Craft Artists: Schools and Careers

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  • Top Industries
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Craft Artists - Career Information

Craft Artists

Craft artists create handmade items that are usually sold at their studios, retail outlets and at art-and-craft shows. Some craft artists have their creative objects displayed at museums and art galleries. They use materials such as glass, ceramics, paper, textiles, wood and metal to create their artwork. Craft artists produce items such as stained glass, tapestries, pottery, quilts and candles. Some craft artists utilize fine art techniques including painting and printing to enhance their artwork.

Some sample job titles include ceramic artist, ceramics sculptor, craft worker, glass artist, metal arts production artist and ornamental metalwork designer.


  • Market products at craft shows
  • Create decorative or functional objects by hand
  • Draw or sketch objects to be made
  • Apply finishes to items being crafted
  • Develop creative ideas and concepts for craft objects
  • Select materials for products based on characteristics such as color, strength, texture and weight
  • Confer with customers to evaluate the needs of customers and receive feedback
  • Create models or prototypes of objects to be made
  • Fabricate templates or patterns to guide craft production
  • Research venues, craft trends and customer buying patterns to inspire marketing strategies and designs

Job Characteristics

Craft artists often work alone. They create their craft objects in warehouses, office buildings and lofts. Some artists share studio space with other artists and sometimes utilize the studio to show their creations. Some artists work from their residence. Self-employed craft artists usually spend a lot of time and effort trying to sell their artworks.

Employment Outlook

The employment of craft artists is projected by the Bureau of Labor Statistics to grow 7 percent between 2008 and 2018. The median annual earnings for salaried craft artists in 2008 was $29,080. Most craft artists work on a commission or freelance basis and may find it difficult to earn a living by only selling their craft objects.

Education, Certification, and Licensing

Craft artists typically are not required to have a degree, however it can be difficult to earn money without some formal training. Independent schools of art provide bachelor's and associate degrees and certificates in fine arts which include plenty of studio training. When compared to academic programs provided by universities, the independent art school programs place a stronger emphasis on studio work.

Some independent schools of art also offer certificates in craft arts that include substantial studio training. An undergraduate program can provide art students with various techniques that are utilized for creating craft items.

Advanced degree programs emphasize training and studio work for craft artists that want to focus on a specialty. Craft artists can gain valuable experience by serving as an apprentice to a master craftsman.

An artist's portfolio is a major factor for directors and clients when they are deciding if they want to hire an artist or contract for their work. Internships are beneficial for artists for developing and improving their portfolio.


Major Employers

The top employment sectors are clay product and refractory manufacturing, glass and glass product manufacturing, public schools, colleges, art galleries, museums and foundations.

Schools for Craft Artists are listed in the Browse Schools Section.

The Top Cities tab shows employment statistics for Craft Artists by major metro area.

The Top Industries tab shows which industries have the most jobs for Craft Artists, along with salary data by industry.

The Browse Schools tab lets you search for schools by field of study, degree level, and location.

  • Overview
  • Top Cities
  • Career Stories
  • Top Industries
  • Browse Schools

Metro Areas Rated for Popularity for:
Craft Artists

Listed below are metro areas ranked by the popularity of jobs for Craft Artists relative to the population of the city, as of 2008. Salary data was obtained from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

A Relative Popularity of 1.0 means that the city has an average number of the particular job, for its population, compared to the rest of the US. Higher numbers mean proportionally more jobs of that type.

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Metro Area Jobs Salary


Phoenix 0 $21440 0
Mesa 0 $21440 0
Scottsdale 0 $21440 0


San Diego 0 $29670 0
Carlsbad 0 $29670 0
Los Angeles 0 $60180 0
Long Beach 0 $60180 0
Anaheim 0 $60180 0
San Francisco 30 $47060 0.39
Oakland 30 $47060 0.39
Hayward 30 $47060 0.39


Orlando 0 $19430 0
Kissimmee 0 $19430 0
Sanford 0 $19430 0


Atlanta 110 $29760 1.13
Sandy Springs 110 $29760 1.13
Roswell 110 $29760 1.13


Urban Honolulu 30 $48640 1.9


Indianapolis 50 $34660 1.37
Carmel 50 $34660 1.37
Anderson 50 $34660 1.37


Grand Rapids 0 $42210 0
Wyoming 0 $42210 0


Las Vegas 0 $27010 0
Henderson 0 $27010 0
Paradise 0 $27010 0

North Carolina

Greensboro 30 $0 2.39
High Point 30 $0 2.39


Oklahoma City 50 $34830 2.12


Nashville 130 $31430 3.9
Davidson 130 $31430 3.9
Murfreesboro 130 $31430 3.9
Franklin 130 $31430 3.9


Houston 170 $31580 1.49
The Woodlands 170 $31580 1.49
Sugar Land 170 $31580 1.49
Dallas 70 $19770 0.55
Fort Worth 70 $19770 0.55
Arlington 70 $19770 0.55


Madison 0 $23290 0
Milwaukee 40 $31200 1.2
Waukesha 40 $31200 1.2
West Allis 40 $31200 1.2
  • Overview
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Career Stories (Job Profiles) for Craft Artists

To find out more about building a career as Craft Artists, we spoke with professionals in the field across a variety of specialties. Learn about their experiences on the job, the steps they took to complete their education, and what it takes to excel in this industry. Click the link to see a story.

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Most Popular Industries (as of 2008) for:
Craft Artists

Industries representing at least 1% of total jobs for the occupation.

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Industry Jobs Percent Salary
Performing Arts And Sports 1,860 45% $28,760
Mineral Products 1,110 27% $25,630
Miscellaneous Retail Stores 360 8% $19,970
Museums And Historic Attractions 200 4% $19,430
Miscellaneous Manufacturing 120 2% $28,430
Education 120 2% $41,020
Office Services And Staffing 110 2% $39,580
Professional And Technical Services 90 2% $30,450
Amusement Gambling And Recreation 70 1% $30,050
  • Overview
  • Top Cities
  • Career Stories
  • Top Industries
  • Browse Schools

quickinfoThese schools offer particularly quick info upon request, and we have written detailed profiles for each (click school names to see the profiles).

Request info from multiple schools, by clicking the Request Info links.

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Craft Artist Schools by State

We have some additional detailed pages at the state level for Craft Artists.

Numbers in parentheses are counts of relevant campus-based schools in the state; online schools may also be available.