How to Become an Art Teacher?

Are you thinking of becoming an Art Teacher or already started your career and planning the next step? Learn how to become an Art Teacher, what skills you need to succeed, how to advance your career and get promoted, and what levels of pay to expect at each step on your career path. Explore new Art Teacher job openings and options for career transitions into related roles.

Steps to Become an Art Teacher

Art teachers instruct students in artistic techniques and art history. While a quality education is necessary, art teachers need skills that you can't learn in a classroom. Successful art teachers excel at communicating, fostering creativity, and advocating on behalf of their students.

Earn a bachelor's degree.

Most art teachers enter the field with a Bachelor's Degree in Art Education. To earn a degree in art education, you'll complete art classes and courses that focus on professional skills that all teachers need, such as curriculum development, classroom management, and lesson planning. You can also qualify as an art teacher by earning a degree in art history or another art-related field, then completing a state-approved teacher preparation program.

What type of degree should you pursue to become an Art Teacher?

88% of people working as an Art Teacher earned a Bachelor's Degree

What skills do you need to be an Art Teacher?

  • Teaching Experience
  • English Language
  • First Aid
  • Writing
  • Written Communication
  • CPR
  • Enthusiasm
  • Willingness to LEARN
Based on resume data from Glassdoor users who reported working as an Art Teacher in the United States.

Complete a student teaching internship.

After completing your degree and any necessary teacher preparation courses, you'll have to complete a student teaching internship. During this internship, you'll teach classes under the supervision of a licensed art teacher. The length of your internship will vary depending on what state you live in.


Study for and take the teaching certification exam.

While you're working as a teaching intern, you'll need to study for your state's required certification exams. Most states require teachers to take a content exam to prove competency in the subject they want to teach. As an aspiring art teacher, you'll need to take the art content exam. You'll also have to sit for a Pedagogy and Professional Responsibility (PPR) exam. The PPR exam tests your knowledge of classroom management, curriculum, and other teaching skills.

While the content exam and PPR exam are most common, you might have to sit through additional testing depending on your state. You can sit for your state's required exams after you complete the required amount of internship hours.


Apply for a teaching license.

After passing your certification exams, you'll need to apply for a state teacher license. You'll need to provide a copy of your degree, proof that you've completed your internship, and proof that you've sat for the certification exams. Typically, you'll also submit to fingerprinting and going through a background check.


Apply for art teaching jobs.

Once the state grants you your teaching license, you can start applying for art teacher positions. If there aren't any available positions in your local school system, consider looking for employment with area museums or charitable organizations that offer art classes. Eventually, you'll find the position that's right for you.

Art Teacher Career Path

Art Teacher

2 - 4Years of Experience
$42K - $64K /yrMost Likely Range
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Senior Art Teacher

2 - 4Years of Experience
$52K - $81K /yrMost Likely Range
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3% advanced to

Adjunct Art Teacher

No Years of Experience Reports
$53K - $86K /yrMost Likely Range
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Total Pay Trajectory

Art Teacher Career Path

Art Teacher I
Art Teacher
Senior Art Teacher
Adjunct Art Teacher
Art Teacher V
Associate Director of Art
Head Art Teacher
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Related Careers in the Education Industry

Interested in other Education careers? Below are occupations that have high affinity with Art Teacher skills. Discover some of the most common Art Teacher career transitions, along with skills overlap.

Kindergarten Teacher
38% skills overlap
18% transitioned to Kindergarten Teacher