Here’s How Much an Art Teacher Makes (Annual Salary) | (2023)

Being an art teacher is an attractive career option on the surface, but it’s hard to know exactly what it involves and whether or not you can make a good living teaching art. So first you’ll want to know, how much does an art teacher make?

How Much do Art Teachers Make

Art teachers earn on average $46,000 a year. This is going to vary significantly in either direction based on qualifications and experience. An art teacher’s salary will also depend greatly on whether one teaches art at a private school, public school, or university.

In this article, we’ll look at all the factors that determine an art teacher’s salary, and also what being an art teacher involves on a daily basis. In addition, I’ll talk about the skills and attributes needed to become a successful art teacher and what is required to get those top salaries.

Average Art Teachers Salaries (Publically Available Data)

Here’s How Much an Art Teacher Makes (Annual Salary) | (1)

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According to salary tracking websites, art teachers can expect to make an average base salary of $46,351.

The range on starts at $32,000 and goes up to $70,000. This doesn’t include bonuses or benefits and is pretax.

This average salary range will be impacted by the number of years of teaching experience, and you can expect to stay within the $35,000 to $45,000 range during the first ten years on the job.

Higher levels of art education or experience will generally allow for a higher art teacher salary to be achieved. Having a Master’s Degree or higher in certain specialties will be very useful for career progression.

This is true even at the elementary vs. high school level, as high school art teachers are expected to be certified in a specific art field, whereas the same does not apply to an elementary art teacher.

The highest paying states are New York, California, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and Connecticut. Looking forward, California and Texas offer the best conditions in general.

Benefits of Being an Art Teacher

States compete with each other to attract the best teachers, so the levels of benefits and advantages will vary quite significantly. This is also true for the ability of large urban areas to have bigger budgets to allocate towards teacher salaries.

However, at a minimum, you can expect insurance for your entire family, including medical, dental, and vision coverage.

Public schools set their salaries via teachers’ unions which bargain for the highest rates they can. A school district’s agreement with the teachers union will also decide the number of hours worked, expectations, and many other conditions of employment.

Private schools will instead form their own policies in regards to teachers’ salaries. However, given the costs of running a private school, the fees collected will not cover all the costs of running the school. This means that private schools must rely on charitable donations to make up the difference.

For a well-endowed school, this can mean they will offer higher salaries than public schools, but these schools are not too easy to find, and the competition to become a teacher at the school will be high.

One of the biggest motivators behind becoming an art teacher is to be involved with students. Art helps people find out more about themselves, giving you an option to be fully involved with the positive development of a student.

What Does an Art Teacher’s Job Involve?

An art teacher is almost always based in a school environment, with art classes being taught to all ages. However, there are art teaching positions available outside the school system as well.

Teaching Art in Schools

Your daily tasks teaching art in a school environment will be somewhat dependent on what education level you’re instructing. The following are the general art teaching positions that schools are looking for:

  • preschool teacher
  • elementary school teacher
  • middle school teacher (aka secondary school teacher)
  • high school teacher
  • undergraduate university teacher
  • graduate school teacher

While each of these teaching positions may be quite different in some respect due to the ages of the students, there are some commonalities in the descriptions of art teacher roles to give you an idea of what a day in the life of teaching art in a school involves.

These include working with materials and mediums such as fine art, clay, architecture, painting, arts and crafts, photography, and multidisciplinary art.

  • Here’s How Much an Art Teacher Makes (Annual Salary) | (2)
  • Here’s How Much an Art Teacher Makes (Annual Salary) | (3)

Being an art teacher is multidisciplinary itself, with many art teacher job advertisements including music and food preparation as other possible roles. The rise in the use of computers and technology to create and view art also means literacy in this area will be highly regarded.

Familiarity with how to use canvases, clay, paints, paper,textiles, anddyes and teaching their usage to students will be the main focus.

Here’s How Much an Art Teacher Makes (Annual Salary) | (4)

However, basic art skills are not enough to be even an average art teacher. You’ll also need the ability to explain the relationship of art to culture, plus you’ll need to perform the critical assessment of works of art and provide constructive criticism in a way that encourages your students.

One of your primary aims is to get your pupils to value and develop their creativity. This is based upon encouraging imagination as well as practical skills to engage with a wide variety of mediums, including painting, drawing, sculpture, digital design, photography, and textiles.

Identifying a student’s motivations and triggers to unleash their creativity is not easily learned via an art history exam or experience sculpting.

This skill will more likely come from experience working with many students and trying different strategies, as well as being abreast of the latest research.

You’ll also help foster and develop people’s appreciation of aesthetic and cultural values, as well as introduce the topics of critical thinking around subjective and objective aspects of art.

You will also have certain expectations around school life in your role as an art teacher. These may include tasks like supervision during lunchtimes and egress (when school is out for the day). The other aspects like faculty and parent-teacher meetings will also form an important part of the role.

Teaching Art Outside of a School Environment

Outside the school system, there are local community groups or art centers that cater to adults. Content is similar but without the administration and the before and after-school requirements associated with working in a public or private school.

This also opens the possibility of being able to teach an art specialty rather than following a specific school curriculum.

What Qualifications Does an Art Teacher Need?

Generally, most art teaching positions will require a bachelor’s degree or higher in the arts at a minimum. These degrees tend to focus on having extensive knowledge of art history on top of painting, sculpting, or other artistic skills.

Such degree programs will require this knowledge and skill to be demonstrated via a portfolio showcasing personal ability in the arts.

In addition, a teaching certification must also be earned to comply with whatever the local state rules are. This last component is vital as you are required to teach certain concepts, knowledge, or other abstract items to students who learn through a variety of different methods.

Along with these recognized requirements and qualifications, being an art teacher will also involve many soft skills. These skills will include things like communication, leadership, problem-solving, and teamwork, among others.

Proving that you have the complete skill set will need to be demonstrated via engagement in leadership positions, community organizing, or similar.

These soft skills are best showcased via examples on your curriculum vitae (CV), and through expanding on them in the interview process.

Art classes are likely to be quite large, so you’ll need to gain experience in effectively controlling and communicating with large groups that may have varying interest levels and engagement.

This will require strong verbal communication skills combined with adaptability and flexibility. Art lessons do not always go as planned, in fact, the creative essence of art in one sense calls for nonconformity and originality.

Part of the qualification process for becoming an art teacher is based on learning teaching methodologies. In addition, you have to learn how to drive engagement and participation, meet the needs of your students, provide clear instruction and be consistent with expectations.

You will have to focus on student-centered exercises and venture outside the bubble of art and the art world due to its insular nature. It’s all well and good to have spent years focusing on your own artwork and designs, but as a teacher, you have to now focus on leading others.

Another aspect is encouraging positive relationships and group work to expose students to their peers’ ideas, approaches, and techniques. This is a vital part of art and learning.

Problem-solving and art may not seem to be related, but in fact, problem-solving is at the heart of art, as artists are always trying to figure out ways to express complex ideas or thoughts through the medium of art.

What constitutes art or artwork is extremely broad, with new variations on old techniques or resurrections of old styles happening constantly. As a result, even disciplines like photography and using graphic imaging will be sought-after skills.

This means you need to keep on top of what is happening and ensure your inventory of craft materials and knowledge is sufficient for what you need. Making sure you know how to keep to a supply budget will be a critical skill for maintaining your position.

Art teachers also need to follow the other basics of teaching, including assigning homework, projects and following up with students to evaluate their progress. This is best demonstrated through a previous position that involved large-scale organization of dynamic factors over time.

A basic understanding of how to build a school curriculum will also be desirable for leverage on salary.

For instance, creating an AP Art program for a school that lacks one, or being able to run your own art class or even department without the need for external guidance, is a huge boon to whoever takes you on.


Being an art teacher can be an amazing career. Teachers have the ability to shape young minds and provide them with tangible and non-tangible skills that they will use for the rest of their lives.

As a teacher specializing in art, you will have the opportunity to do this while sharing your passion for the world of art with a new generation of students.

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Here’s How Much an Art Teacher Makes (Annual Salary) | ›

The average salary for a art teacher in Florida is $44,000 per year. Art teacher salaries in Florida can vary between $18,000 to $58,500 and depend on various factors, including skills, experience, employer, bonuses, tips, and more.

What is the best salary for an art teacher? ›

How Much Do Art Teacher Jobs Pay per Year? $33,000 is the 25th percentile. Salaries below this are outliers. $52,000 is the 75th percentile.

What states pay art teachers the most? ›

Art teacher salaries typically range between $40,000 and $62,000 a year. The average hourly rate for art teachers is $24.13 per hour. Location, education, and experience impacts how much an art teacher can expect to make. Art teachers make the most in Connecticut, New York, Alaska, Washington, and Maryland.

What is the average salary for art teachers in Texas? ›

The average salary for a art teacher in Texas is $47,000 per year.

Where do art teachers make the most money? ›

Top companies for Art Teachers in United States
  • College of the Canyons. 4.4 $62.38per hour. 115 reviews49 salaries reported.
  • Kern Community College District. 4.0 $42.61per hour. ...
  • Seattle Public Schools. 3.6 $35.15per hour. ...
  • Golden West College. 4.2 $33.92per hour. ...
  • Third Future Schools. 2.2 $30.67per hour. ...
  • Show more companies.

What majors are best for art teachers? ›

A bachelor's degree in education with coursework in art, art education (a Bachelor of Fine Arts–BFA–in Art Education), or art history with a state-approved teacher preparation program is the basic requirement for becoming an art teacher at a public school.

Is getting a job as an art teacher hard? ›

Knowing how to get that art teacher job can sometimes feel overwhelming. Art teacher jobs are often very competitive and appointing a new teacher into a department can be a difficult decision.

Can you make money teaching art? ›

You can sell courses or art classes on sites such as Domestika, Udemy, and Skillshare, or join a teaching platform like Teachable and Thinkific. You will have the most success selling your courses from your own website, where the profit is all yours. The drawback is having to do all your own marketing.

Where are art teachers most in demand? ›

Art teachers are most in-demand in Las Vegas, NV. New York, NY pays an annual average wage of $60,037, the highest in the US.

What is the lowest teacher salary in Texas? ›

Public School Teacher Salary in Texas
10th Percentile Public School Teacher Salary$38,031TX
25th Percentile Public School Teacher Salary$46,367TX
50th Percentile Public School Teacher Salary$55,523TX
75th Percentile Public School Teacher Salary$67,713TX
1 more row

What is the long term outlook for art teachers? ›

Vacancies for this career have increased by 43.06 percent nationwide in that time, with an average growth of 2.69 percent per year. Demand for Art, Drama, and Music Teachers is expected to go up, with an expected 31,630 new jobs filled by 2029. This represents an annual increase of 3.85 percent over the next few years.

What state has the lowest paid teachers? ›

The average salary for teachers was $49,583 in Florida—the second lowest in the country after Mississippi. All other occupations averaged $51,950, a 4.6 percent difference.

Can you make 100k a year as a teacher? ›

Yes, you can make $100k working as a teacher. While most teachers in the U.S. make around $60,000 a year, some teachers can acquire paychecks of $100,000 or more. A teacher's salary can depend on the school district, level of education, experience, and the teaching job.

What type of teacher is in highest demand? ›

Which teaching subject is most in demand? While specific needs vary by institution, science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) are subjects that are always in high demand.

Why being an art teacher is the best? ›

We notice who students really are.

An art teacher's superpower is the ability to quickly tune into a student's inner world through their art. We make meaningful connections about their work, developmental stage, literacy, social-emotional state, and more.

What does an art teacher do every day? ›

Here are some duties and activities that art teachers do on a typical day: Planning class projects and assignments. Ordering and maintaining supplies. Grading assignments and monitoring student achievement.

Do art teachers have to be good at art? ›

They may also provide feedback on student work and offer guidance on techniques and materials. Art teachers must possess strong artistic skills and knowledge, as well as excellent communication and interpersonal skills, to engage and inspire their students and foster a love of art.

Can you make a living with an art degree? ›

An art degree can lead to exciting, creative careers in the fine arts, graphic design, and art education. Many art majors work as multimedia artists, interior designers, and museum curators. Other careers in the field include art teacher, fine artist, art director, and digital designer.

Can you make a living off of art? ›

Making a living as an artist isn't for everyone. Something (not necessarily good) happens internally when you begin to think of your art as a means to pay the bills rather than an enjoyable activity. It takes more than passion to be a full-time artist.

What art jobs are in most demand? ›

Some of the most popular careers that art graduates move into include:
  • Store planner.
  • Gallery manager.
  • Senior fashion designer.
  • Interior designer.
  • Industrial designer.
  • Technical designer.
  • Art director.
  • Creative director.
Apr 27, 2023

What is an art teacher called in college? ›

An art professor is someone who teaches art at the college level. As an art professor, you may work with either undergraduate or graduate students. Students may be pursuing their own careers in art, or they may be taking art classes as an elective.

Is a master of arts in teaching worth it? ›

Earning a Master of Arts in Teaching demonstrates your commitment to your craft and can give you credibility in the field. Your student teaching field experiences will help you become more proficient in the classroom, more confident in your abilities, and more hirable.

What type of teacher is an art teacher? ›

An art teacher is a professional who works in a school and teaches students how to create ceramics and sculptures, paint, take photographs and draw. An art teacher may also work privately or at an art center. They teach students about art theory, art creation and art history.

What are the cons of being an art teacher? ›

It's really easy to focus on the negatives of teaching art. Large class sizes, other teachers always asking to borrow our limited supplies, lack of administrative support and a lack of respect for what we do are all valid complaints.

Is teaching art stressful? ›

High. Stress is not uncommon amongst art teachers, with daily work sometimes being quite demanding.

What are hard skills for art teachers? ›

What are the most important Art Teacher job skills to have on my resume? The most common important skills required by employers are Teaching Certificate, Committee Management, Communication Skills, Curriculum Development, Behavior Analysis, Interpersonal Skills and Instruction.

Is art education worth it? ›

Art school is useful for networking and making connections within the established art world. It's great socially. A college degree does not guarantee a job or a career path beyond teaching art. For most students, art education is a poor investment.

How do I become a successful art teacher? ›

20 Characteristics All Great Art Teachers Share
  1. They love kids. First and foremost, great teachers must love what they teach. ...
  2. They love art. ...
  3. They are passionate about the profession. ...
  4. They are dedicated. ...
  5. They are energetic. ...
  6. They are creative. ...
  7. They are organized planners. ...
  8. They are advocates for the arts.
May 14, 2018

How can I make full time income with art? ›

12 ways to make money as an artist
  1. Use online platforms. There are many ways to sell your art online. ...
  2. Sell your art in person. ...
  3. Publish your work to earn royalties. ...
  4. Teach a class. ...
  5. Apply for art grants. ...
  6. Create a blog. ...
  7. Sell brand-related merchandise. ...
  8. Participate in art competitions.
Feb 5, 2023

What are the duties of an art teacher? ›

Duties and Responsibilities

Instructs pupils in art, such as painting, sketching, designing, and sculpturing; Prepares lesson plans and establishes course goals. Provides individual and group instruction designed to meet individual needs and motivate students.

Which type of art is demand? ›

There are many different types that people buy right now — both originals and prints. However, the most popular types currently include: Watercolor paintings. Landscape prints.

What state has the highest teacher shortage? ›

Florida has the highest number of teacher vacancies while Utah has the lowest. Learn where your state falls and how officials are working to combat the teacher shortage.

How much does a teacher with a master's degree make in Texas? ›

Master Teacher Salary in Texas:$26,063 - ZipRecruiter.

How much do first time teachers make in Texas? ›

How much does an Entry Level Teacher make in Texas? The average Entry Level Teacher salary in Texas is $41,902 as of May 01, 2023, but the range typically falls between $34,992 and $51,101.

What can I do after being an art teacher? ›

Alternative Jobs for Art Teachers
  • Art professional development companies.
  • Art curriculum companies.
  • Youth art programs.
  • Art supply companies.
  • Museums.
  • Art organizations.
  • Art camps.
  • Higher education art programs.

Is being an art teacher rewarding? ›

It's also incredibly rewarding to see students achieve great things, like winning awards or getting into a competitive art program. However, it's just as rewarding when a child perseveres, works through challenges, or shows growth, whatever their level. Teaching has shown me our capacity for growth is limitless.

Will art be in demand in the future? ›

Overall employment in arts and design occupations is projected to grow 2 percent from 2021 to 2031, slower than the average for all occupations; though slow, the increase is expected to result in about 20,500 new jobs over the decade.

What is the highest paying school district in Texas? ›

The map below shows starting salaries for the 2022-23 school year. Click the 'next 'arrow to see salaries for the 2021-22 school year. Of the districts that have released new pay scales for the 2022-23 school year, Manor ISD is offering the highest starting salary, $54,590.

Which state has the best teacher? ›

Best States for Teachers
  1. New York. New York's overall score of 60.86 makes it the best state in the U.S. for teachers, ranking third for Opportunity & Competition and third for Academic & Work Environment. ...
  2. Utah. ...
  3. Washington. ...
  4. Pennsylvania. ...
  5. New Jersey. ...
  6. Virginia. ...
  7. Maryland. ...
  8. Delaware.

What is the highest paying job in the world per month? ›

1. Chief Executive Officer (CEO) This post comes with a lucrative salary and high authority, with an overall employment rate supposed to show an average rise of 8% between 2020 and 2030.

What teacher makes $1 million in 3 years? ›

Teacher Turned OnlyFans Model Says She Made $1 Million in 3 Years. Phoenix-based Courtney Tillia is going viral after she quit her job as an educator to pursue content creation on the platform.

What state needs the most teachers? ›

According to U.S. Department of Education data from the 2022-2023 school year, Maine is experiencing the most teacher vacancies in special education, math, science, language arts, early childhood, elementary core subjects, art and music, and career and technical education.

What is the highest paying school district in the US? ›

#1. Scarsdale Public Schools, Scarsdale, NY ($107,100)

This small district recognizes the value of their teachers which is evidenced by the average salaries landing at the top of any district in the country.

What is the hardest teaching job to get? ›

Teacher shortages by subject
  • mathematics.
  • science.
  • foreign languages.
  • bilingual education.
  • English language acquisition.
  • special education.
Oct 5, 2021

What are the 4 types of teachers? ›

8 Kinds of Teachers
  • Preschool Teachers. Preschool teachers work with students before they enter elementary school. ...
  • Elementary School Teachers. ...
  • Middle School Teachers. ...
  • High School Teachers. ...
  • Special Education Teachers. ...
  • Bilingual Teachers. ...
  • Home-School Teachers. ...
  • Vocational Teachers.
Apr 18, 2022

Which teacher salary is highest? ›

Average Salary of a Teacher 2023
Teaching LevelAverage Annual Salary (INR)
Primary School TeacherRs. 4.5 LPA
Secondary School TeacherRs. 4.68 LPA
Senior Secondary School TeacherRs. 5 LPA
Special TeachersRs. 5.3 LPA
1 more row
Mar 24, 2023

What is the highest salary for arts students? ›

List of top 25 arts stream jobs with salary
Job TitleExpected Immediate Salary
Content Writer/BloggerRs. 1,50,000 to 6,00,000 per annum
SEO AnalystRs. 1,50,000 to 5,00,000 per annum
Media Manager/JournalistRs. 2,00,000 to 18 lacs per annum
Growth HackerRs. 30,000 to 60,000 per month
20 more rows
Apr 23, 2023

What are the best high paid jobs for arts students? ›

List of Highest Paying Arts Stream Jobs
  • Corporate Lawyer. ...
  • Criminal Lawyer. ...
  • Civil Lawyer. ...
  • Intellectual Property Lawyer. ...
  • Judge. ...
  • Graphic Designer. ...
  • Art Dealer/Art Curator. ...
  • Illustrator.

Is a master's degree worth it for teachers? ›

The short answer is: Almost certainly yes. But, it depends in large part where you're planning to teach–and for how long. While you should consider getting a master's degree, a lot of other factors come into play when it comes to your income and return on investment (ROI).

Can you make a living off of teaching? ›

And so you wonder, do teachers make enough money to live comfortably? Yes, in general, K-12 teachers in the U.S. make enough money to live comfortably depending on how they are accustomed to living.

Can art make good money? ›

The answer is yes. As an artist there are many avenues that you can explore to monetize your talent, allow yourself to be your own boss and spend your days doing what you love. Picture this: Waking up every morning without dreading the day ahead because you are in charge of your day and what you do with it.

Do you need a PHD to be an art professor? ›

Most colleges will require a minimum of a master's degree to work as a professor. You may pursue a master's in art or a doctoral degree in art. Some programs combine the master's program with a doctoral degree, which can reduce the number of years.

What kind of art sells best? ›

Some of these pieces can be worth a lot of money, while others may not be as valuable. However, there are some common types of art that tend to fetch higher prices and sell the best. These include digital art, abstract art, street art, vintage art, contemporary art, sculptures, and limited-edition prints.

How much money can you make in the arts? ›

The average salary for an artist in the United States is $68,690. Artist salaries typically range between $42,000 and $110,000 a year. The average hourly rate for artists is $33.02 per hour. Location, education, and experience impacts how much an artist can expect to make.


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