February 1, 2011

Job Options for Art Majors

The phrase “starving artist” exists for a reason – it is extremely hard to make a living selling your work in galleries or even online.

Many students, in fact, decide not to major in art simply because it is difficult to find a job after you graduate if you want to paint or sculpt or otherwise work in a creative setting with your medium of choice. But it isn’t impossible! If you’re willing to think outside of the box, there are tons of opportunities out there for art majors. You might not see your drawings hanging in a museum, at least not right away, but you can earn a decent salary as an artist without waiting tables.

Tattoo Artist: With a little training and the willingness to be an apprentice until you boost your skills, you can become a tattoo artist and do some of the most important art work of people’s lives. Tattoos are next to impossible to remove, so your skills as an artist are super important in this industry. The top tattoo artists easily earn six figures a year, but even as an entry-level artist, you can earn a decent living and you get to work in a fun environment where you’ll have a flexible schedule and get to meet new people every day.

Crime Scene Photographer: If your medium of choice is film, why not consider becoming a crime scene photographer? In this job, you won’t necessarily be able to take “creative” shots, but your job will be to understand angles, light, and more so you can freeze a crime scene in time for investigators. The added bonus here is that you’ll actually be contributing to catching criminals.

Glass Blower: An interesting medium that you can consider, especially if you enjoy sculpture and three-dimensional artwork, is glass blowing. Working as a glass blower can lead to a salary of up to $55,000 annually, and the cool thing about this career path is that you can start out working for a large corporation that employs glass blowers and then eventually branch out to sell your own work at galleries or in a shop.

Cake Decorator: You may not initially think of working as a cake decorator as an artistic job, but this profession requires you to have sculpting skills, as well as a flair for design, color, shape, and texture. You can get started in cake decorating by working at a bakery or even a grocery store, where you’ll learn skills like piping and rolling fondant, and as you get better at your job, you can move on to create three-dimensional cake masterpieces.

Art Dealer: If you aren’t having lucky selling your creations yet, why not get into the art world as a dealer? Becoming an art dealer allows you to learn more about what people are buying and selling most, which allows you to make your own art more commercial (while also staying true to your own vision). As an added bonus, most art dealers do a significant amount of traveling, which means you’ll get to see the world as part of your job.

Sign up for our newsletter!