14 arts degree jobs you can pursue (Plus salary info)

Updated 8 August 2023

Studying fine arts or any related arts degree can boost your capacity for creativity. Many jobs require a high level of creativity to perform well. However, some of them are not as immediately obvious as others. In this article, we discuss different kinds of jobs you can get with an arts degree, their primary duties and salary information to help you decide which career is best for you.

14 arts degree jobs you can pursue

There are many jobs available to those with an arts degree. Some are directly related to your degree, while others are not directly related but require the same skills. Here is a list of jobs you can do with an arts degree:

1. Special effects makeup artist

National average salary: £20,026 per year

Primary duties: A special effects makeup artist works in the movie industry to create unique characters through makeup. These people also utilise makeup to create convincing injuries and defects for characters. While working in this role, you can expect to travel. Apart from their salaries, special effects makeup artists may also be rewarded by having their names mentioned in the movie credits.

If you're a special effects makeup artist, you can use social media to make your work known. To become a special effects makeup artist, it's important to be adaptable and flexible.

2. Art teacher

National average salary: £23,792 per year

Primary duties: An art teacher teaches fine arts in secondary school or college. As such, they're responsible for planning and delivering the curriculum on the subject. As a result of being an art teacher, you can inspire creativity in students. This creativity is mostly expressed in visual terms through drawings and paintings. To become an art teacher, it's important to have a passion for creativity. With this passion, you can inspire the same in your students.

3. Graphics designer

National average salary: £24,598 per year

Primary duties: As a graphic designer, your job is to create graphics for media. Thus, you can expect to work mainly in the media industry, either at a newspaper, magazine or advertising company. You can also expect to be working on a computer during the majority of your workdays.

Graphics designers are also involved in creating graphics for promotions. Usually, these include the creation of logos that reflect a brand. If you want to become a graphic designer, develop good interpretive skills.

4. Gallery curator

National average salary: £27,043 per year

Primary duties: Gallery curators are responsible for managing the artistic pieces available in the gallery. These people can also be responsible for planning events around art, such as fundraising or auctions. Gallery curators are usually social people and are expected to develop relationships with stakeholders.

To succeed as a gallery curator, develop great interpersonal skills. Organisational skills are also useful to have due to the different events you may be required to plan.

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

5. Illustrator

National average salary: £28,569 per year

Primary duties: Illustrators are people who are commissioned to create images for a client's purpose. Illustrators can specialise in the area that interests them most. For example, fashion illustrators create sketches of outfits to bring a client's idea to life.

Illustrators mostly work on a contractual basis but can also be employed full time. As an illustrator, your responsibility may include creating original ideas based on your client's brief. Thus, to become one, it's essential to have excellent design skills and creativity.

6. Print designer

National average salary: £33,221 per year

Primary duties: A printmaker designs patterns to be printed on different materials. Printmakers work based on commission and are often self-employed. Thus, the amount of hours you work as a printmaker is likely to depend on the number of projects you accept at a time.

You can also use social media to exhibit your work for free and attract clients as a printmaker. It's also important for you to have good networking skills, especially if you're a self-employed printmaker.

7. Art history lecturer

National average salary: £33,684 per year

Primary duties: An art history lecturer teaches university students about the history of art. For many universities, the minimum requirement is a master's degree in art. As an art history lecturer, your main responsibility may include planning and delivering the curriculum on the subject.

Many art history lecturers choose this role because they enjoy it. Thus, you can expect to have a fulfilling career if you decide to become one yourself. Communication skills can be useful to have as an art history teacher.

8. Animator

National average salary: £34,452 per year

Primary duties: As an animator, your job is likely to include creating multiple images known as frames. Animators create this illusion of movement for cartoons either through hand-drawn pictures or digitally. As an animator, you can expect most of your clients to be international.

An important skill to have as an animator is flexibility. It would help if you also were skilled in storytelling. Having knowledge of 2D or 3D design can be more beneficial.

9. Interior designer

National average salary: £35,204 per year

Primary duties: An interior designer is responsible for planning a space for living or working. As an interior designer, you're expected to visually plan things like how different colours can look together in a space. Interior designers work with client briefs to bring the client's idea to life as much as possible.

To be an interior designer, you're expected to have good imaginative skills. You can also expect to work in a creative team. Interior designers often spend long hours on the site until it's completed.

Related: How to become an interior designer

10. Product designer

National average salary: £40,223 per year

Primary duties: A product designer is a person who is responsible for designing the packaging for consumer products. As a product designer, you may also be responsible for researching how customers react to different designs of products. Product designers are also responsible for ensuring that their client's packaging matches or supersedes the quality of their competitors.

As a product designer, a useful skill to have is commercial awareness. Apart from your degree, other useful subjects to be knowledgeable of include industrial design and manufacturing processes.

11. Visual designer

National average salary: £40,428 per year

Primary duties: Visual designers create artworks for digital projects. They create digital platforms such as websites to achieve a visually appealing result for customers. Thus, visual designers can advise their clients on the best way to design their website layout.

To be a visual designer, it's important to have good problem-solving skills. Apart from your degree, it's also useful for you to know different programming languages. As a visual designer, you can choose to work as a freelancer.

12. Tattoo artist

National average salary: £40,494 per year

Primary duties: A tattoo artist is a person who draws tattoo designs on human skin. As a tattoo artist, you can also expect to consult with clients to understand the designs they want. You can choose to work independently as a tattoo artist or for a studio.

Even with your arts degree, you may also be required to complete training for tattoo artists. This training could be in the form of an apprenticeship that could take several years. A license is equally required to work in the industry. As a tattoo artist, it can be beneficial to have good interpersonal skills.

13. Art director

National average salary: £45,229 per year

Primary duties: An art director is responsible for overseeing a creative project from start to finish. They manage the creative team, including graphic designers and visual artists. Art directors can work in different media industries.

If you're an art director, you can expect to also be in charge of curating the creative team to achieve the goal of a project. Thus, a successful art director needs good leadership skills.

14. Creative director

National average salary: £64,253 per year

Primary duties: Creative directors are the people who take the lead in creative decisions. If you want to be a creative director, you can expect to work in a creative team to achieve your client's vision. Creative directors can work in advertising or in fashion.

As a creative director, your job includes pitching ideas to clients. Thus, you need good communication and leadership skills.

Salary figures reflect data listed on Indeed Salaries at the time of writing. Salaries‌ ‌may‌ ‌‌vary‌‌ ‌depending‌ ‌on‌ ‌the‌ ‌hiring‌ ‌organisation‌ ‌and‌ ‌a‌ ‌candidate's‌ ‌experience,‌ ‌academic‌ background‌ ‌and‌ ‌location.‌


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