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Arts / Design / Fashion
Have an eye for interior design? Do you always know which pair of shoes will go best with your friend’s new outfit? Has anyone ever told you that you have a voice fit for radio?
If so, you may want to consider a career in the arts/design/fashion industry. There are art schools designed to help you earn a degree in interior design, as well as art colleges that craft programs suited to a degree in computer-aided drafting. To learn whether a two-year, associate degree at an art school is right for you, or if your career path requires a four-year art college degree, please read the stories on our website pertaining to your desired career.
Once you find something of interest, enter your zip code in the search bar. Our website will provide a guide to the colleges and schools in your area suited to your particular needs.
A Career in the Arts
Jobs in the arts often are hard to find, especially in a tough economic climate. Those who are most productive when they use their creativity find themselves wondering how best to use their natural talents while being able to support themselves and their families.
Art school – the generic term for any program offering instruction in any aspect of the arts – can provide the necessary training to help those creative juices flow. Students also will learn how to use their skills to secure employment.
What Kind of Artist?
In addition to photography schools and music production and audio engineering schools, there are nine top-earning jobs in the arts industry, according to a 2011 report by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Let’s review each of them.
- Art Directors – Art directors create the visual style and images of many products, including magazines, newspapers and product packaging, to name a few. Most art directors work for advertising or public relations firms. On average, they can expect to earn roughly $80,000 annually with an undergraduate degree in the arts.
- Craft and Fine Artists – Those who practice this area of the arts – painters, illustrators and sculptors – will create and produce various forms of original artwork and then sell it to the general public. Most artists in this sector are self-employed and can expect to earn roughly $43,000 annually. Formal education is not needed for this line of work. Most artists rely solely on talent in order to practice their craft. However, many colleges offer an undergraduate degree in fine art that can be useful in marketing the products made by these kinds of artists.
- Fashion Designers – These are the people responsible for the clothing, shoe and jewelry trends and styles on the market. They can work for fashion houses, apparel companies and even theaters designing costumes for actors. On average, they can expect to earn over $64,000 a year. For most jobs in this industry, an undergraduate degree is sufficient.
- Floral Designers – The “fashion designers of the floral world,” these artists create beautiful floral arrangements for a number of occasions, including weddings, graduations and funerals. Floral designers make roughly $24,000 annually, but they do not require a special college degree. For most places, on-the-job training is acceptable for this profession.
- Graphic Artists – In this career, which is in high demand, practitioners can expect to earn around $43,000 annually. Graphic designers create designs, either by hand or through the use of computer software programs such as Adobe InDesign. They can work in publishing, advertising, or as independent contractors for any media outlet. For most jobs in this field, an undergraduate degree is all that is required.
- Industrial Designers – These are the folks who design the look of your car, your fridge and even the toys with which your children play. Roughly 29 percent of all industrial designers are employed directly by manufacturers. Annual median salary for this profession is $58,000 and the majority of those working in this field possess only an undergraduate degree.
- Interior Designers – A bachelor’s degree with a concentration on interior design is required for this profession. Interior designers are responsible for creating the inside look of homes and businesses. They can work for architects, engineers or as self-employed contractors. Interior designers can expect to earn roughly $46,000 annually.
- Multimedia Artists/Animators – These are the people who create the special effects for television shows, movies and even video games. Most multimedia artists and animators possess a bachelor’s degree in graphic design, while others may focus on earning an undergraduate degree in art. The average median salary for this profession is $58,000 annually.
For most of the careers in the arts listed above, an undergraduate degree is required. There is a variety of programs available, including at traditional college settings or through online-learning programs.
One of the top art schools in the nation is the Academy of Art Institution in San Francisco, which was founded in 1929 by fine art painter Richard S. Stephens. It is the largest private accredited art school in the United States. Its professors are artists themselves, lending their unique perspective and brand of experience to students of the institution.
Full Sail University offers several graphic design and commercial arts degrees, including Bachelor of Arts in computer animation; Associate of Science Degree in Graphic Design; and a Master Degree in Media Design. These are only three of the programs offered at the university, which has both traditional and online options.
Another popular choice is The Art Institutes, which has locations in 24 states plus the Canadian province of British Columbia. It also offers many of its degree programs online. Students can earn degrees in design, the culinary arts, media arts or fashion through the Art Institutes.
As with other professions, it is recommended that student select a properly-accredited art school program for their studies. There are four accrediting organizations for arts-based careers. They are the National Association of Schools of Music; the National Association of Schools of Art and Design; the National Association of Schools of Theatre; and the National Association of Schools of Dance.