What Can You Do with an Art Degree? All Questions Answered

Written by
Rebecca Smith

Jan 3, 2019

Jan 3, 2019 • by Rebecca Smith

A love for Picasso, Dali, and Monet? A passion for painting, sketching, and seeing a vision come to life?

The world of art and culture is a place to expand your education and explore employment opportunities. This $700 billion art industry is up 32.5% from 1998. Meaning more jobs and potential for career growth. 

So what's the best way to break into this rewarding and creative career choice? With a degree in the arts, it's easier to find a future in imagination and visual expression. 

Here's what can you do with an art degree and how to plan the right path for your career. 

What Can You Do with an Art Degree?

Knowledge and training in the arts open up an array of career opportunities. Artistic careers involve producing new art and promoting artists. Or teaching others all about the world of art. 

Depending on your unique skill set, you could go on to have a career in marketing and advertising. Or interior design or higher education. Here are a few successful and rewarding choices for those who hold an art degree. 

Art Teacher

Wondering what can I do with an art degree that involves making a big impact in the lives of others? Spread your knowledge by becoming an art teacher. You get to inspire creativity and help students find their passion. 

You can choose to teach at a primary or secondary school level. Or go on to higher education, becoming a college professor. Most of these jobs will also need a Master's Degree or other teaching certifications. 

Your career will involve lectures and lesson plans. Focusing on the style and period of art you wish to teach.

You may also find yourself in a mentor role. Providing support and guidance for art students. 

Some teachers also offer private or group classes to budding artists. This is a great way to make extra money and expand your role in the community. 

Professional Artist 

Some art majors go on to become professional artists. They get to create and sell their own work for profit. 

These careers in art often include painting, drawing, and sculpting. The artist uses these mediums to express an idea or thought. 

This is a great choice for someone who dreams of owning their own studio. Yet, it takes a great deal of self-promotion. This gets made easier by the world of technology, through a website and social media.  

Gallery Owner or Manager

Have you dreamed of owning or operating a local art gallery? This art career involves selecting pieces to sell in a gallery. As well as promoting these pieces to the public. 

This takes a wide knowledge of all different styles of art. As well as having a pulse on new emerging artists. You'll also likely be planning and organizing gallery exhibits and events. 

The role often begins as an assistant where you work up to a gallery director. You'll help manage dealers and artists. So customer service is an important skill to have. 

Museum Curator

Curators help to cultivate a collection for a museum. The role is full of research, preservation, and restoration. You'll often deal with one-of-kind or priceless artwork and artifacts.

These jobs get found in major cities at a museum or library. This can provide an exciting work environment. Which is crucial to job success and satisfaction. 

Curators spend a great deal of time writing grant proposals. So you should have well-developed communication and computer skills for this role. 


This career path takes a person who is well-versed in art history. You should have a knack for research and value. 

Most appraisers specialize in a certain field, like Old Masters. Joining organizations or completing certifications will also set you apart from the competition. 


This career focuses on bringing ideas or concepts to life. Either through free-hand drawing or digital technology. 

Illustrators can work with authors on book covers or children's book graphics. Or they can go on to create comic books. 

Other career paths include fashion design or becoming an interior designer. Both of which will involve sharpening your computer drafting skills. 

Graphic Designer  

Graphic designers combine imagery and text to create visual concepts. This creative career can have you working with in-house marketing and advertising departments. Or freelancing by finding your own roster of clients. 

They often have a passion for branding and an eye for detail. Designers also get skilled in computer programs like Photoshop and InDesign.  

It's important to create a unique portfolio to promote your talents. This is especially true when trying to score a job in the advertising industry. 


Photographers often get to enjoy the freedom of being their own boss. They spend their time capturing images and making edits.

Photographers can specialize in people, places, or events. Or take images for the real estate or hospitality industry. 

This is another of the art careers that find work through a digital or printed portfolio. Use it to show a visual representation of your talents to impress clients. 

Arts Administrator

This field focuses on expanding art and culture in the local community. It involves organizing activities and events. As well as garnering community interest and involvement. 

You'll work with other business organizations in your area. Like local theaters, galleries, and dance studios. You'll also work to support local artists and secure new partnerships. 

12% of art students go on to start organizations, like nonprofits. So this is a great career to help better the economy and increase awareness of art and culture. 

Setting Yourself Apart from the Competition 

You'll need more than creative flair to stand out from the crowd of aspiring artists. 

So, what can you do with an art degree? It depends on getting the right education and experience. View here which bachelor of arts degrees will help you land your dream job in the art world.  

It also helps to seek out intern and apprenticeship positions. While in school, consider working part-time at an art gallery for extra experience. 

A mentor is another helpful tool in expanding your knowledge of the arts. This also provides a great networking resource when you're ready to apply for jobs. 

Landing Your Next Job in the Art Industry

So, what can you do with an art degree? The possibilities are endless, with career opportunities ranging from artists to appraisers. 

Once you have an art degree, you're ready to join this creative workforce. But before you go on that interview, be sure to follow these tips for preparing an impressive resume.