What Are Entry Level Jobs for an Art Therapy Degree Graduate?

Art therapy is the use of art as a tool for healing. After obtaining a master's degree and certification in art therapy, you could work as an art therapist. Read on to review the process for entering the art therapy career field. Schools offering Allied Health degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Training Requirements for Art Therapists

Art therapy is where the practices of art and counseling meet; as an art therapist, you help individuals express their feelings through mediums such as drawing or painting. If you'd like to enter this field, you probably need a master's degree in art therapy, which you can pursue after earning an undergraduate degree in art therapy or a related field, such as art or psychology. When applying to a graduate program, check to see if it is approved by the American Art Therapy Association (AATA), which ensures a high standard of art therapy education.

Important Facts About Entry Level Jobs for an Art Therapy Degree Graduate

Median Salary (2019) $44,381 (for art therapists)*
Job Outlook (2016-2026) 7% (for all recreational therapists)**
Key Skills Situational awareness, empathy, close listening, clear communication, patience, critical thinking, problem-solving, creativity
Similar Occupations Speech-language pathologists, occupational therapists, physical therapists, rehabilitation therapists

Sources: *PayScale.com, **U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics


To hold a counseling position of any type, including one in art therapy, you'll most likely need licensing or certification. The type of certification needed may vary, but you'll probably have to be licensed in your state as a counselor along with either holding registration or certification from the Art Therapy Credentials Board (ATCB). To become registered as an art therapist with ATCB, you'll need to first complete an art therapy master's degree program and supervised clinical work. Once you've become a registered art therapist (ATR), you'll have the option to become board certified by passing the Art Therapy Credentials Board Examination (www.atcb.org).

Entry-Level Jobs

Most art therapy master's degree programs are designed to lead you to a career as an art therapist. In this position, you'd work with individuals of all types, such as small children, the mentally challenged and married couples. You could work in many settings, including hospitals, schools, correctional facilities, nursing homes, outreach facilities, halfway houses, art studios or in private practice. If you choose to stop with an undergraduate degree rather than a graduate degree in art therapy, you may be able to work in the same settings as long as licensing or certification is not required, but those job opportunities are rare.

Other Jobs

If you don't want to become an art therapist, you could apply your art therapy skills in a variety of other careers, including social work, counseling, psychology, therapy and nursing. For many of these positions, though, you'll need to complete further education and fulfill certification or licensing requirements. For instance, although you can use art therapy skills as a psychologist by pursuing graduate studies in psychology and taking a concentration in art therapy, you cannot become a psychologist with only a degree in art therapy.

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:
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  • Southern New Hampshire University

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    Popular programs at Southern New Hampshire University:

    • Master

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  • The George Washington University

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  • Southwestern College

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    • New Mexico: Santa Fe
  • Hofstra University

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    • New York: Hempstead
  • Ursuline College

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    • Ohio: Pepper Pike
  • The College of New Rochelle

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    • New York: New Rochelle
  • School of Visual Arts

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    • New York: New York
  • University of Louisville

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    • Kentucky: Louisville
  • School of the Art Institute of Chicago

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    • Illinois: Chicago