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How to Make Money Teaching as an Artist

How to Make Money Teaching as an Artist

Valerie Atkisson / ArtBistro

It has been said those who can’t “do”, teach.  I do not agree with this statement. There are artists who are great teachers, and those who are not.  Teaching is a gift, like artistic talent, that can be improved and learned, but some people are natural teachers.  In this article we will explore how teaching can be a great way to further your art career and can help you make ends meet.

Teaching Opportunities

What are the various opportunities to teach as an artist? Typically, those who get an Art Education degree are trained to teach art to elementary through high school students. That track is pretty well defined, so I don’t have much to add. However, I taught part time in a private school for eight years. It was a rewarding experience and gave me a chance to grow as a teacher. Many private schools look for working artists to teach their classes. Find out about their elective courses and after school programs. Public schools also have after school programs for this age group whom artists teach. 

Part time teaching allows for a flexible schedule and usually pays well per hour. Many local and state art organizations have visiting artist programs in the public schools. These can also be rewarding and well paid opportunities.  Teaching kids and teens leaves some artists energized. Teaching can be draining for other artists, as well as overwhelming and chaotic. It is good to find out which sort of person you are and to steer your career accordingly. You can find out by volunteering and getting some experience before going back to school to earn an art education degree.   The terminal degree for studio art professors at a university or college level is a Master’s degree. You cannot get a doctorate in studio art. Professorships are very competitive, but of course if you are qualified, have good experience and an exhibition record, you are as competitive as the next candidate.  As with all careers, networking will really get you where you want to be.

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