5 Major Employers of Visual Arts Graduates

5 Places That Employ Visual Arts Graduates

  • Museums And Galleries
  • Art Schools Or Programs
  • Commercial Or Fine Art Studios
  • Advertising Agencies
  • Themselves
There are several major employers of visual arts graduates. Many students may wonder what they can do with a visual art major but there are actually quite a few options. Here are some of the places visual arts majors often find employment upon graduation.

1. Museums And Galleries

Museums and art galleries are major employers of visual arts graduates. They may be employed as curators, docents, or to conserve or restore pieces of existing art. Galleries or museums can be privately-run or government-owned. Depending on the position, employees at museums with visual arts backgrounds may be highly public-facing or rarely interact with visitors at all. There are usually internships available through these organizations, which give students the opportunity to gain work experience in their field. No matter what subject they are studying, students should take internship opportunities when available to give them an advantage in finding employment when they begin searching for jobs.

2. Art Schools Or Programs

Many visual arts graduates find employment at art schools or art programs. This can be in primary school, secondary school, colleges or specialty art schools. Working in this capacity is great for students who wish to pass on their love of art and creativity to other aspiring artists. They design curriculums, teach art theories and practice, assist students who need it, serve on academic committees and more. Visual arts graduates who wish to become art teachers will likely need a degree or proper certification in education as well as a visual arts degree.

3. Commercial Or Fine Art Studios

Commercial and fine art studios produce art to be sold for commercial purposes. They, therefore, are a major employer of visual arts graduates. These studios are often located in lofts, buildings or warehouses. Studios may specialize in a specific type of art, such as sculpting, painting, ceramics or glass work. On the management side of the spectrum, they may eventually work their way up to becoming art directors who conceive and oversee the creation of artistic projects. Art directors are among the highest paid professionals in the visual arts.

4. Advertising Agencies

Advertising agencies and marketing firms employ a significant number of visual arts graduates. Advertising is often dependent on using the visual arts to communicate information, a meaning or a feeling about a commercial product, company or non-profit organization. Artists working at advertising agencies may be called upon to create drawings, photos or other pieces of art used in advertising campaigns. They usually take directions from a creative director or marketing manager, but may also be asked to contribute creative ideas to a project. Artists working in advertising may make extra income based on commissions earned from successful sales.

5. Themselves

Most visual arts graduates work for themselves as self-employed artists according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Visual artists who are self-employed need to have business skills in addition to artistic skills. This can mean obtaining a degree in business in addition to visual arts. Freelance or self-employed artists may create their own art to sell or they can take commissions where they create a piece of art based on the specifications of a client. They have to be excellent at time management and complete their artistic work in addition to completing clerical tasks such as communicating with clients and managing finances. Visual artists can be employed in a number of capacities and in a variety of roles. The examples listed above are some of the most common employers of visual arts graduates. Related Resources: