From School to the Studio: Things You Can Do with a Fine Arts Degree

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  • Do you have a Degree in Fine Arts? Or perhaps you are planning to get one?

    It may seem like the obvious choice for art lovers, but what can you actually do with this?

    The Wall Street Journal suggested in a recent article that it can be a great degree and that people who have one earn a median income of $42,000—so you can forget about the starving artist cliché.

    But if you don’t know what to do with yours, here are a few ideas for careers that you can pursue once you have your Fine Arts Degree.

    Art Teacher

    Becoming an art teacher is one of the more popular paths for people holding a Fine Arts Degree. If you love teaching and you have a passion for helping other people develop their creativity, this could be ideal.

    Of course, the type of teaching positions available is incredibly varied and there is no one option that is best. You could become an art teacher in a high school or university, but you could also work in a company offering private lessons. Alternatively, you could set up on your own and offer private classes in person or online.


    It is entirely possible to make a career as an artist. It may not be straightforward, but if you have the passion, you can do it. You will probably want to focus on a particular type of art like illustration or painting, and then you can start trying to sell your work.

    You may be able to sell it online through websites like Etsy and Artfire, and you can market your work on social media sites like Pinterest. Get the word out about your work, exhibit in local galleries, make a name for yourself, and even get commissions to earn money from your work.

    If you print your own work, make sure the quality is excellent. Choose the best quality paper you can find. Printing papers differ in surface structure and shading, and will react differently to printing. With trial and error you will settle on the paper that suits your project.

    If you want to skip the trial and error, try Canson Infinity paper and combine with the right ICC profiles to achieve a high quality professional grade print, then get the word out there and sell your work.

    view current job positions for fine arts degree

    Art Director

    Becoming an art director is another option for holders of a Fine Arts Degree. If you specialize in graphic design, you could get some work experience in a publisher or agency that employs art directors, and you could work your way up to become the art director. There is a wide range of settings to choose from, and the pay is good.

    Find Work in a Gallery

    You might also look for work in an art gallery, and there are various jobs in this area. You could be involved in running the gallery, become the exhibition designer, or work as the gallery curator. You could also find work in a museum, where your creative skills will be welcomed.

    Advertising and Marketing

    Another direction could be to work in advertising or marketing. Creatives are needed in many positions in this sector, so find out about jobs in local advertising companies and see whether your skills could make you a good fit.

    Find the Perfect Career

    Just because you have a Fine Arts Degree, this does not mean that creating your perfect career will be any harder than if you did another degree. There are so many options to consider, and we’ve only touched the surface.

    In addition, you could become an art therapist, an interior designer, an arts administrator, or countless other roles. So start looking into your career options, and decide on the path that’s right for you.

    Lily Chamberlain is a careers consultant who works with young people as they map out a plan for their future working life. Keen to encourage and never say ‘you cannot do that’ Lily writes informative articles aimed at students.

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