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Art and Design Careers for the Future

Many artistic and creative individuals are under the misconception that their passion can never become a full-time career. However, millions of people around the world are able to make a living with art and design careers. One of the keys to success is a realistic picture of various careers and their salaries as well as adequate preparation in the form of art and design degrees.

Find out below about some of the fastest-growing and best-paid careers in areas of art and design as well as what kind of degree, training or qualification will be necessary to succeed.

Quick Facts: Art Industry
Median Pay:   $64,200 per year | $31 per hour
Entry-Level Education:   Bachelor's degree
Work Experience:   Less than 5 years
Number of Jobs, 2014:   19,000

Art Occupations:

  • Agents and business managers of artists, performers, and athletes$64,200

Curators, Museum Technicians, and Conservators

According to the National Endowment For the Arts, one of the art careers with the fastest projected rate of growth is that of curators, museum technicians and conservators. While these individuals may not directly create works of art, they are absolutely instrumental in the care and conservation of classic pieces and upcoming contemporary works. If you have a love of all things art and a desire to share your knowledge with others, then one of these careers might be the best fit for your future.

In order to work as a curator or conservator in a museum, one of the best ways to prepare is with the help of a bachelor's degree in art history or library science. These four-year degree programs can be earned through accredited online colleges from the comfort of your own home, or you can enroll in a more traditional college campus program.

Multimedia Artists and Animators

In today's world, a large portion of the art we see is created on a computer rather than with a paintbrush and an easel. Animators with strong drawing skills might use software to craft cartoons that become full-length animated movies, or they may create beautiful illustrations for children's books. One thing that all multimedia artists need to have is confidence using the computer.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the average salary for a multimedia artist or animator is $61,370 per year. Keep in mind that even if you are incredibly talented, most employers will want you to have a bachelor's degree. The subject you choose to major in can vary, but some of the most popular options include that of animation, fine art or computer graphics.


Those who design, plan and create structures are called architects, and their work is certainly artistic in nature. In 2010, the BLS reported that there were more than 107,000 architects currently working in the United States, and there is a predicted job growth in the industry of 17 percent between now and 2022. This is above the national average, signifying greater job stability for potential college graduates.

Many architects work with large firms, in-house with multinational corporations or as freelance employees, but they will always need to have the education to back up their skills. Most architects will need to earn a bachelor's degree, intern with a licensed architect and then pass the Architect Registration Exam.

Landscape Architects

If you are creative and you love design, then landscape architecture might be a field of study with serious potential. This career is ideal for those who can see the bigger picture, enjoy spending time outdoors and have a natural interest in plant life. The first step toward this career is earning a bachelor's degree in landscape architecture, but the reward for four years of study can be an impressive annual salary of $64,180, according to the BLS.

Those who succeed in this field tend to get along well with others and have excellent management and delegation skills. In addition, landscape architects need to be great communicators when discussing plans and ideas with their potential clients.

Art Directors

In a list of art and design occupations published by the BLS, the position of art director was the highest-paid employment opportunity. With a bachelor's degree in art design, graphic design or art, art directors can earn an average annual salary of $80,880, which is impressive in this particular field.

Keep in mind that art directors tend to work with marketing and advertising companies, and their daily tasks might include things like creating logos, crafting visually appealing commercials or designing packaging that customers will be drawn to in the grocery store.

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, the number of students earning degrees in art and design has been on the rise since 1999. Students majoring in art and design will likely face some competition in their respective fields, but there are countless job opportunities available. From landscape architecture to designing packaging for new retail products, you can put your skill and passion for art into a new and exciting career once you have an online or traditional degree in art and design.

Explore your options for earning a degree in an area of art and design.