Religious Art Professional: Job Description & Career Info
Religious artists include fine artists, musicians, and actors who focus their works on faith-based and spiritual topics. Continue reading to learn more about academics, useful skills, employment outlook, and earnings potential for religious art professionals.
Religious art professionals create images, music, and related works of art with Christian, Jewish, or other religious themes. They typically work on a freelance basis for religious book publishers, music labels, theater and dance groups or stock photography and image companies. Although some religious artists are self-taught, most have a background in art and art history.
How to Become a Religious Art Professional
While not necessarily required to start a career, students who are interested in religious art may pursue bachelor's degree programs in the visual arts, music, theater, or religious studies. A Bachelor of Arts in Visual Arts may include classes in general education, art history, and the fundamentals of studio art. Undergraduates who pursue a 4-year program in religious studies may have the chance to pursue more in-depth studies of faith-based themes.
In addition to understanding the relationship between art and religion, religious art professionals are knowledgeable about the software and technology used to create their works. According to the College Board, aspiring artists also need to know how to market and promote themselves (www.collegeboard.com).
Career and Salary Outlook
Although the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) does not provide job outlook and salary statistics that are specific to religious artists, it does report figures for actors, fine artists, and musicians. According to the BLS, all three occupational groups will experience slower-than-average job growth from 2012 to 2022. The BLS also reports that, in May 2012, fine artists earned median wages of $21.34 an hour, while actors and musicians (including singers) were paid median hourly fees of $20.26 and $23.50 respectively (www.bls.gov).
Alternate Career Options
Postsecondary Philosophy and Religion Teachers
While a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) is usually required to teach postsecondary courses in religion, philosophy, and theology, individual community colleges may consider candidates with a master's degree. Additional activities for postsecondary teachers may include administrative duties, curriculum development, research, and writing. The BLS reports that employment prospects for postsecondary teachers across the country are expected to increase by 19% between 2012 and 2022, a faster-than-average rate in comparison to all other occupations. As of May 2012, postsecondary philosophy and religion teachers earned median yearly wages of $64,990 (www.bls.gov).
Writers and Authors
Writers and authors plan and produce content and text for a variety of different media, including online and print publications, books, scripts, and songs. Full-time professionals usually need a bachelor's degree in a relevant field of study, such as English or journalism. Between 2012 and 2022, the BLS has projected a 3%, or slower-than-average, growth in jobs for writers and authors nationwide. In May 2012, writers and authors received median yearly salaries of $55,940, also according to the BLS (www.bls.gov).
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