Life As an Art Therapist
Job Description & Duties Plan or conduct art therapy sessions or programs to improve clients’ physical, cognitive, or emotional well-being.
Art Therapist Responsibilities
- Instruct individuals or groups in the use of art media, such as paint, clay, or yarn.
- Customize art therapy programs for specific client populations, such as those in schools, nursing homes, wellness centers, prisons, shelters, or hospitals.
- Conduct information sharing sessions, such as in-service workshops for other professionals, potential client groups, or the general community.
- Interpret the artistic creations of clients to assess their functioning, needs, or progress.
- Coordinate field trips for client groups to museums or other public displays of art.
- Design art therapy sessions or programs to meet client’s goals or objectives.
Qualities of an Art Therapist
When polled, Art Therapists say the following skills are most frequently used in their jobs:
Social Perceptiveness: Being aware of others’ reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
Active Listening: Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
Speaking: Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Judgment and Decision Making: Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
Critical Thinking: Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
Service Orientation: Actively looking for ways to help people.
Related Job Titles for this Occupation:
- Registered & Board Certified Art Therapist
- Client Wellness Facilitator
- Art Psychotherapist
- Expressive Therapist
- Creative Art Therapist
Is There Going to be Demand for Art Therapists?
In the United States, there were 19,200 jobs for Art Therapist in 2016. New jobs are being produced at a rate of 6.8% which is above the national average. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 1,300 new jobs for Art Therapist by 2026. The BLS estimates 1,200 yearly job openings in this field.
The states with the most job growth for Art Therapist are Alaska, Colorado, and Washington. Watch out if you plan on working in Alabama, Wyoming, or Vermont. These states have the worst job growth for this type of profession.
Art Therapist Salary
The salary for Art Therapists ranges between about $29,590 and $77,050 a year.
Art Therapists who work in California, District of Columbia, or Nevada, make the highest salaries.
How much do Art Therapists make in different U.S. states?
|State||Annual Mean Salary|
|District of Columbia||$68,430|
What Tools & Technology do Art Therapists Use?
Below is a list of the types of tools and technologies that Art Therapists may use on a daily basis:
- Microsoft Excel
- Microsoft Word
- Microsoft Office
- Microsoft PowerPoint
- Microsoft Outlook
- Web browser software
- Adobe Systems Adobe Acrobat
- Adobe Systems Adobe Photoshop
- Adobe Systems Adobe Illustrator
- IBM SPSS Statistics
- Adobe Systems Adobe InDesign
- Trimble SketchUp Pro
- Adobe Systems Adobe Creative Suite
- Appointment scheduling software
- Adobe Systems Adobe AfterEffects
- Autodesk Maya
- Case management software
How to Become an Art Therapist
What education or degrees do I need to become an Art Therapist?
What work experience do I need to become an Art Therapist?
Where do Art Therapists Work?
The table below shows the approximate number of Art Therapists employed by various industries.
Image Credit: Barbara E. Carver via Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported
More about our data sources and methodologies.
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