Exploring Careers in the Arts

Perhaps you are trying to figure out what kind of career is best for you in the future, or maybe you even are looking for a career change in your life. If so, one very fun and stimulating field to consider is the arts. A career in the arts can be very exciting and there are many different career choices to consider within the field. If you find yourself enjoying and excelling in artistic pursuits such as painting, drawing, or even photography, then it may be time to explore what this career field can offer you.

Before you make a career decision, it is usually a great idea to take a closer look at the field you are considering, so make sure that you fully explore what a career in the arts has to offer you. Exciting Careers (painter, illustrator, photography, animation, art historian, art director)

Within the field of the arts, there are many different careers that you can consider, depending on where your interests and abilities lie. If you are interested in this field and you enjoy history, you may want to consider a career as an art historian. This is a great career for those who love the arts but are not interested in actually producing the artwork themselves. Art historians have many different options available, including teaching and research.

Another great career in this field is an illustrator. Whether you enjoy drawing comic characters, or more serious and advanced illustrations, there are great careers available in this field. Illustrating comic books or children’s books is a great choice, and for those who prefer the more serious side, illustrating text books and medical books is a very lucrative option as well.

Some people who enjoy expressing themselves on canvass may find that a job as a painter is a great idea for them. Whether you display your art in galleries, paint by commission, or teach painting at a local college, this is a great career choice. Some other careers in the art industry include working in animation, photography, and as an art director.

Preparing for the Arts

The type of preparation that you will need for a career in the arts is highly dependent on which specific career you decide to pursue. As a general rule, most careers in the arts will require that you have a bachelors degree if you want to be successful. While some art careers such as woodworking, glass working, and quilting do not require such a degree, it is usually not as easy to fully support yourself in art without a degree.

If you intend to teach in the art field, then you will not only need a bachelor’s degree, but you will also need your teaching certificate. For those interesting in fine arts such as painting or drawing, there are various art schools that basically have a studio environment that will offer instruction and the opportunity to develop your skills.

Money Matters

Most people want to know what the money making potential is before they enter a specific field. In the arts industry, the salary you make will depend on your specific job and the company that you are working for as well. Art directors are some of the higher paid workers in this field, and they generally earn between $40,000 and $100,000 per year, depending on company and their experience.

On the low end of the spectrum, craft artists such as glass workers and wood workers usually make between $20,000-$30,000 each year. Fine artists such as painters, illustrators, and sculptors usually can expect to make between $25,000 and $40,000 a year.

Many people involved in the arts are self-employed, in fact better than 50% are self-employed. Those who are self-employed can have varying salaries depending on their specific field, and their success as an artist.

Excellent Employers

While many artists are self-employed, there are others who work for established companies as well. While self employment has many advantages, working for a company often provides a better salary and great benefits.

Some of the best companies to work for in the United States include Walt Disney, Personal Preference Inc., and the New Museum for Contemporary Art. There are great companies available in Canada as well, which include Canada Council for the Arts, the Emily Carr Institute of Art, and Organic Inc. These are just a few of the great employers in the arts, so be sure to explore your options, and look for companies that offer excellent benefits and a great salary.

By Fei Lim

About the author

Fei Lim writes for Seek4jobs.net, the place to find the jobs you like and info about specific careers in the work force.


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