For many students of the arts, it is easy to become discouraged by the many criticisms they will hear regarding their career outlook. Fortunately, career outlooks for K-12 art teachers as well as art educators in other environments are not nearly as bleak as many people believe them to be.
While the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics does not provide specific job outlook information for art teachers, they do report that elementary, middle school and high school teacher job opportunities are projected to rise by 3-4% from 2018-2028. As with many educational jobs, there are shortages of educators in some locations more than others, which can benefit those willing to relocate for work.
Responsibilities of Art Teachers
If you are explicitly interested in becoming a K-12 art teacher, you will be responsible for teaching the basics of various artistic mediums, from sketching all the way up to sculpting. In addition to teaching the basics, you will also be responsible for explaining more complex theories about practical art, history, and art appreciation at the higher grade levels. As an art teacher, you will need to provide materials, select the correct tools, and reading sources.
However, an art teacher’s primary responsibility is to encourage students to learn about art, regardless of natural aptitude that they may or may not have. This career requires that teachers cultivate naturally talented students who may be interested in pursuing a career in the arts, as well as providing an appreciation of the arts for those students who may not have that natural ability.
Other Career Options
While becoming a K-12 art teacher is the most direct application for those pursuing a career in art education, it is far from the only option. Many graduate students who pursue their online masters in art education choose instead to work as a museum educator or a community-based educator. These career paths can be excellent choices for students interested in teaching and promote a passion for the arts but may not wish to be tethered to a traditional classroom.
No matter which career path you choose to go with, earning your master’s degree in art education will provide the best credentials to get there. Suppose you are interested in the path to work as a museum educator specifically, however. In that case, it is worth taking the time while doing your studies to intern with a museum or similar institution. As with many other occupations, the friends and contacts you make during your studies will be as important as the credentials that you earn.
Your Future Is Yours to Decide
The career outlook for those pursuing their degree in arts education is bright. Especially if you are willing to travel and explore opportunities outside of traditional classroom environments, you will be amazed at the depth and breadth of career options available to you with your degree. If you have a passion for teaching, and a deep love of the arts, consider pursuing your arts education degree to share that love with others.