10 Awesome Art Careers for Art Majors

It’s no secret that art majors often have to defend their degree. Sometimes it’s your parents, but other times it can be a total stranger questioning your education choices. However, no matter what they think, there are plenty of well-paying careers for art majors out there! Here’s just the tip of the iceberg and some of the best paying positions out there:

1. Creative Director

If you’ve watched Mad Men, you’ve already (sort of) seen a creative director at work. Don Draper was the creative director at his agency and even though the show took place almost 60 years ago, this job is still a real possibility for you. Marketing and advertising agencies are constantly looking for those with a passion for design but also possess leadership and business skills.

You probably won’t become a creative director straight out of college. This is a job that requires a bit of experience under your belt, but you can work yourself up to this position. Art majors after this career will usually have a background working as a designer, art director, or something similar.

Also known as art directors, here is just a little more information about the field:

  • In 2022, they have a median salary of $100,890
  • There is little expected employment growth for the field between 2018 and 2028.
  • Most have at least a Bachelor’s degree.
  • Many choose to major in Graphic Design or Digital Arts.

2. Fashion Designer

If you find yourself drawn to fashion and the latest trends, you may seriously want to consider going after a job as a fashion designer. A majority of designers tend to focus on general clothing, but others may find their niche in sports wear, children’s wear, or another specialist area. Fashion isn’t restricted to clothing either; Designers are needed for handbags, shoes, and other accessories.

A job in fashion design requires plenty of hands-on experience. They usually ask for a degree in fashion or a related major, but creative vision and sewing skills are an absolute must-have.

Some other must-know facts:

  • Fashion designers earn $77,450 on average
  • There is little expected employment growth for the field between 2018 and 2028.
  • Over half of fashion designers have a Bachelor’s degree.
  • Fashion/Apparel Design is the most common major for this career.

3. Product Designer

A woman sitting on a desk while looking at her notes and a man standing behind her discussing something.

Flickr user imbphoto24

Most people don’t think about it, but there is, of course, a designer behind the chair you’re sitting at, the table in front of you, and even the computer or mobile device you’re on at the moment. This is absolutely a position that is open to art majors. In this career, you may design something new from scratch, but a majority in this job tend to improve upon past designs.

An undergraduate degree is required, but some employers may ask for a Master’s or higher. Most want to see a great portfolio though and strong computer skills are needed as you’ll be working with computer design software.

4. Art Historian

Art historian is another job available to art majors. They study and interpret visual arts related to the time they were created. They may also work to uncover the creator of the artwork, when it was made, and for what reason. Art historians need to be skilled in writing, critical thinking, research, attention to detail, and public speaking.

A bachelor’s degree can get you started in art history, but a master’s or higher is often required to find employment and be respected in the field.

5. Art Therapist

Art therapists work with clients and art to help physical, emotional, and cognitive health. They may use artwork like drawing, painting, sculpting, and more to help their patients. Therapists can also provide guided exercises for patients.

Art therapists are required to have at least a Master’s degree in art therapy or a related major.

  • The median salary is $59,500.
  • Employment of art therapists is expected to grow by 17% between 2018 and 2028.

 6. Museum Technician or Conservator

Museum technicians and conservators work to prepare items for exhibits, storage, or research. They are not restricted to artwork either; they can work with fossils, botanicals, books, documents, and more. Another similar job is as a museum curator where you’d be responsible for deciding what items and collections go on exhibit.

Museum technicians and conservators should have at least a Bachelor’s, but many have a Master’s, too.

 7. Special Effects Artist

Special Effects Artists and Animators work to create digital special effects for movies, TV shows, video games, commercials, and other forms of media. They can work with two or three-D models and animation.

8. Makeup Artist

Makeup artists can work in a variety of different fields and areas, including helping with wedding makeup to getting actors and actresses ready for the next scene. Individuals in this career may be able to recommend and apply makeup that reflects a certain time period, mood, or other setting. In some cases, they might also work with special effects, hair, prosthetics, and similar areas.

Makeup artists don’t necessarily need a degree – a majority don’t, but some do have some college and have attended cosmetology school. Some states may require you to have a license to be a makeup artist, too. This is definitely one option if you’re already working towards an art degree.

  • The median salary for makeup artists that work in theater and performance is $134,750.
  • Employment is expected to grow 6% between 2018 and 2028.

9. Web Developers

You can absolutely head into marketing with an art degree, too, and become a web developer or web designer! Those in this field will work to develop websites, apps, databases, and other interfaces for their clients. It covers a lot from the design of the website to the infrastructure to the UX.

  • The average salary for web developers is just over $77,000.
  • The field is expected to grow by 13%.

10. Interior Designer

Another option you have with an art degree is to become an interior designer! Interior designers plan, furnish, and design the look of a space using furniture, artwork, and other pieces of décor. Those in the field can specialize in home designing, commercial space design, or another area.

  • Most interior designers have a Bachelor’s Degree and have majored in Interior Design.
  • The median salary for the field is just over $60,000.
  • Interior designer employment should grow about 4% between 2018 and 2028.

These are only 10 awesome ideas for careers for art majors. Other positions you might want to consider include design manager, creative services director, user interface designer, art director, and graphic designer! If you have strong business skills, you may even find you want to be your own boss and work on commission. An art degree is far from useless – there are plenty of avenues open to you; you just have to look in the right spots!

Want to explore more art majors and careers? Use our FREE Major Search tool and Career Finder!

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