21 thrilling artwork careers for inventive college students

Do you know a student who loves art but isn’t sure where it will take them later in life? Although some artistic professions require conventional drawing and artistry skills, there are many other opportunities for creative expression. Some artistic careers will take you behind the camera, others will take you to designing logos and products, while others will encourage you to design buildings and interiors. Share these interesting career paths with your creative students to show them how their love of art can be translated into a job they will love just as much.

1. Industrial Designer

With industrial design covering a wide range of products, there is a niche for every aspiring designer out there. While industrial designers are busy, one of the most important things is coming up with new designs for products ranging from medical devices to smartphones to bicycles and cars. Salary range: $45,000 – $91,000

Learn more: Career Researcher/Industrial Designer

2. Art teacher

Whether you envision yourself working with toddlers, adults or those in between, this career is for you. At the elementary and secondary levels, art teachers teach a wide range of fine arts skills, while art professors tend to specialize in an area such as painting or photography. Salary range: $40,000 – $95,000

Learn more: Firsthand/Art Teachers

3. Interior Designer

Interior designers are tasked with creating magazine-worthy spaces while staying within their client’s budget and design preferences. You choose finishes including colors, furniture, lighting and more. Salary range: $37,000 – $110,000

Learn more: Handbook for Career Prospects/Interior Designers

4. Web Designer

A web designer, not to be confused with a web developer, is generally responsible for the appearance and functionality of a website. While creative skills are a must, technical skills are also required, and web designers should have a working knowledge of programs like Photoshop and Dreamweaver. Salary range: $41,000 – $100,000

Find out more: TechnoJobs/Webdesigner

5. Art Curator

Some art careers are best suited for an art history degree, such as curator. Art curators research works of art so they can make informed decisions about how to display them in museums and galleries. In addition, they are responsible for the acquisition, cataloging and maintenance of works of art. Salary range: $70,000 – $170,000

Learn more: LiveAbout/Art Curator

6. Photojournalist

A photojournalist tells a news story based on the photos he takes. Some artistic careers take you around the world, and photojournalism is one of them, as you need to go where the story takes you, possibly even to the front lines of war. While photojournalists can work for a single employer, they can also work as freelancers. Salary range: $38,000 – $51,000

Learn more: Firsthand/Photojournalists

7. Tattooist

On the surface, a tattoo artist’s job is to create and apply custom tattoos to their clients’ skin, but there’s a lot more to it than that. They must also ensure the health and safety of their customers through sterilization and careful work. Salary range: $24,000 – $108,000

Learn more: The Art Career Project/Tattoo Artist

8. Cake Decorator

Some cake decorators work in bakeries or grocery stores, while others work for themselves. Although they decorate a number of different baked goods, wedding cakes are one of the largest and most complex projects they create. Salary range: $22,000 – $43,000

Learn more: Zip Recruiter/Cake Decorator

9. Cameraman

Many artistic careers are based in the film industry. Cinematographers are responsible for overseeing the camera and lighting crew during television or film production. They are also important to set the visual style of the product. In addition, they must have an understanding of lighting techniques. Salary range: $40,000 – $50,000

Learn more: NFI/Cameraman

10. Makeup artist

Makeup artists work with clients to create a “look” and then use makeup to create it. You can also work on film or TV sets to create a range of different looks with makeup and prosthetics (think: aging a young actor for a scene set in the future). Salary range: $31,000 – $70,000

Learn more: Better Team/Makeup Artist

11. Forensic sketch artist

Forensic scientists use interviews to create sketches of suspects or missing persons. In addition to drawing skills, sketch artists must also have a working knowledge of victim psychology and human memory. Average salary: $63,000

Learn more: Forensics Colleges/Forensic Sketch Artist

12. Entertainer

Animators can be found in many different mediums, so they usually specialize in a specific area such as film, websites, video games, and other digital platforms. Salary range: $40,000 – $100,000

Learn more: Indeed/Animator

13. Art Therapist

If you love both psychology and art, an art therapist could be the perfect career for you. There is great diversity in this area, as some art therapists work in schools, some in psychiatric hospitals, and others in private practice. Salary range: $30,000 – $80,000

Learn more: US Bureau of Labor Statistics/Art Therapist

14. Graphic Designer

People who love both art and technology will enjoy a career as a graphic designer. Graphic designers create graphics for print and electronic media. Salary range: $35,000 – $80,000

Learn more: Career Explorer/Graphic Designer

15. Art Appraiser/Auctioneer

If you love art but aren’t a visual artist yourself, a career as an art auctioneer could be perfect for you. An art auctioneer researches artworks, identifies the right markets for them, and then works with art collectors and appraisers to sell artworks. Salary range: $58,000 – $85,000

Find out more: The Art Career Project/Art Auctioneer

16. Video game designer

What’s better than a career that combines art and creativity with video games? A video game designer is a type of software developer who creates ideas for stories and worlds for video games to be played on desktop computers, mobile devices, or video game consoles. Salary range: $40,000 – $120,000

For more information: Computerscience.org/Video Game Designer

17. Children’s book illustrator

Although some children’s book illustrators are employed by publishers or authors, most work freelance. Aspiring illustrators should study popular children’s books like Eric Carle’s. Salary range: $30,000 – $90,000

Learn more: Reedsy Blog/How to Become a Children’s Book Illustrator

18. Fashion Designer

You need a wide range of skills to become a fashion designer as it requires drawing, sewing, designing and marketing skills. While not strictly necessary, getting a degree in fashion design or a related field is probably a good idea. Salary range: $50,000 – $76,000

Learn more: WikiHow/Become a Fashion Designer

19. Jewelry Designer

Jewelry designers create prototypes of different types of jewelry such as rings, necklaces, bracelets, and other types of accessories. While some jewelry designers work from a home studio, other opportunities include jewelry stores, manufacturing facilities, design studios, and jewelry repair shops. Salary range: $35,000 – $53,000

Learn more: Indeed/How to Become a Jewelry Designer

20. Architect

If you love to draw and also have an affinity for buildings and design, you might be a great architect. Although architects do not construct the actual building, they are usually involved in every phase of the design process. Architects are in high demand, so if you value job security, it’s an excellent career path. Salary range: $80,000 – $100,000

Find out more: New school/What degree do you need to become an architect?

21. Creative Director

A career as a creative director pays well and gives you room for creative expression. Creative Directors are responsible for the development and oversight of a variety of creative projects in areas such as marketing and advertising. Salary range: $115,000 – $165,000

Learn more: Brand Master Academy/How to become a creative director

Looking for more career ideas? Check out these surprising science careers!

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