Life As an Art Therapist
Art Therapist Job Description Plan or conduct art therapy sessions or programs to improve clients' physical, cognitive, or emotional well-being.
What Do Art Therapists Do On a Daily Basis?
- Supervise staff, volunteers, practicum students, or interns.
- Assess client needs or disorders, using drawing, painting, sculpting, or other artistic processes.
- Photograph or videotape client artwork for inclusion in client records or for promotional purposes.
- Teach art therapy techniques or processes to artists, interns, volunteers, or others.
- Conduct art therapy sessions providing guided self-expression experiences to help clients recover from or cope with cognitive, emotional, or physical impairments.
- Customize art therapy programs for specific client populations, such as those in schools, nursing homes, wellness centers, prisons, shelters, or hospitals.
Art Therapist Required Skills
These are the skills Art Therapists say are the most useful in their careers:
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.
Types of Art Therapist Jobs
- Expressive Therapist
- Creative Art Therapist
- Group Therapist
- Counselor/Art Therapist
Are There Job Opportunities 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.
Average Art Therapists Salary
Art Therapists make between $29,590 and $77,050 a year.
Art Therapists who work in California, District of Columbia, or Nevada, make the highest salaries.
Below is a list of the median annual salaries for Art Therapists in different U.S. states.
|State||Annual Mean Salary|
|District of Columbia||$68,430|
Tools & Technologies Used by Art Therapists
Although they’re not necessarily needed for all jobs, the following technologies are used by many Art Therapists:
- 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
Becoming an Art Therapist
What kind of Art Therapist requirements are there?
How Long Does it Take to Become an Art Therapist?
Where Art Therapists Are Employed
The table below shows some of the most common industries where those employed in this career field work.
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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