Though highly competitive, the field of art history has job prospects for individuals who are creative and passionate about the craft. Read on to learn whether a career in art history is right for you and to find out about the education you need to find a job.
Inside Art History
A variety of careers are available for art history students, depending on the type of degree being pursued. Students who obtain a bachelor's degree in art history can pursue careers as museum technicians or find work at an art gallery or agency. Aspiring curators and archivists can earn a master's degree in art history. Those interested in careers in postsecondary teaching or research should also expect to earn a graduate degree.
Most degrees in this field examine art in specific periods of history, such as the Renaissance, Federalist, Victorian and Medieval periods. Bachelor's degree programs in art history typically require students to take studio courses in painting, sculpture, charcoal, and other mediums.
Many positions in the field of art history share similar characteristics. First and foremost, they require a passion for art and attention to detail. While working in a museum or gallery, individuals assist in preserving important records and valuable items such as paintings, sculptures, and photographs for storage or display. Archivists and curators may also be responsible for coordinating educational programs like tours and classes. Since these jobs, as well as other related careers like an art dealer or gallery owner, often work directly with valuable art, individuals should be extremely organized and comfortable taking on bookkeeping responsibilities.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) expects demand for archivists, curators and museum technicians to grow significantly over the next few years (www.bls.gov). Intense competition in the field is also expected as qualified candidates often outnumber job openings. In May 2010, the median annual salary for archivists was $45,200, according to the BLS. These individuals worked in all sorts of organizations, including historical sites, museums and universities. The BLS reported that curators earned a median salary of $48,450 and museum technicians earned $37,310 in May 2010.
Learn More About Art History
Art history is a diverse career field, with opportunities at many different levels and across various specialties. Whether you'd like to work as an archivist or become a professor, Education-Portal.com has all the information you need to make your career and education decisions.
Students typically use a bachelor's degree in art history as a jumping off point for jobs in many different fields or for graduate or professional school. Those who continue on to advanced degrees may be considering careers in academia.
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Below are only a few examples of careers that you can pursue with a degree in art history. For some of these careers, including those in teaching, you may be required to earn state certification. For more options, explore Education-Portal.com.
Distance Learning Options
Although hands-on training in art history cannot be done through fully online programs, hybrid programs are available for both undergraduate and graduate students. Aspiring curators, art dealers, and art professors can complete hybrid programs in which they take some courses online and others on campus.
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