What You Can Do With a Fine Arts Degree

What You Can Do With a Fine Arts Degree

A fine arts degree provides a creative and interesting introduction to art and design for aspiring artists. One gains the ability to problem solve, adapt ideas from research and observation and master the design process to produce professional quality work.

Fine Arts Courses

A fine arts program could include courses based around painting, sculpture and print making techniques. These courses are made for students who wish to become a commercially successfully artist. The program could also include a craft or design course based to teach design awareness and problem-solving for situations ranging from the everyday to aesthetic. There are also technical courses like ceramics, jewelry design or textiles and fabrics.

There is usually a practical art course that examines the role of the artist and designer in the community. The techniques taught differ from program to program, but they may include graphic design processes, illustration, computer graphics, production silk screening, as well as community work. The curricula in most fine art schools generally feature courses in some other areas such as art history, art theory and criticism, performing arts, painting, drawing sculpture, photography and digital art.

Types of Fine Arts Degrees

For those interested in pursuing a fine art degree, there are undergraduate paths and graduate paths. They include:

  • Associate’s of Fine Arts (AFA): Like most associate’s degree programs, an associate’s degree in fine arts from an online school, a community college, or technical school lays the academic foundation for a bachelor’s degree.
  • Bachelor’s of fine Arts (BFA): A bachelor’s degree in fine arts generally takes 4 years to achieve, and gives students the professional and creative skills to prepare them for art-related jobs. Most professional art positions require a BFA at a minimum.
  • Master’s of fine Arts (MFA): A master’s degree in fine arts further enhances a student’s understanding of the arts world, particularly in management and advanced development of his or her creative specialty. Depending on one’s thesis, one can earn his or her MFA within 2 years; however many students take longer. Generally speaking, teaching and museum positions require an MFA.

Fine Arts Careers

Many students considering a fine arts degree wonder what kind of jobs are available after they graduate. There are a wide range of options. One could work as an art buyer, a creative director at an advertising agency, a museum curator, an artistic director in the theatre or an independent multi-media artist. There is also employment as an independent artist, writer or performer.

Those with a fine arts degree could work in the entertainment industry, specialized design services, colleges, universities and professional schools or the publishing industry. Although quite competitive, galleries and individual clients tend to look for talented artists as well.

Fine Arts Salary

Because there are many different types of artists working in the fine arts, the salaries in this field range vastly. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, craft and fine artists make a median pay of $43,470 per year.* Art Directors make around $80,630 annually** and multimedia artists and animators make around $58,510 annually.***


Get more information on art degrees using our art school finder at the top of this page ↑. School representatives will guide you through the process and answer any questions you may have about the various programs that are available to help you earn you art degree.


*For more information, please visit: http://www.bls.gov/ooh/arts-and-design/craft-and-fine-artists.htm
**For more information, please visit: http://www.bls.gov/ooh/Arts-and-Design/Art-directors.htm
***For more information, please visit: http://www.bls.gov/ooh/arts-and-design/multimedia-artists-and-animators.htm