Visual and Performing Arts
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Overview
A general, undifferentiated program that focuses on the visual and performing arts and that may prepare individuals in any of the visual artistic media or performing disciplines.
Current award levels
Hover over the bars below to see how many people across the country completed a degree in visual and performing arts at each level last year.
01K2K3K0-1 Year Certificate2-4 Year CertificateAssociate's DegreeBachelor's DegreeMaster's DegreeResearch Doctorate
Race/origin of recent graduates
Here is an overview of race/origin for all visual and performing arts graduates from this last academic year. We found a higher percentage of international graduates in this program than in 53% of other programs.
Race/Origin
White
Black
Pacific Islander
Hispanic
Asian
American Indian
Multiracial
Not Reported
International
Context: Percentage of Minority Graduates
Minority students comprise a higher percentage of graduates than in 60% of other programs.
Gender
Of all people with any degree in visual and performing arts earned in the last academic year, 64% were women.
Gender
Men
Women
Context: Percentage women
This is a higher percentage of women than 62% of other programs.
Salary
The Census Bureau provides salary data for people with bachelor's degrees in visual and performing arts.
Context: Median Salary
People with a degree in visual and performing arts have a median salary of $50,001.
Context: Benefit of a master's
About 24% of these bachelor's graduates also have a graduate degree, perhaps in a different field. Salaries improved by approximately 21% over those holding only the bachelor's degree for those with subsequent graduate degrees.
Employment
All of the following employment data applies to people holding a bachelor's degree in visual and performing arts.
Context: Unemployment Rate
With an unemployment rate of 3.9%, this degree's majors who are in the workforce are less likely than the bachelor's graduates of 66% other fields to be employed.
Context: Self Employed Workers
About 16% of workers who earned a bachelor's in visual and performing arts are self-employed.
Top careers
Following are the most frequent jobs held by people who earned a bachelor's degree in Fine Arts, perhaps followed by additional education in any field. There is a fun exploration of related degrees and careers under Explore Careers below.
Similar programs
Following are related programs, ordered by those with the highest number of completions. You can explore a full list in the last section for programs below.
Completions History
Salary and Employment for Majors
Understanding this data
This section's data applies to people with a bachelor's degree in visual and performing arts

This section is informed by household surveys collected by the US Census Bureau in its American Community Survey (ACS). The ACS tells us all about the individuals surveyed -- education level, age, career, salary, home, etc. -- and includes the field of degree for people who earned a bachelor's degree. All of the data that follows is for individuals who earned a bachelor's degree in fine arts, although we're also able to see the level of education the individuals attained. All higher degrees could have been in any field.

Employment overview
Percentage of fine arts bachelor's graduates who are working

Does getting a bachelor's degree in fine arts lead to a secure job? The donut chart shows the percentage fine arts majors who are working along with a broad view of where they work. We note:

  • Self-employed workers include those working in a family-owned business.
  • Government workers can be in local, state or federal governments.

Technically, about 23.5% of fine arts graduates are currently not working. However, only 3.9% are classified as "unemployed," while 19.6% are "not in the workforce." Unfortunately, we have no way of knowing whether people are out of the workforce for personal reasons or because they have been unable to find work for an extended period.

76%
Percentage working by type of employer
Government
Federal government
State government
Local government
Self-employed
Self Emp. Incoporated
Self Emp. Not Incorp.
Private not-for-profit
Private for-profit
total
Context: Unemployment rates

This chart lets you see whether fine arts majors have better unemployment rates than bachelor's graduates from other fields. In the shaded box plot, the percentage of unemployed with this degree is shown in blue, along with the distribution of the percentage of unemployed graduates for each bachelor's degree field.

3.9%0.0%1.0%2.0%3.0%4.0%5.0%
Salary overview
Typical salaries for fine arts majors

How does the median (middle) salary for fine arts majors compare to the median salaries for other majors? The chart below compares the median salaries for all bachelor's graduates by major. Here and everywhere that we discuss salary, we limit the population to those with bachelor's degrees who report working at least 35 hours a week and are aged 65 and younger.

Context: median salaries
$50,001$0$20,000$40,000$60,000$80,000$100,000
Distribution: Salaries by Employer

Above we compared the median salaries earned across college majors. Now we'll view the full salary range for fine arts majors. The charts below show the full distribution of salaries for this degree alone, with a look at how the type of employer might affect that salary. This salary includes all people who may also have received graduate education in this or any field. You can tease out the importance of graduate education in the last tab in the section.

$50K$36K$55K$53K$50K$53K$68K$50K$0$50K$100K$150K$200K$250KPrivate for-profit (57.1% )Self Emp. Not Incorp. (9.8% )Self Emp. Incoporated (6.0% )State government (6.5% )Private not-for-profit (10.5% )Local government (8.0% )Federal government (1.9% )Overall (100%)

Note that we do not include salary data when the survey standard error is higher than 20% of the salary. Therefore, some categories may be missing or may only provide partial salary ranges. To provide salary breakdowns, we have aggregated ACS person-level career survey responses by career, gender, race, age, and other factors. These graphics reflect the results of our aggregations, and are useful for identifying trends. A careful statistical study of the impact of these characteristics on salaries would correct for other factors that could be contributing to salary differences.

The battle of the sexes
Gender and success for fine arts majors

The donut chart shows the gender balance for all people with a bachelor's degree in fine arts. In the graphs that follow, we'll explore how these percentages compare to other bachelor's holders, and we'll also investigate the impact of gender on pay.

Gender
Men (44%)
Women (56%)
Context: Gender representation

How does the gender balance change according to college major? In the chart below, we see that fine arts has more women than most other degrees.

56%44%0%20%40%60%80%100%WomenMen
Distribution: salaries by gender

The chart below shows the distribution of salaries by gender of fine arts majors who are working 35 or more hours and are 65 or younger. If salaries are balanced for men and women, the blue and pink bars will be about the same. Many programs' graduates struggle with men's wages higher at all points of the salary distribution, including significantly higher top salaries.

$53K$47K$0$50K$100K$150K$200K$250KWomenMen
Context: Salary inequity

For fine arts graduates, men generally earn 13% more than women. This is better than many: 90% of programs have graduates with higher salary inequities.

13%13%0%20%40%60%80%100%
Age and Advancement
Insights from the ages of fine arts bachelor's-holders

The ages of people in the US with a bachelor's degree in fine arts can give us a hint about whether this degree is in-fashion or out-of-fashion. A higher percentage of older people with a degree suggests that newer degree options have edged out this degree for recent graduates. Likewise, a higher percentage of younger people with a degree may suggest that this degree has become more popular in recent years.

Careeer Advancement

What entry-level pay should you expect in your first job, and is the mid-level pay significantly higher? Below we see salary distributions by age group for fine arts graduates who are working 35 or more hours weekly. Is there room for advancement in careers that stem from this degree?

$46K$53K$55K$53K$57K$36K$24K$57K$56K$0$50K$100K$150KSalaries by age20-2425-2930-3435-3940-4445-4950-5455-5960-64
020K40K60KNumber with major20-2425-2930-3435-3940-4445-4950-5455-5960-64

Note that we do not include salary data when the survey standard error is higher than 20% of the salary. Therefore, some categories may be missing or may only provide partial salary ranges. To provide salary breakdowns, we have aggregated ACS person-level career survey responses by career, gender, race, age, and other factors. These graphics reflect the results of our aggregations, and are useful for identifying trends. A careful statistical study of the impact of these characteristics on salaries would correct for other factors that could be contributing to salary differences.

Need for higher degrees
Is a bachelor's degree all you need?

Can fine arts majors earn a high salary without obtaining a graduate degree? Below, we dive into the prevalence of graduate degrees for fine arts majors, and we explore how much a graduate degree can be expected to increase salaries. Among all visual and performing arts completions reported last year, 59% were at the bachelor's level or higher, including 4% at the graduate level.

Most recent completions in visual and performing arts
0-1 Year Certificate
1-2 Year Certificate
2-4 Year Certificate
Associate's Degree
Bachelor's Degree
Postbaccalaureate Cert
Master's Degree
Post-master's Cert
Professional Deg/Doct
Research Doctorate
Other Doctorate
Context: Graduate degrees in any field by undergraduate ACS degree

The donut shows the degree levels awarded in visual and performing arts today. Now we'll use American Community Survey (ACS) data and look at all workers in the US who majored in fine arts when in college.

We know that about 24% fine arts majors chose to also earn a graduate degree (but we do not know the graduate field of study). The percentage of fine arts majors also earned a graduate degree is near the middle in comparison to other fields.

24%0%20%40%60%80%100%
Distribution: fine arts majors' salaries by education level

We saw above that 24% earned a graduate degree after earning a bachelor's in fine arts, but was this necessary for earning a good salary? We can see this answer in two ways. First, we can see the salary distribution for people with a bachelor's in fine arts by their highest education attained. Remember, we only know the field for the bachelor's degree; the graduate degree can be in any field.

$47K$64K$57K$68K$0$50K$100K$150KBachelor's DegreeMaster's DegreeResearch DoctorateProfessional Deg/Doct

Note that we do not include salary data when the survey standard error is higher than 20% of the salary. Therefore, some categories may be missing or may only provide partial salary ranges. To provide salary breakdowns, we have aggregated ACS person-level career survey responses by career, gender, race, age, and other factors. These graphics reflect the results of our aggregations, and are useful for identifying trends. A careful statistical study of the impact of these characteristics on salaries would correct for other factors that could be contributing to salary differences.

Context: Percentage boost obtained with a graduate degree

The second way that we can explore the impact of higher education on salary is to compare median salaries for workers with each level of education. We measure the percentage increase over the bachelor's salary that each higher degree achieved, and contrast that with similar measurements for other fields.

Sure, we think a higher degree would almost always help salary, but are there some majors that "need" a higher degree (in either the same or a new field) more than others in order to reach their earnings potential?

21%45%37%0%50%100%150%Bachelor's to Master'sBachelor's to Research DoctorateBachelor's to Professional Doctorate
Explore Careers
Careers for fine arts majors
Careers for fine arts majors

Here we look at ACS survey respondents across the US with a bachelor's degree in fine arts, and we see their top careers. You can explore the salary distributions for all people in those careers, as well as the typical education help by workers in that job. If you see ** before the job name, that tells you that the Department of Education recommends this job for people with a degree in visual and performing arts. We did not find always find a strong correlation between that advice and where people were working.

Career
Select any column header to sort by that column, and select any row to explore that career.
Salary
Salary distribution 0-$200,000.
Median
Middle 50%
Middle 80%
Education
High School
Some College
Bachelor's Degree
Master's Degree
Doctorate
Percentage with degree who are in job
Designers
$0$200K$51K
9.6%
Elementary and middle school teachers
$0$200K$51K
6.0%
**Artists and related workers
$0$200K$42K
5.2%
Managers (specialized areas)
$0$200K$72K
4.5%
**Postsecondary teachers
$0$200K$62K
2.9%
First-line supervisors of retail sales workers
$0$200K$39K
2.9%
Secondary school teachers
$0$200K$53K
2.3%
Retail salespersons
$0$200K$31K
1.9%
Secretaries and administrative assistants
$0$200K$36K
1.7%
Customer service representatives
$0$200K$32K
1.5%
Marketing and sales managers
$0$200K$74K
1.4%
Chief executives and legislators
$0$200K$96K
1.4%
Education administrators
$0$200K$68K
1.2%
Web developers
$0$200K$60K
1.1%
Accountants and auditors
$0$200K$60K
1.0%
**Photographers
$0$200K$37K
1.0%
Registered nurses
$0$200K$63K
1.0%
Wholesale and manufacturing sales representatives
$0$200K$61K
1.0%
Real estate brokers and sales agents
$0$200K$50K
0.9%
General and operations managers
$0$200K$67K
0.9%
Other routes to the top ten careers
Other majors that are hired by the top ten fine arts careers

Take a minute with this sankey diagram, and use your mouse/touch to explore. You can follow the top ten jobs held by fine arts graduates, and then, in turn, you can see the largest 10 degrees hired by each of those careers. We hope this gives you a glimpse at where you can most realistically hope to get a job with this degree, but also see alternatives for the same employment options. It's worth noting that for many degrees, the top ten jobs don't account for even half of the graduates. The data warns us / encourages us that a degree is only one piece of the puzzle that determines where we land.

This Degree
Top 10 careers
Top 10 degrees hired
Commercial Art and Graphic DesignFine ArtsArchitectureCommunicationsElectrical EngineeringGeneral BusinessMarketingBusiness Management and AdministrationMechanical EngineeringEnglish Language and LiteratureElementary EducationGeneral EducationSpecial Needs EducationPsychologyEarly Childhood EducationArt and Music EducationLanguage and Drama EducationHistoryLiberal ArtsCommunication TechnologiesStudio ArtsFilm Video and Photographic ArtsMass MediaAdvertising and Public RelationsAccountingPolitical Science and GovernmentEconomicsFinanceBiologyMathematicsNursingChemistryPhysicsSecondary Teacher EducationPhysical and Health Education TeachingSociologyCriminal Justice and Fire ProtectionDesignersElementary and middleschool teachersArtists and related workersManagers (specializedareas)Postsecondary teachersFirst-line supervisors ofretail sales workersSecondary school teachersRetail salespersonsSecretaries andadministrative assistantsCustomer servicerepresentativesAll others
Jobs that choose fine arts majors
What careers hire fine arts majors as one of their top 10?

What jobs are especially seeking you out? The previous section let you explore the top ten jobs for people who earn bachelor's degrees in this field. Now we turn the tables a bit. What jobs have fine arts as one of the top ten majors they hire? Take this with a grain of salt, though, since some majors have more than 100,000 annual graduates and others have only a few thousand. Maybe employers would hire more of certain low-number majors if they could be found. In the bottom Sankey box, we show you the proportion of fine arts majors that are accounted for by the top 10 jobs -- there are a myriad of other options for most majors.

Careers where this degree is a top 10 hire
Degrees
Health diagnosing and treating practitionersBrokerage clerksProofreaders and copy markersArchivists, curators, and museum techniciansArtists and related workersDesignersActorsProducers and directorsMusicians, singers, and related workersArchitectsEditorsPhotographersTelevision, video, and motion picture camera operators and editorsWeb developersAll other careersFine ArtsAll other degrees
Where can I complete this program?
What schools offer this program?
Explore schools that offer visual and performing arts degrees and certificates

We've created a list of schools that offer this program for the level you select. We've also chosen a few facts about each school that give you an idea of the educational quality each school might offer:

  • Student-Faculty Ratio: A small number of students per full-time instructor suggests individual attention for each student and an up-to-date curriculum.

  • Satisfaction Rate: A high percentage of returning first-year students should correlate with satisfaction (schools call this their retention rate).

  • Repayment Rate: A high repayment rate means most alumni earn enough to make progress repaying loans within 7 years of leaving.

We also show the total enrollment for the school as measured by full-time-equivalent (FTE) students enrolled annually. You can filter the list by award level and by state. Clicking on any table headers will sort the table by that column, and clicking on any row sends you to Ididio's school profile.

Filter Schools
Offering this program at this level
All levels
Only schools in these states
AKMEVTNHWAIDMTNDMNMINYMARIORUTWYSDIAWIINOHPANJCTCANVCONEMOILKYWVVAMDDEAZNMKSARTNNCSCDCOKLAMSALGAHITXFLPR
Only schools within
200 Miles
of
228 schools offer this program (all levels) in the selected area.
School
State
Total enrollment
Student to Full-time Faculty Ratio
Average Net Price
Repayment Rate
6-year Completion Rate
Allen County Community College
KS
1,589
49.7
$7,251
47%
10%
Alpena Community College
MI
1,018
21.2
$3,226
50%
40%
American River College
CA
21,656
54.5
$7,329
38%
19%
Andrew College
GA
261
8.2
$29,092
51%
24%
Antioch College
OH
217
7.0
$19,543
Arizona State University - Tempe
AZ
43,108
24.9
$12,947
69%
67%
Arizona State University - West
AZ
3,076
13.2
$10,057
69%
71%
Azusa Pacific University
CA
5,805
20.3
$28,784
81%
68%
Barnard College
NY
2,520
11.3
$23,736
96%
90%
Barstow Community College
CA
2,156
51.3
$8,608
10%
Bennett College
NC
424
12.8
$22,763
40%
61%
Bennington College
VT
733
14.1
$32,667
91%
72%
Berkeley City College
CA
3,640
49.9
$10,532
35%
9%
Berkshire Community College
MA
1,105
20.5
$9,448
57%
26%
Bloomfield College
NJ
1,896
28.3
$19,988
54%
34%
Blue Mountain College
MS
537
16.5
$11,504
71%
62%
Blue Ridge Community College
VA
2,424
34.1
$7,970
64%
28%
Bucks County Community College
PA
5,763
40.3
$7,546
65%
10%
Butler Community College
KS
6,047
39.8
$7,871
54%
25%
Butte College
CA
7,963
53.8
$5,823
43%
28%
Explore similar programs

Visual and Performing Arts is part of a larger collection of programs: Studio Arts, Music, Dance, and Theater. Is there a different program that's close to Visual and Performing Arts that might be a better match for your interests? You can use this table to see a little about the programs that fall under this umbrella. If you click on any of the table headers, that will sort the table by that column, or click on a row and see Ididio's profile for that program.

Program
Graduates
Award Levels
Less than Bachelor's
Bachelor's
Graduate
Gender
Men
Women
Race/Origin
White
Minority
International
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