Careers in the Visual Arts and Built Environment

If you are invested in the act of creativity you are fortunate enough to be living in a moment in time not only inundated, but virtually defined by media. Indeed, everything manufactured—from websites to lawn ornaments and everything in between—has at some time been touched by the hand, mind, or eye of a creative person. Consequently, job prospects in the fields of Art, Applied Art, Art History, Art Education, Art Therapy and Architecture are better than they've ever been. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics:

  • The revolution in electronic communications, multimedia and entertainment has created a growing need for highly skilled artists and designers. 
  • The explosion of eMedia and popular culture has created parallel growth and demand for the traditional visual and performing arts disciplines. 
  • Employment of visual artists is expected to grow faster than average for all occupations over the next decade.
  • Demand for graphic artists should remain strong as producers of information, goods, and services put increasing emphasis on visual appeal in product design, advertising, marketing, and entertainment. 

The Artist as a Professional

The prevalence of digital media and advertising as well as the overwhelming presence of the Internet stand out as the most obvious career choices. However, you do not have to become an expert in digital applications in order to make a living in art. There are virtually thousands of artists, designers, craftspersons, architects and scholars who have not had to sacrifice their sense of creative individuality in order to earn a living.

As you read the list of career choices please understand that it is by no means exhaustive. With this in mind, it can be an understandably daunting task to choose from among the many possibilities. That is where two of our most valuable resources come into play - The Temple University Career Center and The Tyler School of Art and Architecture faculty. The Temple University Career Center provides guidance and assistance with resumes, cover letters, job leads and fairs, internships and externships to current students and alumni. The Tyler faculty offer an astonishing amount of knowledge and experience both in instruction and career development.

The Tyler Career Center contact is Mark Kaloko, Career Coach
Temple University Career Center
220 Mitten Hall
215-204-4477 (phone)
215-204-4462 (fax)

We at Tyler believe wholeheartedly in artistic potential. Therefore, we are committed to insuring a balanced education emphasizing both studio and academic coursework with an eye set towards a practical yet profitable future- marked by personal fulfillment and purpose. 

Careers by Major

Art Education

(Elementary, Secondary, Post-Secondary Education; Community, Art, Cultural Centers; Art Galleries, nursing/drug/daycare centers; weekend programs)

  • Art Critic/Writer
  • Art Teacher
  • Artist-in-Residence/Artist-in-the-Schools
  • Arts Administrator
  • Freelance Instructor
  • Postsecondary Instructor
  • Recreation Specialist
  • Teacher/Instructor - Overseas
  • Teacher of Art and Recreation

Art History

(Museums, galleries, industry)

  • Archivist
  • Art Gallery and Auction House Assistant
  • Art Historian, Art Law Specialist
  • Art Critic/Writer
  • Arts Organization Consultant/Administrator
  • Corporate, Museum, University Curator
  • Curatorial Consultant
  • Fine Arts Appraiser
  • Researcher
  • Restorer, Conservator
  • Publishing Proofreader
  • Visual Resources Curator (Education & Industry)
  • Teacher/Administrator, Art Lecturer


Art Therapy

(Counseling; Special Education; Community, Art, Cultural Centers; Art Galleries, nursing/drug/daycare centers; weekend programs)

  • Activities Specialist/Activities Therapist
  • Autism Specialist
  • Child-Welfare Specialist
  • Case-Worker
  • Counselors
  • Special Education Aide
  • Therapeutic Staff Support
  • Group Home worker/counselor/advisor
  • School-Based Applied Behavior Therapist
  • Life Skills Counselor
  • Occupational Therapist
  • Child Mental Health Worker
  • In-Home Family Counselor


Crafts: Ceramics, Fibers & Materials Studies, Glass, Metals/Jewelry/CAD-CAM

(Museums, Galleries, Industry, Schools)

  • Administrator, Industry Consultant
  • Artist-in-Residence/Artist-in-Schools
  • Commercial Serigrapher/Silkscreener
  • Costume Designer, Court Artist
  • Digital Imaging
  • Foundry Owner/Operator
  • Gallery Owner/Administrator
  • Master Printer/Print Studio Owner
  • Model Maker, Muralist
  • Painter, Sculptor, Printmaker (freelance, commission)
  • Portrair Painter/Sculptor, Set Designer
  • Scientific Illustrator, Technical Illustrator
  • Teacher/Administrator

Graphic Design, Illustration, Photography

(Advertising, Television/Film, Corporate, Mass-Media)

  • Art Director 
  • Book Illustrator, Technical/Production Illustrator
  • Exhibitions Designer
  • Freelance Photographer
  • Font Designer
  • Graphic Designer - Advertising, Corporate, Publishing
  • TV/Film, Entertainment
  • Multi-media specialist
  • Package Designer, Product Designer
  • Photo/Computer/Digital Lab Technician
  • Urban Graphics Designer (display, signs, billboards)
  • Web Designer, Webmaster

Museum Studies, Arts Administration, Conservation/Restoration

(Usually requires MFA, MA, or PhD)

  • Social, cultural agencies; Education
  • Art Director
  • Art Lecturer/Visiting Scholar
  • Art Supervisor
  • Arts Administrator
  • Arts Management
  • Career Development Counselor
  • Cataloger
  • Conservator/Restorer
  • Development/Grant Writer
  • Director 
  • Director of Visual Arts Program
  • Exhibition Coordinator
  • Fine Arts Appraiser
  • Gallery Director
  • Museum Educator/Researcher
  • Photography Lab Technician
  • Registrar

Visual Studies

  • Art Administrator
  • Curator, Writer, Critic
  • Exhibition Designer
  • Gallery Director
  • Exhibition Coordinator
  • Development/Grant Writer
  • Museum Educator/Researcher
  • Social, Cultural Agencies; Education
  • Arts Managment
  • Conservator/Restorer
  • Director of Visual Arts Program
  • Gallery Owner/Administrator
  • Artist-in-Residence/Artist-in-Schools
  • Teacher/Administrator
  • Independent Visual Artist (freelance, commission)


  • Architect
  • Interior Architect
  • Architectural Photographer
  • Land Planner
  • Architectural Writer/Critic
  • Public Architect
  • Architecture Educator
  • Sustainable Design Specialist
  • Building Pathologist
  • Urban Designer
  • CAD Specialist
  • Urban Planner
  • Construction Manager
  • Corporate Architect
  • Exhibit Designer
  • Facility Designer
  • Facility Managers Architects
  • Industrial Designer

Landscape Architecture

  • Landscape Architect
  • Environmental Advocacy
  • Parks & Recreation
  • Landscape Metrics
  • Stormwater Management & Green Infastructure
  • Urban & Community Revitalization
  • Government
  • Historic Landscape Restoration & Preservation
  • Academia



  • Environmental Scientist
  • Landscape Horticulturalist
  • Plant Breeder / Geneticist
  • Propagation Scientist
  • Soil Scientist
  • Horticultural Therapist
  • Consultant / Field Advisor
  • Pathologist
  • Bacteriologist
  • Mycologist
  • Academia


Planning & Community Development

BS Community Development

  • Commercial Corridor Manager
  • Community Development Corporation, Assistant
  • Community Finance Specialist
  • Community Engagement Coordinator
  • Community Organizer
  • Economic Development Specialist
  • Geographic Information Systems Data Analyst
  • Grant Writer
  • Historic Preservationist
  • Housing Authority Officer
  • Housing Rehabilitation Manager
  • Place Making Manager
  • Private Foundations Fund Manager
  • Public Administrator
  • Real Estate Development, Project Manager
  • Neighborhood Development Liaison
  • Nonprofit Manager
  • Outreach and Education Coordinator
  • Youth Engagement Coordinator

MS City & Regional Planning

  • Citizen Engagement Director
  • City Planner/Urban Planner, I, II
  • Community Development Corporation Director
  • Data Analyst
  • Dispute Resolution Consultant
  • Economic Development Specialist
  • Environmental Planner I, II
  • Geographical Information Systems Data Specialist
  • Historic Preservationist
  • Industrial Redevelopment Specialist
  • Land Use Planner
  • Non-profit Management Director
  • Public Administrator
  • Public Policy Analyst
  • Real Estate Development, Manager
  • Sustainabilitiy Director
  • Transportation Planner I, II
  • Urban Revitalization Strategist

Applied Art

(All Studio Disciplines)

  • Arts Administrator, Art Dealer
  • Art Conslutant
  • Carpet Designer
  • Curator, Writer, Critic
  • Exhibition Designer
  • Fabric and Textile Designer
  • Furniture Designer
  • Gallery Director
  • Greeting Card Designer
  • Resillient Flooring Designer
  • Stylist
  • Tableware Designer
  • Toy Manufacturer and Designer
  • Wallcovering Designer

Additional Resources