Craft a Career Path with a Master’s in Art Education

by Ashley Eneriz

When you are passionate about something, it is hard not to share it. A master’s in art education allows you to take your love of the art world and empower others with the gift of individual expression.

Many people pursue an art education graduate degree to fulfill this calling, bringing the beauty of creativity to students in a variety of learning environments. For others, this master’s program helps pave a path to a doctorate in education or art education.

Reasons to Get a Master’s in Art Education

Do you enjoy teaching others how to use their creative gifts? Do you have the skills to patiently build up students through specific art projects and encourage their own studies? If you love making art as much as you love motivating others to be creative, then a master’s in art education might be the right path for you.

Teaching art isn’t only about helping others learn how to draw and memorize the names of famous artists. Instead, art education is a powerful tool used in schools to help students in every other area of their life. Edutopia reports that learning about art and experiencing it first-hand is essential for increased self-confidence, self-understanding, better communication skills, and improved cognition.

So, What Can You Do with a Career in Art Education?

While art education programs are primarily designed to prepare future teachers, obtaining a master’s degree in this field can open the door to several career options:

  • K–12 Art Teacher: Schools nationwide need art teachers for public, private, and charter schools. Paired with a teaching credential, the number of these jobs is projected to grow 6 percent by 2024.
  • Art Teacher for Junior/Community Colleges: If you’re interested in teaching art at a higher level, earning a master’s degree can also lead to employment opportunities on college campuses.
  • Teach in Community Arts Organizations: Teach art to a wide variety of people, such as seniors through a city program. You can be self-employed as a self-enrichment teacher. The field is expected to grow 15 percent by 2024.
  • Progress toward a Ph.D.: For those wanting to work in academia, a master’s in art education can be a stepping-stone to a doctorate.
  • Other Art Career Options: While the master’s degree is designed to create teachers, there are still other career options you can explore after graduation. For example, your degree can open the door to curriculum creation and art therapy, as well as work as a museum educator, art curator, or an exhibit designer.

How Much Do Art Teachers Make?

The average salary of an art educator is $52,981, according to Glassdoor. As with many teaching careers, an individual’s salary can vary by location and employer. For example, an art teacher at a community college in Los Angeles can expect to earn higher on the pay scale than a private school art teacher in Nebraska.

Some art education positions might only require a bachelor’s degree, but a master’s degree may unlock opportunities for a salary increase. Teacher.org reports that art teachers with a master’s degree can earn approximately $9,000 more than an individual with just a bachelor’s degree. If you majored in art as an undergraduate, pursuing this graduate degree could help you further your career.

How to Earn an Art Education Degree Online

In between juggling a busy job and family commitments, it can be a bit daunting to continue your college education. An online master’s program can make earning a graduate degree possible with flexible classes. And, because obtaining a master’s in art education requires more than learning history and pedagogy, it’s a good idea to look for art programs that offer immersive, hands-on experience alongside class-session learning.

Erin Weaver, program director of Azusa Pacific University’s M.A. in Art Education, says, “If you are wanting to teach art, you need to understand contemporary issues in art education, how to work with your community and lead in the area of art advocacy, learn more about art pedagogy, and how to create and implement outstanding curriculum.”

APU’s Master of Arts in Art Education is a low-residency program that is completed almost entirely online, allowing students to fit graduate school into their busy schedules. The program includes two, one-week summer practicums at APU’s main campus. These intensive summer sessions offer a chance to connect with peers and faculty, learn from visiting artist-lecturers, and explore the cultural highlights of the L.A. area. The program also incorporates strong support for teachers’ own art-making practices. “By the end of this program, teachers will know how to educate art students, how to run a classroom, and will become leaders in their field of expertise,” said Weaver, who has taught art in public schools since 2003.

Interested in pursuing this graduate degree at Azusa Pacific University? Request more information about the Master of Arts in Art Education program today to see how you can combine your passion for art and teaching for a fulfilling career.

Recommended for You

It’s Never Too Early to Consider a Master’s Program

3 Trends in K-12 Education That Are Shaping Teacher Training

What Are Low-Residency Master’s Programs?

Distinguished Educators Make a Difference in Students’ Lives