Get Matched With Art Education Programs

What Does a Career in Art Education Entail?

As an art teacher, you will be teaching your students what you learned from those who guided you in your early art education. At the high school level, you might be teaching students who have found a talent for art in one form or another, or who plan to major in art when they move on to college.

When you begin teaching in public or private school education programs, no matter what education level, you will be teaching your current students how they can express what they are thinking and feeling—or who they are. You’ll teach them how to develop their visual skills and communication abilities to create something new.


Components of A Successful Career in Art Education

You may know exactly what you want to express with your art. However, sometimes, what you create comes out just as you designed, and sometimes it doesn’t. The same thing is true for all prospective art students, and even artists who have been perfecting their craft for years. When this happens for students, they'll need an art teacher who can not only teach them techniques through an art education program, but also encourage them to keep trying.

If you draw or paint something, then give your class an assignment to recreate what you made, don’t be surprised to see other students developing something that looks different. They may worry that it’s not as good as it should be, but when you remind them that they create from their experiences, it may help them develop their own style and get even more from your curriculum.

Those who wish to succeed as art teachers will do their own learning in a college education program undergraduate degree, whether that program is offered through an online learning platform, in a traditional classroom, or with a hybrid program (which offers online and in-person courses). By taking each course in pedagogy, fine arts, art history, social sciences, visual art, studio art, perhaps special education, hands-on experience offered in most teacher education programs, and more, students can earn a degree and prepare themselves to teach in community settings. However, it's not enough to get on the staff at a school, you must also be compassionate and able to put up with quite a lot from your students. You'll have many opportunities to connect with your students and their families, but you'll also have many setbacks throughout your career. And, in today's technological world, you must be willing to connect with your students inside and outside the classroom through online communications and even, perhaps, with remote (online) teaching at times.

Compare Popular Online Art Education Programs

How to Become an Art Education Teacher

Typical Art Education Degree Requirements

As you consider an art education program, don’t forget you’ll have to take your general education courses as well as your art courses, such as art history. You’ll also take courses from the department or school of education, so you’ll learn about the process of teaching. You’ll have to complete approximately 120 to 128 credits, depending on where you go to college.

Typical Art Education Certification Needed

Once you have passed all your required coursework and graduated, you’ll need to study for, and take, some more exams for your licensure. Your state residence will determine how many of these tests you’ll take.

Typically, you’ll take the Praxis I, Praxis II, and a licensing exam for your state, complete, and submit to your state an application for state licensure. You will have to meet several requirements for licensure, such as submitting proof of your university attendance, official university transcripts, score reports for each professional exam you’ve taken, plus copies of any certifications required by your state. These may be CPR or/and emergency first aid. You may also have to send in a copy of a certificate that references child abuse prevention and a background check.

Find Your Online Art Education Program

Academic Standards for an Art Education Program

Because you’ll be teaching children about art and how to create it, you’ll have to satisfy a high level of academic standards. Again, depending on your chosen university, you’ll have to take a certain number of general education hours. Next, you’ll take additional coursework for your content field, then even more hours for your professional educational field. Altogether, you should complete between 120 and 128 credit hours.

Some of the courses you take won’t have anything to do with art. You’ll take math courses, courses covering linguistic and numerical foundations, natural and physical sciences, sociology and psychology, liberal arts courses, as well as all required art courses, which may include fine art content, studio art courses, courses in creating your art education portfolio, graphic design, and more. And, finally, you’ll need to complete your student teaching.

Exam/Experience Needed for an Art Education Degree

exam_experience_needed_for_art_education_degree You’ll rely heavily on your student teaching experience while you’re in your art education major in school. If you have had some experience in teaching art to young children (teaching art at the YMCA, for instance), you’ll rely on this as you begin your new career.

In your student teaching, you’ll be directly observed by an art teacher or other to whom you’re assigned. You’ll also learn how to gather your art knowledge and the skills you’ve learned in art history and studio art classes as you student-teach in the classroom. This is one of a number of courses that you will not have the option to complete online. Because you must have experience in a real classroom, you will have to find a local classroom to perform your student teaching if you are taking the majority of your classes through an online education platform.

The exams you’ll be taking vary front one state to the next. The Praxis I and Praxis II exams are nationwide, so plan on taking those tests wherever you live. Your state’s department of education can tell you what state licensure exam you should apply to take so you can begin studying.

With an online or on-campus Bachelor of Art Education, you will be giving yourself two career options. With art education, you’ll be able to use your background and skills in art at the same time you’re using your education in teaching, so you can pass on your love of art to your students.

You could teach at any level, from elementary and middle school, up to high school and even college. In addition to teaching, you’ll help students to cultivate their love of art, which they will carry with them throughout their lives. You should also expect to become an advocate for the arts, preserving their place in education.

Under your instruction, your students may develop such a love of expressive art that they also pursue art or plan to share it with others as museum directors or employees.

If you are working toward your MA in art education after earning an undergraduate degree, you will build leadership skills through online, evening, or weekend courses while you introduce art to your students in elementary or high school settings. Art is important to our culture. It will be up to you to inspire a love of art in your students. Because you already have your bachelor’s degree, you won’t have to stay in school much longer than two years. You’ll need to earn between 30 and 36 credit hours in art education at the master’s level. Your courses are based on theory, reflecting the current literature and approaches to today’s art. In your master’s degree art education program or teacher education programs, you’ll delve into the humanities, psychology, and interdisciplinary studies, alongside your studies in fine arts, visual art, art history, and art studio. These programs are more commonly offered in an online or remote-learning format because what you are learning is more abstract and less hands-on, so the online format does not lessen the strength of your learning or your abilities when it comes to teaching students.

Bachelor’s Degree in Art Education Online

A traditional or online bachelor’s degree will give you the skills needed to enter the teaching world. Depending on your focus, you will be able to teach students in the middle or high school grades. This degree could be completed in as little as 2 years if you have previously completed an associate degree in either education or art, or if you take an accelerated online course.

Example Courses for a Bachelor’s of Art Education Program:

  • Fundamentals of Speech Communication
  • Intermediate Expository Writing
  • Algebra and Trigonometry OR Statistics
  • Women and Biology
  • Elementary Psychology
  • Principles of Sociology
  • Language and Culture
  • Native American Culture
  • Ancient and Medieval Art
  • Renaissance Through Modern Art
  • Drawing Fundamentals, I-II
  • Design Fundamentals, I-II
  • Interior Design
  • Fine Art
  • Student Teaching Internship

Concentrations: Painting, Drawing, Interior Design, Fine Art, Marketing, Graphic Design, and Sculpting.

Read More About Art Education Bachelor's Degrees

Master’s Degree in Art Education Online

A master’s degree in art education is the entry-level requirement for teaching any college level art courses. You can complete your undergraduate in education, with a minor in art, or double-major in art and education. However, you may need to have some teaching experience under your belt before you can gain acceptance to any master’s degree program in the education field.

Example Courses for a Master’s of Art Education Program:

  • Strategies for Art Teachers
  • Current Issues in Art Education
  • Aesthetics and Art Criticism for Art Education
  • Curriculum Development in Art Education
  • Critical Readings in Art Education
  • Therapeutic Art Education
  • Culminating Experience in Art Education
  • Research in Art Education (Art Emphasis)
  • Research in Art Education (Education Emphasis)

Concentrations: Drawing and Painting, Ceramics, Interior Design, Photography, Marketing, Graphic Design, Sculpture, and Textiles.

Read More About Art Education Master's Degrees

Bachelor’s, Master’s College Costs and Ranges

Undergraduate tuition rarely comes without related fees. On-campus students who are residents of a different state pay higher tuition rates. Online students may pay a different rate—and on top of that, they may not be charged non-resident tuition rates, even if they live in a different state. The newest trend in post-secondary education is to charge per credit hour range. That is, students are charged for x to x credit hours. Other universities still charge a flat per-credit hour rate, no matter how many credits a student is taking.

Different majors can also result in different tuition payments for students. In addition, the ranges of tuition based on the number of hours also affect the student’s final tuition payment. Included in a student’s costs are the various fees (general, sustainability, service, health service, student to student, health insurance (estimated), and others. When all fees are totaled up, the final cost for them alone may add upward of $1,500.

Graduate students at most universities also pay tuition based on their graduate degree programs. They are charged per credit hour. They are also required to pay a library and information technology assessment fee, which is much lower than the $1,500 in fees that undergraduate students pay.

Earning Potential for Art Education Degree Fields and Occupations

Art Education Fields of Study Median Salaries

  • Art Teacher
    An art teacher works within a school setting, with students ranging from pre-school (early childhood education students) to college students. An art teacher should have a broad knowledge of art techniques and history to teach to their students—to enter the profession, art teachers have to have a minimum of a bachelor’s degree. They may be required to present their portfolio to show their personal ability; in addition, they must hold a teaching certificate.

  • Entry-Level Art Teacher
    In addition to all of the above, an entry-level art teacher will teach students about technique, using a variety of media and techniques to create artistic pieces. They will plan out and give lectures to their students, teaching them about art styles and techniques. These lessons should challenge their students and meet state education requirements.

Field of Study Average Salary by Degree Level

Associates Salary Bachelors Salary Masters Salary
Art Teacher K-12 -- $44,609 $35,759-$61,287
Art Education Teacher -- $45,000 --
Art Education Teacher, BFA -- $47,000 --
Art Education Teacher, BFAEd -- $46,000 --
Art Teacher, Secondary Education Degree -- $55,000 --
Art Education Teacher, MA -- $64,000

Art Education Salaries

Add Art Education Occupations

  • Art teacher, entry level
    At this level, an art teacher is earning in the neighborhood of $30,000. With seniority, they will see their annual salaries increase, possibly to double their entry level salary. Even though art teachers are constantly finding their instructional field at danger of being cut, their annual compensation illustrates their value to their students. If they compare their pay to a non-profit program coordinator, they can see that their pay in the middle of their career is at least equal to that program coordinator.

  • Bachelor of Fine Arts Art Teacher
    an art teacher with a BFA has much more to teach their students—studio art, for example. While their beginning pay doesn’t reflect this higher value, over the years they will see their annual salary slowly rising.

  • Bachelor of Fine Arts Education Art Teacher
    This professional’s degree will reflect their value to their students, especially in their mid-career and late career paychecks. This professional went into the BFA field, knowing they wanted to teach young people everything they know and love about art.

    Find Online Art Education Schools

  • Bachelor of Arts, Secondary Education Degree
    This professional’s degree will reflect their value to their students, especially in their mid-career and late career paychecks. This professional went into the BFA field, knowing they wanted to teach young people everything they know and love about art.

  • Master of Arts, Art Education
    This professional works exclusively with middle school, junior high, and high school students. By this phase of their educations, students know they want to pursue art in one way or another. A secondary school art teacher knows this and works hard to help nurture that love of art.

Annual Salary Range by Occupation

Entry Level Salary Range Mid-Career Salary Range Late-Career Salary Range
Art Teacher, K-12 $31,000 $44,609 $65,000
Art Education Teacher $31,000 $45,000 $62,000
Art Education Teacher, BFA $29,000 $47,000 $54,000
Art Education Teacher, BFAEd $25,000 $46,000 $66,000
Art Teacher, Secondary Education $32,000 $55,000 $66,000
Art Education Teacher, MA $35,000 $43,000 $64,000

Important Questions to Ask (FAQ)

How Long Does it Take to Earn an Art Education bachelor’s Degree Online?

Expect your online coursework to take eight semesters, or four years. It may take longer if you take 12 credits per semester, as a full load is usually 15. Some art education majors may recommend that several classes be taken during summer sessions in order to graduate within 4 years.

You will take art history, studio art, and general education classes, just as you would if you were taking classes on-campus.

How Much Does an Online Art Education Bachelor’s Degree Cost?

One West Virginia university has a three-tier tuition system—resident, non-resident, and international.

West Virginia residents pay $407/credit hour; non-residents, $1,096/credit hour; and international students, $1,06/credit hour.

Per semester, the in-state student pays $4,884 for tuition each semester. If they combine the fall and spring semesters together, they are able to view their tuition bill of $9,768. Non-resident students pay $13,152; combining tuition for both semesters yields a bill of $26,304. International students pay $13,452 per semester; combining fall and spring tuition together gives them a bill of $26,904.

Does the School Have the Major You’re Considering?

If you are looking at art education majors, you know what you want to do with your life. You need to find degree programs in the schools you’re interested in. But, before you choose a school, you need to know that it has the major you want.

Why go through the trouble of applying for admission only to find out that the major doesn’t exist at that university?

Instead, explore the “majors offered” under the academics drop-down. Or call the admissions office and ask directly. You may want to double-major, in which case they need to have a solid education and art department.

How Many Students Graduate “On Time,” in Four Years?

This number has been steadily dropping for the past several years. Currently, students are facing a less than 50% chance of graduating within four years (eight semesters).

This gets expensive for you, your family, and for sources of financial aid. Instead of taking the minimum number of credit hours each semester—usually 12—add one more 3-credit class so you’re taking 15 credits. If you take 12 credits each semester for eight semesters, that’s 96 credits, which is short of the requirements for graduation. If you add the additional class each semester, that’s 120, which is in the ballpark of the accumulated credits you need for graduation. If you get behind at any point you can take summer session classes.

What Kind of Accreditation Does the Online Program Hold? How is it Regarded in the Field?

Accreditation is vital. Your university and art education program should both be accredited. Universities are accredited by regional organizations. Your art education degree program should be accredited by an organization such as the National Association of Schools of Art & Design (NASAD).

NASAD is highly regarded in the field of art education. Along with other organizations that accredit schools of dance, music, and theatre, NASAD has earned its good reputation. NASAD measures each art education program based on education, research, and scholarship.

Software/Technology/Skills Needed

As an art education major, you should be a competent artist, demonstrating a wide range of artistic skills, with depth in one artistic medium. You should also be skilled in effective visual communication, with the ability to develop ideas in a visual format and be an excellent verbal communicator, utilizing both oral and written language.

should be socially perceptive, have effective time management skills, and you should be looking for ways to help people around you. You’ll be busy in your school program, so it will help if you are able to manage multiple responsibilities and tasks, meet deadlines and stay calm. You’ll have to know how to monitor your work and the work of others and how to coordinate others so they meet their goals and objectives.

Search Programs Offering Art Education Majors

You need to be able to choose instructional methods that are appropriate for the classroom and ages of your students and be able to teach students how to achieve a new artistic task, using coaching, coordinating, training and facilitation skills. You should know how to exercise good judgment, weigh the costs and benefits of an action, make appropriate decisions, and actively listen to your students.

Art Education Scholarships

  • Hilma S. and John H. Delaplaine Scholarship (University of Wyoming)
    Amount: Varies
    This University of Wyoming art education scholarship was created by Hilma and John H. Delaplaine. This scholarship, as explained in its title, is for art education students. The annual award amount varies from year to year. One student per year receives an award—it is limited to juniors and seniors majoring in art education.

  • Harold & Marion Elliott Scholarship for Art Education
    Amount: Varies yearly
    Full-time students majoring in art education are eligible to apply. They must have a GPA of 3.0 and above. Scholarship is limited to U.S. citizens only. Students are distinguished in visual art, art education while in high school or college.

  • Sara Jane Dehoff Art Scholarship
    Amount: Up to $2,000
    Deadline: November 16
    This award may be up to $2,000, awarded to an incoming female freshman student who is majoring in art education, studio fine art, or art history. Scholarship is based on financial need and is offered for a four-year period, provided that the student consistently maintains a 3.0 GPA.

  • Create A Greeting Card Scholarship – Gallery Collection
    Amount: Varies
    Deadline: March 1
    This scholarship is based on a contest in which you create a greeting card and send it in to be voted on. Whoever wins the vote receives the scholarship. In order to apply you must be 14 or over and enrolled in a school program; high school or undergraduate.

Professional Art Education Organizations

  • AATA
  • AEP


American Art Therapy Association

This is a not-for-profit, non-partisan, professional organization working toward the growth and development of the art therapy profession. This organization was founded in 1969.

AATA advocates for the art therapy profession on behalf of its members and clients. This arm of AATA provides the latest information on art therapy to its members who are able to network with each other at the annual conference. AATA publishes Art Therapy: Journal of the American Art Therapy Association, which is the most prestigious of this field, publishing practice-based articles and the latest research.



Arts Education Partnership

AEP is dedicated to advancing the arts in schools through research, policy, and practice. The belief of AEP is that every student needs a daily opportunity to perform, create, learn about themselves, and to experience the arts in all forms: visual arts, art history, fine arts, community art, museums, artists cooperatives, and more. More than 100 arts, education, business, government, cultural, and philanthropic organizations belong under the AEP umbrella. Its goal is to make high quality art education accessible to art students in schools and programs across the country.



Western States Art Federation

WESTAF helps state arts agencies, organizations and artists as they reach out to diverse audiences. Arts agencies and WESTAF want to see individuals and communities provide or receive access to the arts and art education for everyone. WESTAF works to make programming available to communities, providing advocacy, research, and technology. It also provides grants to deserving organizations.

Choosing an Accredited College

Accreditation of your college and art education program is vital to your ability to obtain financial aid and a good job that pays what you have been led to expect by employment websites. If you get your art education degree from an unaccredited institution, you won’t be allowed to access federal or state financial aid; when school districts are thinking of hiring you and they see that your degree came from an unaccredited program, they may offer a lower salary, if they offer to employ you at all.

Online vs. On-campus vs. Hybrid

Online education means that you’ll have more flexibility in your studying. If you need to focus on work this morning so you can devote your time to studying this afternoon, you’ll be able to do so.

You won’t have to worry about paying for room, board, or transportation—you’ll be able to take your classes from home without driving to the campus

Hybrid education uses the best parts of online and on-campus education. The majority of your classes take place online while one or two “residence weekends” mean you’ll meet fellow students and your professor.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does the College Have Post-Graduate Job Placement Help and Assistance?

Once you get close to graduation, you’ll need to find a job. Your university may have a career services office where you can find help with mock interviews, resumes, and cover letters. You can also take part in job fairs. You’ll get help with your job searches and, if you are offered a teaching position, with salary negotiation.

Why You Need to Consider the Overall National Rankings of the College and its Effects on Your Career or Salary

Those college ranking articles that you’ve been reading have two drawbacks. First, they rank only the exclusive universities—they won’t rank state universities that aren’t well-known. Second, they use criteria that may not be very important to you. You may be focused on alumni skills, curriculum value, and completion rates.

When you graduate, you want to know that you’re going to find a job. The rankings you choose should mean you get the education you want. These include high-value programs, student support, attentive faculty, and accreditation.

Search All Programs