University of South Florida

School of Art & Art History

USF College of The Arts

Career Resources

Bring your future into focus at the USF School of Art & Art History.

Preparing for a career in the arts is likely a top priority of yours as you embark on your studies. At the School of Art & Art History, you will have an array of opportunities and resources to guide you in your career path.

Learn from top artists and scholars

Engage directly with respected art historians, museum professionals, and artists through the school’s Kennedy Family Artist-in-Residence and Visiting Artists and Scholars program. Graduate students have the additional opportunity of discussing their work with guests when they conduct private studio visits, attend seminars, and deliver demonstrations, an experience that our MFA alumni have described as particularly meaningful and impactful because of the feedback and insight gained. Guests also often hold Friday morning discussions and debates with our graduate students.

Develop professional practices and skills in class

Professional practice courses are embedded right into our curriculum. Studio Art students learn how to approach galleries for exhibitions, how to file taxes, about legal documents such as copyright ownership of artwork, and more. With the help of your instructor and peers, you explore what options are available to visual artists. Our MFA students participate in workshops on writing resumes and CVs, compiling portfolios, and offering mock rehearsals for job interviews. A career preparation course is also in the works for our BA in Art History and BA in Studio Art students.

Receive mentoring and individualized support from faculty

The small student-to-faculty ratio in our classrooms means you will experience individualized attention and more hands-on learning. Our students forge strong mentoring bonds with faculty, acquiring the skills, knowledge, connections, and support to build their careers.

Conduct Research in the Arts

Research in the arts helps develop your conceptual thinking and analytical and communication skills. The BFA and MFA Thesis Exhibitions and Art History Research Symposia are hallmarks of our programs, giving students a chance to present the fruit of their creative investigations with everyone. Visit the College of The Arts’ Student Research page for a list of research programs available at USF for both undergraduate and graduate students. Also be sure to regularly check the Opportunities, Awards and Funding page for a list of national and international programs for funding your creative research.

Attain real-world experience

Opportunities for students to gain real-world experience abound at our school.

  • Widen your horizons in a study abroad program in Paris, London, Florence or Seoul.
  • Mentor at-risk youth through art.
  • Intern at local museums and arts organizations.

Whatever you decide to do, you will broaden your perspective and education, all while cultivating proficiency that employers will value.

Career Outlook

Art is essential. Since the beginning of time, people have used art to tell stories, to explore critical issues, and to bring joy and beauty. Indeed, art has the very power to be life-affirming. Your passion for the arts and creativity makes you essential as an artist. By making something that touches the heart and compels the mind, you contribute something very valuable and meaningful to society.

Every year, arts and cultural production contribute significantly to the United States economy. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment for craft or fine artists (sculptors, illustrators, painters, etc.) is expected to grow six percent from 2016 to 2026. The median pay for craft and fine artists in 2017 was $49,160 per year, $23.64 per hour.

With the advance of technology and the need for businesses to stay current – —or ahead of the curve— by utilizing their web and digital platforms, demand for internet advertising will increase, thereby increasing the demand for graphic designers, multimedia artists, animators and illustrators as well. Equipping yourself with computer and technology skills will be crucial to landing jobs for online and digital advertising. Such skills will also enable you to promote and sell your work to a wider audience, as online platforms become essential marketing tools, especially for freelance artists.

Continued public interest in the arts, science, and history will contribute to job growth for museum technicians and curators. These positions require specialized skills and advanced levels of education, often at the master’s level or higher. In 2017, the median pay for museum technicians and conservators was $40,670 annually, and, $19.55 per hourly.

Due to a growing demand for animation and visual effects in video games, movies, and television, employment for animators is expected to grow eight percent from 2016 to 2026, per the BLS. The median pay for animators and multimedia artists in 2017 was $70,530 per year, $33.91 per hour.

Employment in the film and video editing field is expected to increase 13 percent from 2016 to 2026, making it one of the fastest growing occupations. The 2017 median pay for film and video editors was $61,180 per year, and for camera operators, it was $53,550 per year. On a related note, strong public demand for film and television entertainment will result in a 12 percent job growth for producers and directors between 2016 and 2026. The 2017 median pay for producers and directors was $71,620 per year, $34.43 per hour.

Engineering, technology, and health care remain rapidly growing fields with high employment growth. Because art is so interdisciplinary, its skills and principles being applicable across a range of occupations, growth in the aforementioned fields impacts job opportunities for artists as well. Artists will be able to contribute to the quality of life for patients in hospitals by designing soothing surroundings. Students interested in combining art with related industries can explore the school’s interdisciplinary Undergraduate Certificate programs.

Information on pay and employment rates retrieved from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Careers for Degrees in Studio Art

The creative-thinking and technical skills learned in the studio environment at the USF School of Art & Art History can be translated into a great number of industries. These are a few examples of career paths available to students with Studio Art degrees, but there are many more you can research in the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Occupational Outlook Handbook.

2D/3D Computer Animation Artist

3D Renderer/Designer

Advertising Account Executive

Advertising Designer


Apparel Designer

Art Assistant

Art Directors

Art Handler

Art Teacher (K-12 and University)

Art Therapist

Artisan and Craftspeople


Arts Manager

Arts Administrator

Broadcast Media Producer

Cake Decorator



Communications Designer

Concept Artist

Comic Book Artist

Community Arts Program Manager

Costume Designer

Drafting Technician


Exhibition Designer

Fashion and Textile Designer

Film/Movie/Theatre Artist (sets, props, design, etc.)

Film Post-Production Artist

Film Special Effects Artist


Floral Designer

Freelance Artist or Designer

Furniture Designer

Gallery Manager

Game Character Artist

Game Designer

Glass Blower

Graphic Artist

Graphic Designer


Industrial and Product Designer

Interactive Media Designer

Interior Designer


Makeup Artist

Manufacturing Manager

Medical Illustrator

Multimedia Artist


Museum Administrator

Museum Curator

Museum Technician

Ornamental Blacksmith




Photographic Retoucher

Photography and Film Technician or Director

Picture Framer

Print Finishing Artist

Printing Technician

Public Relations

Screen Printer

Set Designer

Sign Maker

Sketch Artist

Stone Cutters and Carvers

Storyboard Artist

Theater Exhibit Designers

Toy Designer

UX/UI Designer

Video and Television Specialist

Visual Designer

Web and New Media Designer

Careers for Degrees in Art History

Art History students gain valuable critical-thinking, communication and analytical skills in the classrooms at the USF School of Art & Art History, and these can also be applied in a great number of industries. These are a few examples of career paths available to students with Art History degrees, but there are many more you can research in the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Occupational Outlook Handbook.

Antiquarian Book Trade

Antiques Dealer

Architectural Conservation

Art Conservation and Preservation

Art Consultant (personal, hotels, film/television, other businesses/corporations)

Art/Movie/Theatre Critic

Art Handler

Art Historian

Art Law

Art Teacher (K-12 and University)

Art Therapist

Artist Representative

Arts Agency Manager

Arts Manager

Arts Administrator

Community Arts Program Manager

Gallery Manager


Media Centers

Museum Administrator

Museum Archivist

Museum Curator

Museum Technician

Public Relations


Research Center Technician

University Researcher

Visual Resources Curator


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