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What to Expect from a Career in the Arts

What to Expect from a Career in the Arts

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor

Artists and Related Workers

Use this report to find out what to expect from a career in the arts.

  1. Nature of the Work
  2. Working Conditions
  3. Training, Other Qualifications, and Advancement
  4. Employment
  5. Job Outlook
  6. Earnings
  7. Related Occupations
  8. Sources of Additional Information

Significant Points

About 63 percent of artists and related workers are self-employed.

Keen competition is expected for both salaried jobs and freelance work; the number of qualified workers exceeds the number of available openings because the arts attract many talented people with creative ability.

Artists usually develop their skills through a bachelor’s degree program or other postsecondary training in art or design.

Earnings for self-employed artists vary widely; some well-established artists earn more than salaried artists, while others find it difficult to rely solely on income earned from selling art.

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