Art History Teacher: Employment Info & Requirements

Mar 08, 2019

Read about a career in art history education. Research the educational and skill requirements, and learn about the job description and employment and salary outlook for an art history teacher.

Career Definition for an Art History Teacher

An art history teacher guides students through the history of art, connecting historical traditions and practices to techniques through the ages. Didactic instruction is combined with a practical application of the medium. Job duties include sharing knowledge on the history of art through time and geographic location, preparing course materials, interacting with other teachers and school administrators, maintaining student records and grading exams.

Educational Requirements Master's or other graduate degree preferred, but some art history teachers may have just a bachelor's; additional state teaching credential may be required
Job Skills Strong general teaching skills, knowledge of commonly used classroom technologies, thorough knowledge of art history, good communication skills and good time management
Median Salary (2017)* $66,930 (all art, music and drama teachers at postsecondary educational institutions)
Job Outlook (2016-2026)* 12% (all art, music and drama teachers at postsecondary educational institutions)

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Educational Requirements

Although some art history teachers have a bachelor's degree, most have graduate degrees. O*Net Online reported in 2018 that 55% of postsecondary art, drama and music teacher respondents held a master's degree, and 26% held a doctoral or professional degree in their fields. Teachers may major in art history or fine arts with an art history concentration.

Licensing Requirements

An additional state teaching credential may be required to teach art history in some districts. Criteria for earning a teaching credential vary from state to state and may take a few months to two years to complete.

Required Skills

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) stated that art history teachers must hold the following traits:

  • Research, writing, critical thinking and presentation skills
  • Knowledge of technologies often used in the classroom, such as PowerPoint, Photoshop and even Web editing
  • Grasp of the politics and religion in the area at the time the art was created
  • Good communication skills
  • Time management skills

Employment and Salary Outlook

Like many academic positions, the salary of an art history teacher can grow with experience. Following a tenure track at a university offers the most comfortable salary for a teacher. According to the BLS, the median annual salary for art, music and drama teachers at postsecondary educational institutions was reported as $66,930 for 2017. The field was expected to grow at a faster-than-average pace of 12% from 2016-2026.

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