11 Art Careers for You To Explore (With Salaries)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated 18 October 2022 | Published 25 June 2021

Updated 18 October 2022

Published 25 June 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

A career in the arts can provide a high level of job satisfaction and give you a way to pursue your passions, especially if you hold credentials in the arts. Depending on your career goals, you can find art careers in fine arts, digital entertainment and graphic arts fields. Additionally, pursuing a career in the art field can also give you the opportunity to work as a freelancer, taking on diverse projects that can support your career growth. In this article, we explore what professions you can find in the arts and 11 art careers to consider.

What careers can you find in the arts?

Depending on your interests, goals and qualifications, you can find a wide range of art careers that focus on the fine arts, digital media, photography and videography. Many professionals with a background or degree in the arts often pursue careers in visual arts, entertainment and publishing, however, there are many additional options beyond these traditional art careers. For instance, the business sector often seeks professional artists for web design, graphic design, logo design and digital illustration, and the construction and manufacturing sectors may seek graphic artists with the expertise to build three-dimensional models of product prototypes.

In the entertainment industry, artists can often find employment working with animation, three-dimensional computer graphics, videography and cinematography. If you're interested in combining your art credentials with science, mathematics or engineering, you might consider careers in architecture, interior design or structural design. With the broad range of career paths you can take with a background in art, you can even combine traditional employment with freelance projects.

Related: How To Choose a Career Path

Who can pursue an art career?

Individuals who are passionate about applying their creativity and imagination often make suitable candidates for a career in the art field. If you're interested in designing media and materials with colour, drawings, visual conceptualisations and other artistic design elements, a career in the arts may be beneficial to consider. In addition to a passion for creativity and imagination, successful professionals in the arts have strong motivation and drive to succeed at making their passions a career.

For instance, to establish yourself in the industry and create a niche for your work, it's necessary to collaborate with other art professionals and build a network that you can rely on to ask for input, showcase new works and gain insight regarding contracts in the field. Additionally, some professionals who work in the arts often pursue a degree or certification in their specific field, though it's possible to enter your career with practical experience, skill and continuous development.

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11 art careers for you to consider

If you're considering art careers, the following roles can provide some insight into the different professions you can enter with your experience:

1. Cinematographer

National average salary: £17,383 per year

Primary duties: Cinematographers are responsible for developing the appearance, tone and overall visual qualities of the images and still frames that make up the final production of a film. They often work closely with directors of photography, videographers and film directors and collaborate with production teams in support of portraying stories and art forms through film. They often provide input to camera, lighting and sound crews to suggest approaches to capturing the mood of the characters in the film.

2. Art framer

National average salary: £21,049 per year

Primary duties: An art framer may work in an art gallery or for a photo rendering service and creates custom and prefabricated frames for artwork, photographs, memorabilia and special documents. These professionals rely on a range of technical and specialised carpentry skills and art principles to design, create and assemble artworks within frames. In art galleries, framers often work closely with artists and photographers to incorporate specific elements to highlight the features, appeal and functions of various designs, artwork and products.

3. Curatorial assistant

National average salary: £21,112 per year

Primary duties: Curatorial assistants support art curators and directors during exhibitions and when initiating projects in an art gallery. In art museums, they often concentrate on collecting and evaluating scholarly and historical art documents and texts, and they help curators organise and maintain historical works of art. They also help catalogue the visual features, function, age and location of items within various exhibitions. In galleries, curatorial assistants often engage with clients, organise and prepare upcoming art exhibitions and compile event materials for the public.

4. Artisan

National average salary: £23,308 per year

Primary duties: Artisans are craft workers who create some or all of a material item by hand. These professionals can work across a variety of industries, often finding employment with businesses and organisations that develop consumer products, customised goods and other handmade objects. An artisan may also choose self-employment or work as an independent contractor, completing projects for private clients. The items artisans create can vary and range from textiles and clothing to furniture and functional materials.

Related: 14 Self-Employed Jobs in the UK

5. Art instructor

National average salary: £23,315 per year

Primary duties: Art instructors work in a classroom setting in public, private and post-secondary institutions and plan and deliver lessons and assessments in art subjects. Depending on an instructor's background, they may teach subjects like art theory, history, art appreciation, illustration, design or another related subject. Instructors must possess the appropriate credentials in academics and the arts, and they work closely with other school faculty to connect art concepts to core subjects like mathematics and language studies.

Related: How to Write an Artist CV (With Examples)

6. Photographer

National average salary: £23,858 per year

Primary duties: A photographer uses cameras to record images of events, locations and other subjects. They can work across many industries, including the entertainment, construction and real estate sectors. In the entertainment industry, photographers take pictures of social, professional and newsworthy events. In construction and real estate, photographers may work with industry professionals to photograph designs, buildings, properties and other objects. While a photographer can gain employment with a range of business types, many often freelance with private clients.

7. Videographer

National average salary: £23,863 per year

Primary duties: A videographer records video and film productions and live events using cameras and film equipment. They work with other film and videography professionals and document real-life stories, entertainment media and social events like sports events, weddings and special occasions. These professionals can work across a range of industries, including in law where they record legal dispositions, in business to record training and development resources and in digital marketing to develop advertisements and promotional content. They apply their knowledge and training in artistic principles to capture and portray stories, reports and other media that gain audiences' interest and engagement.

8. Graphic designer

National average salary: £24,399 per year

Primary duties: A graphic designer combines art principles, technical aptitude and mathematical skills to develop and create artwork for a variety of purposes. Graphic designers can work in industries such as marketing, sales, manufacturing and entertainment where they implement clients' specifications to design advertising visuals, graphic media, short animations and other computer-aided designs. Some graphic designers may work as freelancers and independent contractors, either working remotely from home or within various organisations to help clients develop visual promotional materials.

Related: Work From Home Jobs That Pay Well

9. Curator

National average salary: £26,871 per year

Primary duties: An art curator is in charge of overseeing various exhibit collections in an art gallery or museum. They help build collections and often specialise in various areas of art history, concepts and theories. Curators also help gallery and museum teams develop organisational methods for cataloguing, storing and archiving artworks. In addition to these primary duties, an art curator may also help develop the plans that support visits from the community.

Related: What is an art curator and what do they do on a daily basis?

10. Illustrator

National average salary: £29,783 per year

Primary duties: Illustrators use artistic approaches like drawing and painting to enhance textbooks, advertisements, storybooks and other written materials. They often work closely with authors and writers to conceptualise and create drawings, paintings and sketches to give visual representation to characters, messaging, branding materials and other promotional texts. Much like other artists, illustrators often work on a contract basis, however, they can also find employment in ad agencies, community journals and other media publications.

11. Gallery manager

National average salary: £30,597 per year

Primary duties: Gallery managers maintain and improve the artistic and overall financial success of an art gallery. They update gallery exhibits, collaborate with featured artists and assist in developing and preparing art displays for a range of art types, including two-dimensional and three-dimensional works. Art gallery managers may also work in art museums to organise, catalogue and maintain the various exhibitions in museum departments.

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