Career in Art Education: Information and Requirements

Sep 22, 2019

Degrees in art education typically cover various forms of studio art and art history, as well as pedagogy techniques. Find out about the curricula of these programs, and learn about career options, job growth and salary info for art education graduates.

There are many options for a career in art education that can range from teaching kindergarten or elementary school, or teaching art in middle school or high school. Self-enrichment teachers may hold classes for groups of students or for individual students interested in improving their artistic ability. Kindergarten and elementary school teachers will also be required to teach subjects other than art.

Essential Information

Art educators train students in the theories and principles of a variety of art mediums. They work in public and private schools at all grade levels, as well as offering art instruction out of their own studios. Read on to learn more about the education and licensing requirements needed to become an art educator.

Career Kindergarten and Elementary Art Teacher Middle School Art Teacher High School Art Teacher Self-Enrichment Art Teacher
Education Requirements Bachelor's degree Bachelor's degree Bachelor's degree Bachelor's degree
Other Requirements Teaching license Teaching license Teaching license N/A
Projected Job Growth (2018-2028)* 3% for all kindergarten and elementary school teachers 3% for all middle school teachers 4% for all high school teachers 12% for all self-enrichment teachers
Median Salary (2018)* $55,470 (all kindergarten teachers), $58,230 (all elementary teachers) $58,600 for all middle school teachers $60,320 for all high school teachers $38,720 for all self-enrichment teachers

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Art Education Career Overview

Art education instructors may specialize in sketching, painting, sculpting or printmaking. Art teachers must understand color, perspective and shading to help students create realistic or abstract 2-dimensional works. Some employers will require art teachers to show a portfolio of their work. Communication skills and patience are also important, particularly when working with young children.

Career Options

Art educators give lessons in art technique and art history to a wide array of students. They work with students from the kindergarten level to high school and beyond. There are several career options in education for graduates who have obtained a degree in the field of art.

Self-Enrichment Art Teacher Job Description

Job duties include preparing lessons plans and keeping up with trends in art. They collect fees and keep records of students' payments. Self-enrichment art teachers demonstrate techniques and assist students, with natural ability, in improving their current techniques.

Self-enrichment teachers may be self-employed or work part-time. They instruct students one-on-one and teach in a non-academic setting. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), in May 2018 self-enrichment teachers earned a median annual salary of $38,720 (

Public and Private School Art Teacher Job Description

Kindergarten and elementary school art teachers introduce children to basic art concepts through play and hands-on activities. They may teach art to several different classes. Middle school and secondary school teachers give in-depth art instruction and offer vocational guidance to children who want to become artists. Public and private school art teachers may use computers and the Internet to promote interactive learning. They plan and evaluate lessons and give grades. The median annual wage for kindergarten, elementary, middle school and secondary school teachers in May 2018 was $55,470-$60,320, according to the BLS.

Art Education Career Requirements

Education Requirements

Self-enrichment art teachers must have formal training in art, such as a Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) or Master of Fine Arts (MFA) program. Art teachers may also complete a bachelor's degree program in art education, which combines art theories and principles with teaching fundamentals and certification. The curriculum includes art history, design, art education and student teaching.

Licensing Requirements

Public school teachers must be licensed in all 50 states and the District of Columbia ( Licensing requirements vary by state; however, public school teachers typically have a bachelor's degree and student teaching hours. Many private schools do not require teacher licensing; however, some employers may prefer licensed teachers. Self-enrichment art teachers are not required to be licensed.

A bachelor's degree and teacher's license are required to teach kindergarten, elementary, middle or high school students in a public school setting. Aspiring art teachers can consider pursuing studies in art education or fine arts. These degrees will also prepare self-enrichment teachers for their profession, although they are not required to have a teacher's license to instruct students outside of school.

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