Cool Jobs for Creatives

By Elaina Loveland on November 14, 2012

Have you heard of the term “starving artist”?

Many people have a misconception that if you follow a path in the arts, that you will not achieve financial security. It’s true that with traditional paths in the arts, like performance, work can be part-time or part of the year and therefore, income can fluctuate. Some starving artists do become stars or famous artists—and everyone knows that stars make more money than even the highest-paying professions like law or medicine. And these stars started somewhere—probably as a starving artist. They took a risk and luckily, they got the reward. But only the most talented, the most ambitious, and the most fortunate get to become celebrities in their fields.

Where does that leave the rest of us who want to use your creative energy everyday and earn money for it? The good news is that the traditional starving artists jobs are only a small number of creative jobs available. In fact, most jobs in the arts are the “top” jobs of performer, published author, or famous artist. There are so many more you have yet to discover! Fortunately, for creative people, there is no better time to choose a career on a creative path. Two of largest fields that have the most jobs for creative types are often overlooked: education and arts administration. Every creative field needs teachers at the elementary, secondary, and college level. If you earn the appropriate degrees, you can be creative for your entire life while to pass your knowledge along to younger generations. Arts administration is the field that actually runs the behind-the-scenes business of operating an arts organization. Numerous types of jobs can be found in this field for all kinds of creative types. You could become an education director for a nonprofit theatre company, a fundraiser for a dance company, a director of an art museum, a communications and marketing guru for an opera company, and more—the options are limitless.

Annual Earnings
Teacher (Elementary & Secondary) Median salaries range from $43,580 to $48,690 but vary considerably depending on geographic location and years of experience
College Professor Median salary of $56,120 to top earnings of $113,450
Arts Administrator Varies but most jobs pay between $50,000 to $100,000 for experienced arts administrators

Also, there are numerous more specialized careers for aspiring actors, artists, dancers, musicians, and writers. One of these could be a perfect fit for you!

For Actors
Beyond acting on stage or in front of a camera, there are several careers in the business of entertainment that surround the performers. It takes a great deal of people who work behind the scenes to bring a theatrical production together or to produce a television show or film. Although acting is the job that comes to mind to most people who are interested in entertainment, other skilled careers may be of interest. An actor is only part of the picture: everything that is seen or heard onstage or in a television show or movie must be created by someone. The creation of a simulated real-life environment requires specialists in a variety of fields to make a believable reality come to life for the pubic to view.

Median Earnings Top Earnings

Camera Operator $40,060 more than $84,500

Producer Producers seldom have a set salary; they earn a percentage of the project’s earnings.

Set Designer Eighty percent make between $18,113-$69,772

Talent Agent Due to the small number of talent agents compared to other occupations, specific data for salaries in this field are not widely reported. Salaries vary depending on location, years of experience, and the management company that employs agents.

Voice Talent Salary varies

For Artists
Artists don’t just paint on canvasses displayed in galleries. All kinds of artists creative functional art that we use in everyday lives: what we see, read, wear, watch, and use to make tasks easier. With Internet media becoming an ever-increasing part of our lives, demand for artists working with Web sites is rising—one of the newest professions arising out of this trend is a Web User Experience Designer who determines the design and navigation of Web sites to maximize their effectiveness (or usability). Animators now also can work on materials for the Internet in addition to film and TV. These are among other opportunities for artists.
Median Earnings Top Earnings
Landscape Architect $55,140 more than $95,420
Art Therapist $45,000 up to $100,000
Museum Curator $46,300 more than $80,030
Commercial & Industrial Designer $54,560 more than $92,970
Graphic Designer $39,900 more than $98,600
Fashion Designer $62,610 more than $117,120
Web User Experience Designer $75,000 more than $115,000

For Dancers
There are several career paths related to dance that may interest dancers once they stop performing or if they decide not to become performers.
Median Earnings
Dance Studio Owner Salary varies
Dance Therapist Salary varies according to geographic region
Pilates Instructor Salary varies
Physical Therapist for Dancers $66,200 to more than $94,810

For Musicians
Many musicians combine multiple talents in their careers so in many cases, there is no one set career path that the might have. A professional musician might be a composer and a performer or a teacher and an arranger. As a result, while some musicians do choose one career to make a living, many other musicians blend their talents in several areas rather than pursuing one set path. Also, many musicians offer private lessons to supplement their incomes. Here are careers in music:
Median Earnings Top Earnings

Music Executive Salary varies
Music Therapist $45,000 $60,000-$150,000
Recording Engineer $43,010 more than $90,770

For Writers
Almost every writer aspires to write the great American novel. But most writing jobs aren’t writing fiction. In everyday life, there is a high demand for talented writers. Here are some careers in which you can use your writing skills every day.

Editor $46,990 more than $87,400
Public Relations Specialist $47,350 more than $89,220
Reporter $33,470 more than $73,800
Technical Writer $58,050 more than $91,720

Remember—creativity and careers don’t have to be oxymorons (or opposites). You can find a way to combine your passion with your livelihood. Just investigate all of your options and surely, you’ll be able to find the right creative path for you.



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