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Many Career Options for an Art Teacher

Career News November 1, 2012

Art teachers work to motivate students to provide unbridled expression to their creativity using art as the medium for such expression.  An art teacher can engage students regardless of their age groups or levels of education. In this article, I’ll discuss the various careers that art teachers can pursue to achieve prosperity.

Where are the Jobs

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) (, teachers will have many career opportunities in the decade from 2008 to 2018. How lucrative are these opportunities will depend on the subject they teach, the neighborhood in which they work, and the grade level of the students they target.

For instance, elementary school teachers are expected to see the highest growth rate of jobs at sixteen percent, second only to postsecondary teachers (targeting students who have completed high school) who are likely to receive a fifteen percent increase in job opportunities. Secondary school teachers are likely to see an increase of nine percent in job openings. Many of the job openings forecast are expected to arise from mandatory replacements for teachers expected to retire during the forecast period.

With rural regions and inner cities reporting a shortage of teachers, some states are embracing policies to encourage people to take up teaching careers. Consequently, individuals embarking on teaching careers and those willing to relocate can target these regions to establish a rewarding future.

How Much Art Teachers Earn

The BLS research reveals that art teachers’ earnings will depend on where they wish to work and the grade level taught by them.

For instance, according to data collected in 2010, postsecondary art teachers earned on average $62,040 annually (Note: New York and New Jersey averaging higher figures of $99,630 and $78,340, respectively). The corresponding figure for art teachers employed in junior colleges was $72,990, while technical and trade schools paid art teachers an average annual salary of $51,500.

Career Profile

The National Art Education Association (NAEA), on its website at defines art as signifying three necessities of life: values, work and language. According to the NAEA, art education underscores the ability to express ourselves – in a space created by such education itself — in a language exclusively centered on visual images. Art students are taught that such expressions can be immeasurable, encompassing all their feeling and thoughts about the world they inhabit.  Art teachers create diverse art forms as they act as a beacon light to students seeking to enhance visual communication skills.

Art teachers operate at different grade levels, ranging from postsecondary levels at the high end down to high school, middle, and elementary levels. While their main areas of operation are public and private educational institutions, adult art education programs and art museums provide additional career options.

More Information about Art Education

To pursue a career as an art teacher; a person must have a Bachelor of Fine Arts or like degree apart from a teaching certification. Postsecondary art teachers must have a master degree or higher qualification. Prospective art teachers can aim for degrees in any or all of graphic design, photography, drawing, media arts, sculpture, painting and ceramics.

Art students with a teaching degree will pursue an internship for one year that will give them some teaching experience. Teachers who are seeking their own classroom in a public school must ensure that the school of their choice has a license to provide art education.

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