Visual & Performing Arts
Types of Degrees Visual & Performing Arts Majors Are Getting
The following table lists how many visual and performing arts graduations there were in 2018-2019 for each degree level.
|Education Level||Number of Grads|
What Visual & Performing Arts Majors Need to Know
O*NET surveyed people in occupations related to visual and performing arts and asked them what knowledge areas, skills, and abilities were important for their jobs. The responses were rated on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being most important.
Knowledge Areas for Visual & Performing Arts Majors
According to O*NET survey takers, a major in visual and performing arts should prepare you for careers in which you will need to be knowledgeable in the following areas:
- English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
- Communications and Media - Knowledge of media production, communication, and dissemination techniques and methods. This includes alternative ways to inform and entertain via written, oral, and visual media.
- Customer and Personal Service - Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
- Fine Arts - Knowledge of the theory and techniques required to compose, produce, and perform works of music, dance, visual arts, drama, and sculpture.
- Computers and Electronics - Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
Skills for Visual & Performing Arts Majors
A major in visual and performing arts prepares you for careers in which the following skill-sets are crucial:
- 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.
- Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
- Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
- Judgment and Decision Making - Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
Abilities for Visual & Performing Arts Majors
Visual and Performing Arts majors often go into careers where the following abilities are vital:
- Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
- Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
- Near Vision - The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
- Written Comprehension - The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
- Speech Clarity - The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
What Can You Do With a Visual & Performing Arts Major?
People with a visual and performing arts degree often go into the following careers:
Who Is Getting a Bachelor’s Degree in Visual & Performing Arts?
At the countrywide level, the racial-ethnic distribution of visual and performing arts majors is as follows:
|Race/Ethnicity||Number of Grads|
|Black or African American||6,937|
|Hispanic or Latino||12,873|
Visual & Performing Arts appeals to people across the globe. About 6.4% of those with this major are international students.
How Much Do Visual & Performing Arts Majors Make?
Bachelor’s Degree Starting Salary
According to 2017-2018 data from the U.S. Department of Education, students who graduated with a bachelor’s degree in visual and performing arts have a median salary of $23,600 during the early years of their career. During this timeframe, most salaries fell between $20,400 (25th percentile) and $28,500 (75th percentile).
We don’t know for sure if all of these people took jobs related to visual and performing arts so take that into consideration.
Salaries According to BLS
Average salaries range from $58,370 to $82,560 (25th to 75th percentile) for careers related to visual and performing arts. This range includes all degree levels, so you may expect those with a more advanced degree to make more while those with less advanced degrees will typically make less.
To put that into context, according to BLS data from the first quarter of 2020, the typical high school graduate makes between $30,000 and $57,900 a year (25th through 75th percentile). The average person with a bachelor’s degree (any field) makes between $45,600 and $99,000. Advanced degree holders make the most with salaries between $55,600 and $125,400.
Amount of Education Required for Careers Related to Visual & Performing Arts
Some careers associated with visual and performing arts require an advanced degree while some may not even require a bachelor’s. In general, the more advanced your degree the more career options will open up to you. However, there is significant time and money that needs to be invested into your education so weigh the pros and cons.
Find out what the typical degree level is for visual and performing arts careers below.
|Education Level||Percentage of Workers|
|Less than a High School Diploma||5.1%|
|High School Diploma - or the equivalent (for example, GED)||11.2%|
|Post-Secondary Certificate - awarded for training completed after high school (for example, in agriculture or natural resources, computer services, personal or culinary services, engineering technologies, healthcare, construction trades, mechanic and repair technologies, or precision production)||5.2%|
|Some College Courses||9.5%|
|Associate’s Degree (or other 2-year degree)||7.3%|
|Post-Baccalaureate Certificate - awarded for completion of an organized program of study; designed for people who have completed a Baccalaureate degree but do not meet the requirements of academic degrees carrying the title of Master.||1.8%|
|Post-Master’s Certificate - awarded for completion of an organized program of study; designed for people who have completed a Master’s degree but do not meet the requirements of academic degrees at the doctoral level.||1.1%|
|First Professional Degree - awarded for completion of a program that: requires at least 2 years of college work before entrance into the program, includes a total of at least 6 academic years of work to complete, and provides all remaining academic requirements to begin practice in a profession.||2.1%|
Online Visual & Performing Arts Programs
In 2018-2019, 2,304 schools offered a visual and performing arts program of some type. The following table lists the number of programs by degree level, along with how many schools offered online courses in the field.
|Degree Level||Colleges Offering Programs||Colleges Offering Online Classes|
|Certificate (Less Than 1 Year)||1,031||45|
|Certificate (1-2 years)||746||28|
|Certificate (2-4 Years)||129||6|
|Doctor’s Degree (Research)||372||2|
|Doctor’s Degree (Professional Practice)||9||0|
|Doctor’s Degree (Other)||12||0|
Is a Degree in Visual & Performing Arts Worth It?
The median salary for a visual and performing arts grad is $64,340 per year. This is based on the weighted average of the most common careers associated with the major.
This is 61% more than the average salary for an individual holding a high school degree. This adds up to a gain of about $488,800 after 20 years!
Top Ranking Lists for Visual & Performing Arts
Explore Major by State
District of Columbia
Majors Related to Visual & Performing Arts
You may also be interested in one of the following majors related to visual and performing arts.
|Major||Number of Grads|
|Liberal Arts / Sciences & Humanities||547,539|
|English Language & Literature||59,299|
|Foreign Languages & Linguistics||34,386|
|Theology & Religious Vocations||32,172|
|Philosophy & Religious Studies||16,252|
*The racial-ethnic minorities count is calculated by taking the total number of students and subtracting white students, international students, and students whose race/ethnicity was unknown. This number is then divided by the total number of students at the school to obtain the racial-ethnic minorities percentage.
- College Factual
- College Scorecard
- National Center for Education Statistics
- O*NET Online
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
- Usual Weekly Earnings of Wage and Salary Workers First Quarter 2020
- Image Credit: By Bonnielou2013 under License
More about our data sources and methodologies.
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