Career Advice on How to Become a Craft Artist

General Career Information

Oh great, you might be thinking, there are going to be more artists coming into the world. Indeed, it is true, the United States is expected to see more artists in the coming years. If you are considering becoming a craft artist, or any kind of artist, there are a few key facts you should know before beginning your career planning or job search. In fact, there are a few facts about artists in the United States that will surprise most people.

Career Facts:

One of the key facts about artists and craft artists in the United States is that most, nearly two-thirds, in fact, are self-employed. No surprise the number of different types of artists is staggering, but in general, there are several categories of artist that are making a living in a variety of fields. Among some of the artists involved are illustrators, sketch artists, cartoonists and sculptors, to name a few.
A second fact that many surprise many is that the number of artists in the United States is expected to jump fairly substantially. The field is expected to enjoy a healthy sixteen-point increase by 2016.

Craft artists specifically work with a large array of physical objects, ranging from glass, wood and metal to pottery and textiles. In fact, talented craft artists can make art out of almost any material.


Career Opportunities and Job Outlook-Fair:

The job prospects for artists in general and craft artists differ somewhat. Most people are no doubt surprised to learn that the job prospects for artists, in general, are indeed very good. Currently, there are 218,000 artists employed in the United States, but that number is expected to grow to 253,000 by 2016. Much of the overall growth is expected to come in the multimedia and animation area.
Multimedia artists and animators will account for 110,000 of the 253,000 artists total by 2016. In terms of craft artists specifically, there are about 9,000 craft artists currently employed in the United States. That number is expected to increase to 9,500 by 2016.
Job Outlook is Fair  

A Day in The Life:

Few occupants encompass as much variety as the term “artist” or “craft artist.” Indeed this broad tent encompasses everyone from art directors, who work on newspapers, to medical and scientific illustrators, painting restorers, and even multimedia artists. 
Many craft artists work in their own studios or out of their homes. Others, especially artists of a graphic nature, may work for design companies, publishing houses or advertising agencies. Since a large percentage of craft artists are self-employed, they are able to set their own hours. Of course, the nature of their work greatly dictates the kind of work conditions they have as well. A sculptor, for example, has a much different work environment than a multimedia artists or a painting restorer. Craft artists can be expected to work at home or in a studio. The material in which they work will greatly dictate how they use their space and in what way.

Average Salary:

The average craft artist can expect to earn about $24,000. Other artists can expect to earn much more. Art directors, for example, can average about $68,000 annually. An obvious drawback to becoming a craft artist is the relatively low level of pay.

$24k - $68k


Career Training and Qualifications:

Many craft artists are self-taught or have attended art school. Other artists such as medical illustrators often pursue master’s degrees in medical illustration. Thus the level of education amongst artist also varies widely.
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