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What Can You Do With an Art Degree?

What Can You Do With an Art Degree?

Created At:28 December, 2022
Created By:Hagar Samir
Updated At:01 January, 2023
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If you’re creative and imaginative, a degree in art could be just what you’re looking for to express yourself! Studying art in college can be a compelling experience full of creative opportunities. Once you graduate from art school, though, it can be challenging to figure out what career path you should take—while some art degree graduates try to find success selling their original works, others are passionate about applying their skills in different ways!

One of the interesting things about studying for an art degree is the knowledge you end up gaining. Whether you choose to specialise in fine art or the history of art, the skills you gain during your degree are likely to be highly valued and transferable to many sectors, including specialised art careers as well as many other roles. 

What Can You Do With an Art Degree?

There are many career opportunities for those who earn art degrees, depending on the concentration of your degree! However, the majority of careers will require a portfolio to show some of your work and your original ideas. The theoretical side of your degree will also help you put that work in context and explain why you used certain materials and techniques! So, let’s see what you can actually do after you graduate with an art degree!

Professional Artist

The most obvious one! There is no reason why you cannot pursue a career as a professional artist if you have talent and dedication. Artists work with different mediums to create and sell original works. They mainly focus on painting, drawing, weaving, glass-blowing, and other mediums. 

Some artists also decide to continue developing their work while working a relevant full- or part-time job, such as that of an art teacher or tutor. The average salary of a professional artist is $47,343 per year. The majority of people earn between $36,876 and $54,500 per year. 

Illustrator

Illustrators use their creative skills to communicate ideas, stories, and messages to their intended audience. They work in various formats, particularly with computer-aided design (CAD) techniques. A postgraduate degree in fine arts with a specialisation in illustration should give you a good range of relevant skills to offer prospective employers!

If you’re thinking of becoming an illustrator, you will probably have to work on a freelance basis for multiple clients and are likely to specialise in a specific medium, such as drawing, photography, or digital illustration. The average annual salary for an illustrator is $41,000 and can go up to $83,000 and more, depending on your skills, experience, and degree!

Photographer

There is a wide range of purposes and specialisations in photography, from weddings to advertising, photojournalism, and more. They work within industries like journalism, event production, and portraiture to take properly composed photos of people and landscapes. (Very interesting!) Some people also find it beneficial to have a Master of Fine Arts, specialising in photography, in order to better themselves! 

The average salary for a photographer is $46,054 per year. This can increase when you work more on your portfolio. You should make contacts, get your work published, and generally gain new skills and experience through opportunities like volunteering and work shadowing in order to gain new skills. Also, taking part in work experience and project work with photographers or relevant employers will make you more valuable as a photographer and therefore increase your salary.

Graphic Designer

A very interesting job, we know! Graphic designers work with clients and organisations to design materials for promotion and publication. They may create product illustrations, logos, web elements, flyers, and so much more! They are also responsible for creating design solutions that have a high visual impact. Graphic designers develop creative ideas and concepts, choosing the appropriate media and style to meet the client's objectives.

A graphic designer's annual salary is $52,813 on average. This can also increase if you have specialised in design (or an aspect of design) in your degree and have mastered the skills required, such as the use of computer packages like Photoshop. You may also consider continuing your studies at postgraduate level with a Master of Design (MDes); this will help a lot! 

Curator

Curators design and build collections of art in galleries and museums, working out the best way to present an exhibition for the public, as well as raising funds and grants, collaborating with institutions or artists, and ensuring that collections are properly preserved! It is also safe to say that this field is a very competitive one.

The average salary for a curator is around $54,030 per year. Of course, this is prone to change if you gain more experience and talent. It also differs according to the place where you work. You might consider a postgraduate qualification in a subject such as museum studies to increase your chances.

Art Teacher/Professor

If you want to use your passion and love for art to inspire others and encourage the development of budding talents, this job is definitely for you! Whether you teach at a college or a school, you will have to have a lot of confidence and excellent communication and presentation skills in order to effectively teach and inspire your students. 

In most countries, you will need a teaching qualification to teach at the primary or secondary level and a postgraduate degree to teach at the university level. An art professor's annual salary is $56,420, which can vary depending on experience, while an art teacher's annual salary is $47,665.

Printmaker

Printmaking is an artistic process based on the principle of transferring images from a matrix onto another surface, most often paper or fabric. Traditional printmaking techniques include woodcut, etching, engraving, and lithography; modern artists have expanded the available techniques to include screenprinting. It is a very unique job that you don’t really hear about a lot! 

Following a degree in fine arts, especially if you specialise in design or illustration, you might find that printmaking is what you actually want to do. You also have to have a good understanding of the properties of the different materials used for printing. The average salary for a printmaker is $50,577 and can increase according to your experience. 

Animator

An animator creates multiple images known as frames, which when combined create the illusion of movement known as animation! Animators might work on the visual effects team for a film or in advertising, television, or even video games! Over half of animators in the UK are self-employed. Animators create films for production companies, major animation studios, and computer-game companies. 

This is another competitive area, and, in this case, your portfolio would be in the form of a short yet effective showreel, a DVD, or an online portfolio video. The average salary for an animator is $54,390 per year. To enhance your employability, a postgraduate specialisation in animation would be beneficial, but this is not essential.

If none of the above art careers appeal to you, there are still plenty of options available! You can work in anything if you have enough training and experience! So, you can always search for other fields where you find yourself more comfortable in! 

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Is it worth it doing an Art degree?

The Bachelor of Art isn't just a good degree for starting a career; it's a great degree for starting almost any career! The worst-kept secret about the Bachelor of Art is that it’s one of the most enjoyable undergraduate programmes around. 

2. Can you do anything with an Art degree?

There are many career opportunities for those who earn art degrees. Depending on the concentration of your degree, you may be able to work in industries such as arts administration, education, media, communications, technology, and more! 


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