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Careers for Art Majors: Options and Requirements

Career News February 19, 2016

A career in art revolves around graphic designing, photography and art directing. If you’re interested in any of these careers in the future, continue reading to learn about the education qualification, job outlook and salary details.

Career Outlook for Individuals Majoring in Art

Art is an extremely broad field. It covers areas such as visual arts, graphic arts and art history. As such, jobs for people with a certificate or degree in Arts are numerous. This article will deal with career options for those interested in photography, graphic design and art directing.

Career Photographers Graphic Designers Art Directors
Education details Associate’s degree Bachelor’s degree Bachelor’s degree
Additional requirements Bachelor’s degree for industrial, scientific and photojournalists Technical training and portfolio Work experience preferably as a graphic designer, editor, or a bachelor’s in fine arts
Estimated job growth rate (2012) 1% 3% 2%
Average salary in 2012 $30,490 $45,900 $85,610

Career Options for those interested in Art

There are multiple career options for a graduate of any art field. However, we shall look at three popular career choices in this field; notably, a career as a photographer, graphic designer or an art director. These three career paths act as the biggest employers for Art majors’ graduates. However, there are more job opportunities to choose from. For instance, students who majored in art history could become art dealers while those who majored in illustration may choose to become animators, for example.

Photographer

Photographers illustrate stories and emotions by use of well taken pictures. They take pictures to convey certain messages, entertain or express ideas. However, there is more to photography than just taking pictures. Photography requires a certain degree of technical ability plus work ethics. Photographers may also be required to know how to operate filters, tripods, lenses and other complex tools. After taking pictures, photographers edit them, by either cropping or adding other color effects.

Job Details for Photographers

Apart from acquiring a college degree, an aspiring photographer may enroll for additional training on photography. Studies for photographers usually revolve around color aspects, lighting and printing of photographs, among others.

Salary Details

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) estimates that as of May 2012, photographers earned an average annual salary of $30,490. However, photographers who work in aerospace, video companies and scientific development research institutes were found to earn significantly higher than average salaries. The job growth rate in this field is at a low one percent.

Graphic Designer

They are also known as graphic artists. They express messages through electronic and print media using animation, photography and illustration as their main skills. Graphic designers use quite complex software programs to come up with desired layouts and elements. Graphic designers are expected to have a bachelor’s degree as a minimum education requirement.

Job Outlook and Salary Details

In May 2012, graphic designers earned an average annual salary of $45,900, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. However, graphic designers who worked in California, Washington and Bridgeport, CT were found to earn up to $70,255, on average.

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