Careers in Fine and Studio Art

Establishing a career in Fine and Studio Art requires hard work, dedication, and a solid plan. If you are creative and love playing with colors, then a career in this field would suit you. Read this guide to learn more about the career and salary potential in this exciting field.

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Careers in Fine and Studio Art

Possible career paths for Fine and Studio Art majors are listed below:

  • Fine Artist: They use different techniques and methods to create art, such as sculpting, glass blowing, painting, or weaving. Students who wish to pursue a career in this field can specialize as sculptors, ceramic artists, collage artists, painters, glass artists, textile artists, craft makers, or digital artists.
  • Illustrator: Illustrators blend hand-paintings and drawings with digital media to make creative illustrations. These professionals can go on to become medical illustrators, fashion illustrators, comic book illustrators, children’s book illustrators, or film storyboard illustrators.
  • Art Curator: These professionals are responsible for managing art collections and displays in museums or art galleries. Art Curators are expected to have excellent event management and relationship building skills because as part of their jobs, they are required to organize exhibitions and work with several individuals such as exhibition designers, artists, and partner institutions.
  • Art Teacher: They work in community settings and schools, instructing students in art history and principles of art. They assist and supervise students, teach them art techniques, and grade artwork.
  • Greeting Card Artist: These professionals use their artistic skills and creative abilities to create novelty items such as greeting cards.
  • Art Critic: Art Critics visit studios, museums, and galleries to review the artwork presented there.
  • Art Therapist: These professionals use art-work to help individuals reduce anxiety, manage addictions, improve their self-esteem, and develop social skills. Art therapists are required to have the knowledge of different art forms and are also required to have some educational background in therapeutic techniques and counseling theories.

How to Become a Fine and Studio Art Professional?

Step 1: Get a Bachelor’s Degree

The first step is to obtain a four-year long Bachelor’s degree in a subject related to Fine Arts. Such post-secondary programs are being offered by universities and independent art and design schools. Students enrolled in the Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) program can specialize in a variety of majors such as Studio Arts or Fine Arts. Program participants can expect to receive instructions in subjects related to art history, studio art, contemporary art, and illustration & design. At the undergrad level, students can also spend their summers interning at art galleries, which can help them connect with the artist community.

Step 2: Consider Pursing a Master’s Degree

Although a Master’s degree is not at all mandatory, aspiring art professionals can still enroll in this advanced program to further polish their artistic skills. They can pursue a Master of Fine Arts (MFA) program and can specialize in a major of their choice such as Painting and Drawing or Studio Art. The MFA program may take up to three years to complete.

Step 3: Create a Portfolio and Connect with Art Dealers and Gallery Owners

After graduating, individuals should begin working on their portfolio right away. Once the portfolio is ready, they can send it to gallery owners and dealers. Moreover, individuals should also look out for job vacancies and apply as soon as they come across a job advertisement.

Note: Please treat this as a generic guideline. You are advised to conduct your own research to find out specific career related requirements within this broad profession.

Salary Data of Fine Artists, Including Painters, Sculptors, and Illustrators

According to BLS, the annual median wage for these professionals in 2019 was $50,550. The median salary figures for this occupation in the top paying industries were as follows:


2019 Annual Median Pay

Motion Picture and Video Industries


Architectural, Engineering, and Related Services


Aerospace Product and Parts Manufacturing


Computer Systems Design and Related Services


Scientific Research and Development Services


How Long Does it Take to Establish a Career in Fine and Studio Arts?

In order to establish a career in this field, individuals are required to obtain a Bachelor’s degree in Arts, which takes around four years to complete. This is usually followed by a Master’s degree in a related discipline, which may take around 2 to 3 years to complete. So all in all, it can take up to 6 years to kick-start a career in this field.

What Are the Requirements to Complete a Fine and Studio Arts Degree?

To complete a bachelor’s or a master’s degree in Fine Arts, students are required to pass comprehensive exams, sit through lectures, take internships and build portfolios to fulfill the credit hours requirement of the respective program. The master’s degree program is more intensive and demanding as it focuses majorly on students’ practical artwork and portfolio.

How Much Can I Make After Completing a Fine and Studio Arts Degree?

After completing a degree in Fine and Studio Arts, you can work as a Graphic Designer, Multimedia Artists & Animators etc.  According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics (2018) data, the median income of a Graphic Designer was $50,370 per year, while the median income for Multimedia Artists & Animators was $72,520 per year.

Frequently Asked Question(s)

Q:What are the prospects for Industrial Design careers for those interested in art?

A:The prospects for Industrial Design careers for those interested in Art are quite impressive. With the advancements and growth in engineering and project management, we can see that many companies that require building factories, assembly plants and corporate offices, require the hel and consultancy expertise of the Industrial Design executives that can provide them with thorough insight regarding how to design the setup in optimum fashion.

Q:Can you name a few careers in studio art?

A:There are many different careers you can pursue in studio arts. A few job positions you can consider are: cinematographer, photojournalist, art director, art critic, art restorer, photo stylist, conservator, studio manager, costume designer, public relations coordinator, creative consultant, calligrapher, and more. The job position you may qualify for will depend upon the level of your degree and specialization area.

Q:What kinds of art degrees careers are out there? Will I be able to find something that is close to my interests?

A:There are numerous art degrees related careers that are being practiced in this sector. It is such a broad industry that you are bound to find careers related to your area of interest. Some of the most popular ones include clothing design, graphics illustrators, ceramic designer, web designer, spatial designer and makeup artist.

Q:What kind of art jobs art studio are available out there?

A:Depending on the art and design degree that you have acquired, there will be different kinds of jobs that you can apply for in an art studio. These can range from a graphics programmer, photographer's assistant, art technician, a part-time teacher to an art director, creative arts studio coordinator and craft artist.

Q:What are some of the work requirements of the art studio jobs out there?

A:Well that depends on the kind of art related qualification that you might be possessing. The expected work related requirements can vary widely. For instance, if you end up working as a studio technician in an art studio, you can be expected to manage the studio equipment such as lights and cameras and prepare the set for a shoot.

Q:Can you name a few job positions that fall in the category of careers in fine and studio art?

A:With an associate degree in fine and studio art, you can choose from a wide range of careers such as the following: advertising artist, motion picture artist, display designer, graphist, CAD designer, color expert, photojournalist, art consultant, urban designer, calligrapher, airbrush artist, decorator, animator, layout artist, audio visual artist, catalog instructor, art dealer, and more.

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