Top 10 Highest Paying Jobs for Arts Majors

Graduates who complete studies within arts disciplines gain a versatile degree providing solid educational foundation, means of increasing skills, and valuable experiences. Obtaining a degree based in the arts provides individuals with the opportunities to establish long term, secure careers within today’s top industries. As most employers seek candidates with strong communication skills, analytical skills, and critical thinking skills, arts majors are among candidates most preferred by a number of organizations and businesses.

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Due to the many disciplines available to students with an interest in majoring in the arts, the following Top 10 Highest Paying Jobs For Arts Majors will assist in choosing the best educational path to maximize earning potential.

1. Art Director

Art Directors are the upper level executives who design and direct layouts, art work, graphs, graphics, illustrations, and visual styles or images for productions. Art Directors oversee the planning, conceptual layout, and design of photographs, advertisements, and visual elements of magazines, newspapers, packaging, film sets, or television productions. They also review and approve work submitted by design and graphic staff, work closely with clients to meet artistic and stylistic needs and present designs for approval, as well as coordinate projects within various creative, financial, and customer service departments.

Featured Programs
1. The Art Institute Online - BS - Graphic Design
2. Rasmussen College - Digital Design and Animation Bachelor's Degree
3. International Academy of Design and Technology - Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design

Art Directors are required possess a minimum of a bachelor’s degree in art, design, photography, or a related discipline combined with previous work experience to qualify for employment. Many also complete Master of Business Administration or a Master of Fine Arts degree to gain employment within administrative positions. Earnings for Art Directors range from $42,840 to $163,430 annually.

2. Art Agent/Business Manager

Art Agents and Business Managers are the experts of the art industry who remain current of industry trends and represent artists to prospective clients and employers. They also promote the talents of individual or groups of artists. Art Agents and Business Managers offer strategic planning to advance their clients’ careers, handle contract and payment negotiations, arrange meetings with their clients and employers, write contracts, arrange travel and lodging, direct marketing campaigns, oversee advertising and public relations efforts, schedule meetings and promotional opportunities for clients, and handle their clients’ financial affairs by collecting fees, commission and payments. Art Agents and Business Managers often complete a minimum of a bachelor degree in art history and work as artists until acquiring the work experiences and talent necessary to advance to agent positions. Earnings for Art Agents and Business Managers are based on commission rates ranging from 10 to 20 percent of the art’s selling value. Salaries generally range from $41,740 to $116,370 yearly.

3. Art Professor

Art Professors offer specialized instruction and advanced expertise based in art to students within colleges and universities based. They plan, develop, and teach course curriculums, lesson plans, and assignments. Art Professors improve students knowledge and skills through instruction and assessment of progress, serve on academic committees, and advice students on means of meeting and achieving their goals. Art Professors within larger secondary schools also perform research, offer critical reviews, analyze documents and artwork, and publish findings within scholarly articles to advance the field and remain current in the art industry. Art Professors must complete a minimum of a master’s of education degree within the visual arts or art history combined with work experience to gain employment at two year community colleges. Larger colleges and universities generally prefer candidates who complete a doctoral degree program to be considered for employment. Art Professors generally earn salaries of $45,370 to $88,290 yearly.

4. Commercial Artist

Commercial Artists are responsible for developing and creating graphics and images used within advertising campaigns, print and online magazines, and packaging materials. Commercial Artists interpret basic conceptual ideas based upon employer or client descriptions and produce several drafts to meet client needs using freehand sketches or computerized design programs. Commercial Artists work closely with clients, supervisors, and other staff to brainstorm ideas, refine designs, and increase understanding of target markets, budgeting issues, scheduling goals, and project objectives. Commercial Artists may work independently as freelancers or within advertising corporations, publishing companies, graphic design firms, and other organizations. Many Commercial Artists are required to complete a minimum of a bachelor degree in commercial art to qualify for entry level employment. Salaried Commercial Artists generally have salaries of $43,980 to $85,160 annually.

5. Animator

Animators are responsible for the development, creation, and production of moving images used for websites, video games, film, and television projects. Animators utilize specialized computer software, computer graphics, and hand drawings to design and produce 2-D and 3-D animation for storyboards, models, and characters. Animators also design advertisements for use on the Internet to attract and direct online visitors to a number of web sites. Qualifying for entry level positions as animators requires completion of bachelor level studies within art or computer graphic disciplines combined with work experience and strong technical skills. Animators’ earnings range from $45,750 to $82,860 annually.

6. Interior Designer

Interior Designers are professionals who combine function, safety, style, and beauty to create aesthetically pleasing interior spaces. Interior Designers work closely with clients to determine the objectives and purpose of a project. They also design sketches by hand or using computer software, select materials and furnishings, and plans to ensure a space meets the clients’ requirements. They also oversee all aspects of projects to ensure time efficiency, budgetary restraints, and proper installation. Interior Designers work with contractors, architects, and structural engineers to ensure spaces adhere to client specifications, building codes, and inspection regulations. Many Interior Designers specialize in particular structures, rooms, or styles to transform spaces using color, fabric, furniture, flooring, wallcovering, lighting, finishes and other elements within offices, private residences, and public areas. Interior Designers must complete associate or bachelor degree programs in interior design, drawing, or computer aided design to establish their careers. Some may even complete master’s degree programs to gain advanced positions. Interior Designers earn salaries of $35,320 to $65,960 annually.

7. Graphic Designer

Graphic Designers are the creators of graphics and other visual images for public and private organizations. They analyze client needs, design visual images, and produce illustrations, texts, animations, and promotional materials used for logos, displays, advertisements, marketing brochures, and signage. Graphic Designers are utilize specialized computer software and hand sketched drawings for online and print magazines, websites, newspapers, journals and other publications.

Featured Programs
1. The Art Institute Online - BS - Graphic Design
2. Rasmussen College - Digital Design and Animation Bachelor's Degree
3. International Academy of Design and Technology - Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design

They work closely with advertising and promotional professionals, public relations specialists, marketing representatives, and other members of creative teams. Graphic Designers often begin employment within entry level positions upon completion of bachelor degree programs based in the fine arts or graphic design disciplines. Graphic Designers have annual salaries of $33,410 to $59,410 annually.

8. Art Gallery Dealer

Art Gallery Dealers are the art industry’s experts who buy and sell artwork. They work closely with artists, critics, collectors, curators, auction houses, and museums within independent, self operated businesses cultivating talent, representing clients, and matching works with purchasers. Art Gallery Dealers facilitate contacts between art professionals, create sales proposals, and set standards for accreditation or memberships within industry associations. They must remain current with industry trends, changes, and advances and often contribute to market influences. Art Gallery Dealers frequently travel to international locations to attend auctions, exhibitions, and studios to purchase works for galleries and collectors. Many specialize in artwork from exclusive time periods, styles, or regions. Art Gallery Dealers generally must complete advanced graduate level degrees in art history and gain work experience as art critics or art academics to acquire the educational and work experiences necessary to qualify for employment. Art Gallery Dealers often earn salaries based upon commissions with yearly earnings ranging from $30,000 to $70,000.

9. Advertising Designer

Advertising Designers are specialized public relations professionals who plan, develop, and produce advertisements for online and print publications. Advertising Designers work closely with clients to create images using creativity and visual images like photographs, animations, sounds, illustrations, and photographs. They also research target markets to ensure their creations are appealing to specific demographics to meet cultural, social, physical, and cognitive standards. Advertising designers generally must create and present multiple layouts and sketches to clients before the final design is approved. Training to become an advertising designer requires a bachelor’s degree in graphic design, art, advertising, photography, or related disciplines. Earnings for advertising designers ranges from $33,960 to $58,400 yearly.

10. Freelance Writer

Freelance Writers are the researchers and preparers of articles, stories, books, and content for online and print publications, radio, and television. They work independently gathering information, sometimes conducting interviews, providing opinion, reporting facts, creating content, providing technical instructions, and edit or review final projects before submission to one or several contracted businesses and organizations.

Featured Programs
1. Ashford University - BA - English
2. Grand Canyon University - BA - English Literature
3. Southern New Hampshire University - Master of Arts in English and Creative Writing - Nonfiction

Many specialize in technical writing, journalism, creative writing and other communication fields to establish a niche and enhance employability. Freelance Writers often must complete a minimum of a bachelor degree in journalism, English, or other art/humanities fields. Some freelance writing positions do not require a degree but do require creativity, dedication and motivation. Freelance Writers generally earn $28,610 to $55,420 annually.