Art Career Overview - Southwestern Illinois College

Employment Opportunities

A number of careers are open to students who graduate with a Bachelor’s Degree in Art including:

  • Freelance Artist
  • Ceramic Artist
  • Illustrator
  • Art Critic
  • Art Educator
  • Art Museum Curator
  • Art Consultant
  • Art Historian
  • Sculptor

For details about career opportunities, visit the Occupational Outlook Handbook website published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Career Outlook

The U.S Department of Labor 2021-2031 Occupational Outlook Handbook projects employment of craft and fine artists is projected to increase about 6 percent. About 5,900 openings for craft and fine artists are projected each year, on average, over the decade. For more information regarding the field of art please go to the Occupational Outlook Handbook.


The Bureau of Labor Statistics report the median annual wage for craft and fine artists was $49,960 in May 2021.

So What Can You Do?

Graphic Artist

Graphic Designers create visual concepts using computer software or by hand, to communicate ideas that inspire, inform, and captivate consumers.

Requires Bachelor’s Degree in Graphic Design or a related Fine Arts field. Salary Range: $50,710-98,260.


Special effects artists and animators create two and three dimensional models, images that appear to move, and visual effects for television, movies, video games, and other forms of media.

Requires Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Graphics, Animation, Fine Arts, or a related field. Salary Range: $78,790-$131,370.

Art Therapist

They work in different settings with different types of clients. They use art and psychology on the job.

Requires Bachelor’s Degree then Master’s Degree in Art Therapy, which may also include coursework in counseling. Salary Range: $30,000-80,000.

Interior Designer

Make indoor spaces functional, safe, and beautiful by determining space requirements and selecting essential and decorative items, such as colors, lighting, and materials.

Requires Need Bachelor’s Degree in any field, Fine Arts being the most common. Salary Range: $60,340-$99,070.

The Other Fields That Artists Want

Archivists, Curators, and Museum workers: Archivists and Curators oversee institutions collections, such as of historical items or of artwork. Museum technicians and conservators prepare and restore items in those collections.

Photographers: Photographers use their technical expertise, creativity, and composition skills to produce and preserve images.

Art Directors: Art Directors are responsible for the visual style and images in magazines, newspapers, product packaging, and movie and television productions.