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Become An Art Instructor

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Working As An Art Instructor

  • Training and Teaching Others
  • Thinking Creatively
  • Coaching and Developing Others
  • Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work
  • Getting Information
  • Make Decisions

  • $24,218

    Average Salary

What Does An Art Instructor Do

An Art Instructor conducts classes and workshops for different art forms. They provide students with the necessary materials, assess their performance, and help them improve their skills.

How To Become An Art Instructor

Educational requirements vary with the subject taught and the type of educational institution. Most commonly, postsecondary teachers must have a Ph.D. However, a master's degree may be enough for some postsecondary teachers at community colleges. In career and technical schools, work experience may be important for getting a postsecondary teaching job.


Postsecondary teachers who work for 4-year colleges and universities typically need a doctoral degree in their field. Some schools may hire those with a master’s degree or those who are doctoral degree candidates for some specialties, such as fine arts, or for some part-time positions.

Doctoral programs generally take multiple years after the completion of a bachelor’s degree program. They spend time completing a master’s degree and then writing a doctoral dissertation, which is a paper presenting original research in the student’s field of study. Candidates usually specialize in a subfield, such as organic chemistry or European history.

Community colleges or career and technical schools also may hire those with a master’s degree. However, in some fields, there are more applicants than available positions. In these situations, institutions can be more selective, and they frequently choose applicants who have a Ph.D. over those with a master’s degree.

Postsecondary teachers who teach career and technical education courses, such as culinary arts or cosmetology, may not be required to have graduate-level education. At a minimum they must hold the degree of the program in which they are teaching. For example, the teacher must hold an associate’s degree if they teach a program that is at the associate’s degree level. In addition, work experience or certification may be just as important as education for getting a postsecondary teaching job at a career or technical school.

Other Experience

Some institutions may prefer to hire those with teaching or other work experience, but this is not a requirement for all fields or for all employers.

In health specialties, art, or education fields, hands-on work experience in the industry can be important. Postsecondary teachers in these fields often gain experience by working in an occupation related to their field of expertise.

In fields such as biological science, physics, and chemistry, some postsecondary teachers have postdoctoral research experience. These short-term jobs, sometimes called “post-docs,” usually involve working for 2 to 3 years as a research associate or in a similar position, often at a college or university.

Some postsecondary teachers gain teaching experience by working as graduate teaching assistants—students who are enrolled in a graduate program and teach classes in the institution in which they are enrolled.

Some postsecondary teachers, especially adjunct professors, have another job in addition to teaching.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

Postsecondary teachers who prepare students for an occupation that requires a license, certification, or registration, may need to have—or they may benefit from having—the same credential. For example, a postsecondary nursing teacher might need a nursing license or a postsecondary education teacher might need a teaching license.


A major goal for postsecondary teachers with a doctoral degree is attaining a tenure—a guarantee that a professor cannot be fired without just cause. It can take up to 7 years of moving up the ranks in tenure-track positions. The ranks are assistant professor, associate professor, and professor. Tenure is granted through a review of the candidate’s research, contribution to the institution, and teaching.

Tenure and tenure track positions are declining as institutions are relying more heavily on part-time faculty.

Some tenured professors advance to administrative positions, such as dean or president. For information on deans and other administrative positions, see the profile on postsecondary education administrators. For more information about college and university presidents, see the profile on top executives.

Important Qualities

Critical-thinking skills. To challenge established theories and beliefs, conduct original research, and design experiments, postsecondary teachers need good critical-thinking skills.

Interpersonal skills. Most postsecondary teachers need to be able to work well with others and must have good communication skills to serve on committees and give lectures.

Resourcefulness. Postsecondary teachers need to be able to present information in a way that students will understand. They need to adapt to the different learning styles of their students and teach students who have little or no experience with the subject.

Speaking skills. Postsecondary teachers need good communication skills to give lectures.

Writing skills. Most postsecondary teachers need to be skilled writers to publish original research and analysis.

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Art Instructor jobs

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Art Instructor Demographics


  • Female

  • Male

  • Unknown



  • White

  • Hispanic or Latino

  • Asian

  • Unknown

  • Black or African American

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Languages Spoken

  • Spanish

  • French

  • Italian

  • German

  • Japanese

  • Mandarin

  • Korean

  • Russian

  • Portuguese

  • Chinese

  • Greek

  • Hmong

  • Romanian

  • Cantonese

  • Tagalog

  • Dakota

  • Swedish

  • Cherokee

  • Cheyenne

  • Dutch

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Art Instructor Education

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Real Art Instructor Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Temporary Art Instructor National Academy of Design New York, NY Apr 18, 2016 $104,350
ART/Instructional Director YPI Charter Schools, Inc. Los Angeles, CA Oct 01, 2011 $80,000
ART/Instructional Director Youth Policy Institute Charter Schools Los Angeles, CA Oct 01, 2011 $80,000
Temporary Art Instructor National Academy of Design New York, NY Jan 02, 2016 $68,871 -
Temporaty Art Instructor National Academy of Design New York, NY Apr 21, 2016 $68,871 -
Curriculum & Instruction Arts Initiative/Vapa Coor Twin Rivers Unified School District McClellan Park, CA Jan 30, 2012 $64,293 -
Game Art Instructor-Maya Academy of Interactive Entertainment Lafayette, LA Aug 01, 2012 $62,610
Art Instructor The Imagine Bus Project San Francisco, CA Nov 03, 2009 $62,610
Art Instructor In Art, Inc. Los Angeles, CA Jul 19, 2012 $61,776
Art Instructor Dream Catcher Art Studio, Inc. Los Angeles, CA Aug 09, 2012 $61,776
Art Instructor San Jose Art Academy Santa Clara, CA Aug 31, 2012 $60,700
Animation and Media Arts Instructor Inner-City Arts Los Angeles, CA Aug 31, 2013 $46,010
Ad-Interim Instructor of Art Foundation Texas A&M University-Commerce Commerce, TX Dec 17, 2013 $45,000
Art Instructor San Jose Art Academy Santa Clara, CA Sep 02, 2015 $44,800
Instructor of Art Gainesville State College Oakwood, GA Nov 10, 2011 $44,686
Art Instructor The Victoria College Victoria, TX Jul 10, 2010 $43,543
ART/Instructional Director YPI Charter Schools, Inc. Los Angeles, CA Oct 01, 2011 $43,500
Art Instructor Long Island Conservatory, Ltd. Albertson, NY Oct 01, 2011 $43,300
Bakery/Pastry Arts Instructor Culinary Institute Inc. Houston, TX Sep 11, 2013 $37,000
Performing Art Instructor Kon Wah Inc. NY Feb 10, 2015 $36,858
Animation and Media Arts Instructor Inner-City Arts Foundation Los Angeles, CA Sep 01, 2010 $36,480
Art Instructor Boston Higashi School, Inc. Randolph, MA Dec 18, 2012 $36,400 -
Art Instructor San Jose Art Academy Santa Clara, CA Feb 07, 2014 $35,479
Art Instructor Monkey Tiger Art & Design Inc. Chino Hills, CA Oct 01, 2012 $34,456
Visiting Faculty-Art Instructor Minneapolis College of Art and Design Minneapolis, MN Aug 25, 2016 $34,380
Art Instructor Museuem of Art/Ft Lauderdale Nova Se University Fort Lauderdale, FL Jun 11, 2011 $34,000

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Top Skills for An Art Instructor


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Top Art Instructor Skills

  1. Classroom Management
  2. Curriculum Development
  3. Weekly Lesson Plans
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Maintained superior classroom management & provided instruction in a safe and orderly environment.
  • Experienced in Gallery Direction, Curriculum Development and Public Speaking.
  • Designed weekly lesson plans of activities/projects for the art room, along with gather materials and executed projects/activities.
  • Have knowledge of art history and different art genres in order to teach a range of art styles.
  • Developed and implemented reading program and reading list to promote reading and writing skills, as a Language Arts Committee member.

Top Art Instructor Employers

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