Careers for BFA Graduates

Explore the potential career paths for students who earn a Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA). Research the median salaries and job growth for a variety of professions that will allow you to utilize your art skills.

Career Information at a Glance

Earning a Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) offers multiple opportunities for career growth and professional development in the arts. This type of degree allows you to capitalize on both your creative skills as well as your knowledge of art forms and composition. In the table below, you'll find information on a variety of careers that you can consider after earning this degree.

Degree Required Job Growth (2016-2026)* Median Income (2017)*
Graphic Designer Bachelor's degree 4% $48,700
Museum Technician Bachelor's degree 12% (for museum technicians and conservators) $40,670 (for museum technicians and conservators)
Art Director Bachelor's degree 5% $92,500
High School Art Teacher Bachelor's degree; master's degree required by some states 8% $59,170
Craft or Fine Artist None required; bachelor's degree increases job prospects 6% $49,160

Source: *US Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Does a Graphic Designer Do?

Graphic designers typically work for companies that are looking to develop a visual concept for their business. They use digital art and illustration software programs to create visually appealing and original work. Graphic design projects often include logos, advertisements, brochures, and posters. A BFA can prepare an individual for work in the graphic design field if the coursework includes classes on how to use the necessary software programs. Graphic design combines skills in both art and technology. As of May 2017, graphic designers earned a median income of $48,700.

What Is the Role of a Museum Technician?

Museum technicians, also known as registrars, are responsible for preparing artwork and artifacts for museum exhibits; they work closely with items, such as paintings, fossils, pottery, and manuscripts. They are tasked with identifying and maintaining documentation on all objects and displaying them correctly within a given space. The BLS reported that museum technicians and conservators earned a median income of $40,670 annually as of May 2017. Museum technicians work closely with museum curators and museum directors to ensure the proper installation and upkeep of new and old exhibits. Earning a BFA with a concentration in art history can prepare an individual for work in this field.

What Is the Day-to-Day Work of an Art Director Like?

Art directors develop the overall look and feel for a variety of productions, such as magazine and newspaper publications, movie sets, and marketing projects for companies. They are required to create a visually appealing concept, communicate this vision to other artists, allocate the necessary resources for production, and then oversee the work done by other artists. They must be able to keep each project on time and must actively keep a project within the budget. Art directors earned a median income of $92,500 as of May 2017. Most companies that hire art directors require that they have earned a bachelor's degree and have a portfolio that demonstrates their work experience as an artist or designer; a BFA prepares individuals to think creatively and develop visually appealing productions that the day-to-day work of an art director demands.

How Do I Become a High School Art Teacher?

High school art teachers introduce students to the fundamental concepts of art itself and create projects that help students develop their artistic abilities. High school art teachers must be skilled in a multitude of styles, from painting, sculpting, and illustrating to printmaking and photography. Earning a BFA can lead to a career as a high school art teacher. Most states require that you also undergo a teacher preparation program and student teaching experience. You must then pass state-specific education exams and earn your certification or license to teach. In some states, teachers must hold a master's degree to renew these credentials. High school teachers earned a median income of $59,170 annually as of May 2017.

What Do Craft and Fine Artists Do?

Both craft and fine artists create art for display and for sale. Craft artists are skilled in making objects by hand, such as pottery, textiles, or jewelry. These objects serve a functional purpose while also providing visual appeal. Craft artists earn an income by selling their work in stores, online marketplaces, craft fairs, or museums. Fine artists, such as painters and sculptors, are tasked with creating work that is decorative and aesthetically pleasing. Their work can be sold for either professional or personal spaces. While no degree is required to become a craft or visual artist, earning a BFA can help you refine your skill set. It is essential for both craft and fine artists to build a strong portfolio that exemplifies their artistic abilities. Craft and fine artists earned an annual median income of $49,160 as of May 2017.

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:

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