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Fine & Studio Arts Major

Fine and studio arts is a major that typically falls into the Visual & Performing Arts category.

There are 476 programs available throughout the country that offer an associate’s degree in Fine Arts, 2,013 that offer a bachelor’s degree, and 494 that offer a master’s degree. There are also at least 63 schools in the nation where you can get your doctorate degree in the field.

Who Is Getting a Fine Arts Degree?

Fine and studio arts is the 19th most popular college major in the country. In 2017, roughly 27,300 students graduated with a bachelor’s degree in the field. The major attracts more women than men. About 71.4% of the recent graduates in this field are female.

Racial Distribution

At the countrywide level, the racial distribution of Fine Arts majors is as follows:

  • Asian: 7%
  • Black or African American: 6.3%
  • Hispanic or Latino: 15.2%
  • White: 56.7%
  • Non-Resident Alien: 5.9%
  • Other Races: 8.9%
Fine & Studio Arts Majors Ethnic Diversity Statistics

Americans aren’t the only ones with an interest in Fine Arts. About 5.9% of those graduating in 2017 were international students. The most popular countries sending Fine Arts majors to the U.S. are China, South Korea and Canada.

What Will You Learn as a Fine & Studio Arts Major?

An O*NET survey asked people with careers related to Fine Arts to rate how important certain subject areas were to their job. The following are some of the results of that survey. Importance was rated on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being most important.

Knowledge Areas for Fine Arts Majors

This major prepares you for careers in which these knowledge areas are important:

Important Knowledge Areas for Fine & Studio Arts Majors

Skills for Fine Arts Majors

When studying Fine Arts, you’ll learn many skills that will help you be successful in a wide range of jobs - even those that do not require a degree in the field. The following is a list of some of the most common skills needed for careers associated with this major:

Important Skills for Fine & Studio Arts Majors

Abilities for Fine Arts Majors

As you progress with your Fine Arts degree, there are several abilities you should pick up that will help you in whatever related career you choose. These abilities include:

Important Abilities for Fine Arts Majors

What Can You Do With a Fine Arts Major?

Below is a list of occupations associated with Fine Arts:

Careers Related to Fine & Studio Arts
Job Title Job Growth Rate Median Salary

Multimedia Artists and Animators



Artists and Related Workers









Fine Artists, Including Painters, Sculptors, and Illustrators



Art, Drama, and Music Professors



Precious Metal Workers



Art Directors



Gem and Diamond Workers






Fine & Studio Arts Major Salary

Average salaries range from $44,000 to $68,000 for careers related to Fine 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, the typical high school graduate makes between $29,000 and $57,000 a year. The average person with a bachelor’s degree (any field) makes between $44,000 and $99,000. Advanced degree holders make the most with salaries between $55,000 and $120,000.

Average Salary for a Fine Arts Major  ( 44000 to 68000 )
Average Salary for High School Graduate  ( 29000 to 57000 )
Average Salary with Bachelor's Degree  ( 44000 to 99000 )
Average Salary with Advanced Degree  ( 55000 to 120000 )

Your salary will be largely dependent on the career path you follow and what area of the country (or world) you work. Getting a graduate degree may open up more options with higher salary potential.

Amount of Education Required for Fine & Studio Arts Major Jobs

Some careers associated with Fine Arts may require an advanced degree, while others may not even require a bachelor’s in the field. 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 Fine Arts careers below.

Education Levels for Careers Associated With Fine & Studio Arts
Level of Education Percentage of Workers

Less Than a High School Diploma


High School Diploma or Equivalent


Post-Secondary Certificate


Some College Courses


Associate's Degree or Equivalent


Bachelor's Degree


Post-Baccalaureate Certificate


Master's Degree


Post-Master's Certificate


First Professional Degree


Doctoral Degree


Post-Doctoral Training


Online Fine & Studio Arts Programs

There are 2,013 colleges that offer a bachelor’s degree in fine and studio arts, with 15 of them offering at least some courses online.

Online learners must listen or watch video lectures, participate in group chats or forums, submit papers and assignments electronically, take tests, and meet deadlines.

Online learners benefit from being able to watch lectures remotely and complete coursework on their schedule, but they also take longer to graduate than average and are more likely to dropout.

Is a Fine & Studio Arts Major Worth It?

The median salary for a Fine Arts grad is $58,000 per year. This is based on the weighted average of the most common careers associated with the major.

This is 50% more than the average salary for an individual holding a high school degree. This adds up to a gain of about $389,400 after 20 years!

fine and studio arts salary compared to typical high school and college graduates over a 20 year period


Bureau of Labor Statistics
National Center for Education Statistics
O*NET Online
Image Credit: Jorge Royan via License

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