Best Paying Artistic Jobs

Updated on February 8, 2024

The artistic field offers a diverse range of high-paying careers that cater to various talents and interests, from traditional art forms to modern digital media. Below, we explore the top ten artistic jobs that not only allow for creative expression but also offer lucrative compensation.

Art Director

  • Average Salary: $115,430
  • Job Description: Art Directors are responsible for the visual style and images in magazines, newspapers, product packaging, and movie and television productions. They create the overall design and direct others who develop artwork or layouts.
  • Responsibilities: Overseeing the artistic design of advertisements and print materials, coordinating activities with other artistic or creative departments, and developing detailed budgets and timelines.
  • Required Education: Bachelor’s degree in art, design, or a related field, along with several years of work experience in an artistic role.


  • Average Salary: $86,220
  • Job Description: Animators create multiple images, known as frames, which give an illusion of movement called animation when displayed in rapid sequence. Animators work in various fields, including film, television, video games, and online media.
  • Responsibilities: Designing complex graphics and animation, using independent judgment and creativity, and working with teams of artists and designers to create a project.
  • Required Education: Bachelor’s degree in computer graphics, art, or a related field, along with a strong portfolio of work.

Art Lecturer

  • Average Salary: $86,240
  • Job Description: Art Lecturers teach students in higher education institutions about visual arts, such as painting, drawing, photography, or sculpture. They are responsible for developing curricula, delivering lectures, and assessing student work.
  • Responsibilities: Preparing and delivering lectures, grading assignments and exams, and conducting research in their field of expertise.
  • Required Education: A Master’s degree or Ph.D. in Fine Arts, Art History, or a related field is typically required.

Technical Writer

  • Average Salary: $81,470
  • Job Description: Technical Writers create instructional materials, such as user guides, manuals, and documentation for products or services. Their work involves making complex information easy to understand for a specific audience.
  • Responsibilities: Producing high-quality documentation, working with internal teams to obtain an in-depth understanding of the product and the documentation requirements, and editing material prepared by other writers or staff.
  • Required Education: A bachelor’s degree in a relevant technical field, English, communications, or journalism.

Fashion Designer

  • Average Salary: $83,650
  • Job Description: Fashion Designers create original clothing, accessories, and footwear. They sketch designs, select fabrics and patterns, and give instructions on how to make the products they design.
  • Responsibilities: Developing fashion lines, staying up-to-date with trends in the fashion world, and selecting fabrics, embellishments, colors, or styles for each garment or accessory.
  • Required Education: Bachelor’s degree in fashion design or a related field.

Fine Artist

  • Average Salary: $69,010
  • Job Description: Fine Artists, including painters, sculptors, and illustrators, create original works of art using a variety of mediums and techniques. They may sell their work to collectors, museums, galleries, or directly to the public.
  • Responsibilities: Creating and refining art pieces, marketing and selling their work, and potentially teaching or holding workshops.
  • Required Education: Although formal education is not strictly necessary, many artists pursue a bachelor’s or master’s degree in fine arts to refine their skills and increase their marketability.


  • Average Salary: $69,010
  • Job Description: Illustrators produce drawings, paintings, or diagrams for use in various media, including books, magazines, packaging, digital media, and more. Their work often complements text or conveys a narrative.
  • Responsibilities: Creating visual concepts by hand or using computer software, communicating ideas that inspire, inform, or captivate consumers.
  • Required Education: Bachelor’s degree in fine arts, graphic design, or a related field is common.

Music Producer

  • Average Salary: $52,250
  • Job Description: Music Producers oversee the production and recording of music, working with artists and bands to craft the sound of a track or album. They may also be involved in selecting songs, coaching artists, and managing recording sessions.
  • Responsibilities: Managing the recording process, working with artists to determine the desired sound, and mixing and mastering tracks for release.
  • Required Education: While there’s no formal education requirement, many producers have a background in music theory, composition, or audio engineering.

Art Dealer

  • Average Salary: $54,130
  • Job Description: Art Dealers buy and sell artworks, acting as intermediaries between artists and buyers. They may work in galleries, auction houses, or as independent agents, or private collections, often specializing in a specific type of art.
  • Responsibilities: Assessing and acquiring new artworks, negotiating purchases and sales, and building relationships with artists and collectors.
  • Required Education: While formal education is not required, many art dealers have a background in art history, fine arts, or business.

Video Editor

  • Average Salary: $61,900
  • Job Description: Video Editors are responsible for editing and assembling recorded raw material into a suitable, finished product ready for broadcasting. The material may include camera footage, dialogue, sound effects, graphics, and special effects.
  • Responsibilities: Reviewing footage, determining the necessary edits for the final product, and using software to digitally edit film and video footage.
  • Required Education: Bachelor’s degree in film editing, cinematography, or related field, along with proficiency in video editing software.

Final Thoughts

Artistic careers offer a unique blend of creativity, passion, and potential for high earnings. Whether your skills lie in visual arts, digital media, or creative services, there’s a lucrative career path waiting for you. Pursuing a career in the arts not only allows you to express your creativity but can also provide financial stability and fulfillment. With the right combination of talent, education, and perseverance, artists can achieve both their creative and financial goals.

Other Jobs in Creative and Artistic Professions


For further details on the top paying artistic jobs, including comprehensive job descriptions, responsibilities, and required educational backgrounds, please consult the following resources:

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I’m a firm believer that information is the key to financial freedom. On the Stilt Blog, I write about the complex topics — like finance, immigration, and technology — to help immigrants make the most of their lives in the U.S. Our content and brand have been featured in Forbes, TechCrunch, VentureBeat, and more.

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