Art Teacher Career Overview
Art teachers offer arts education at various educational levels. Though many art teachers who have obtained their masters in education degree work in the traditional classroom environment, others work in prisons, hospitals, or retirement homes. Art teachers work to develop artistic skills and appreciation in their students through a combination of theory and hands-on projects. Teachers work in a variety of disciplines including literature, the visual arts, and performance.
Art Teacher Job Responsibilities
Art teachers design and execute a curriculum to help students in a variety of environments increase their art knowledge and skills. They encourage their students to express their feelings and beliefs through art, and provide a combination of theory and hands-on projects to develop student abilities. Art teachers help students find a creative venue for their thoughts and opinions. They are also responsible for tracking student progress and assigning grades if applicable.
Art Teacher Educational Requirements
Arts teachers typically need at least a bachelor’s degree, either in education or a related field such as fine arts or art history, but some obtain more advanced degrees such as a master in art education. Those who do not earn their degree in education must separately attend an education program after getting their undergraduate degree. Art teachers must also obtain a state teaching license, and it is important to have artistic skills and interests.
Art Teacher Areas of Specialization
Art teachers can work in the public schools at the elementary, middle or high-school levels. They can also choose to work in private schools, at the college or university level, or in other environments such as retirement homes, prisons, or hospitals.
Career Opportunities for Art School Teachers
Below is a list of possible career options for qualified art teachers. This is not a complete list and serves only as a guide to potential career paths.
College Art Professor
Elementary School Art Teacher
High School Art Teacher
Hospital Art Teacher
Middle School Art Teacher
Prison Art Teacher
Retirement Community Art Teacher
Salary Ranges for Art Teachers
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), median annual earnings of kindergarten, elementary, middle, and secondary-school teachers ranged from $43,580 to $48,690 in May 2006. While the lowest 10 percent earned $28,590 to $33,070, the top 10 percent earned $67,490 to $76,100. Salaries range for environments outside the standard public-school classroom environment.
Art Teacher Organizations & Resources
There are several professional organizations and advocacy groups for teachers. These can prove a powerful resource and offer helpful information.
NAEA – National Art Education Association
AFT – American Federation of Teachers
GSN – Global SchoolNet Foundation