Craft Artists
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Speciality
Overview
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Create or reproduce handmade objects for sale and exhibition using a variety of techniques, such as welding, weaving, pottery, and needlecraft.
Titles for this career often contain these words
ArtistDesignerCraftsmanMakerPainterCopyistCraftCrafterCreativeFiberFurnitureGlassHandMusicApprenticeNecktiesArtObjectsRepairerArtisanCalligrapherCeramicCeramicsChinaColorerColoristWorkerSculptorFineFlagDecoratorFrameStylistReproducerBlowerGoldsmithGuitarPotterWeaverIndustrialInkerOpaquerInstrumentIvoryCarverLuthierMemorialModelerAutographerGrapherOrnamentalMetalworkPictureQuilterResidentialSkilledTaxidermistToyWood
Education
About 60% of artists and related workers have at least a bachelor's degree.
Education attained by artists and related workers
None
High School
Some College
Associate's/Cert.
Bachelor's Degree
Master's Degree
Professional Degree
Doctorate
Context: workers with bachelor's degrees
More artists and related workers have bachelor's degrees than 73% of other careeers.
Employment
Workforce size
Craft artists, with 9,800 workers, form a smaller workforce than 88% of careers.
Predicted employment growth
Over the next decade, jobs for craft artists are expected to shrink by 0%, and should have about 1,100 job openings a year.
Safety from automation
Craft artists are less likely to be automated than 81% of other careers.
Salaries
Context: Median Salary
How do salaries for craft artists compare to other jobs' salaries?
Distribution: What salary can you expect?
See what most craft artists earn.
$35K$0$20K$40K$60K$80K
Gender
Women account for 38% of artists and related workers -- that's a larger percentage than 50% of other jobs.
Gender of artists and related workers
Men
Women
Context: Salary inequity
For each career, we compared the median (middle) men's salary to the median women's salary. For artists and related workers, the median men's salary was 35% more the median woman's salary.
Race/Origin
About 15% of artists and related workers are minority, and 15% are foreign-born.
Race/origin of artists and related workers
White
Black
Pacific Islander
Hispanic
Asian
American Indian
Multiracial
Other
Context: Foreign-born workers (15%)
Where are the most jobs?
We ranked the number of jobs in Craft Artists per thousand workers in each state, DC, and Puerto Rico. Blue indicates low density, with lighter shades moving to yellow indicating higher numbers working in this profession.
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Benefits
How do benefits for this career compare to other jobs?
Context: Employer offers health insurance
Context: Employer offers a pension plan
Context: workers are union members
Worker concerns
Some jobs are more stressful than others, and some are just plain dangerous. The following list gives the percentages of craft artists who report hazardous or difficult situations typically occurring at least once a week.
  • Exposed to Contaminants (60%)
  • Time Pressure (56%)
  • Exposed to Hazardous Equipment (48%)
  • Exposed to Minor Burns, Cuts, Bites, or Stings (36%)
  • Consequence of Error (36%)
SOURCES:
Salary and diversity
What do artists and related workers earn?
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) provides company-reported job titles and corresonding salaries at the specialty level (craft artists). This data excludes self-employed workers.
Distribution: Salaries for craft artists (BLS Salary Data)
$35K$0$20K$40K$60K$80K$100K$120K
Context: Median salaries across careers (BLS Salary Data)
$35K$0$20K$40K$60K$80K$100K$120K
The American Community Survey (ACS) asks individuals to report their occupation and salary, and as such includes self-employed workers. This view of salaries is only available for all artists and related workers.
Distribution: Salaries for artists and related workers (ACS Salary Data)
$43K$0$20K$40K$60K$80K$100K$120K
Context: Median salaries across careers (ACS Salary Data)
$43K$0$20K$40K$60K$80K$100K$120K
Artists and related workers: Inflation-adjusted salary trend
This job's median $47KAll jobs' median $45K$50K$44K070809101112131415161718$0$20K$40K$60K$80K$100K$120K
A look at employers and corresponding salaries
The donut shares the break-down of workers by employer type, giving us a picture of what employers most typically hire craft artists.
Employers of Artists and related workers (ACS)
Private for-profit (51.5%)
Private not-for-profit (3.4%)
Local government (0.6%)
State government (0.5%)
Federal government (0.7%)
Self-employed incorporated (8.8%)
Self-employed not incorporated (34.4%)
Working without pay (0.2%)
Distribution: Salaries of artists and related workers by type of employer (ACS data)
Following are the salary distributions by employer type calculated by aggregating individual household survey responses. These salaries were reported for the larger career group of artists and related workers, which combines the 5 specialties for this career.
$43K$38K$61K$24K$53K$56K$0$50,000$100,000$150,000Self-employed not incorporatedSelf-employed incorporatedState governmentPrivate not-for-profitPrivate for-profitAll
Distribution: Salaries of craft artists by type of employer (BLS data)
Following are the salary distributions by employer type as reported by BLS based on large employer-focused surveys. We note that smaller employer categories are not included by BLS. Remember that the BLS salaries are for the specialty craft artists, and may differ signficantly from the ACS salary estimates which combine several career specialties.
$35K$0$20,000$40,000$60,000$80,000All

We only include salary data when the survey error is less than 20%, so you may see only partial information for some categories.

Salary growth for artists and related workers

Is this a job that rewards experience, or is this job most likely a part of a career ladder? The higher a job's experience quotient, the more experience is rewarded with pay increases. Jobs in the green range have the best rewards with experience.

Take a minute to look at how much you might expect your salary to increase with each five years' experience, as well as how the numbers working at each age change. Does this seem to be a job for the young or the old, or could it be a career offering steady salary growth for many years?

Salary distribution
$50K$41K$53K$25K$47K$32K$42K$57K$43K$0$50K$100K$150K20-2425-2930-3435-3940-4445-4950-5455-5960-64
Number employed
05K10K15K20K25K20-2425-2930-3435-3940-4445-4950-5455-5960-64

We only include salary data when the survey error is less than 20%, so you may see only partial information for some categories.

Artists and related workers and gender

With 38% women, this occupation has a higher percentage of women than 50% of careers.

Context: Women in the workforce
38%0%20%40%60%80%100%
Gender of Artists and related workers
Men (62%)
Women (38%)
Distribution: Salaries by gender

The median (middle) salary for all full-time male workers in the US exceeds the full-time median salary for women by 19%, and the difference for artists and related workers tops that, with the median salary for men 35% higher than the median salary for women.

$37K$50K$0$20K$40K$60K$80K$100K$120KWomenMen
Context: Salary Inequity

The chart below shows the salary inequity, the percentage by which the median men's salary is higher than the median women's salary for all but about 20 jobs in which women typically earn more than men. Artists and related workers have one of the more significant inequity issues, with the increase in men's median salary over women's median salary even higher than that for 87% of other jobs.

35%0%20%40%60%80%100%

We only include salary data when the survey error is less than 20%, so you may see only partial information for some categories.

Race and origin of artists and related workers

Here we check out the diversity of origin in this career. There is a smaller percentage of minority artists and related workers than for 75% of other careers. The percentage of foreign-born workers in this career is near the middle of all careers.

Race/origin of artists and related workers
White (82% )
Asian (7% )
Multiracial (3% )
Black (3% )
Other (3% )
American Indian (1% )
Hispanic (0% )
Pacific Islander (0% )
Context: Representation of minorities in the workforce
15%0%20%40%60%80%100%
Context: Representation of foreign-born workers
15%0%20%40%60%80%100%
Distribution: Salaries for artists and related workers by race/origin

For some careers, there is a pay disparity depending on race or origin, though this is not prevalent. We calculate standard errors for all of our calculations, and when the error is high we do not show results. Therefore, for some jobs will have omitted race/origin categories.

$36K$39K$43K$47K$58K$0$20K$40K$60K$80K$100K$120KBlackOtherWhiteMultiracialAsian
Distribution: Salaries for artists and related workers by nativity
$43K$51K$0$50K$100K$150KAll native citizensAll foreign-born

We only include salary data when the survey error is less than 20%, so you may see only partial information for some categories.

Artists and related workers and Part-time/Full-time employment

We've found that somes jobs hava a huge number of part-time workers, and that typically most who are working part-time are doing so because they cannot find full-time work or the job they have cannot provide full-time hours. With 28% part-time workers, this occupation has a higher percentage of part-time workers than 81% of careers.

Context: Part-time workers in the workforce
28%0%20%40%60%80%100%
Why workers are part-time
Full-Time is less than 35 hours a week
Retired/Social Security limit on earnings
Could not find full-time work
Seasonal work
Slack work/business conditions
School/training
Health/medical limitations
Child care problems
Other family/personal obligations
Other reasons
Distribution: Salaries by part-time/full-time status

The salary distributions for full-time and part-time artists and related workers is shown following.

$9K$43K$0$20K$40K$60K$80K$100K$120KPart-time workersFull-time workers
Pathways to this career
Education attained by craft artists

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), craft artists typically hold no formal educational credential.

Sometimes the typical education identified by the BLS differs a bit from the reality of the how much education current workers actually have. The donut shows the education level held by people currently working as artists and related workers as reported in responses to the American Community Survey.

Details: Education and training recommended for craft artists

Most fine artists pursue postsecondary education to improve their skills and job prospects. A formal educational credential is typically not needed to be a craft artist. However, it is difficult to gain adequate artistic skills without some formal education. For example, high school art classes can teach prospective craft artists the basic drawing skills they need.

A number of colleges and universities offer bachelor’s and master’s degrees in subjects related to fine arts. In addition to studio art and art history, postsecondary programs may include core subjects, such as English, marketing, social science, and natural science. Independent schools of art and design also offer postsecondary education programs, which can lead to a certificate in an art-related specialty or to an associate’s, bachelor’s, or master’s degree in fine arts.

The National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD) accredits more than 360 postsecondary institutions with programs in art and design. Most of these schools award a degree in art.

Medical illustrators must have artistic ability and a detailed knowledge of human or animal anatomy, living organisms, and surgical and medical procedures. They usually need a bachelor’s degree that combines art and premedical courses. Medical illustrators may choose to get a master’s degree in medical illustration. Four accredited schools offer this degree in the United States.

Education gives artists an opportunity to develop their portfolio, which is a collection of an artist’s work that demonstrates his or her styles and abilities. Portfolios are essential, because art directors, clients, and others look at them when deciding whether to hire an artist or to buy the artist’s work. In addition to compiling a physical portfolio, many artists choose to create a portfolio online.

Those who want to teach fine arts at public elementary or secondary schools usually must have a teaching certificate in addition to a bachelor’s degree. For more information on workers who teach art classes, see the profiles on kindergarten and elementary school teachers, middle school teachers, high school teachers, career and technical education teachers, and postsecondary teachers.

Education attained by artists and related workers
None
High School
Some College
Associate's/Cert.
Bachelor's Degree
Master's Degree
Professional Degree
Doctorate
Distribution: Salary by education level

What level of education is truly needed for artists and related workers? Below we see the distribution of artists and related workers salaries based on the education attained.

$26K$30K$35K$42K$53K$49K$0$50K$100K$150KNone (2%)High School (11%)Some College (18%)Associate's/Cert. (9%)Bachelor's Degree (49%)Master's Degree (10%)

We only include salary data when the survey error is less than 20%, so you may see only partial information for some categories.

College majors held by artists and related workers

This table shows the college majors held by people working as artists and related workers.

If you see "**" before the name of a degree/program, that means this field is one that the Department of Education believes is preparatory for this career. However, you can see from this list that those recommendations are far from your only path to this job!

Degree
Select any title to learn more about that degree
Percentage of Artists and related workers with this degree
Salary for all majors
Salary distribution (across jobs). Showing 0-$200,000.
Median
Middle 50%
Middle 80%
Education
Final education level of all people with this major
Bachelor's Degree
Master's Degree
Doctorate/Professional
Gender
Gender of people this bachelor's degree
Men
Women
The link between degrees and careers

With the following sankey diagram, you can follow the top ten bachelor's degrees held by people working as artists and related workers, and then, in turn, you can see the 10 occupations that hire the most of each degree's graduates. We hope this provides ideas for similar jobs and similar fields of study.

What college major is your best entry?

About 60% of people working as artists and related workers have at least a bachelor's degree. Each dot represents a college major leading to these jobs, with the dots to the right representing the majors sending the most of their grads into this career. The dots at the top are the majors who earn the most working in this career.

Darker colors have a larger percentage with graduate degreesOverall median salary0.0%5.0%10.0%15.0%20.0%25.0%30.0%Percentage with this major$10,000$20,000$30,000$40,000$50,000$60,000$70,000$80,000$90,000$100,000$110,000$120,000Median salary with this major
Switching Careers
The most common next careers for artists and related workers

What jobs will most artists and related workers hold next year?

The data in this chart comes from person interviews for the Census Bureau's Current Population Survey. The survey interviews households eight times over a two-year period, allowing us a glimpse into how people move from job to job. You can see more details from the results of the survey in our last tab in this section, and you can read about our methodology in our source descriptions.

Here we see all of the jobs that at least 1% of artists and related workers reported holding in their second year's survey. Is your future job on this list?

Artists and related workersDesignersFirst-Line Supervisors of Retail Sales WorkersPainters and paperhangersPostsecondary teachers and assistantsSpecialized Teachers and InstructorsRetail Salespersons
Lateral job transitions for artists and related workers

A lateral career transition is a move to a job with similar pay and responsibilities. A move to such a job can offer a change of pace without an increase in stress or a decrease in pay. The following table simply identifies all 6 jobs which were held by at least 1% of survey respondents before working as artists and related workers as well as 1% of respondents after working as artists and related workers. Select a row to investigate the job's full description and determine if it truly offers an opportunity for a lateral transition.

Prior and next careers for artists and related workers: full listings

What do people typically do before and after they work as artists and related workers? Here are the full lists of all jobs that at least 1% of artists and related workers surveyed reported as holding a year earlier or later.

Choose which type of transition to view
Prior jobs
Next jobs
Variation by state
State-by-state employment numbers

Some careers tend to be centered in specific parts of the country. For example, most jobs in fashion are in New York or California. Let's see if your dream job is easy to find in your dream location! We have a few choices for viewing the data that can help you get a full employment picture.

Job density versus job count

Which states hire the most craft artists? We wonder if that's a fair question since states come in all sizes, so instead let's start with the question of which states have the highest density of people working as craft artists. You can choose to view the number of jobs per state if you prefer.

BLS vs ACS data

This map defaults to employment information from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), which provides job totals carefully compiled for accuracy and with a primary focus on how employers describe their workers. The BLS job totals do not count self-employed workers. We've also compiled totals using the Census Bureau's American Community Survey (ACS) which are based on how workers describe themselves. Sometimes ACS results are quite a bit different from the employer-based BLS data.

One important factor in the differences between ACS and BLS data is that the ACS numbers are for all artists and related workers, comprised of all specialities listed in the menu bar, and you can choose to view the BLS at the specialty or full career level.

Choose the metric to review
Jobs per 1000 working
Number of jobs
Use this data source
BLS for this specialty
Number of Craft Artists per 1,000 workers (BLS)
Select a state to see local area details
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0.00.10.10.1
Salaries by state
Let's get a feel for where craft artists earn the highest salaries. There are several choices for which data we consider and how we view that data, and each can lead to different conclusions, so please read on...
Median salary versus state ratio

We use two methods to compare salaries across states:

  • In-state comparisons: the ratio of median (middle) salaries for artists and related workers compared to the median salary for all people working in each state, or
  • Median salary: the unaltered median salaries for artists and related workers.

We hope the ratio allows perspective about how salaries may compare to the regional cost-of-living.

BLS vs ACS data

We have two sources for statewide salary information with important distinctions. The BLS data is created by surveying companies, missing individuals who are self-employed or work for smaller companies. The ACS data is compiled from multi-faceted household surveys and may reflect the inconsistencies that people may have in reporting information. The ACS salaries are for all artists and related workers, which combines the specialities from which you can choose at the top of the page.

Choose the metric to review
Location-adjusted median salary
Median salary
Use this data source
BLS for this specialty
Location-adjusted median salary for Craft Artists (BLS for this specialty)
The darkest shading corresponds to states in which craft artists earn the highest salary when compared to other jobs in the state. We think this ratio might be a better indicator than the actual salary for your buying power as a state resident.
Select a state to see local area details
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$0$20K$40K$60K
Compare to similar jobs

If this job interests you, then use the tabs and education selector to find other careers that might be a good fit for you.

How should the career similarity be computed?

There are a number of ways to measure the similarity of jobs, here are a few we provide:

  • Interests: Also known as a Holland Code - Are you a thinker? A helper? What fits your personality?
  • Environment: Are there hazards? Will you be comfortable? Will it be stressful?
  • Knowledge: What do you need to know the most about?
  • Physical Abilities: Do you need to especially strong or coordinated?