What Can You Do With an Art Degree? 100+ Careers & Salaries Revealed

Lawyer – Arts Specialty

Someone who helps oversee the protection, copyright, marketing, and legality behind the creation and selling of art. This is a niche specialty in the arts world. In addition to an art degree, this profession requires a JD, or Juris Doctor, as any lawyer requires a JD to practice.

Salary: $86,000 is average according to Comparably, however the most successful lawyers in any field can make over $400k+ a year.

Librarian – Art

Someone who oversees art collection, research, and questions about art in a college, university, museum, or other place requiring a professional librarian.

Salary: The median salary for any librarian, according to Study.com, is $56,000/year.


An artist who paints onto a stone or metal using special oils. An ancient art, lithography is a printing technology employed worldwide for both fine art and commercial purposes.

Salary: $43,000/year (Economic Research Institute

Logo Designer

Every company, store, website, and individual proprietor needs a logo. In the US alone, over 50,000+ businesses start every month, and they all need logos. This profession falls under graphic design, but is a widely-needed specialty in that niche.

Salary: $59,000/year (ZipRecruiter)

K-12 Teacher

An individual who teaches art classes in a public or private elementary, middle, or high school. For teaching in a public school, an education degree and certification is normally required in addition to an art degree.

Salary: $55,000/year (Glassdoor)

Magazine Art Director

An executive who oversees the artistic direction and visual appeal of a magazine or other periodical. Every major magazines employs staff in art direction to help drive the aesthetic look and sales of magazine.

Salary: $93,000/year (CareerExplorer – general art director salary)

Makeup Artist

A specialist who applies makeup and other enhancements to individuals most commonly for stage purposes, such as theatre, film, and television. Makeup artists are also found in the consumer industry.

Salary: $32/hour (Indeed)


An individual who uses metal to create objects. Metalworking is associated with art, although a great deal of metalworking is also involved in trades not frequently associated with art.

Salary: $48,000/year (CareerExplorer


Someone who plays, composes, or produces music for a living. The music industry sometimes requires specialized training an art degree would not provide, however a background in art can help shape the creativity and success of a musician.

Salary: $45,000/year (Salary.com)

Mural Artist

Artwork painted or created on a wall. Famous mural artists include Banksy and Diego Rivera.

Salary: Muralists fall under the category of fine artist, and the government says the salary of a fine artist averages to $46,000/year (TheArtCareerProject).

Multimedia Programmer

Software engineers who specialize in adding graphics and other intricate visual design elements to software. Often requires knowledge of coding as well as art.

Salary: $66,000/year (ZipRecruiter)

Museum Curator

Someone who oversees a museum’s contents, including all artwork and installations. Curators are also employed in major artist galleries. Museum directors and museum curators usually have the same responsibilities.

Salary: $59,000/year (Salary.com)

Museum Photographer

Someone who takes pictures of works of art in a museum. These pictures must be high-quality as they are used in marketing and sales materials to promote the museum.

Salary: $39,000/year (ZipRecruiter)


An individual who specializes in the creation of paper, typically unique handmade papers for artistic expression. While what the general public thinks of as paper is made using automated manufacturing, specialty papermaking is practiced by both novices as well as professionals.

Salary: $44,000/year (SalaryExpert)

Performing Artist

Someone who specializes in a live action artform, such as dancing, acting, music performance, comedy, and ventriloquism. Although most art degrees are separate from performing arts degrees, they are still useful for careers in these fields.

Salary: $53,000/year (Comparably


Anyone who takes pictures for a living. As outlined in this article, many photographers have specialty niches, including news, wedding, and corporate photography. However, some photographers have made livings based on just selling their original photography; a famous example is landscape photographer Ansel Adams

Salary: $65,000/year (Salary.com)

Photo Stylist

Someone who helps retouch and shape the “story” of a photograph. Sometimes this is done by just the photographer, but there are specialty photo stylists who are hired by major firms and agencies.

Salary: $41,000/year (Salary.com)

Portrait Artist

Someone who draws, paints, or otherwise depicts a person, animal, or other important thing through art. Materials for this art often include oil and charcoal. Portrait artists are typically independently commissioned for their work.

Salary: Professional portrait artists can charge between $2,000 – $4,000 per work. Of course, the bigger your name and reputation, the more you can charge. 

Poster Artist

Designing posters for films, events, concerts, and more. Poster artistry is a specialized subsection of graphic design.

Salary: $46,000/year (GlassDoor – general graphic designer salary listed)

Press/News Photographer

Someone who photographs individuals, places, and events worthy of news coverage. Some are employed by major television stations while others do news photography as freelance work.

Salary: $48,000/year (ZipRecruiter)

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