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.

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 2016

Metro Area Total Employment Annual Mean Salary
Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim 210 $55,000
Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue 140 N/A
Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell 110 $45,440
Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach 80 $29,410
San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward 70 $46,520
Indianapolis-Carmel-Anderson 60 $37,130
Milwaukee-Waukesha-West Allis 50 $33,780
Cleveland-Elyria 40 $27,080
Urban Honolulu 30 $46,920
Reno 30 $50,430

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Total employment and salary for professions similar to craft artists

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.

All Types

Source : 2016 Occupational Employment Statistics, Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, BLS.gov

Most Popular Industries for
Craft Artists

These industries represent at least 1% of the total number of people employed in this occupation.

Industry Total Employment Percent Annual Median 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
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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.

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