Arts & Design Degrees & Careers

Art and design is a great field for creative people who want to exercise their imagination in the workplace. Art and design is a changing and growing field, with computer-aided design and drafting taking center stage as more employers demand skills involving computer graphics and animation. While there is still a place for hand-crafted arts and a growing niche of “artisan” skill jobs, the primary jobs in this field are going to be focused on computer drawing and design.

What Types of Jobs Are Available in Art and Design?

Art and design skills can be carried over to many fields of employment such as:

Graphic Arts – From designing new fabric to creating vibrant wall paints, graphic arts center on the use of light and color to convey feeling and mood. Many graphic arts jobs are found in the retail and sales industries, where color can affect buying choices. Jobs range from designing product packaging to creating visual displays for store windows. Many graphic designers also work with color in computer graphics for use on websites or in video productions.

Fashion – The fashion industry has long relied on the help of art and design majors to design the creations that catch the world’s attention. However, a much humbler but far more necessary aspect of fashion design is that of functionality. While there are a limited number of jobs dedicated to the creation of the latest Paris models, there are plenty of jobs for fashion designers who want to work on shoes that both look good and feel comfortable or clothing that fits the “average” person instead of an ideal.

Animation and Motion Picture Industries – Art and design majors often find work in creating animations or videos, one of the primary forms of communication in today’s television-centered society. The rise of video marketing and advertising on the web means that there are almost unlimited opportunities for creative artists to exercise their skills in designing interesting and entertaining motion art.

Architecture and Physical Design – Architecture is a much more mathematically-based form of art than many other areas, although all art uses mathematical formulas to a certain degree. However, for those who enjoy working in the physical science side of art, an architecture or physical design career may be a good choice. Interior designers and landscapers also work with architects and other engineers to bring beauty and function to living spaces.

Performing Arts – The performing arts offer many opportunities for creative artists to use their talents in everything from the actual acting or singing to set design and costume production.

How Much Can I Earn in Art & Design Careers?

Here are some median annual salaries published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics for art and design careers. These median annual salaries are reflective of data collected in May of 2010.

  • Art Directors – work for magazines or other media and supervise the layout of visual art in these publications. With a bachelor’s degree, median salary is $80,630
  • Craft and Fine Artists – work with a variety of media to create unique art for enjoyment. With a high school diploma, median salary is $43,470
  • Fashion Designer – design clothing and shoes for production and sale. With a high school diploma, the median salary for this job is $64,530
  • Floral Designers – Design and arrange flowers and plants. These jobs begin at a median salary of $23,610 with a high school diploma.
  • Graphic Designers – with a bachelor’s degree, graphic designers of all types earn a median salary of $43,500
  • Industrial Designers – these artists develop designs for production of objects for sale to retail industries. With a bachelor’s degree, these jobs earn a median salary of $58,230.
  • Interior Designers – these artists design spaces for living and offices and work with owners to develop pleasing designs. Most interior designers have a bachelor’s degree and earn a median salary of $46,280.
  • Multimedia Artists and Animators – these workers usually have a bachelor’s degree and create animations and visual art for computer applications. The median annual salary for this job is $58,510
  • Set and Exhibit Designers – These artists design sets for theater or video products and exhibits for galleries and other showings. With a bachelor’s degree, the median salary is $46,680.

Art and design is a wonderful field to use your creativity to express your personal view of the world and still earn a living by working with others to help them achieve their design dreams.



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