Career Opportunities for Majors in Visual Arts


Students in Visual Arts are guided by accomplished artists/teachers to pursue their goals in ceramics, graphic design, painting, photography, printmaking, sculpture, and film/video. A solid background in art history and contemporary critical analysis, as well as core liberal arts courses is provided. This educational approach enables students to graduate from the B.F.A. program with the variety of skills necessary for a career as a creative artist.

Generally, visual artists fall into two categories - "graphic artists" and "fine artists" - depending on the artist's purpose in creating a work of art. Graphic artists put their artistic skills and vision at the service of commercial clients, such as major corporations, retail stores, advertising, design, or publishing firms. Fine artists create art to satisfy their own need for self expression, and may display their work in art galleries, museums and homes. Some of their work may be done at the specific request of clients. Fine artists work independently, choosing their mediums and subject matters as they see fit. Often, they specialize in one or more forms of art, i.e. painting, sculpting, or printmaking. In many instances, visual artists work in more commercially connected endeavors, while pursuing their "fine arts" goals.

A Sample Of Related Occupations

Advertising Artist Corporate Curator Landscape Architect
Animator Costume Designer Layout Artist
Appraiser Courtroom Sketcher Muralist
Architecture Model Builder Curatorial Assistant Nonprofit Administrator
Archivist Display/Set Designer Photojournalist
Art Teacher Drafter Product Designer
Art Therapist Engraver Production Assistant
Arts Administrator Exhibit Designer Public Relations Coordinator
Arts Conservator Fashion Coordinator Publications Assistant
Arts Critic Filmmaker Restorer
Book Illustrator Freelance Artist Retail Store Art Director
Buyer/Senior Buyer Game Designer Sales Assistant
Calligrapher Graphic Artist Store Manager
Cartoonist Illustrator Textile Designer
Ceramic Artist Interior Designer Web Designer
Cinematographer Jewelry Designer

Types of Employers

Private & Nonprofit Organizations
Apparel Manufacturers Elementary and Secondary Schools Photo Agencies & Studios
Architectural Firms Engineering Firms Public Relations Firms
Art Galleries Hospitals Publishing companies
Art Publications Independent Production Companies Rehabilitation clinics
Auction Houses Libraries Retail Stores
Colleges/Universities Media Organizations School Systems
Corporate Communications Museums/historical societies
Craft Guilds Nursing homes
Government Agencies
Commission of Fine Arts National Archives & Records Administration Peace Corps/AmeriCorps
Cultural Affairs Agencies National Capital Arts and Cultural Affairs Smithsonian Institution
Department of Education National Endowment for the Arts Travel and Tourism Dept.
Institute of Museum Services National Endowment for the Humanities
NJ Department of Education Office of Int'l. Education

Jobs Obtained by Rutgers Graduates - First Jobs of Recent Graduates - Visual Arts

Organization Job Title
ARC Adult Training Specialist
Self Employed Freelance Graphic Designer
Layout Coordinator
Photo Corp. of America Manager of Photo Studio
Self-Employed Artist
Rutgers University Slide Librarian
The RealReal Photographers
Best Buy Sony Camera Expert
Spire Creative Graphic Designers
Nerrealz Art Painter
Show More

Jobs Obtained by Rutgers Graduates - Jobs of Experienced Alumni - Visual Arts

"Artscribe International" Art Critic
NYC Board of Education Art Teacher
The Lehman Center (Adv. Training) Art Therapist
Self Employed Artist
Kendall Center for the Arts Artist
The Pumphouse Gallery Artist/Curator
Harry Abrams, Inc. Asst. Contracts Manager
Daily Challenge Associate Editor
NJN Public Television’s State of the Arts Associate Producer
Art Department, UCLA Chair
Creative Garment Design Director
Show More

Graduate Schools Attended

Institution Degree Field
Georgia Southern University MA Education
Montclair University MA Art Education
Rutgers University MA Visual Arts
Western Illinois University MA Communication
William Paterson College Art & Design Painting

Additionally, you may:


© 2019 Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, an equal opportunity, affirmative action institution. All rights reserved