Job shadowing Project

Fine art and crafts by: Sean McNeil

What they Do

Description of occupation: Knowledge of the theory and techniques required to compose, produce, and perform works of music, dance, visual arts, drama, and sculpture.Craft artists create handmade objects, such as pottery, glassware, textiles or other objects that are designed to be functional. Fine artists, including painters, sculptors, and illustrators, create original works of art for their aesthetic value, rather than for a functional one.


  • Use techniques, such as knitting, weaving, glass blowing, painting, drawing, or sculpting
  • Develop creative ideas or new methods for making art
  • Create sketches, templates, or models to guide their work
  • Select which materials to use on the basis of color, texture, strength, and other qualities
  • Process materials, often by shaping, joining, or cutting
  • Use visual elements, such as composition, color, space, and perspective, to produce desired artistic effects
  • Develop portfolios highlighting their artistic styles and abilities to show to gallery owners and others interested in their work
  • Display their work at auctions, galleries, museums and online marketplaces


Those who want to teach fine arts at public elementary or secondary schools usually must have a teaching certificate in addition to a bachelor's degree. Advanced degrees in fine arts or arts administration are usually necessary for management or administrative positions in government, management positions in private foundations, and teaching positions in colleges and universities. Associate Membership is granted to baccalaureate and/or graduate degree-granting institutions, community/junior colleges, and postsecondary non-degree-granting institutions applying for the first time that meet all curricular standards and a substantial portion of all other standards of the Association, and show promise of being able to meet completely all of the Association’s standards applicable to art/design curricula offered by the institution. Accreditation with Associate Membership is valid for up to five years. At the end of this period, such institutions will be required to satisfy all criteria for Membership in the Association.

Work setting: Many artists work in fine art or commercial art studios located in office buildings, warehouses, or lofts. Craft artists, for example, might work for companies that manufacture glass or clay products, or for museums, historical sites, or similar institutions. Fine artists are often employed by newspaper, periodical, book, and directory publishers. They also are employed by colleges and universities. Other types of artists and related workers work for the federal government, motion picture and video production companies, and advertising and public relations firms. Studios are usually well-lighted and ventilated. However, artists may be exposed to fumes from glue, paint, ink, and other materials. They may also have to deal with dust or other residue from filings, splattered paint, or spilled cleaners and other fluids.Part-time and variable work schedules are common for artists. Many hold another job, in addition to their work as an artist. During busy periods, artists may work overtime to meet deadlines. Self-employed artists can set their own hours.

Work schedules: Part-time and variable work schedules are common for artists. Many hold another job, in addition to their work as an artist. During busy periods, artists may work overtime to meet deadlines. Self-employed artists can set their own hours.

Typical entry-level education requirements: Formal schooling is not required for craft and fine artists. However, many artists take classes or earn a bachelor’s or master’s degree in fine arts, which can improve their skills and job prospects.

Important qualities that are helpful in performing the work: to be artistic, business skills, creativity, and dexterity.


  • $44,850 for fine artists, including painters, sculptors, and illustrators
  • $29,600 for craft artists
  • $59,840 for all other artists and related workers

Job Outlook

Percent change in employment, projected 2012-22

Total, all occupations 11%

Fine artists, including painters, sculptors, and illustrators 4%

Craft artists 3%

Craft and fine artists 3%

Artists and related workers, all other -1%

Employment growth of artists depends in large part on the overall state of the economy, because purchases of art usually are optional. During good economic times, more people and businesses are interested in buying artwork; during economic downturns, they generally buy less.

Although there is always a demand for art by collectors and museums, the employment of artists can be affected by the level of charitable giving to the arts, which has been decreasing somewhat in recent years.

In addition, job growth for craft artists may be limited by the sale of inexpensive, mass-produced items designed to look like handmade American crafts. However, continued interest in locally made products and craft goods sold online will likely offset some of these employment losses.

Similar Occupations

Art directors are responsible for the visual style and images in magazines, newspapers, product packaging, and movie and television productions. They create the overall design of a project and direct others who develop artwork and layouts.

Bachelor’s degree $80,880

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