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Careers in Art and Design: Choose the One That's Right for You

Posted by Glassdoor Team

Career Advice Experts

Last Updated June 29, 2021

Careers in Art and Design

PhotographyFine arts and craftsGraphic artsInterior designExterior design

Careers in Art and Design

Overview of careers in art and design

In the realm of art and design, you can find many career opportunities. With so many jobs available in this field, finding the one that suits you will take some research. You'll want to consider your interests where this career path is concerned to ensure you find a job that suits you and keeps you challenged and engaged. Take a look at the following careers in art and design and some of the jobs that are specific to each one to get a better understanding of the options that are available to you.

What are careers in art and design?

If you're a creative person who has an eye for the aesthetically appealing, a career in art and design may be for you. However, keep in mind that jobs that require art and design skills will take work. While these two fields are closely related, art careers mainly involving creating things with aesthetic appeal; design typically adds functionality and style to that. Consider some of the following career paths in art and design before taking the leap into your future.


Just because you like to take pictures doesn’t necessarily qualify you to be a photographer. There’s more to being a great photographer than owning a camera. These days, virtually everyone carries a camera around in their pocket via their cell phone, and they’re all taking pictures constantly. This doesn’t mean that anyone can be a photographer, which is evident if you just scroll through your Instagram or Facebook feed. While it may seem easy to quickly look at a photo and decide whether it appeals to you or not, Photographers need to know much more to excel. It’s also important to note that not all photography careers will take you down the same path.

Some photographers are incredible at capturing a beautiful landscape but not so good at photographing people. Portrait photographers, on the other hand, have to be good at working with people, perfectly capturing their personality through the lens. If you’re interested in taking pictures of wildlife, you’ll need to have a great deal of patience. Wild animals have a tendency to do their own thing, so it may take hours to even spot one, let alone get a good shot.

Perhaps you’d like to share your photography talent through teaching. This is a great way to give back but will require that you’re not only a great photographer, but can also effectively teach others to do what you do. Freelance photography can give you a lot of freedom to take pictures of a variety of subject matter; however, selling photography can be very challenging and will take a lot of determination and skill. This list will give you some ideas as to the career paths you can take if you want to become a professional photographer:

  • Photography teacher
  • Landscape photographer
  • Portrait photographer
  • Wildlife photographer
  • Photography director
  • Photography assistant
  • Digital marketing photographer
  • Freelance photographer
  • Image retoucher
  • Image specialist
  • Summer camp photographer

Fine arts and crafts

A career that involves either fine arts or crafts can be challenging. Most fine artists, such as painters, sculptors, and woodworkers, create a lot of works before they manage to sell just one. You can attend craft fairs all over the country and find people with amazing products that they struggle to sell. So, making it in this industry will take motivation. Of course, because some of the skills required for arts and crafts are transferable, you can use them in a number of other careers.

Choose a career as a fine arts teacher if you’re not interested in being a salesperson for your work. Teachers can share their knowledge with others and often find joy in seeing the fine art that their pupils produce. Another option is to work for a fine arts gallery. You can find art galleries in big cities as well as small towns, making it easy to find one near your desired location. In this position, you’ll have the opportunity to choose the art works displayed, work with other fine artists, set up gallery displays, and possibly even get a chance to display your own art.

Arts and crafts are a good way to express yourself and help others to express themselves. Take a look at the following list to get an idea of careers related to art and design in the fine arts and crafts field:

  • Painter
  • Fine arts teacher
  • Creative arts specialist
  • Arts therapist
  • Fine arts gallery manager
  • Arts and crafts specialist
  • Arts and crafts store manager
  • Arts and crafts marketing specialist
  • Product designer
  • Display artist

Graphic arts

In today’s world, with computers and technology being a big part of our daily lives, you can find many careers in art and design in the graphic arts industry. Everything from designing logos to creating marketing campaigns can fall into the graphic arts career path. Finding a job you love in this industry can take a lot of research due to the large number and variation of jobs available.

One of the most difficult parts of a graphic arts career is being stuck behind a computer all day. If this doesn’t bother you, you’re probably well-suited to this career path. For those who want a little variety in their job, you’ll have to choose a graphic arts career that gives you some time away from the computer. In the marketing field, a graphic artist will not only be responsible for designing art using computer software, but they’ll also have an opportunity to network with other like-minded individuals as well as collaborate with other designers.

Graphic artists can find job opportunities with book publishers designing covers and doing illustrations. Many big name brands and start-ups need exposure for their brand, and they rely on graphic designers to create striking images that will sell their products. You can look into these graphic arts jobs in the art and design industry if you’re interested in this career path:

  • Graphic arts designer
  • Graphic arts specialist
  • Brand designer
  • Book graphic designer
  • Illustrator
  • Social media designer
  • Infographic designer
  • Freelance graphic artist
  • Graphic arts teacher
  • Graphic arts coordinator
  • Sign graphics designer

Learn more: How to Get a Job as a Graphic Designer

Interior design

You can find many opportunities to show off your design skills in the world of interior design. Many people just don’t have an eye for color schemes or how to make a room come together in an aesthetically pleasing way. This is why so many homeowners choose to hire interior designers to help them create a space that makes them happy. It’s not just homeowners that need the assistance of a professional interior designer.

Business owners with corporate office buildings will also need interior decor. This is also a great opportunity for people design skills to let their creative juices flow. Some interior designers will specialize in a certain area, such as the kitchen or with flooring, for example. While this may limit your job opportunities, it can also make you highly skilled in your area of expertise. This can end up helping you make a name for yourself in that specific area. Consider one of these interior design careers if you have a good eye for what works in a room and what doesn’t:

  • Interior design consultant
  • Interior design sales person
  • Office interior designer
  • Home interior designer
  • Movie set interior designer
  • Computer interior design technician
  • Interior design gallery director
  • Interior design specialist
  • Kitchen and bath interior designer
  • Flooring design specialist
  • Interior design coordinator

Exterior design

Like interior design, exterior design careers can give you the perfect opportunity to use your art and design skills to create spaces that make others happy and comfortable. Designing buildings, homes, and other structures is just one of the paths you can take in this field. Outdoor spaces, such as gardens and patios, are another area where exterior designers can shine. Whether it’s a public park or a private outdoor cooking area in someone’s backyard, many outdoor areas can become more appealing with the help of an exterior designer.

Other careers where exterior design is necessary include the automotive and materials industries. Vehicle manufacturers are constantly trying to improve the looks and aerodynamics of their product, making exterior designers in high demand in this field. In addition, the materials used not just in vehicle design, but also in building design and other equipment, require the knowledge and keen eye of someone familiar with art and design. Peruse this list of exterior design careers to find one that may suit your interests:

  • Architect
  • Landscape designer
  • Exterior design project coordinator
  • Aerodynamics engineer
  • Automotive exterior designer
  • Exterior lighting designer
  • Exterior components designer
  • Exterior 3D design specialist
  • Exterior creative designer
  • Materials designer

Before you choose your career path, think about these careers in art and design. Glassdoor offers many opportunities for creative individuals to find the job opportunity that works for them. Don’t hesitate to check out the website to search for jobs that interest you in this industry. You can apply to any that appeal to you, and start working at a job you love.

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