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What Can I do With a Degree in Art?

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Students who major in art develop skills that are highly valued by employers. These skills include: critical and creative thinking; oral, written, and visual communication skills; the ability to take multiple approaches to solving problems; adaptability; the ability to work effectively individually and collaboratively; the ability to interpret cultures; organization; research and synthesis. Students and alumni may find employment in government, nonprofits, educational institutions, and businesses, depending on their skills and experience. Internships or relevant part-time jobs may be a prerequisite to finding employment.

Places of Employment

The following list of employers and job titles was derived from Advising & Career Services' jobs database where the employer specifically requested art majors. This list does not reflect all potential places of employment or kinds of jobs for art majors. This list does not reflect current openings.

The following list was generated from a variety of sources (GooglePortland CraigslistFlipdogIndeedSimplyHired, among others) using keywords such as graphic design, animation, art, design, sculpture, printmaking, drawing, photography, and illustration, Portland, Oregon, etc. This list does not reflect all potential places of employment or kinds of jobs for graphic design majors. This list does not reflect current openings

Careers Reported by Art Majors

This is a list of jobs art majors reported having at (or shortly after) graduation and was built from survey data published by colleges and universities across the United States. This list does not include every possible career for art majors.  Please be aware that internships or other career-related experience may be a prerequisite to finding professional-level employment after graduation.  Advising & Career Services provides this list only as a tool for generating ideas for exploration.

  • 3D Animator for a visual design & production firm
  • 3-D Contractor for a digital advertising agency
  • Adult Training Specialist for a nonprofit serving people with developmental disabilities
  • Advertising Coordinator for an advertising agency
  • Analyst for financial services technology company
  • Art Consultant for an art gallery
  • Art Director for a multimedia advertising agency
  • Art Instructor for an art museum
  • Art Manager for an MMOG
  • Artist, self-employed
  • Assistant Curator for a university art gallery
  • Assistant Project Designer for a residential remodeling/design firm
  • Assistant Recruiter for a staffing firm for digital/interactive media professionals
  • Associate Account Manager for a marketing/technologies/services agency
  • Associate at an art institute
  • Associate Project Designer for a utility company
  • Business Technology Analyst for a consulting firm
  • Child Protective Services Investigator for a county social service agency
  • Community Service Officer for a university
  • Computer Texturer for a visual effects firm
  • Education Coordinator for an arts nonprofit
  • Event Coordinator for an autism advocacy organization
  • Field Technician for the national museum/research center
  • Fine Art Consultant for an art gallery
  • Graphic Designer for a music recording/publishing company
  • Hall Director for a university
  • Imaging Artist for a publishing company
  • Information Technology Support for a consulting firm
  • Intern at a contemporary art gallery
  • IT Service Desk Specialist for a film/television production company
  • Laboratory Assistant for a medical research institute
  • Life Skills Educator with AmeriCorps
  • Manager/Head Designer for a private capital company
  • Marketing Communications Assistant for an apparel company
  • Marketing Specialist for a trade association
  • Marketing Writer for a high-tech company
  • Multimedia Designer for a defense contractor
  • Outreach Coordinator for a think tank
  • Photo Archivist for a trade association
  • Photo Researcher/Designer for a faith-based nonprofit
  • Photographer for an event planning company
  • Photography Lab Tech for a community art studio
  • Physician Services Coordinator for a radiology practice
  • Preparator for an art museum
  • Production Artist for an interactive digital advertising agency
  • Production Assistant for a visual effects company
  • Project Coordinator for an advertising firm
  • Publicity Assistant for a lobbying firm
  • Research Associate for a University
  • Research Associate I for a bioscience company
  • Sales Associate at the Smithsonian Museum
  • Sculpture and Jewelry Studio Technician for an art school
  • Service Coordinator for an educational nonprofit
  • Slide Librarian for a university
  • Staff Artist for an arts-based day program for people with intellectual & developmental disabilities
  • Studio Assistant for a fashion designer
  • Teacher for Teach for America
  • Teaching Assistant for a nonprofit visual arts center
  • Web Designer for web design company 

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Jobs Reported by Studio Arts Majors (gathered from American Community Survey data)

The following list of job titles was generated from 2013 American Community Survey data. Every year, the federal government surveys over 3,000,000 people. This list shows some of the most-often reported careers for people who have majored in Studio Arts. Advising and Career Services provides this list as a tool for generating ideas for exploration. 

  • Designers
  • Artists
  • Elementary and Middle School Teachers
  • Postsecondary Teachers
  • Secondary School Teachers
  • Education Administrators
  • Photographers
  • Web Developers
  • Chief Executives and Legislators
  • Financial Managers
  • Architects
  • Counselors
  • Marketing and Sales Managers
  • Management Analysts
  • Registered Nurses
  • Archivists, Curators, and Museum Technicians
  • Writers and Authors
  • Computer and Information Systems Managers
  • Software Developers, Applications and Systems Software
  • Computer Systems Analysts
  • Lawyers and Judges
  • Social and Community Service Managers
  • Physicians and Surgeons
  • Editors
  • Fundraisers
  • Public Relations and Fundraising Managers
  • Social Workers
  • Market Research Analysts and Marketing Specialists
  • Librarians
  • Database Administrators
  • Human Resources Managers
  • Jewelers and Precious Stone and Metal Workers
  • Accountants and Auditors
  • Producers and Directors
  • Public Relations Specialists
  • Agents and Business Managers Of Artists, Performers, and Athletes
  • Dentists
  • Special Education Teachers
  • Personal Financial Advisors
  • Mechanical Engineers
  • Computer Programmers
  • Dental Hygienists
  • Computer Hardware Engineers
  • Human Resources Workers
  • Network and Computer Systems Administrators
  • Medical and Health Services Managers
  • Operations Research Analysts
  • Nurse Practitioners, and Nurse Midwives
  • Training and Development Specialists
  • Psychologists
  • Veterinarians
  • Technical Writers

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Advising & Career Services' Resources

  • Artist's & Graphic Designer's Market by Writer's Digest Books. Describes "where and who to sell your illustration, fine art, graphic design & cartoons."
  • Becoming a Graphic Designer: A Guide to Careers in Design by Steven Heller & Teresa Fernandes. Describes design specialties, businesses, options, and education.
  • Careers in Art: An Illustrated Guide, second edition by Gerald F. Brommer and Joseph A. Gatto. Describes career areas, typical jobs, education and experience requirements. Includes careers profiles.
  • Careers for Color Connoisseurs & Other Visual Types by Jan Goldberg. Describes fine arts or arts-related careers.
  • Great Jobs for Art Majors, second edition by Blythe Camenson. Describes potential career paths for art majors.
  • The Fine Artist's Career Guide by Daniel Grant. Includes chapters on Establishing a Presence in the Art World, The Search for Art-Related Income, Art-Related Employment, Making a Living as a Printmaker or Sculptor, Careers in the Art World, and Careers in Design.
  • Top Careers for Art Graduates by Checkmark Books. Describes many arts jobs including: antique/art dealers, film editors, illustrators, painters, and sculptors.

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Vocational Biographies

Vocational Biographies describes the career success stories of 1001 real people. Search by career title, keyword, topic, and career cluster. Username: portland su and pass code: 3w9n.

  • Advertising Photographer
  • Animator
  • Antiques Appraiser
  • Art Conservator/Framer
  • Art Critic
  • Art Gallery Owner
  • Art Handler
  • Arts Funder
  • Book Designer
  • Church Art Restorator
  • Commissioned Portrait Painter
  • Courtroom Artist
  • Custom Linens Designer
  • Editorial Cartoonist
  • Glassblower
  • Graphic Designer
  • Jewelry Designer
  • Magazine Art Director
  • Mosaic Artist
  • Natural History Artist
  • Packaging Design Director
  • Paper Artist
  • Pencil Artist
  • Photographer
  • Police Artist/Fingerprint Technician
  • Sculptor
  • Stained Glass Artist
  • Toy Sculptor
  • Web Site Designer
  • Wildlife Photographer

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Sites with Job Search Resources for Art Majors

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Arts Organizations

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Professional Associations

Drawing:

Graphic Design:

Painting:

Printmaking:

Sculpture:

PSU Department of Art:

See also What Can I do With a Major in Art History?

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