Careers in the arts

A list of possible careers for those in the arts, compiled by Anthea Pokroy. If you would like to add a career option that we have not included pelase email us at


Archivists manage and catalogue collections of important books, documents, artworks, maps, photographs, films, and computer records. Archivists create archives for museums, galleries, universities and other institutions.

Art consultant/ buyer

A person with a great knowledge of art history and contemporary art who consults with individuals or businesses about which artwork they should buy.

Art dealer

A person who buys and sells artworks, and is often the middleman between artists and galleries, museums, and collectors.

Art director

A person who manages a team of people including graphic designers, copywriters, photographers and printers to produce artwork for commercial use, commonly magazines, advertisements and products.

Art educator - Teacher/ Lecturer

Art educators teaches the practical ways of making art, and the theory and history of art. A teacher would educate at junior and senior level and a lecturer at university and college level. An art educator should act as a source of knowledge, guidance and inspiration for the learner or student’s own creative process.

Art historian

Art Historians study and write about art with a particular focus, either in relation to a specific movement or the art of a specific country or culture.

Art conservator/ restorer

Art conservators and restorers look after artworks and artefacts, such as paintings, prints, sculptures, furniture, textiles and books, in galleries and museums. They ensure they remain in good condition or working order.

Art therapist

Art therapists encourage patients to express their thoughts and feeling through imagery rather than through words. They have knowledge in both art and psychology. Art therapy can be used for therapeutic, educational and rehabilitative purposes.


A person who conducts auctions, where artworks or other objects of value are sold, by accepting bids and declaring when the object is sold.

Craft Artist

Craft Artists create hand-made objects which may be functional or decorative such as stained glass, pottery, wood carvings, and tapestries. These works are often sold in retail stores and markets, but may also be exhibited in galleries and museums.


Art critics write about, analyses, and gives their opinion about art and artists in newspapers, books, magazines and on the Internet.


A person who works in a museum or gallery and is responsible for setting up exhibitions, looking after collections and writing about the artwork or objects on the exhibition or in the collection. For an art exhibition, the curator will select the concept, artists, artworks and arrangement of the show.


Designers use design processes such as drawing or constructing, by hand or on the computer, to achieve an attractive result. The product may be functional, informative or decorative. Different fields of design include fashion, web, graphic, landscape, urban, interior, industrial, furniture, exhibition, and book.

Fine Artist

Fine artists use visual expression to communicate thoughts,emotions, ideas or viewpoints. They may use two-dimensional (2D) methods such as painting, drawing, photography, printmaking, collage, or three dimensional (3D) methods such as sculpture, installation, and assemblage. More recently, artists also use video, sound, performance (with their own bodies), internet etc.

Gallery Manager or Administrator

Art gallery managers are responsible for the overall success and smooth running of the gallery. They are concerned with the business side of the gallery, artists and clients. A gallery administrator is responsible for the day to day operation of the gallery.


Illustrators produce original visual imagery, either by hand or on the computer, for a wide range of products such as books, websites, advertising, product design, and animations.


Professional photographers can photograph a variety of subjects for a wide range of purposes, either artistic or commercial. Their photographs may be mass produced and available for many people to see or sold as unique or limited edition works.