What Jobs Am I Qualified for with a College Major in Art History?

Students interested in art and its historical context may consider a college major in art history. Read below for details regarding jobs that may be available upon completion of a degree program in art history. Schools offering Art degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Majoring In Art History

Art history majors explore the ways in which expressions of art from different civilizations have affected both ancient and modern culture. Students are exposed to a variety of important artistic eras and locations. Most programs require students to complete several hours of core art history coursework as well as general education courses and electives.

After earning a bachelor's degree in art history, graduates can choose from several options. Those who are interested in pursuing a career in academia might consider enrolling in a doctoral program. A master's degree is often needed for a position as an art historian working for a non-profit organization, historical association or museum. In addition, art therapists typically hold at least a master's degree in their field. However, a bachelor's degree can prepare graduates to work in art appraisal or art dealing.

Important Facts About Careers in Art

Archivist Art Appraiser Art Therapist
Required Education Master's degree (e.g. Master of Library Science) Associate's or bachelor's degree Master's degree
Professional Certification Offered by the Academy of Certified Archivists and Society of American Archivists The American Society of Appraisers trains and certifies appraisers Certification through the Art Therapy Credentials Board is available
Work Environment Museum, library or government institution Appraisal company, auction house; weekend or late hours are common Hospital or residential care facility; may also work irregular hours, in line with patient needs
Similar Occupations Anthropologist, historian Art dealer, estate liquidator Counselor, occupational therapist


An archivist is responsible for the preservation and organization of important historical documents and objects, including works of art. They may also be responsible for cataloging, as well as explaining objects for the benefit of the public. This position requires the organization of a variety of document types, including photographs, videos and sound recordings. A master's degree in art history may prepare archivists to more accurately evaluate the historical relevance and importance of a particular piece. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), as of May 2018, archivists earned a median annual salary of $52,240.

Art Appraiser

An art appraiser examines works of art in order to accurately assess their actual worth. Such a position requires in-depth knowledge of a variety of eras in art history. Art appraisers must also be educated on artistic techniques, including brush stroke types and color values, in order to effectively establish the period in which the piece of art was created. Art appraisers may be self-employed. Most appraisers specialize in a specific area of art. Curators had a median annual salary of $53,780, according to the BLS as of May 2018.

Art Therapist

A relatively new profession, art therapy utilizes artistic expression as a form of treatment. Working with a variety of age groups, art therapists use the visual arts to encourage awareness and self-development in their clients through creative expression. Aspiring art therapists typically earn a master's degree in art therapy, though an art history bachelor's degree could be a potential stepping stone to graduate study. Recreation therapists made $47,860 for their median annual salary, as of May 2018, according to the BLS.

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