Visual Arts Professor

Last Updated:
September 19, 2023

Job Description Overview

A Visual Arts Professor job description involves teaching students about various art forms like painting, sculpture, and photography. They are responsible for designing courses, creating curriculums, and developing teaching materials to help their students learn and become proficient in the arts. Visual Arts Professors also evaluate student work, provide feedback, and assess student performance. They engage with students to understand their strengths, weaknesses and interests, and design projects that enable them to learn and grow.

Moreover, they must stay current on new techniques, art movements, and technology, so they can provide the most up-to-date information to their students. They also keep abreast of the latest trends in art and design in order to remain competitive and especially relevant in the industry.

Overall, this job requires excellent communication, interpersonal, and organizational skills, as well as an unrelenting passion for art education. Visual Arts Professors have to be prepared to adapt to changing teaching environments and new technologies. It's a challenging and rewarding career that involves helping students unleash their creativity, develop their skills and gain confidence in their artistic abilities.

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Job Duties and Responsibilities

  • Teach students the basics of art, including color theory, composition, and design.
  • Demonstrate various art techniques and provide guidance for students as they create their own artwork.
  • Encourage students to explore their creativity and develop their own personal style.
  • Facilitate discussions on art history and contemporary art, providing context and perspective for students.
  • Evaluate and provide feedback on student artwork, both in progress and upon completion.
  • Develop lesson plans and curriculum that align with educational standards and meet program goals.
  • Collaborate with other teachers and staff to organize student exhibitions and events.
  • Stay up-to-date on current trends and techniques in the art world, and incorporate them into teaching as appropriate.
  • Provide mentorship and guidance to students interested in pursuing a career in the arts.
  • Maintain a safe and inclusive learning environment that respects and values the diversity of student experiences and perspectives.

Experience and Education Requirements

To become a Visual Arts Professor, you usually need two things: education and experience. Most professors have a master's or doctoral degree in art, art education, or a related field. This means they went to college for at least four years and then continued their studies for a few more years. 

Along with education, professors may also have years of experience in the art world. They may have been professional artists or designers and have a portfolio of their work. They may also have taught art before or have experience working with students. 

But having the right degree and experience isn't always enough. Professors must also have good communication skills, patience, and a passion for teaching. They must be able to inspire and motivate their students to be creative and express themselves through art.

Salary Range

A Visual Arts Professor is a highly skilled and educated individual who teaches visual arts to students in colleges and universities. If you're interested in pursuing a career in this field and wondering about the salary range, the average salary of a Visual Arts Professor in the United States is around $66,000 per year. However, the salary can vary significantly based on factors such as experience level, location, and the institution you work for. In Canada, the average salary for a Visual Arts Professor is around CAD 94,348 ($73,395 USD).


  • According to Payscale, the average salary for a Visual Arts Professor in the United States is $66,427 per year. (
  • SalaryExpert reports that the average salary for a Visual Arts Professor in Canada is CAD 94,348. ( 
  • Although not specific to Visual Arts Professors, the Bureau of Labor Statistics provides data on the median annual wage for postsecondary teachers, which includes visual arts teachers. (

Career Outlook

The career outlook for a Visual Arts Professor in the Education industry over the next 5 years appears to be steady. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employment of postsecondary art, drama, and music teachers is projected to grow by 2% from 2019 to 2029. While this growth rate is slower than the average for all occupations, the demand for visual arts professors remains stable. As more individuals pursue higher education and careers in the arts, the need for qualified professors to teach and mentor them will persist. 

Additionally, the rise of online education presents new opportunities for visual arts professors to expand their reach and impact. According to a report by Forbes, e-learning is expected to reach $325 billion by 2025, providing educators with new avenues to engage with students globally.

Overall, while the growth rate may not be rapid, the career outlook for a Visual Arts Professor remains positive and steady.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Q: What does a Visual Arts Professor do?

A: A Visual Arts Professor teaches subjects such as painting, drawing, sculpture, and other visual arts to college students.

Q: What kind of education is required to become a Visual Arts Professor?

A: A Visual Arts Professor typically needs a Bachelor's degree in art or a related field, and most professors have a Master's or Doctorate degree in Art, Fine Arts, or Art Education. 

Q: What skills do I need to become a Visual Arts Professor?

A: You should have excellent communication, presentation, and organizational skills. You should also have a deep knowledge of and passion for visual arts and the ability to inspire and mentor students.

Q: What kind of salary can I expect as a Visual Arts Professor?

A: Visual Arts Professors earn, on average, $74,000 per year. However, salaries can range from $40,000 to over $150,000 depending on the experience, education, and location of the position.

Q: What kind of job opportunities are available for Visual Arts Professors?

A: Visual Arts Professors can find employment in colleges, universities, and art schools. They may also work in galleries, museums, or pursue freelance work.

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