Art teachers are responsible for instructing students on the basics of art and design, as well as helping them to explore their creativity. This can be done through a variety of methods, including one-on-one instruction and group projects. In order to become an art teacher, you’ll need to have a bachelor’s degree in art or design, as well as some experience teaching children or adults. Here’s what else you need to do in order to become an art teacher:
Get A Bachelor’s Degree
The first step toward becoming an art teacher is getting your bachelor’s degree in art or design from an accredited institution. You can also get your associate’s degree in these subjects if you want to teach at the middle school level or lower grade levels. The type of program that you enroll in will depend on whether or not you want to specialize in one area of study or if you want a general overview of all things related to art and design. Most programs will require that students take classes like:
Take Classes In Your Major Area Of Study
Art teachers should also be familiar with different types of media used by artists throughout history so that they can help students learn how each type works best when creating works.
Scholarshub Contents Table
How To Become And Art Teacher
Art Teacher Career Guide
Art teachers help students learn about the history of art and provide opportunities for students to create their own art by exploring their own artistic creativity. An art teacher should have a strong enthusiasm for art and enjoy teaching young people. In this guide, you will find information about what art teachers do, how to become one, and the salary and job outlook for art teachers.
Art Teacher Job Description
Art teachers work primarily to bring knowledge of artistic and creative concepts, including color, shape, and texture, to students in elementary, secondary, and postsecondary learning environments. They help students understand artistic concepts in various types of visual communication, including drawing, painting, ceramics, photography, and design. Additionally, they must work to cultivate these skills while meeting the academic and emotional needs of each student as well as meet the grading and curriculum requirements at their school.
Teacher Quote: “Students must be able to think creatively and synthesize information across disciplines, combining it in innovative ways. They learn analytical reasoning, effective communication, and collaboration by developing knowledge, skills, and competencies through an active and participatory engagement with the arts.” –Gene Diaz and Martha Barry McKenna, Preparing Educators for Arts Integration: Placing Creativity at the Center of Learning
Art Teacher Requirements and Common Tasks
A bachelor’s degree in education with coursework in art, art education (a Bachelor of Fine Arts–BFA–in Art Education), or art history with a state-approved teacher preparation program is the basic requirement for becoming an art teacher at a public school. Prospective art teachers at the primary level typically pursue a bachelor’s in education while secondary art teachers typically obtain a bachelor’s in art or art history. Additionally, each state requires K-12 teachers to obtain a license or certification from the state by fulfilling the requirements overseen by the board of education. Licenses are usually not required for art teachers working in private institutions, but some private schools may prefer teachers with a state license or certification. For prospective teachers who did not complete a bachelor’s in art education, most states now offer alternative paths to obtaining state teaching certification, including pursuing a master’s degree in art education or a related subject. Professional artists without a formal degree may qualify for art teacher positions based on experience, but may still need to obtain a state license.
Once licensed, art teachers instruct on the basic principles of art and its history through hands-on interaction with their students. They must supervise student progress, assist students in cultivating their creativity, manage classroom discipline, grade papers, and prepare lessons. Furthermore, art teachers interact with management, other instructors, parents, and the community. The basic attributes of a successful art teacher include high levels of organization and time management, patience, reliability, and artistic talent.
People who wish to become art teachers must first choose which path they are interested in taking. There are numerous programs available at the bachelor’s degree level that are designed to lead to initial teacher licensure with a major in art. One of the important factors to consider is whether the teacher preparation program is approved by your state’s department of education and whether it will satisfy requirements for state teacher certification or licensure. The typical path to becoming an art teacher is as follows:
Earn a bachelor’s degree in art education that includes a state-approved teacher preparation program.
Complete a student teaching internship at the grade level(s) you wish to teach.
Pass your state’s required tests for art teachers.
Apply for your teaching certificate.
Begin applying to open art teacher positions.
Many states offer a K-12 certification in art that can lead to a career in teaching art from the elementary level through high school. Prospective art teachers may also decide to focus on art education at a specific grade level, such as middle school or high school. On any of these pathways, students in bachelor’s degree programs can expect to take two years of liberal arts and science courses, as well as art courses. After being admitted to the teacher preparation program at their university, which typically happens in the junior year, students will begin taking courses on methods of teaching specific to the grades they wish to teach. After passing the state tests for teacher certification and completing observations and student teaching, a graduate will be eligible to obtain state teacher certification.
For those who already have a bachelor’s degree in art but did not complete an approved teacher preparation program, there are also alternative paths to teacher certification in most states. Earning a master’s degree that includes a teacher preparation component is another common path to initial teacher licensure.
Art Teacher Salary and Job Outlook
Though the US Bureau of Labor Statistics doesn’t provide art teacher statistics, we use similar teaching categories as a proxy for data on the median salary and employment outlook. Job growth for elementary, middle, and high school teachers over the decade from 2018 to 2028 is projected at 3-4%, slower than the average for all occupations.1-3 The median annual salary for elementary school teachers in 2018 was $58,230, while middle school teachers earned a median of $58,600, and high school teachers earned a median of $60,320 per year.1-3
Teachers who acquire further training or a national certification may benefit from opportunities for higher pay. Positions in urban or rural environments may offer higher salaries due to the increased demand for quality teachers in those areas.
Helpful Skills and Experience
Skills and experience in both teaching and art will help individuals be effective in this career. Strong communication skills and in-depth knowledge of art history and art concepts will help a candidate stand out from other applicants.