Art and Design Careers in West Virginia
Employment of artists is projected to grow faster than average. Competition for jobs is expected to be keen for both salaried and freelance jobs in all specialties because the number of people with creative ability and an interest in art is expected to continue to exceed the number of available openings. Employment of architects is expected to increase by 16% until 2018. Current demographic trends will lead to an increase in demand for architects as the population of Sunbelt States continues to grow, the people living there will need new places to live and work. Employment of fashion designers is projected to grow by only 1% in the next several years. Some new jobs will arise from an increasing population demanding more clothing, footwear, and accessories. Employment of graphic designers is expected to grow 13%, as fast as the average for all occupations, as demand for graphic design continues to increase from advertisers and computer design firms. Employment of photographers is expected to grow 12% over the next several years, about as fast as the average for all occupations. Demand for portrait photographers should increase as the population grows.
The fastest growing art related fields is interior design, which is expected to grow by 19%, faster than the average for all occupations. An increasing interest in interior design and awareness of its benefits will increase demand for designers.
Animators / Multimedia: $42,940 (National Range: $41k-$77K)
Artists (Painters, Sculptors and Illustrators): $NA (National Range: $29K-$61K)
Architects: $74,500 (National Range: $53K-$91K)
Fashion Designers: $NA (National Range: $42K-$87K)
Filmmakers (film and video editors): $53,160 (National Range:$33K-$77K)
Graphic Designers: $34,510 (National Range: $32K-$56K)
Interior Designers: $29,290 (National Range: $35k-62K)
Photographers: $25,970 (National Range: $20K-$44K)
Animators / Multimedia
A career in animation requires you hold a bachelor’s degree or other post-secondary training in art and design. Most people in the animation career field earn a bachelor’s degree in fine art or animation.
Artists (Painters, Sculptors and Illustrators)
Students can earn a Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) and can continue on to receive their Master of Fine Arts (MFA), which is considered the highest degree for studying the fine arts. Many students who earn their MFA go on to teach college level courses.
Prospective architects can either complete a 5-year Bachelor of Architecture program or earn a bachelor’s degree in another field and then a Master of Architecture. In the U.S., all prospective architects must complete a minimum 3-year internship (5,600 hours) under the supervision of a licensed architect. After earning a degree and fulfilling internship requirements, you can become eligible through your state architectural registration board to take the Architecture Registration Examination (ARE). You need to pass all seven sections of the ARE in order to pass the exam in full.
Fashion designers typically need an associate or a bachelor’s degree in fashion design. Some fashion designers also combine a fashion design degree with a business, marketing, or fashion merchandising degree, especially those who want to run their own business or retail store.
Formal training can be a great asset to workers in filmmaking and television production, but experience, talent, creativity, and professionalism usually are the most important factors in getting a job.
Entry-level interior designers typically hold at least a bachelor’s degree in Interior Design. Professionals in the field continue on to earn a Master of Fine Arts or equivalent degree.
Professional photographers benefit from formalized education at institutions that specialize in the art of rendering photography. A major in photography provides studies in the aesthetic and practical areas of camera-generated imagery.
Interior Design Organizations
Non-profit Arts Organizations
Allied Artists of West Virginia
Arts in Action
Berkeley Springs Studio Tour
Hampshire County Arts Council (Romney)
Morgan Arts Council (Berkeley Springs)
West Virginia Art Education Association
West Virginia Artists and Craftsmen’s Guild
West Virginia Association of Museums
West Virginia Commission on the Arts
West Virginia Division of Culture and History