach students of all ages.
- Non-profit organizations: Non-profit organizations hire graphic designers and illustrators to create visual content for their campaigns and events.
People in art careers can find employment in a variety of organizations, including advertising agencies, publishing companies, animation studios, design agencies, museums and galleries, educational institutions, and non-profit organizations. The demand for skilled artists is increasing as the need for engaging visual content continues to grow across industries.
Pursuing an art career requires patience, dedication, and hard work. By developing your skills, building a portfolio, gaining experience, networking, considering further education, researching career options, and building a business plan, you can increase your chances of success in the art industry.
Frequently Asked Questions about art careers
Here are five common questions people ask about art careers, along with their corresponding answers:
- What kind of jobs can I get with an art degree?
With an art degree, you can pursue a variety of creative careers such as graphic design, illustration, fine art, art education, art therapy, and art curation, among others.
- How much can I earn as an artist?
Salaries for artists vary greatly depending on the type of art they create, their experience, and the market demand for their work. Some artists may earn a full-time income while others supplement their income with other jobs.
- What skills do I need to be a successful artist?
Successful artists typically possess a combination of technical skills, creative abilities, and business acumen. They must be able to master their medium, communicate their vision effectively, and navigate the art market.
- Do I need a degree to become an artist?
While a degree can certainly help an artist gain technical skills and knowledge, it’s not always necessary. Many successful artists are self-taught or have pursued alternative paths such as apprenticeships or workshops.
- What kind of portfolio should I create to showcase my work?
A strong art portfolio should showcase a variety of your best work, demonstrate your technical skills, and communicate your unique artistic vision. It’s important to tailor your portfolio to the specific career or opportunity you are pursuing.