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Careers Involving Art & Music

Driven by a love for art and music? Whether you are the creator of art or spreading your knowledge of it, there are plenty of career options. This article explores a few related jobs in art, music, teaching, radio and museums.

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Career Options That Involve Art and Music

Have a passion for some of the finer things in life, like great art and music? Many careers in various industries have elements that will be appealing to those who are artistically or musically inclined. Some examples are listed below.

Job Title Median Salary (2016)* Job Growth (2014-2024)*
Musician $25.14 (per hour) 3%
Fine Artist $48,780 (for all craft and fine artists) 2%
Art or Music Professor $75,430 (all postsecondary teachers) 13%
Multimedia Artist $65,300 6%
Museum Curator $47,230 (for all archivists, curators, and museum workers) 7%
Music Director $50,110 (for all music directors and composers) 3%
Recreational Therapist $46,410 12%
Radio DJ $31,400 (for all radio and TV announcers) -14%

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Find schools that offer these popular programs

  • Jazz
  • Music Composition and Theory
  • Music History and Literature
  • Music Merchandising and Management
  • Music Pedagogy
  • Music Performing
  • Musical Conducting
  • Musicology and Ethnomusicology
  • Piano and Organ
  • Stringed Instruments
  • Voice and Opera

Career Information for People Interested in Art and Music

Musician

If you have a strong interest in music, there is a good chance you may be interested in becoming a musician yourself! Musicians and singers generally perform at live venues and in recording studios. This is a very competitive industry that requires a great deal of practice, travel, and public relations savvy. Session musicians, who primarily record with other musicians, may find steady work in their city by developing relationships with recording studios and record labels. While there are no educational requirements to become a musician, lessons and studying music in a postsecondary setting may improve one's knowledge and skill.

Fine Artist

Fine artists produce works of art that may communicate their ideas or emotions as painters, illustrators, or sculptors. These works are often sold at auctions, galleries, or online. Fine artists develop portfolios to present to gallery owners and museum curators, and they may rely on grants to financially support their work. Like for musicians, a formal postsecondary education is not required to become a fine artist, but pursuing a degree may greatly enhance one's skills, connections, and job prospects.

Art or Music Professor

Postsecondary professors teach, plan lessons/assignments, and work with students at the college level. Those interested in art and music may become professors of these areas. In addition to passing on your passion for these topics to your students, professors often spend time conducting research and analysis into the areas that interest them most, leading to the publication of books or scholarly articles. Most professors have received a Ph.D. in their particular field, though a master's degree in a specialized area such as the arts may be sufficient, depending on the institution.

Multimedia Artist

Multimedia artists work in areas such as film or video games, where they use computer programs or illustrations to create models, visual effects, and animation. These artists meet with clients or directors to develop design plans and timelines for the given project. Teamwork and communication are vital, since multimedia artists often work in groups and edit or reevaluate work based on the feedback of who they are working for. At least a bachelor's degree in art, animation, or computer graphics and a portfolio of work is generally required.

Museum Curator

Museum curators acquire and exhibit collections, as well as overseeing their staff. Curators for art museums will be steeped in the area they love as they design exhibits, plan projects, and research potential purchases. Those interested in music may find work that interests them at history museums, some of which focus on specific genres of music, such as jazz and rock and roll. Curators tend to be experts in their fields, and they generally have obtained a a master's degree. Internships and volunteering experience may also be helpful when searching for a position.

Music Director

Music directors, also known as conductors, select compositions or programs that are then performed by groups of musicians for concerts or recordings. These directors commonly lead orchestras or choirs. Other duties may include interpreting scores, directing rehearsals, selecting guest musicians, and making connections with potential donors. Education requirements depend on the position, since most symphony orchestra conductors have a master's degree in a music related field, while choir director's may only need a bachelor's degree.

Recreational Therapist

Recreational therapists utilize recreational activities to improve the physical and emotional well-being of clients suffering from disabilities or illnesses. These activities often include art and music, as well as drama, sports, and dance. These therapists must access the needs of their patients, make treatments plans accordingly, and then review the patients' progress. Recreational therapists commonly complete an internship program and a bachelor's degree in recreational therapy. You may need to be certified by the National Council for Therapeutic Recreation Certification for employment.

Radio DJ

Radio DJs usually work in a single genre of music, and they program and present music that is broadcast on the radio. These announcers may also conduct live interviews with musicians or other guests, read advertisements, take calls from listeners, and come up with pertinent topics to discuss on the air. Weather, sports, and news are other common areas covered by DJs. To improve job prospects, potential DJs should complete a bachelor's degree in communications or journalism and get some hands-on training, whether through an internship or by working at their college radio station.

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