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Career Information for a Degree in Visual and Performing Arts

Degree programs in the visual and performing arts teach students the history, theory and technique of specific art forms such as painting, sculpting, dance, musical performance or acting. These programs typically combine classroom study with hands-on training to assist students with developing essential knowledge and specific skills in their chosen mediums.

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Visual Artist Career Information

Visual arts degree programs can teach aspiring artists advanced skills and techniques necessary to succeed in their fields. Examples of visual artists are painters, sculptors, illustrators, printmakers and photographers. Degrees that prepare graduates for these fields include Bachelor of Fine Arts degrees with concentrations in students' areas of interest, or Bachelor of Arts degrees, which complement art training with general education courses in other disciplines.

Some visual artists work for advertising or design firms, while others work on a freelance basis and attempt to sell their art to private collectors or corporate patrons in galleries, at art fairs or online. Many work for employers during the day and dedicate their free time to developing their personal work. A career as an artist requires extensive training and unwavering dedication to continuously develop skills and perfect techniques.

Performing Artist Career Information

Individuals with performing arts degrees may use their training and skills to perform for audiences or to work with other performing artists as acting coaches, dance choreographers or vocal teachers. Actors, singers and dancers are all considered performing artists, and many are trained in all three areas, although degrees specific to theatre, music performance or dance are also possible. Performing artists can be found in theater troupes and dance companies, at recording studios, on stages, at television studios and on movie sets. Jobs are concentrated in New York and Los Angeles, but talented performing artists can also find jobs at local television companies, festivals, children's entertainment companies or regional theater companies.

Career Outlook

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), many individuals with degrees in the visual or performing arts face heavy competition for jobs, in part because the arts draw many talented people to the field (www.bls.gov). The BLS expected the number of jobs for dancers, musicians and singers to grow at a near-average rate during the 2010-2020 decade, but anticipated slower-than-average job growth for craft and visual fine artists and actors. For financial reasons, many artists hold part-time jobs in other areas or put their artistic skills to use in other industries, such as advertising, marketing or sales.

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Popular Schools

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must be a high school graduate or have completed GED
    School locations:
    • Online Learning

    What is your highest level of education?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must be a high school graduate or have completed GED
    School locations:
    • Online Learning

    Online Programs

    • Bachelor
        • BFA - Fine Art
        • BFA in Art Education
        • BFA in Undeclared
        • BFA in Art Education - Sculpture
        • BFA in Fine Art - Painting

    What is your highest level of education?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must be a high school graduate or have completed GED
    School locations:
    • Online Learning
    • Florida (1 campus)

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Other Schools:

  • School locations:
    • California (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Stanford University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Visual and Performing Arts
      • Drama and Theatre Arts
      • Fine Arts and Studio Art
      • Musical Arts
      • Photography, Film, and Video
  • School locations:
    • Pennsylvania (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at University of Pennsylvania include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Post Degree Certificate: First Professional Certificate, Post Master's Certificate, Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Visual and Performing Arts
      • Design and Applied Arts
      • Drama and Theatre Arts
      • Fine Arts and Studio Art
      • Musical Arts
      • Photography, Film, and Video
  • School locations:
    • Rhode Island (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Brown University include:
      • Graduate: First Professional Degree, Master
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Visual and Performing Arts
      • Drama and Theatre Arts
      • Fine Arts and Studio Art
      • Musical Arts
  • School locations:
    • North Carolina (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Duke University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Post Degree Certificate: Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Visual and Performing Arts
      • Design and Applied Arts
      • Drama and Theatre Arts
      • Fine Arts and Studio Art
      • Musical Arts
  • School locations:
    • Indiana (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at University of Notre Dame include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Visual and Performing Arts
      • Design and Applied Arts
      • Drama and Theatre Arts
      • Fine Arts and Studio Art
      • Musical Arts
  • School locations:
    • Tennessee (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Vanderbilt University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Visual and Performing Arts
      • Drama and Theatre Arts
      • Fine Arts and Studio Art
      • Musical Arts
      • Photography, Film, and Video
  • School locations:
    • Florida (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at University of Florida include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Post Degree Certificate: Post Master's Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Visual and Performing Arts
      • Dance
      • Design and Applied Arts
      • Drama and Theatre Arts
      • Fine Arts and Studio Art
      • Musical Arts

Popular Schools

Avg. Wages For Related Jobs

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics