career opportunities with fine arts degree

Fine art graduates develop a range of practical and creative skills and gain valuable experience of entering exhibitions, competitions and building up a portfolio of work

Job options

Jobs directly related to your degree include:

  • Advertising art director
  • Art therapist
  • Commercial art gallery manager
  • Community arts worker
  • Conservator
  • Exhibition designer
  • Fine artist
  • Graphic designer
  • Illustrator
  • Museum/gallery exhibitions officer
  • Printmaker
  • Secondary school teacher

Jobs where your degree would be useful include:

  • Animator
  • Arts administrator
  • Concept artist
  • Estates manager
  • Interior and spatial designer
  • Jewelry designer
  • Multimedia programmer
  • Museum/gallery curator
  • Special effects technician
  • VFX artist

Work experience

Start building up a portfolio of work while you're an undergraduate. This should contain examples of your own ideas rather than just coursework. In addition, enter as many competitions and exhibitions as possible and begin to get your work known.

Networking and making contacts is vital, as they may be able to offer (or help you secure) commissions. If friends or family ask you to produce work for them, this can be included in your portfolio and in the list of commissions on your CV.

Voluntary work with community art initiatives, for example, can be valuable. You may find paid art-related employment while studying, through projects at summer camps and activity centres for young people.

Typical employers

Finding jobs in this sector is not always straightforward. Short-term possibilities are available on a competitive basis and are a means of becoming established. Roles include artist in residence, developing art-related activities in schools, hospitals and prisons, or bidding for fixed-term funding to carry out a particular project or commission. Many fine artists produce and market their own work.

You can diversify by taking courses in art-related disciplines, such as graphics or teaching, or become a 'portfolio' worker, holding down several jobs to support your creative work.

You can also apply for mainstream graduate jobs and training in a range of industries, such as banking, insurance, media and public relations.

Skills for your CV

As well as developing practical and creative techniques in a range of media, a fine art degree gives you skills in using different types of equipment and processes from hand tools and welding gear to digitisation.

Employers also value the transferable skills you acquire, including:

  • the ability to develop individual ideas and collaborate with others as part of a creative team
  • strong observational, research and analytical skills
  • creative problem solving
  • the ability to communicate ideas, visually, orally and in writing
  • resilience and the ability to learn from criticism and be objective about your work
  • an openness to new influences and concepts
  • a focused, goal-oriented and motivated approach to work
  • entrepreneurial skills in marketing your work and possibly setting up a business.

Contributor: myshsrank |

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