Jobs for art majors


Most colleges and universities offer art degrees in fine, visual and media arts. This includes programs such as painting, music, sculpture, photography, theatre and film, design and animation. Before you start thinking, ‘starving artist’, there are many practical (read lucrative) careers for the creative-minded. Technology has merged art with business, making the potential limitless. Another area of study is art history, which can lead to a career as an educator, archivist, curator or historian. Here are some careers for your student to consider if they’re pursuing an art degree.

Fine arts

Fine artists perform and show their work in galleries and museums. Generally, the fine arts include art, dance, music, theatre, film and television. Some artists create handmade goods like glassware and pottery for a functional purpose and some artists create paintings and sculptures for aesthetic value. A subset of fine arts, visual and performing arts, including dance, music, theatre, and film and television, offer degrees or concentrations specific to each specialty. Art education is another fine arts degree option that emphasizes teaching and learning involving both creativity and critical thinking. 


Art teacher, musician, singer, dancer, choreographer, painter, sculptor, photographer, photojournalist, museum curator, craft artist, poet, architect, illustrator.   


Art majors are known for doing what they love and being innovative thinkers. Many who chose to study art are determined, resilient independent workers and collaborators. Some specific interest areas include art history, studio art, film production, art education, museum studies, design, performance and fashion.


Art director, animator, fashion designer, writer, filmmaker, interior designer, landscape architect, fashion merchandising, actor, composer, director, producer, set designer, photography director, costume designer, prop master, makeup artist, movie editor.

Design, illustration and media

Visual arts like illustration and graphic design are characterized in part by how they are communicated. Advances in technology have created new forms of art and artistic expression. Media highlights the use of more contemporary methods of both creating and disseminating art, including 3D modeling, digital fabrication, computer animation and video production.


Cartoonist, book illustrator, graphic designer, animator, art director, set designer, audio and video equipment technician, commercial and industrial designer, elementary or secondary school teacher, independent artist, marketing and public relations director, media consultant, museum and gallery curator, director or art dealer, performer, professor, video and media producer or designer, video game designer.


Music programs across the country offer a variety of degrees ranging from music composition and theory, and music history to conducting, popular music and jazz studies. Music performance is also an option for those who are interested in a career as a professional musician. Sound good? 


Music composer or songwriter, music teacher, performer, professional musician, music manager, music therapist, singer, music director, music producer, audio engineer, music manager.


A degree in dance can elevate and refine your student’s artistic expression through instruction in technique and performance. Entry into most programs requires an audition. Once accepted, students can explore genres like ballet, modern, jazz, contemporary, ballroom or tap dance. Other academic areas of interest include dance history, choreography, kinesiology, stagecraft and dance education. Simply moving.


Dancer, dance coach, dance scout, private dance instructor, choreographer, fitness trainer, aerobics instructor, dance teacher.


While some may wish to polish their acting skills and make it big in Hollywood, there are a range of opportunities in theatre arts in addition to professional acting. Theatre arts programs offer concentrations and coursework in the areas of performance, design and production, dramaturgy, and playwriting. And … cut!


Actor, composer, writer, director (stage, motion picture, television, radio), producer, set designer, director of photography, costume designer, prop master, makeup artist, movie editor, entertainer, talent director, drama teacher, audio/visual equipment technician, sound engineer, program director, technical director or manager.

Film and television

An arts degree in film and television prepares students to work in the entertainment industry. The study of television and film involves everything from creativity and storytelling to film production. Students learn about the history of television and film, contemporary industry practices, the creative and filmmaking processes, media development, and distribution. 


Director, producer, screenwriter, cinematographer, film editor, sound designer, camera operator, stage director, broadcast technician, multimedia animator, agent, business manager, talent director, audio/visual technician, movie critic, media lawyer.

Self-expression and creativity are good for the soul. A career in the arts offers the opportunity to work both independently and collaboratively. Art majors strengthen critical thinking abilities that allow them to better interpret the world around them. They can build confidence and a stronger sense of individuality. Going to college and getting a degree gives talented individuals the opportunity to focus and sharpen their skills and abilities as an artist.