Artists and Related Workers - What They Do

How to Advance (Advancement)

Artists hired by firms often start with relatively routine work. While doing this work, however, they may observe other artists and practice their own skills.

Craft and fine artists advance professionally as their work circulates and as they establish a reputation for a particular style. Many of the most successful artists continually develop new ideas, and their work often evolves over time.

Many artists do freelance work while continuing to hold a full-time job until they are established. Others freelance part time while still in school to develop experience and to build a portfolio of published work.

Freelance artists try to develop a set of clients who regularly contract for work. Some freelance artists are widely recognized for their skill in specialties such as cartooning or children's book illustration. These artists may earn high incomes and can choose the type of work they do.

Job Outlook

Employment is projected to grow about as fast as the average. Competition for jobs is expected to be keen for both salaried and freelance jobs in all specialties because the number of people with creative ability and an interest in this career is expected to continue to exceed the number of available openings. Despite the competition, employers and individual clients are always on the lookout for talented and creative artists.

Earnings

Median annual wages of salaried art directors is $96,980. The middle 50 percent earned between $74,490 and $128,090. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $60,730, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $174,840.

Median annual wages were $100,170 in advertising, public relations and related services.

Median annual wages of salaried craft artists were $49,080. The middle 50 percent earned between $40,730 and $59,120. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $36,290, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $74,550.

Median annual wages of salaried fine artists, including painters, sculptors, and illustrators, were $62,650. The middle 50 percent earned between $49,230 and $80,650. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $40,780, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $103,410.

Median annual wages of salaried multimedia artists and animators were $76,330. The middle 50 percent earned between $61,710 and $97,010. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $51,570, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $120,390.

Median annual wages were $85,600 in motion picture and video industries, and $72,530 in advertising and related services. Earnings for self-employed artists vary widely. Some charge only a nominal fee while they gain experience and build a reputation for their work.

Others, such as well-established freelance fine artists and illustrators, can earn more than salaried artists. Many, however, find it difficult to rely solely on income earned from selling paintings or other works of art. Like other self-employed workers, freelance artists must provide their own benefits.

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Academic Programs of Interest

Ceramics
Ceramics and ceramic art in the art world means artwork made out of clay bodies and fired into the hardened ceramic form. Some ceramic pieces are classified as fine art, while many others can be classified as one of the decorative, industrial or applied arts. more
Painter and Decorator
The Painter and Decorator Program is designed to teach a student how to apply paint, wallpaper, fabric and other finishes to interior and exterior surfaces of buildings and other structures. A Painter and Decorator student will also learn how to repair cracks and holes in walls and prepare work surfaces by scraping, sanding, sand-blasting, hydro-blasting and steam-cleaning.

A student can usually complete the Painter and... more
Sculpture
Sculpture is a three dimensional artwork created by shaping any hard or plastic material such as - but not limited to - stone, metal, or wood. Some sculptures are created directly by carving and others are assembled, built up and fired, welded, molded, or cast. A person who creates sculptures is called a sculptor. more