Mold and bake clay to create beautiful vases, pots, and bowls.

Quick Stats

Salary Range
$19,000 – $44,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor

What do Potters do?

Unless your name is Harry, being a Potter doesn’t involve turning Teachers into toads. It’s turning mud into merchandise. We’re not talking third-grade art projects, either. Instead of misshapen ashtrays, professional Potters make grade-A bowls, flowerpots, vases, cookware and crockery.

If you’re a Potter, you can’t be afraid to get your hands dirty. Because you will. Every day. Like a child making mud pies, your job is to turn a plain block of clay — pliable when it’s wet, hard when it’s dry — into a practical piece of art.

To do so, you’ll knead the clay like a Baker does bread to get all the air out of it, then place it on a pottery wheel that you’ll spin manually, with your feet, or automatically, thanks to the miracle of electricity. Like Patrick Swayze and Demi Moore in Ghost — without the Righteous Brothers soundtrack — you’ll use your hands to shape it and tools to decorate it. Next, you’ll leave it to dry, then bake it in a special oven at over 1,800 degrees Fahrenheit. Finally, you’ll glaze it, bake it again, then sell it, typically at craft shows, in galleries or at gift shops.

Although it’s relaxing, pottery’s hard work. Because the materials are messy and expensive, cleanup is constant and cash flow critical.

And then there’s the physical work: Because you’ll spend your days lifting, slapping and pressing heavy clay, you’ll need both brawn and beauty. Which leads to an unusual perk: In addition to bowls, Potters build biceps.

Should I be a Potter?

You should have an associate's degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Detail Oriented: You pay close attention to all the little details.
  • Independent: You enjoy flying solo and doing things your own way.
  • Trustworthy: You are known for your personal integrity and honesty.

  • Also known as: Studio Potter

    How to become a Potter

    Potters often have an Associate's degree or higher. Chart?chd=s:9jltha&chl=no+college+%2833%25%29|certificate+%2819%25%29|associate%27s+%2820%25%29|bachelor%27s+%2824%25%29|master%27s+%284%25%29|&cht=p3&chs=466x180&chxr=0,33,33
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