What Can I Do with an Associate Degree in Art?

With an associate degree in art, you can go right to work in several fields or pursue a bachelor's degree. Read on to learn about some of the continuing education opportunities and careers available to you. Schools offering Art degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Associate in Art Degree Program Overview

Many community colleges and vocational schools offer associate degree programs in art. Students in these 2-year programs complete general education requirements that include courses in social studies, English composition and mathematics. They take a few courses in their major area, which can be art in general or a specialty area of concentration such as graphic arts. Graduates of associate degree programs in art have many options for work or future study.

Important Facts About Possible Careers

Elementary Teacher Secondary Teacher Fine Artist
Median Salary (2014) $53,760 $56,310 $44,400
Job Outlook (2014-2024) 6% growth 6% growth 2% growth
Similar Occupations Librarian, Instructional Coordinator, Special Education Teacher Social Worker, Childcare Worker, Special Education Teacher Art Director, Woodworker, Industrial Designer
Key Skills Patience, creativity, and communication skills Resourcefulness, patience, and communication skills Customer-service, interpersonal, and business skills

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Pursue a Bachelor's Degree in Art

After graduating with an associate degree in art, you might opt to transfer your credits to a bachelor's degree program. A bachelor's degree is often the minimum requirement to work as a graphic designer or multimedia artist for a business or production company. As a graphic designer, you would produce original art and graphics to serve as advertisements or graphic elements for newspapers, magazines, websites or design firms. While working as a multimedia artist, you could use your artistic flair to create backgrounds, characters and storyboards from scratch.

Continue Your Education to Teach Art

With an associate degree in art, you could continue your education and teach art in elementary and secondary schools. A bachelor's degree program in art education combines classes that teach you about art with those that instruct you in educating students. Your classes might include:

  • Watercolors
  • 3-D design
  • Photography
  • Art history
  • Art and special education
  • Teaching and classroom management
  • Art teaching methods

You also would be required to teach students in a practicum under the supervision of a licensed art teacher. Becoming an art teacher also requires earning state licensure.

Find Employment as an Assistant or Technician

Finding entry-level employment is also an option after earning your associate degree in art. For example, you could become an assistant to an artist or work as a prepress technician. As an assistant, you could work for a photographer and help him or her set up shots, carry equipment and take photographs. Working as a prepress technician would require you to develop images and text from cameras and computer-related equipment.

Become an Artist

An associate degree in art also can help you pursue a career in an artistic field. You could become an actor, musician, photographer or painter. While formal education isn't necessary for these professions, an associate degree could provide you with a foundation in a particular field and get you started on your career path. You may need to put together a reel or portfolio of your work to obtain employment.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

  • 1. Degree Options:
The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

Popular Schools

  • Southwestern College

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    • California: Chula Vista
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    • Texas: Snyder
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    • Indiana: Vincennes