Craft and fine artists use a variety of materials and techniques to create art for sale and exhibition. Craft artists create handmade objects, such as pottery, glassware, textiles, and other objects that are designed to be functional. Fine artists, including painters, sculptors, and illustrators, create original works of art for their aesthetic value, rather than for a functional one.
Craft and fine artists held about 50,300 jobs in 2014. About half were self-employed.
Most fine artists earn a bachelor's or master's degree in fine arts in order to improve their skills and job prospects. A formal educational credential is typically not needed for craft artists. Craft and fine artists improve their skills through practice and repetition.
The median annual wage for craft and fine artists was $45,080 in May 2015.
Employment of craft and fine artists is projected to grow 2 percent from 2014 to 2024, slower than the average for all occupations. Employment growth of artists depends in large part on the overall state of the economy, because people usually make art purchases when they can afford to spend the money.
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Learn more about craft and fine artists by visiting additional resources, including O*NET, a source on key characteristics of workers and occupations.