Art Professor

Teach university students about art.

Quick Stats

Salary Range
$33,000 – $121,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor

What do Art Professors do?

An Art Professor teaches students about art in a college setting. Technically, “Art Professor” could include music or drama, but most commonly refers to visual art. The title of Professor is the highest academic ranking, and it means you hold a permanent position (with tenure) in the department.

This concept of “tenure” is what drives your career. It basically means that a university likes you enough to give you a lifetime employment offer, which makes it extremely difficult to fire you. Not only is that great job security, but it means you have amazing academic freedom: it’s like having a license to be over the top and push the envelope (within reason) with almost no consequences (within reason). This is especially important for an Art Professor, as you can experiment with controversial ideas and mediums with a guaranteed financial backing.

Being controversial isn’t the only good part about teaching art on the collegiate level: here you get to be specialized: really specialized. If you’re especially talented at painting portraits in black and white acrylic paints, for example, then you can do a whole course on that.

You’ll also have a lot of freedom to practice your art outside of the classroom; in fact, that will be expected of you. And, very importantly, you get to guide and shape students who are serious about their art.

Should I be an Art Professor?

You should have a master's degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Leader: You're good at taking charge, giving directions, and inspiring other people.
  • Reliable: You can always be counted on to do a good job.
  • Ready for a Challenge: You jump into new projects with initiative and drive.

  • Also known as: Adjunct Professor Piano and Ear Training, Art Education Professor, Art Educator, Assistant Professor of Art See More

    How to become an Art Professor

    Most Art Professors have a Master's degree. Start by getting your Bachelor's degree. Chart?chd=s:aaaj9a&chl=|||bachelor%27s+%2810%25%29|master%27s+%2863%25%29|doctorate+%2827%25%29&cht=p3&chs=466x180&chxr=0,0,63
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