10 Careers in the Art Field

Updated July 21, 2022

Careers in the art field are rewarding because it gives you a platform to express yourself and inspire others. In the past, finding success in the arts was rare and challenging, but the rise of technology and content marketing has increased the demand for creative professionals at an exponential rate. Employers want candidates who can translate their creative vision into a recognizable brand that sets them apart from their competitors. Similarly, art enthusiasts have also become more curious about different styles of art.

In this article, we discuss what careers in the art field are, who it serves and 10 careers in the art field for you to consider.

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What are careers in the art field?

Careers in the art field follow into two categories. The first type is the traditional art professionals who share their work in galleries and exchange their creations for a sum of money. The second category of careers in the art field describes the professionals who use their artistic eye to add value to a business. Unlike professional artists, these individuals often need a degree from a reputable institution to get hired. It's a quickly growing segment in the art industry as more organizations emphasize the importance of aesthetics in relation to the overall customer experience.

The modern art industry has gone through a dynamic shift in recent years. Not only has the definition of art expanded, but it has also become a more opportunistic; and therefore, more attractive career path.

Related: A Comprehensive List of Visual Arts Careers

Who should pursue a career in the art field?

If you are creative and imaginative, you might consider a career in the art field. Unlike most roles where there is a clear promotional pathway, art careers require you to be a self-starter. You will need to not only find inspiration to create exceptional pieces of art, but you will also need to network with other professionals in the industry to get recognition on a public platform.

In traditional art career paths, such as drawing, painting, sculpting and writing, it may also take a while to get compensated for your work. If you seek greater job security, a formal qualification in fine arts or art history can increase your employability for a business support role, such as a photographer or graphic designer.

Thus, depending on your educational background, skills and ambitions, you will need to pave your own unique path to be successful in the art industry. If you are looking to express yourself and enjoy a challenge, a career in the art field is a good fit for you.

Related: 45 Jobs You Can Do With an Art Degree

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10 careers in the art field

Careers in the art field are vast and diverse. Employers will want to hire you for your sense of style and eye for detail. Finding a professional that matches a brand's creative vision can be challenging; therefore, employers are willing to dedicate more resources to hire the right candidate. However, if you prefer to work independently, then the art field consists of a liberating number of opportunities for you to pursue.

Here are 10 careers in the art field and their average salary and job responsibilities for you to consider:

Gallery manager

National average salary: $37,342 per year

Primary duties: An art gallery manager oversees the everyday operation of a galley. They organize staff payroll, allocate resources and deal with any operational issues. They also collaborate on the planning, acquiring, assembling, cataloging, and managing of art collections. As a gallery manager, you will be in charge of creating and maintaining art exhibits to promote the arts and culture scene in your region.

Art auctioneer

National average salary: $38,788 per year

Primary duties: Art auctioneers conduct evaluations and assessments of various art objects. This includes determining the age, origin, quality, and condition. Using this information, they can accurately establish a starting price for a piece of artwork. This makes them an essential link between art sellers and art buyers. Art auctioneers typically work at an auction house, gallery, estate art auctions or other settings. While most jobs will not require a specific educational background, it's important to show evidence of your expertise with relevant work experience and reputable certifications.


National average salary: $42,907 per year

Primary duties: Photographers regularly work as freelancers for events companies, advertising campaigns and editorial photo shoots. They use a range of technical equipment to capture images and software tools to edit images. Many photographers begin their career path as assistants, setting up lights and arranging sets. However, you will need a formal qualification in fine arts to secure a role in more competitive industries, such as fashion.


National average salary: $43,517 per year

Primary duties: Animators sequence together artificially designed images to produce an illusion of movement known as an animation. They work closely with a team of filmmakers, visual effects professionals and voice actors to turn a creative brief into a storyboard that they then use as a guide for their animation. To become an animator, you will need to show strong technical skills and artistic vision. It's a competitive field that requires you to keep upgrading your software knowledge and work portfolio.

Art teacher

National average salary: $46,638 per year

Primary duties: Art teachers use their passion for art to inspire young people and develop budding talents. You will need a teaching qualification to teach in a formal school or university, but some artists also establish their own studio where they host various workshops and teach different art techniques. To be an effective art teacher, you will need excellent communication and presentation skills. It's a job that requires a lot of responsibility but is extremely rewarding too.

Related: How To Become an Art Teacher (With Steps)

Graphic Designer

National average salary: $47,684 per year

Primary duties: Graphic designers collaborate with clients, art directors and other creative professionals to deliver design solutions that have a high visual impact. Depending on the brief, they may design marketing brochures, company logos, signs and the layout of websites. Essentially, they help visualize the values and message of a brand. Marketers use their creations to entice customers about their products and services. To become a graphic designer, you will need to master computer packages, such as Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop. You will also need to have a good imagination to create visually appealing work.


National average salary: $48,692 per year

Primary duties: Illustrators use their technical drawing skills to communicate stories and ideas to their audience. Some film studios and creative agencies may employ full-time illustrators, but often they work as freelancers who work with multiple clients that align with their interests. Traditionally, illustrators would only use pen and paper, but in the modern art scene, being proficient in computer-aided design (CAD) is a basic job requirement. Usually, illustrators will share their creative portfolio with clients to demonstrate their style and skills.

Art curator

National average salary: $53,413 per year

Primary duties: As a curator, you will be in charge of exhibits in a gallery or museum. Art enthusiasts will rely on you to select and collaborate with exciting artists and present their work in the public domain. Curators are responsible for the operations of a gallery and need to run fund-raising events to ensure sustainability. They act as safeguards of art and culture by preserving and restoring important pieces of art history. Curators cover a vast range of mediums, from contemporary audio-visual artworks to ancient sculpture.

Art director

National average salary: $71,804 per year

Primary duties: An art director directs the creative vision of a brand and approves marketing collaterals before editors publish them in websites, newspapers, magazines, packaging and film productions. In this leadership position, employers will expect you to spearhead design efforts while ensuring they align with the brand's values. You will need to manage a team and assign tasks to different creatives to develop a dynamic content strategy. To get hired as an art director, a bachelor's degree in a relatable field, such as graphic arts, illustration or photography, is the minimum requirement.

Related: Creative Director vs Art Director

Art agent

National average salary: $137,837 per year

Primary duties: An art agent represents artists and works to promote and sell their work. An agent understands the art world and has valuable connections to get their clients featured in galleries and art shows to get access to art buyers. Art agents also manage the public persona of their clients. They advise on public relations campaigns and notify artists about lucrative opportunities. Most artist agents work on a commission basis. This means they get paid only when an artwork sells or a licensing deal goes through.

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