If you’re a creative or artistic person who enjoys working with young people, consider studying art education and aim for a career as an art teacher at the elementary, secondary school, or even college level. Art teachers train students on a wide variety of skills to express themselves visually. The overall job market for teachers is expected to be relatively good with overall growth rates in the 13-15% range.
This can vary based on regional factors. Some states, such as Pennsylvania, now mandate credits in art as a requirement for graduation, which is expected to increase demand for art teachers. In addition, recent UCLA studies indicate that students exposed to art education do better in other academic subjects such as math and reading. This effect may be greatest among students from underprivileged backgrounds. Recognition of this has made the importance of art teachers pervasive throughout culture. Salaries, while varied, remain above average, with the average salary in the range of $55,000 per year. Of course, this depends on experience as well as one’s school district.
Those studying art education and hoping to teach at the elementary or secondary school level must earn a bachelors degree. Courses will cover a wide variety of creative areas implemented in the classroom, as well as requiring the completion of necessary education credits in order to be certified as a teacher at the middle or high school level. Exact requirements vary by state. Students should engage a broad range of art subjects including art history, painting, drawing, graphic design, sculpture, and ceramics, to name just a few. Many people will specialize in one of these areas but should feel comfortable teaching any of them. Advanced study by way of master’s degrees, especially masters in education, may be necessary in order to achieve education jobs in colleges and universities.
Those interested in certification as an elementary or secondary school teacher should complete an internship as a supervised student teacher. Students can do so as a capstone project in the final year of their undergraduate study, a concentrated project lasting between 7-14 weeks and requiring supervised teaching. Student teachers are evaluated on the quality of instruction and how well they manage classroom focus.
A great many art education programs are available, and those interested in studying art education should be able to find a college specializing in this industry somewhere in their area. Some schools offer online classes, as well as part-time or evening options, making art education an ideal field of study for the working adult. Those interested in this exciting and complex field can begin by visiting the undergraduate college and seeing if a program is available. Discussions with art teachers in your local school district and the state department of education might also provide important information about local job prospects and specific requirements for your state.