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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.

Responsibilities

  • 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.

Resources

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.

Craft Artists Skills

Below are the skills needed to be craft artists according to their importance on the scale of 1 to 5 (1 being lowest and 5 being highest) and competency level on a scale of 1 to 7 (1 being lowest and 7 being highest).

   
Skill NameImportanceCompetence
Reading Comprehension3.122.75
Speaking3.122.88
Active Listening3.122.75
Social Perceptiveness3.122.88
Critical Thinking33.12

Craft Artists Abilities

Below are the abilities needed to be craft artists according to their importance on the scale of 1 to 5 (1 being lowest and 5 being highest) and competency level on a scale of 1 to 7 (1 being lowest and 7 being highest).

   
Ability NameImportanceCompetence
Originality3.883.88
Finger Dexterity3.883.88
Manual Dexterity3.753.38
Arm-Hand Steadiness3.753.88
Fluency of Ideas3.623.62

Craft Artists Knowledge

Below are the knowledge areas needed to be craft artists according to their importance on the scale of 1 to 5 (1 being lowest and 5 being highest) and competency level on a scale of 1 to 7 (1 being lowest and 7 being highest).

   
Knowledge AreaImportanceCompetence
Fine Arts3.884.84
Sales and Marketing3.834.72
Customer and Personal Service3.84.04
Production and Processing3.83.8
Design3.764

Craft Artists Work activities

Below are the work activities involved in being craft artists according to their importance on the scale of 1 to 5 (1 being lowest and 5 being highest) and competency level on a scale of 1 to 7 (1 being lowest and 5 being highest).

   
Work ActivityImportanceCompetence
Thinking Creatively4.65.68
Handling and Moving Objects3.965.5
Performing General Physical Activities3.784.33
Selling or Influencing Others3.764.12
Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work3.764.76

Craft Artists Work styles

Below are the work styles involved in being craft artists according to their importance on the scale of 1 to 5 (1 being lowest and 5 being highest).

   
Work StyleImportance
Attention to Detail4.68
Independence4.32
Achievement/Effort4.28
Persistence4.24
Innovation4.24

Metro Areas Sorted by Total Employment for
Craft Artists

Listed below are the 10 largest metro areas based on the total number of people employed in Craft Artists jobs , as of 2017

   
Metro AreaTotal EmploymentAnnual Mean Salary
Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim330 N/A
Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue170 $53,530
Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land160 $41,100
Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell120 $47,470
Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach60 $30,620
San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward60 $45,680
Cleveland-Elyria50 $27,800
Reno30 $49,960
ColumbusN/A N/A
Urban HonoluluN/A N/A

Compare Total Employment & Salaries for Craft Artists

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Employment
Salary

Total employment and salary for professions similar to craft artists

Source : 2017 Occupational Employment Statistics and 2016-26 Employment Projections, Bureau of Labor Statistics, BLS.gov; O*NET® 22.1 Database, O*NET OnLine, National Center for O*NET Development, Employment & Training Administration, U.S. Department of Labor, onetonline.org

Click the Visit School Site buttons to go directly to a school's website and learn more about the school and programs it has to offer. School website will open in a new tab.
Click the Request Info buttons to request more information from a representative at the school.

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.