Primary School Art Teacher: Job Description, Duties and Requirements
Primary school art teachers must have some formal education. Learn about the education, job duties and licensure requirement to see if this is the right career for you.
Primary school art teachers educate young students, usually from ages 5-12, about basic art principles and techniques while encouraging creative expression and nurturing artistic abilities. These specialized elementary school teachers develop and execute lesson plans about art techniques and art history. To teach in a public school, a candidate must typically complete a bachelor's degree program and obtain a teaching license from his or her state. Internship experience is also usually necessary.
|Required Education||Bachelor's degree, typically in education with a specialization in art or art education|
|Other Requirements||State license and internship often required|
|Projected Job Growth (2012-2022)*||12% for elementary school teachers, except special education|
|Mean Salary (2013)*||$56,320 annually for elementary school teachers, except special education|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Primary School Art Teacher Duties
Primary school art teachers oversee the production of paintings, drawings and sculptures. Media used may include pencil, charcoal, watercolor paint and oil-based paint; projects may also involve tactile materials such as felt, Styrofoam, fabric or clay. Some teachers incorporate lesson plans that use recycled or refuse materials to teach eco-friendliness. The curriculum usually includes art history through profiling famous artists.
Requirements for a Primary School Art Teacher
Primary school teachers should obtain a bachelor's degree from an accredited teacher education program. Common degrees are a Bachelor of Science in Education with a specialization in art or a Bachelor of Art in Art Education. Course requirements usually include child development, psychology of learning and art theory. To gain classroom experience, candidates must complete a student-teacher internship in which they are closely supervised.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), public school teachers must hold state licensure, which is granted by the State Board of Education or a licensure advisory committee (www.bls.gov). To obtain a license, candidates must pass an exam proving reading and writing skills, knowledge of teaching methods and art expertise. Private schools may not require a license. States also offer special licenses for people who earned a bachelor's degree in fine arts, for example, without graduating from a formal teaching program, but who want to transition into teaching.
Teachers must possess patience and be able to motivate students. Enthusiasm and creativity are assets, as are strong organizational skills, since art teachers often oversee the ordering of supplies. It also helps to have experience working with children in an art studio. Background checks are often required.
Salary and Career Outlook for a Primary School Art Teacher
While the BLS does not gather statistics on art teachers specifically, its data on elementary school teachers excluding special education reflects that in 2013, these teachers earned an average of $56,320 per year. In addition, the BLS reports that employment for these teachers was expected to increase by a margin of 12% between 2012 and 2022.