You’ve trained, studied, completed your degree in fine arts or art education, and now you’re stumped on finding a job. It happens to many aspiring art teachers, and as the economy has faltered and public schools ax art departments, finding employment may seem like an uphill battle. Before you get too down, think about taking one of these routes to fulfill your dream and find a job teaching art.
Teaching in Schools
If you live in an area where there are very few art education jobs in the public school system, you seriously want to teach public school students, and you don’t mind relocating, that’s exactly what you should do. Research the areas where budgets firmly support the fine arts — these are the districts which not only have the most jobs for art educators but are the least likely to cut arts programs when money is tight.
Remember that teaching art in a school does not have to equate to teaching in a public school. If you don’t want to relocate, but do want to teach in a school setting, private and charter schools are your next best option. Private schools and charter programs tend to retain their art teachers due to the demand of parents, whose opinions hold more weight due to them footing the bills for their children’s educations. There may also be less red tape to go through in order to land your job, as opposed to the public school system.
Still want to teach students, but not necessarily within the structure of a classroom? Try offering your services to a homeschool co-op. These are groups which serve homeschool families and allow their children to participate in classes and extracurricular activities at an affordable rate, including art. Contact the homeschool co-ops in your area, express your interest in teaching an art class, and work out a fee and schedule that work for everyone.
Autonomous art educators and those who prefer to work according to their own rules are especially suited to this option, but it’s worth a try if you don’t want to relocate, can’t find employment in traditional schools, and still want to teach school-age kids. As homeschooling continues to grow by leaps and bounds, this will become a more common option for obtaining art teaching jobs.
Online education is starting to open up to the fine arts world and has fortunately provided more opportunities for art educators to make a living. Aside from being a way to provide for yourself full-time, you can take a part-time job teaching art online via platforms such as Artist’s Network University, Craftsy, and Udemy.
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Another option that is more traditional, but also offers full and part-time job opportunities, is teaching at a brick and mortar art school. Yes, these still exist, especially in medium and large cities. You won’t always get control over the ages of your students, and sometimes you’ll need to adjust to teaching a mixed class with learners of different experience levels and skills, but it can be a fun way to teach art.
Landing the Job
No matter which type of venue you choose, you’ll likely need to submit an application, resume or CV, and cover letter to get a job as an art educator. Take time to make sure you present yourself well, come off as a professional, and appropriately convey your passion for teaching art. If you’re willing to be flexible and you employ a bit of creativity, you’ll be able to more easily find a job doing what you love.