Arts and Entertainment: Schools and Careers
Whether its in Los Angeles, New York City, Orlando or Nashville, people are employed in a broad range of arts and entertainment careers around the U.S. This includes disciplines ranging from acting to the fine arts. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), as of November 2014, more than 2.1 million people are employed in the arts and entertainment industry.
The BLS shows that the majority of people in the industry are employed as amusement and recreation attendants, but others are also employed as musicians and singers, and even as actors and actresses.
Often, the fields of arts and entertainment can be categorized into two groups: The first includes live performances or events, such as local and national theatrical performances. The second comprises historical, cultural, or educational exhibits which focus on the preservation and exhibition of objects, natural wonders, and historic sites.
Although occupations in the arts and entertainment industry each have unique requirements, many individuals in the field possess similar skills, such as the ability to visualize, be creative, have exceptional communication skills, and exhibit a passion for culture or the outdoors. They may also like the flexible schedules that can come with a creative job and the ability to live or work in different locations. In fact, the BLS reports that, on average, people working as artists or other creative workers in this industry are employed 24.9 hours a week, and have an average hourly pay of $19.73. Compiled data for a broad number of these occupations puts the annual median pay in the field at $44,610, according to May 2013 BLS data.
Top Careers in Arts and Entertainment
Although the careers that are available in entertainment vary greatly, below are a few well-known occupations:
Brief description of some of these specialties are provided as follows, using BLS data:
|Career Type||What they Do||Number Employed in the U.S., as of 2013||Where they Usually Work|
|Art directors||Create and manage the overall design and implementation of projects.||32,250||Advertising and public relations firms, publishers, design service firms|
|Coaches and scouts||Look for new athletic players based on skill and analyze the strengths and weaknesses of teams.||206,680||Sporting fields, and for high schools and colleges, professional sports|
|Craft artists||Create art for sale and for exhibition.||4,750||Self employed, private sector industries or government|
|Fine artists||Design and create art pieces for aesthetic value.||11,980||Self employed, private sector industries or government|
|Models||Pose for artists, customers, photographers, often for the purpose of producing some type of advertising.||5,470||Studios and runway fashion shows|
|Musicians and singers||Play instruments or sing in front of audiences or in concert halls.||39,260||Arenas, clubs, concert halls|
|Multimedia artists and animators||Create visual effects and animation for various entertainment mediums, including television and movies.||30,790||Motion picture and video industries, advertising and public relations firms|
|Umpires, Referees and Other Sports Officials||Officiate competitions, games and sporting events.||16,140||Indoors and outside, often at various times of the year|
Arts and Entertainment Career Training & Schools
Students interested in a career in the arts and entertainment industry may want to complete an undergraduate education. Although some occupations, such as those for craft artists and modeling, do not require any type of college education, students may still find that they benefit from postsecondary learning by being introduced to new techniques. Theatrical and musical academies can provide a way for some students to advance their skills and to build connections. Various types of education programs are listed below along with the types arts and industry careers that may require that type of learning, according to the BLS.
|Type of program||Number of years to complete||Types of careers that require this|
|Diploma||Around six months||Art, culinary arts|
|Certificate||Nine months to two years||Art business, arts administration, history of art|
|Associate degree||Two years||Fine arts, graphic design|
|Bachelor's degree||Four years||Art directors, coaches and scouts, fine arts, multimedia artists and animators|
"Arts, Entertainment and Recreation: Industry at a Glance," Bureau of Labor Statistics, http://www.bls.gov/iag/tgs/iag71.htm
27-0000 Arts, Design, Entertainment, Sports, and Media Occupations,Bureau of Labor Statistics, http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes270000.htm
Occupational Employment and Wages, Bureau of Labor Statistics, http://www.bls.gov/oes/
Occupational Outlook Handbook, Bureau of Labor Statistics, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/
Schools for Arts And Entertainment are listed in the column to the left.
This table shows summary data on occupations in the US. Clicking on any occupation name brings you to a page showing job prospects and salaries for that occupation in hundreds of metro areas across the country, with data updated through 2022.(Where data is denoted by an asterisk (*), summary info was not available.
Click each Occupation title for more details.
|Athletes and Sports Competitors||11,710|
|Coaches and Scouts||224,110|
|Dancers and Choreographers||10,030|
|Multimedia Artists and Animators||30,240|
|Music Directors and Composers||21,540|
|Musicians and Singers||37,090|
|Umpires, Referees, and Other Sports Officials||18,620|
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