Art Teacher: Job Outlook and Career Profile
Art teachers spur students to unlock their creativity and express their thoughts, feelings and opinions through artistic means. Art teachers can teach students of all age groups or education levels. Read on to learn more about job, salary and education information on art teaching careers.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) doesn't provide job outlook information for art teachers specifically; however, the bureau does report that from 2008-18, job opportunities for teachers in general will be good to excellent, depending on the grade level, locality and subject taught (www.bls.gov). For example, job openings for elementary teachers will grow by 16% throughout the decade, while openings for secondary school teachers should rise by 9%. Postsecondary teachers, who teach students above the high school level, should see a 15% job growth. Most job openings will result from replacing teachers who will retire throughout the decade.
Due to the shortage of teachers in some locations, such as inner cities and rural areas, many states have policies in place to encourage individuals to enter the teaching profession. In turn, job opportunities in those areas will be best for teachers who are entering the profession or willing to relocate.
Information collected by the BLS shows that where an art teacher works and the grade level that he or she teaches can greatly influence his or her salary. For example, in 2010 art teachers at the postsecondary level earned a median annual wage of $62,040; however, art teachers working for junior colleges earned annual mean wages of $72,990, while those teaching at technical and trade schools received $51,500 annually. Similarly, postsecondary art teachers working in New York averaged $99,630 per year, while those in New Jersey earned $78,340 annually.
The National Art Education Association (NAEA) says art signifies three things that everyone needs and wants - language, work and values (www.arteducators.org). The NAEA states that art education arouses language about visual images and offers us the space to express ourselves. Art education entails teaching students how to express their feelings and thoughts about their world. Art teachers guide their students to develop their visual communication skills by producing various art forms.
Art teachers nurture students' artistic skills at the elementary, middle, high school and postsecondary levels. While doing so, they primarily work in public and private schools. They can also teach in adult art education programs and work in art museums as education coordinators.
At a minimum, art teachers are generally required to have a Bachelor of Fine Arts or similar degree in addition to a teaching certification, in order to enter the career field. At the postsecondary level, teachers need to have a master's degree and possibly higher in some cases. Art teaching degrees can focus on one or more of the following art spheres:
- Media arts
- Graphic design
Upon graduation, many students complete a one-year internship in schools, equivalent to a first year of teaching. Public schools require licensure in art education before teachers may lead a classroom on their own.
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