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Top 15 Arts Degree Jobs

By Ammar Ahmed

Published:

Congratulations on earning or considering pursuing an arts degree! This versatile field opens up a world of creative possibilities and a wide range of career opportunities. Whether you’re passionate about animation, photography, graphic design, or any other artistic discipline, your art degree can pave the way for a fulfilling and dynamic career. 

In this article, we will look into 15 fascinating career paths that you can explore with an art degree, providing you with valuable insights to make informed decisions about your professional journey.

Here is a list of the 15 Arts degree career paths we’ll be looking at:

degree guide arts

1. Graphic Designer


Graphic Designers are creative professionals who combine art and technology to create visual communication designs. They play a crucial role in conveying messages, ideas, and concepts through various mediums, including print and digital platforms.

As a Graphic Designer

In this role, you will collaborate with clients or creative teams to understand their communication needs and develop visually compelling designs. You will use software tools such as Adobe Creative Suite to create illustrations, layouts, and graphics for a wide range of projects, including branding, advertising, packaging, and web design. Attention to detail, a keen eye for aesthetics, and a strong understanding of typography and color theory are essential skills for a Graphic Designer

Benefits

  • Versatile Opportunities: Graphic design skills are in demand across various industries, giving you a wide range of career options. You can work in advertising, marketing, web design, publishing, user experience (UX) design, and more.
  • Creativity: As a Graphic Designer, you have the opportunity to express your creativity daily. You get to work on diverse projects, experimenting with colors, typography, and layouts to bring ideas to life.
  • Professional Growth: The graphic design industry is dynamic and ever-changing. New technologies and design trends emerge regularly, ensuring that your work remains fresh and exciting.
  • Freelance Opportunities: Graphic Designers often have the flexibility to work as freelancers or start their design studios. This independence allows for a more flexible work schedule and the ability to choose clients and projects that align with your interests.

Working Conditions

Graphic Designers typically work in office or studio settings, although remote work opportunities are increasingly common. They collaborate with clients or teams, brainstorm design concepts, and create visual assets using design software. Deadlines and client feedback may require occasional overtime or tight project turnarounds.

Further Studies

To accelerate your career in the field of graphic design:

  • Bachelor’s Degree: A bachelor’s degree in graphic design, visual communications, or a closely related field is typically required for entry-level graphic design positions. Coursework usually includes principles of design, computer-aided design (CAD) software, typography, and other foundational design elements.
  • Specialized Training or Certifications (Optional but Beneficial): While not strictly necessary, specialized training or certifications can make a candidate more competitive in the job market. There are certifications in software commonly used in the field like Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, or InDesign, as well as specialized topics like user experience (UX) design, web design, or 3D modeling.
  • Portfolio Development: Building a strong portfolio that showcases a range of skills and projects is essential for securing clients or employment. Many educational programs include portfolio courses, and freelance or internship experience can also contribute to a robust portfolio.

What Skills Make You A Strong Candidate

A strong Graphic Designer embodies creativity, communication, technical proficiency, attention to detail, and time management. They demonstrate originality in design, collaborate effectively, master design software, prioritize typography and layout, and excel in multitasking and meeting deadlines.

Salary & Job Outlook

  • Average Salary ($57,990)
  • Job Outlook (3%)

The average annual salary for Graphic Designers in the United States is approximately $57,990. However, this figure can vary significantly based on factors such as experience, education level, and geographic location. 

The job outlook for Graphic Designers remains steady but competitive. According to the BLS, employment for Graphic Designers is expected to grow at a rate of 3% from 2022 to 2032, which is as fast as the average for all occupations.

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2. Art Director


Art Directors are creative professionals responsible for the visual style and artistic direction of various projects, including advertisements, films, publications, and digital media. They oversee the visual elements and ensure that the artistic vision is effectively communicated.

As an Art Director

You will collaborate with clients, creative teams, and other stakeholders to develop and execute the visual concept and design strategy for projects. You will provide guidance and supervision to artists, designers, and Photographers, ensuring that the creative vision is achieved. Additionally, you will make critical decisions regarding color schemes, layouts, typography, and overall aesthetics to create visually compelling and cohesive experiences.

Benefits

  • Skill Development: In this role, you can continually hone your design skills while also developing leadership and project management abilities. Art Directors need to balance creativity with practicality, which fosters well-rounded expertise.
  • Recognition and Influence: Successful Art Directors often receive recognition for their work, especially if their campaigns or designs gain widespread acclaim. Your creative vision can have a lasting impact on a brand’s success and the public’s perception.
  • Diverse Projects and Industries: Art Directors work in various industries, including advertising, marketing, film and television, publishing, and design agencies. This diversity allows you to work on a wide range of projects and keeps your work fresh and exciting.
  • Influence and Impact: Art Directors play a crucial role in shaping a brand’s identity and message. You get to strategize and plan how visual elements can effectively communicate the brand’s values, personality, and objectives.

Working Conditions

Art Directors work in collaborative settings like advertising agencies, design studios, publishing houses, or film production companies. They oversee the creative process, provide feedback, meet deadlines, and may travel for location scouting or coordination.

Further Studies

To excel as an Art Director:

  • Bachelor’s Degree: Aspiring Art Directors usually start with a bachelor’s degree in graphic design, fine arts, illustration, or a related creative field. This is also the minimum requirement of most employers.
  • Professional Experience: Before moving into an Art Director role, many professionals spend several years gaining experience in positions like Graphic Designer, Illustrator, or Photographer. This on-the-job training helps them develop not only their design skills but also their ability to manage projects and work within a team.
  • Portfolio Development: A strong portfolio is essential in showcasing your creative vision and execution skills. It should include a wide range of projects and media types, ideally those that you have seen through from concept to completion.
  • Specialized Training or Workshops: Keeping up-to-date with the latest software and design trends is essential. You might consider workshops or specialized training courses in new technologies, leadership, or other skills pertinent to an Art Director role.

What Skills Make You A Strong Candidate

To excel as an Art Director, essential qualities include creative vision, leadership skills, aesthetic sensibility, effective communication, adaptability, problem-solving, and attention to detail. These qualities enable you to make an impact in visual communication and design, fostering a collaborative environment and ensuring visual excellence.

Salary & Job Outlook

  • Average Salary ($105,180)
  • Job Outlook (6%)

The average annual salary for Art Directors in the United States is around $105,180. In terms of job outlook, the field of art direction shows limited but specialized growth. According to the BLS, employment opportunities for Art Directors are expected to grow by about 6% from 2022 to 2032. As media continues to evolve, there will be a steady demand for experienced Art Directors who can adapt to new platforms and technologies, particularly in digital media and online platforms.

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3. Animator


Animators bring characters, objects, and visual effects to life through various techniques in film, television, gaming, advertising, and digital media.

As an Animator

You will utilize your artistic and technical skills to create captivating animations that convey storytelling through movement. Collaborating with a team, you will develop concepts, storyboards, and character designs. Using software tools and animation techniques, you will breathe life into characters and objects, adding personality, emotion, and visual effects to enrich the storytelling experience.

Benefits

  • Creative Expression: With animation, you have the power to bring your wildest ideas to life, creating captivating and immersive storytelling experiences that leave people in awe.
  • Versatility: As an Animator, you’ll have the exciting opportunity to work across various industries and mediums, such as film, television, advertising, gaming, and interactive media. This versatility not only keeps your creativity flowing but also opens doors to a wide range of projects, making your career as an Animator dynamic and constantly evolving.
  • Collaboration: You’ll have the chance to collaborate closely with directors, designers, and fellow Animators, blending your talents and ideas to create compelling visuals and cohesive narratives. Your contributions in this collaborative process will not only enrich the final product but also help you build lasting professional relationships.
  • Impactful Entertainment: Through your animated creations, you’ll have the power to delight audiences of all ages, leaving a lasting impression on their hearts and minds. Your work will become a source of happiness and inspiration for countless people, making you a positive force in the world of entertainment.

Working Conditions

Animators work in studio settings, including digital environments, either independently or as part of a team. They spend long hours crafting animation sequences at a computer, paying close attention to details. Meeting tight deadlines and project milestones may sometimes cause pressure.

Further Studies

To excel in the field of animation:

  • Bachelor’s Degree: A bachelor’s degree in animation, multimedia art, digital art, or a related field is usually the minimum requirement. These programs usually offer foundational courses in drawing, 2D and 3D animation, storyboarding, and computer graphics.
  • Specialized Software Training: While your degree program will likely cover some software, additional expertise in industry-standard tools like Adobe After Effects, Maya, or Blender can make you more marketable. Certifications or workshops specializing in these tools can offer a competitive edge.
  • Portfolio Development: Creating a strong portfolio is crucial for an Animator. Your portfolio should demonstrate a wide range of skills, from character animation to motion graphics. Many educational programs include portfolio development courses, but you can also build your portfolio through freelance projects or internships.
  • Portfolio Development: Creating a strong portfolio is crucial for an Animator. Your portfolio should demonstrate a wide range of skills, from character animation to motion graphics. Many educational programs include portfolio development courses, but you can also build your portfolio through freelance projects or internships.
  • Internships and Entry-Level Positions: Gain practical experience by seeking internships or entry-level positions in animation studios, advertising agencies, or media companies. This real-world experience will not only bolster your portfolio but also give you an inside look at the industry and provide networking opportunities.

What Skills Make You A Strong Candidate

To excel as an Animator, creativity, attention to detail, and technical proficiency in animation software are crucial. Collaboration and adaptability support teamwork and artistic flexibility. Patience and persistence drive the iterative process of refining animations to meet quality standards, empowering Animators to succeed in the dynamic world of animation.

Salary & Job Outlook

  • Average Salary ($98,950)
  • Job Outlook (8%)

The average annual salary for Animators in the United States is approximately $98,950, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). This can fluctuate depending on a variety of factors, including industry, experience, and geographic location. 

As for the job outlook, the animation field is experiencing robust growth, driven by increasing demand in various media like movies, television, video games, and online platforms. The same data from BLS shows an 8% growth rate for this profession over the next decade. This growth is fueled by the increasing popularity of animation and visual effects in video games, movies, and other forms of media.

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4. Fashion Designer


Fashion Designers are creative professionals who design and create clothing, accessories, and footwear that reflect current fashion trends or showcase unique artistic expressions. They play a vital role in shaping the world of fashion and bringing innovative designs to the runway and retail stores.

As a Fashion Designer

As a Fashion Designer, you will use your artistic vision and technical skills to develop concepts, sketch designs, and select materials for clothing and accessories. Staying updated on fashion trends, conducting market research, and creating prototypes will help bring your designs to life. Collaborating with patternmakers, tailors, and manufacturers, you will oversee production to ensure the final products align with your creative vision.

Benefits

  • Artistic Expression: As a Fashion Designer, you’ll have the incredible opportunity to take your artistic ideas and transform them into wearable designs that not only make a statement but also define the very essence of current fashion trends.
  • Industry Versatility: Embrace the diverse world of the fashion industry, where you can explore and excel in various sectors such as haute couture, ready-to-wear, accessories, or even specialized niches. This versatility will empower you to discover your true passion and find your unique voice in the ever-evolving landscape of fashion.
  • Global Influence: As a Fashion Designer, you’ll have the power to impact fashion trends and consumer preferences on a global scale.
  • Entrepreneurial Opportunities: As a talented Fashion Designer, you’ll have the potential to turn your passion into a thriving business. Whether you dream of launching your fashion label or establishing your brand identity, the fashion industry offers countless entrepreneurial opportunities for you to showcase your creativity and build a name for yourself.
  • Continuous Learning: The world of fashion is constantly evolving, and as a Fashion Designer, you’ll embark on an exciting journey of continuous learning. You’ll stay at the forefront of the industry by honing your design skills, staying abreast of fashion trends, exploring innovative materials, and mastering cutting-edge manufacturing techniques.

Working Conditions

Fashion Designers work in design studios, workshops, or showrooms. They spend significant time sketching designs, sourcing materials, and coordinating with manufacturers and suppliers. The work involves meeting strict deadlines, managing multiple projects simultaneously, and attending fashion shows and industry events. Fashion Designers may experience high-pressure situations during fashion weeks or when launching new collections.

Further Studies

  • Bachelor’s Degree: Start by earning a bachelor’s degree in fashion design, fashion merchandising, or a closely related field. Programs often cover subjects like textiles, pattern making, fashion history, and computer-aided design (CAD).
  • Specialized Training or Workshops: Consider supplementing your education with specialized courses in areas like sustainable fashion, textile design, or fashion marketing. This additional training can diversify your skill set and make you more marketable.
  • Industry Certifications (Optional but Beneficial): Certifications can also offer a competitive edge. For example, some designers choose to become certified in specific CAD software, which is increasingly being used for pattern making and design.
  • Internships and Entry-Level Positions: Hands-on experience is invaluable in the fashion world. Seek internships or assistant roles with established designers, fashion houses, or related businesses to build practical skills and network within the industry.
  • Fashion Shows and Exhibitions: Participation in fashion shows, exhibitions, or design competitions can offer exposure and opportunities to network with industry professionals. Many designers also start with smaller, local events to gain recognition before moving to larger, more prestigious shows.

What Skills Make You A Strong Candidate

To excel as a Fashion Designer, you need creativity, trend awareness, attention to detail, technical skills, and business acumen. Your design aesthetic, knowledge of fashion trends, and attention to fabric, color, and construction are crucial. Proficiency in pattern making, draping, and sewing brings designs to life. Balancing creative vision with commercial viability ensures success in the fashion industry.

Salary & Job Outlook

  • Average Salary ($76,700)
  • Job Outlook (3%)

The average annual salary for Fashion Designers in the United States is around $76,700, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). When it comes to the job outlook, the fashion industry is relatively stable but highly competitive. According to the BLS, employment opportunities for Fashion Designers are expected to grow by about 3% from 2022 to 2032.

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5. Illustrator


Illustrators are visual storytellers who use their artistic skills to create captivating and engaging illustrations for various mediums such as books, magazines, advertisements, and digital platforms. They bring ideas, concepts, and narratives to life through their unique visual interpretations.

As an Illustrator

As an Illustrator, you collaborate with clients, authors, or Art Directors to create illustrations that meet their vision. Employing traditional or digital techniques, you produce high-quality artwork for industries like publishing, advertising, animation, gaming, and graphic design.

Benefits

  • Global Reach: With the internet and social media, your illustrations can reach a worldwide audience. Online platforms and digital distribution enable Illustrators to share their work with people from different cultures and backgrounds, expanding their reach and potential client base.
  • Flexibility in Work Environment: Illustrators often have the flexibility to work as freelancers, which allows for a more flexible schedule and the ability to work from home or remotely. This flexibility can help you maintain a healthy work-life balance.
  • Portfolio Building: Successful illustrations often garner attention and recognition, especially in the age of social media and online portfolios. Positive recognition can lead to more opportunities, allowing you to build a strong and varied portfolio over time.

Working Conditions

Illustrators may work in their studios or as part of a creative team in an agency or publishing house. They use a variety of tools and software, such as drawing tablets, illustration software, and traditional art supplies. Deadlines and client feedback often require managing multiple projects simultaneously, and occasional revisions and iterations may be necessary to meet client expectations.

Further Studies

To advance your career as an Illustrator:

  • Bachelor’s Degree: A bachelor’s degree in illustration, fine arts, or a closely related field is typically the minimum educational requirement set by employers. These programs offer foundational courses in drawing, painting, digital illustration, and visual storytelling, equipping you with the essential skills to begin a career in illustration.
  • Specialized Software Training: Proficiency in software like Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop, or CorelDRAW is vital for modern Illustrators. Many degree programs incorporate software training, but standalone courses and certifications can also be beneficial.
  • Portfolio Development: Building a diverse and strong portfolio is crucial for an aspiring Illustrator. Your portfolio should display a range of styles and mediums, showcasing your flexibility and skill. Degree programs often include portfolio courses, and freelance work or internships can also contribute valuable pieces.
  • Internships and Freelance Work: Real-world experience is invaluable. Seek internships, part-time jobs, or freelance work related to illustration to bolster your portfolio, develop practical skills, and make industry connections.
  • Specializations and Niche Markets: As you gain experience, consider focusing on a specific niche such as children’s book illustration, medical illustration, or editorial illustration. Specializing can set you apart in a crowded market and may offer higher earning potential.

What Skills Make You A Strong Candidate

To excel as an Illustrator, you need artistic skills, creativity, adaptability, collaboration, and time management. Proficiency in drawing, composition, color theory, and storytelling is vital. Being versatile in styles and techniques is essential. Effective communication and collaboration with clients and teams bring visions to reality. Managing workload and meeting deadlines is crucial.

Salary & Job Outlook

  • Average Salary ($46,304)
  • Job Outlook (4%)

The average annual salary for Illustrators in the United States is approximately $46,304. However, it may vary based on experience, industry, and type of work. In terms of job outlook, the field of illustration is expected to experience moderate growth. 

According to the BLS, employment opportunities for Fine Artists, which includes Illustrators, are projected to grow by 4% from 2022 to 2032. The demand for Illustrators remains steady across various industries, including publishing, advertising, and multimedia design. 


6. Photographer


Photographers capture and preserve moments, emotions, and stories through the art of photography. They use their technical skills, creativity, and keen eye for composition to produce images that convey powerful messages and evoke emotions.

As a Photographer

You can specialize in areas like portrait, wedding, fashion, documentary, or landscape photography. Working with clients or creative teams, you capture images that meet their vision. Photographers use techniques, equipment, and post-processing tools to achieve desired aesthetics and storytelling elements in photographs.

Benefits

  • Diverse Career Opportunities: Photography offers a wide range of career paths. You can work as a freelance Photographer, focusing on weddings, events, or commercial assignments. Alternatively, you can pursue photojournalism, fine art photography, fashion photography, and more.
  • Exploring the World: Photography often takes you to various locations and allows you to explore different cultures and environments. It encourages you to seek out interesting and beautiful places, pushing you to experience the world more profoundly and intimately.
  • Preserving Memories: Photographs have the power to preserve memories and emotions. As a Photographer, you get to freeze moments in time, allowing people to cherish their special occasions, experiences, and loved ones for years to come.
  • Connecting with People: Photography often involves working closely with people, whether it’s portrait sessions, weddings, or events. Building connections with your subjects allows you to capture authentic and emotive images, and it can lead to lasting relationships with clients.

Working Conditions

Photographers work in different settings, including studios, outdoor environments, events, and on-location shoots. They use photography equipment like cameras, lenses, lighting, and editing software. They may work during evenings, weekends, or in challenging weather conditions. Attention to detail, patience, and adaptability to various lighting and environmental situations are essential.

Further Studies

To advance your career as a Photographer:

  • Bachelor’s Degree: Although some Photographers are self-taught, many employers prefer candidates with a bachelor’s degree in photography, visual arts, or a related field. These degree programs generally cover technical aspects of photography, including lighting, composition, and editing, as well as artistic principles.
  • Certification: Certified Professional Photographer (CPP) from Professional Photographers of America (PPA). The certification demonstrates your photography skills and adherence to industry standards. PPA membership offers resources, networking, and recognition within the photography community
  • Internships and Apprenticeships: Gaining hands-on experience through internships or apprenticeships can provide you with practical skills and networking opportunities. Whether it’s assisting a professional Photographer or working with a media organization, real-world experience is invaluable.
  • Specializations and Niche Markets: As you gain experience, you may decide to specialize in a specific type of photography like wedding photography, commercial photography, or photojournalism. Specializing can make your work more attractive to certain clients and allow you to command higher fees.

What Skills Make You A Strong Candidate

To succeed as a Photographer, you need technical proficiency, creativity, interpersonal skills, business acumen, and adaptability. Master camera settings, lighting, and post-processing. Capture extraordinary images and convey emotions. Build rapport with clients and subjects. Understand the business side. Be adaptable and continuously learn.

Salary & Job Outlook

  • Average Salary ($38,390)
  • Job Outlook (9%)

The average annual salary for Photographers in the United States is around $38,390 as of May 2021, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The job growth rate over the next decade is predicted to be 9%, with competition in some genres and demand for specialized expertise in others.

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7. Art Therapist


Art therapy combines art-making and therapeutic techniques to improve mental, emotional, and physical well-being. Art Therapists work with individuals or groups, using art materials and techniques to promote self-expression, explore emotions, and support personal growth and healing.

As an Art Therapist 

As an Art Therapist, you will assess clients’ needs and develop personalized art therapy plans. You will guide them in creative expression to explore thoughts, feelings, and experiences. Through therapy, you will help clients gain insight, cope with challenges, and enhance emotional well-being.

Benefits

  • Helping Others: As an Art Therapist, you have the unique opportunity to make a positive impact on people’s lives. Through the creative process and therapeutic techniques, you can assist individuals in exploring their emotions, improving their mental health, and finding new ways to cope with challenges.
  • Flexibility in Practice: Art Therapists can work with diverse populations, including children, adolescents, adults, and seniors, as well as individuals with various mental health conditions and disabilities. This versatility provides opportunities to work with diverse populations and address a wide range of mental health issues.
  • Personal Fulfillment: The work of an Art Therapist can be emotionally rewarding. Seeing individuals overcome challenges and transform their lives through the creative process can bring a deep sense of fulfillment and purpose to your work.
  • Non-Verbal Communication: Art therapy offers an alternative form of communication for clients who may find it difficult to express themselves verbally. Art Therapists can help clients express their thoughts and feelings through art, providing a safe and supportive outlet.

Working Conditions

Art Therapists work in hospitals, mental health clinics, schools, and private practices. They provide a safe environment for clients to engage in art therapy. Sessions can be individual or group-based, and Art Therapists prioritize client confidentiality and ethical practices. Strong interpersonal skills, empathy, and an understanding of psychology are crucial in this role.

Further Studies

To become an Art Therapist:

  • Bachelor’s Degree: A bachelor’s degree in psychology, fine arts, or a related field is often the minimum educational requirement from employers. These programs provide a foundational understanding of psychological theories, as well as artistic techniques and principles.
  • Master’s Degree (Essential): A master’s degree in art therapy or a related field such as counseling with a focus on art therapy is essential to becoming a licensed Art Therapist. Programs typically cover subjects like psychotherapy, human development, and psychological assessment, as well as specialized art therapy courses.
  • State Licensure: After completing your master’s, you’ll need to obtain licensure to practice as an Art Therapist. Licensing requirements vary by state but usually include completing a specific number of supervised clinical hours and passing a state-approved exam.
  • Board Certification: While optional, many professionals opt for board certification from the Art Therapy Credentials Board (ATCB) to enhance their job prospects. Becoming board-certified involves meeting educational and experiential criteria and passing an examination
  • Supervised Experience: Postgraduate supervised experience is often required for licensure and certification. This hands-on work under the supervision of a licensed Art Therapist is crucial for developing practical skills and gaining deeper insight into client needs

What Skills Make You A Strong Candidate

To excel as an Art Therapist, you need artistic skills, compassion, active listening, cultural competence, and emotional resilience. Proficiency in art mediums, encouraging creative expression. Demonstrating empathy and sensitivity. Active listening, open-ended questions, and effective communication. Respecting diverse cultures. Maintaining personal well-being.

Salary & Job Outlook

  • Average Salary ($78,858)
  • Job Outlook (14%)

The average annual salary for Art Therapists in the United States is approximately $78,858. Salaries can vary significantly depending on factors such as level of education, years of experience, and geographical location. 

In terms of job outlook, the field of art therapy shows promising growth, largely driven by an increased awareness of the benefits of creative therapies in mental health treatment. While the BLS does not provide specific growth data for Art Therapists, it indicates that employment for Occupational Therapists is projected to grow 14% from 2022 to 2032, which is much faster than the average for all occupations.

Given the growing acceptance of alternative therapy forms like art therapy, professionals in this field can expect a favorable job market, especially those with advanced degrees and certifications.


8. Museum Curator


Museum Curators are responsible for curating, preserving, and exhibiting artwork, artifacts, and cultural objects. They preserve our heritage, create engaging exhibitions, and provide educational experiences.

As a Museum Curator

As a museum professional, you will be involved in various aspects of management and curation. Responsibilities include acquiring and cataloging collections, conducting research, designing exhibitions, collaborating with artists and experts, organizing educational programs, and ensuring artifact conservation and storage. Curating exhibits that engage and educate visitors while preserving historical context is crucial.

Benefits

  • Preserving and Sharing Culture: Museum Curators play a crucial role in preserving and showcasing cultural heritage and history. They get to curate and manage collections that educate and inspire visitors, allowing them to connect with the past and understand different cultures.
  • Exhibition Curation: Curators have the opportunity to design and curate exhibitions, which involve creating narratives and themes that highlight the significance of artifacts or artworks. This creative aspect allows curators to craft engaging and educational displays for museum visitors.
  • Research and Scholarship: Curators often engage in extensive research to understand the context and historical significance of the items in their collections. This scholarly aspect of the role enables curators to contribute to the field of art, history, or science and expand our knowledge and understanding of various subjects.

Working Conditions

Museum Curators work in various cultural institutions, planning exhibitions, managing collections, and interacting with visitors. They may have irregular hours during installations or events. Organizational skills, attention to detail, and conservation knowledge are essential.

Further Studies

To pursue a career as a Museum Curator, you may consider the following:

  • Bachelor’s Degree: A bachelor’s degree in art history, history, archaeology, or a related field is usually the minimum educational requirement set by employers. These programs offer foundational knowledge in the subject matter you may eventually curate, as well as essential research and organizational skills.
  • Master’s Degree (Strongly Recommended): Most curatorial positions, especially at larger institutions, require a master’s degree in museum studies, curatorial studies, or a field relevant to the museum’s focus. A master’s program provides deeper specialization and often includes courses in museum administration and exhibit design.
  • Doctorate (Optional but Beneficial): For curators aspiring to work in highly specialized or academic museums, a Ph.D. in a related subject can offer a competitive edge. It’s particularly relevant for roles that require in-depth research or scholarly publishing.
  • Internships and Entry-Level Positions: Hands-on experience is invaluable for aspiring curators. Look for internships or assistant roles at museums, galleries, or historical sites to gain practical skills and establish professional connections.
  • Publications and Research: Publishing articles or conducting research in your area of expertise can bolster your résumé and make you a more attractive candidate for curatorial roles. Many curators collaborate with academic journals or contribute to exhibit catalogs.

What Skills Make You A Strong Candidate

To excel as a Museum Curator, you need deep knowledge of art and history, curatorial vision, research skills, attention to detail, and communication and collaboration abilities. Understanding art history and cultural heritage. Creating engaging exhibitions. Conducting thorough research. Ensuring accurate cataloging and conservation. Effective communication and collaboration.

Salary & Job Outlook

  • Average Salary ($53,420)
  • Job Outlook (10%)

The average annual salary for Museum Curators in the United States is around $53,420, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). As for the job outlook, the museum sector is showing moderate growth. The same BLS data predicts a 10% growth rate between 2022 to 2032.  This growth is driven in part by public interest in science, art, history, and technology, which museums are designed to foster.


9. Art Teacher


Art Teachers play a crucial role in nurturing creativity, artistic skills, and a love for the arts in students of all ages. They inspire and guide students in exploring various art forms, developing their artistic abilities, and fostering a deep appreciation for visual expression.

As an Art Teacher

As an art educator, you will develop curricula, teach various art techniques, and provide guidance to students. You will foster an inclusive classroom environment, organize exhibitions, and collaborate with colleagues, parents, and the community to showcase student artwork.

Benefits

  • Fostering Self-Expression: Art classes provide a safe and supportive environment for students to express their thoughts, emotions, and perspectives through art. As an Art Teacher, you can help your students find their unique voices and develop their artistic identities.
  • Connecting with Students: Art Teachers often form strong connections with their students as they guide and support them in their artistic journeys. Building meaningful relationships with students can create a positive and enriching learning environment.
  • Building Confidence: Art education can boost students’ self-confidence as they see their skills improve and their artistic visions come to life. The sense of accomplishment from creating art can positively impact their overall self-esteem.
  • Promoting Critical Thinking: Art encourages critical thinking and problem-solving skills. Through art projects, students learn to analyze visual elements, make artistic decisions, and think outside the box to solve creative challenges.

Working Conditions

Art Teachers work in schools, community centers, and art schools, having their own classroom or studio space. They teach during regular school hours and may be available for after-school clubs, exhibitions, and events. They create a safe and inclusive learning environment for students of various ages and skill levels.

Further Studies

To pursue a career as an Art Teacher:

  • Bachelor’s Degree: A bachelor’s degree in art education or a related field is typically the minimum educational requirement set by employers. These programs not only cover various art techniques and mediums but also include courses on educational psychology and teaching methods.
  • Classroom Experience; Prior to becoming a licensed teacher, you’ll generally need to complete a student teaching internship. This hands-on experience is invaluable for understanding classroom dynamics, curriculum planning, and effective teaching strategies.
  • State Teaching License: To teach in public schools, you will need a state teaching license or certification. Requirements vary by state but generally include passing a series of exams and fulfilling a student teaching requirement. Some states also require Art Teachers to pass a subject-specific test to demonstrate expertise in art education.
  • Master’s Degree (Optional but Beneficial): While not a requirement for most K-12 teaching positions, a master’s degree in art education can provide advanced teaching strategies and open doors to higher-paying positions or administrative roles. Master’s programs may focus on specialized areas like curriculum development, special education, or educational technology.

What Skills Make You A Strong Candidate

To excel as an Art Teacher, you need a passion for art and education, creativity and adaptability, patience and encouragement, effective communication, and strong classroom management. Passion for art and education. Creating engaging lessons. Patience and encouragement. Effective communication. Classroom management.

Salary & Job Outlook

  • Average Salary ($83,220)
  • Job Outlook (1%)

The average annual salary for Art Teachers in the United States varies based on the level of education they are teaching. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), Art, Drama, and Music Teachers, earn an average annual salary of around $83,220. 

Regarding the job outlook, the field for High School Teachers, including Art Teachers, is expected to grow by 1% from 2022 to 2032 showing little or no change. Most of the job openings are expected to be created by the need to replace workers who move to other occupations or leave the workforce, such as to retire.

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10. Art Conservator / Restorer


Art conservators/restorers preserve and restore artworks and cultural heritage objects. They use their expertise in art history, materials science, and conservation techniques to maintain the integrity of these valuable pieces.

As an Art Conservator / Restorer

As an Art Conservator/Restorer, you will assess artworks or cultural objects, develop conservation plans, and perform necessary cleaning, repair, and stabilization work. Collaboration with experts from different specialties is essential for a comprehensive restoration.

Benefits

  • Preserving Cultural Heritage: As an Art Conservator/Restorer, you play a vital role in preserving and safeguarding cultural heritage for future generations. Through your work, you protect and maintain artworks and artifacts, ensuring their longevity and historical significance.
  • Artistic Detective Work: The process of conserving and restoring art often involves meticulous research and investigation. It can be like being an artistic detective, uncovering the history of a piece, understanding the artist’s techniques, and discovering hidden details.
  • Technical Expertise: Art conservators/restorers acquire specialized technical knowledge and skills. You become proficient in using various conservation techniques, materials, and technologies to repair and preserve artworks while adhering to ethical standards.
  • Working with Masterpieces: Art conservators/restorers have the privilege of working with masterpieces from renowned artists or historical artifacts. This exposure to iconic and valuable artworks can be intellectually and creatively rewarding.

Working Conditions

Art conservators/restorers work in controlled environments like labs or studios, using specialized tools and materials. They examine artworks, conduct analysis, and perform delicate manual tasks with attention to detail. Travel to museums or archaeological sites may be required.

Further Studies

To pursue a career as an Art Conservator/Restorer, consider the following:

  • Bachelor’s Degree: A bachelor’s degree in art history, fine arts, chemistry, or a related field is typically the minimum educational requirement set by employers. These programs offer foundational knowledge in art techniques, historical contexts, and scientific principles essential to conservation.
  • Master’s Degree (Strongly Recommended): Most roles in art conservation require a master’s degree in art conservation or a closely related field. These programs provide specialized training in the scientific methods and practical techniques used to restore and preserve artworks.
  • Internships and Practical Experience: Hands-on experience is critical in this field. During or after your educational programs, seek internships or apprenticeships with museums, galleries, or private conservators. This experience is invaluable for mastering the delicate techniques of art restoration and conservation.

What Skills Make You A Strong Candidate

To excel as an Art Conservator/Restorer, valuable attributes include a strong artistic sensibility, scientific aptitude, attention to detail, problem-solving skills, and adherence to ethical and professional standards. Art appreciation. Scientific knowledge. Attention to detail. Problem-solving. Ethical standards.

Salary & Job Outlook

  • Average Salary ($51,902)
  • Job Outlook (12%)

The average annual salary for Art Conservators/Restorers in the United States is around $51,902. However, those working for federal institutions, major museums, or private collections may command higher salaries.

In terms of job outlook, the field is specialized but stable. The BLS does not provide specific growth projections for Art Conservators/Restorers. However, it can be classified under the cluster of archivists, curators, and museum workers which is expected to grow 12% over the next decade. As institutions place more emphasis on the conservation of their collections, opportunities for specialized roles like Art Conservators/Restorers are likely to expand. 


11. Set Designer


Set Designers are creative professionals in the entertainment industry who design and create sets for productions like films, TV shows, theater, and events. They bring the visual world of production to life, creating engaging environments that enhance storytelling.

As a Set Designer

Set Designers collaborate with creative team members to design sets for productions. They analyze scripts, research, and create sketches or digital renderings to communicate design ideas. They work closely with other departments to ensure the successful realization of set designs.

Benefits

  • Adaptable Skills: Set Designers often work in different genres, including theater, film, television, and events. This versatility allows you to adapt your skills to various projects and explore diverse artistic styles and historical periods.
  • Problem-Solving and Resourcefulness: Set Designers need to find creative solutions to design challenges, often working within budget and time constraints. This problem-solving aspect of the job allows for continuous growth and keeps the work engaging and dynamic.
  • Bringing Stories to Life: Set Designers play a crucial role in transforming written scripts or ideas into tangible, three-dimensional spaces. Through your designs, you help bring the story to life and provide a visual context for the characters and narrative.
  • Creativity and Artistry: As a Set Designer, you have the exciting opportunity to unleash your creativity and artistic vision. You get to design the physical environment and atmosphere of a performance or production, making it visually captivating and immersive.

Working Conditions

Set Designers collaborate with professionals such as directors, producers, and construction teams in various settings like studios and on-site locations, undertaking tasks like brainstorming, research, design development, and overseeing set construction and installation under tight deadlines.

Further Studies

To pursue a career as a Set Designer, consider the following educational and professional paths:

  • Bachelor’s Degree: A bachelor’s degree in theater design, set design, interior design, architecture, or a related field is often the minimum educational requirement set by employers. Programs in these fields provide essential skills in design principles, spatial awareness, and material selection.
  • Specialized Software Skills: Proficiency in specialized design software like AutoCAD, SketchUp, or 3D rendering tools is crucial. These skills are often part of the curriculum in design degree programs but can also be learned through specialized courses and workshops.
  • Internships and Assistant Roles: Hands-on experience is invaluable in the set design field. Seek internships or assistant roles with theater companies, film productions, or television studios to gain practical experience and make industry connections.
  • Union Membership (Optional but Beneficial): Many Set Designers work within union environments, especially in theater and film. Becoming a member of a professional union like the United Scenic Artists, Local USA 829, can offer employment opportunities, benefits, and a network of professional contacts

What Skills Make You A Strong Candidate

To excel as a Set Designer, valuable attributes include creativity and artistic vision, collaboration skills, attention to detail, problem-solving abilities, and effective time management. Creativity. Collaboration. Attention to detail. Problem-solving. Time management.

Salary & Job Outlook

  • Average Salary ($68,490)

The average annual salary for Set Designers in the United States is around $68,490, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Unfortunately, we couldn’t find relevant data for the job outlook. 

However, there is increasing demand for specialized set designs in theater productions, movies, television shows, and live events. New platforms and media formats are also driving a need for skilled designers who can adapt to various production needs. Hence, you can expect a positive job outlook.


12. Exhibition Designer


Exhibition Designers specialize in creating engaging and immersive spaces for museums, galleries, trade shows, and other exhibition venues. They play a vital role in showcasing artworks, artifacts, or products in a visually appealing and informative manner, enhancing the overall visitor experience.

As an Exhibition Designer

In this role, you will collaborate with stakeholders to develop creative concepts for exhibitions, designing layouts, displays, signage, lighting, and interactive elements to engage visitors. Exhibition Designers work with various professionals to ensure the successful implementation of their designs.

Benefits

  • Staying at the Cutting Edge: The field of exhibition design is constantly evolving, incorporating new technologies and design trends. As an Exhibition Designer, you have the opportunity to stay at the forefront of innovation and experiment with new techniques and approaches.
  • Creative Expression: As an Exhibition Designer, you have the opportunity to express your creativity and artistic vision uniquely. You get to design immersive and visually engaging spaces that tell a story and captivate visitors.
  • Bringing Ideas to Life: Exhibition Designers play a crucial role in transforming concepts and themes into tangible and interactive experiences. Through your designs, you can create meaningful and memorable exhibitions that leave a lasting impact on visitors.

Working Conditions

Exhibition Designers work in studios or cultural institutions, collaborating with stakeholders like curators and artists to understand exhibition goals. They develop concepts, select materials, and oversee installation. Tight schedules are common when coordinating multiple parties.

Further Studies

To pursue a career as an Exhibition Designer:

  • Bachelor’s Degree: A bachelor’s degree in exhibition design, interior design, industrial design, or a related field is often the minimum educational requirement set by employers. Programs should ideally cover principles of design, spatial planning, and interactive elements to equip you for designing effective exhibition spaces.
  • Portfolio Development: Creating a strong portfolio is crucial for showcasing your design skills and creative vision. It should include designs from academic projects, internships, freelance work, or any relevant professional experiences. Make sure to include sketches, 3D models, and photographs of completed exhibition designs, if available.
  • Software Proficiency: Being skilled in specialized design software like AutoCAD, SketchUp, and 3D rendering tools is essential in today’s industry. Many degree programs incorporate training in these tools, but additional courses can also build these competencies.
  • Internships and Practical Experience: Hands-on experience is invaluable in the field of exhibition design. Consider internships or junior designer roles at museums, galleries, trade shows, or event management companies to gain practical knowledge and build your professional network.

What Skills Make You A Strong Candidate

To excel as an Exhibition Designer, valuable attributes include design skills, creativity and conceptual thinking, collaboration and communication, technical proficiency, and attention to detail. Design skills. Creativity. Collaboration. Technical proficiency. Attention to detail.

Salary & Job Outlook

  • Average Salary ($68,490)

The average annual salary for Exhibition Designers in the United States is not specifically listed by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), but set and exhibit designers as a broader category have an average annual salary of around $68,490. 

The number of exhibitions in museums, galleries, and other public spaces that aim to educate, inform, and entertain the public is increasing. Hence, the overall job outlook looks great. However, there is no official data available for this profession as well as related ones. 


13. Creative Director


Creative Directors are visionary leaders who oversee and guide the creative direction of various artistic projects. They play a pivotal role in shaping the overall artistic vision and ensuring its successful execution across different mediums and platforms.

As a Creative Director

As a Creative Director, you will collaborate with clients, artists, and designers to develop and oversee the production of visual and multimedia materials, ensuring alignment with the intended vision and effective communication.

Benefits

  • Brand Development: Creative Directors often lead brand development efforts. They are responsible for maintaining brand consistency across various platforms and ensuring that the brand’s visual identity aligns with its values and target audience.
  • Industry Recognition: Successful Creative Directors often gain industry recognition for their exceptional work and contributions to the creative field. Their leadership and artistic vision can lead to prestigious awards and a strong reputation within the industry.
  • Variety of Projects: Creative Directors work on a diverse range of projects across different industries and mediums. This diversity keeps the role dynamic and exciting, as you get to tackle various challenges and experiment with different creative approaches.
  • Creative Leadership: As a Creative Director, you have the opportunity to lead and guide creative teams in developing innovative and impactful campaigns and projects. You get to shape the overall creative vision and direction of the work.

Working Conditions

Creative Directors often work in office or studio environments, collaborating closely with artists, designers, and clients. They are involved in every stage of the creative process, from concept development and planning to production and execution. The role requires excellent communication and leadership skills to effectively convey and implement the artistic vision.

Further Studies

To excel as a Creative Director:

  • Bachelor’s Degree: A bachelor’s degree in graphic design, advertising, marketing, fine arts, or a related field is often the minimum requirement set by employers. These programs lay the foundation for design principles, branding, communication strategies, and visual storytelling.
  • Portfolio Development: Having a comprehensive portfolio is essential to demonstrate your creativity, versatility, and skill set. It should include work from academic projects, internships, and professional experiences. Make sure to showcase a range of creative projects like branding, ad campaigns, web design, and other visual or written content.
  • Work Experience: Before ascending to a Creative Director role, most professionals accumulate significant experience in lower-level creative positions such as Graphic Designer, copywriter, or Art Director. This hands-on experience is crucial for understanding different facets of the creative process and team management
  • Master’s Degree (Optional): Though not usually required, a master’s degree in business administration (MBA) or a related field can provide valuable skills in leadership, strategy, and management, which are essential for overseeing a creative department effectively.
  • Professional Associations: Joining professional organizations like the American Advertising Federation (AAF) can offer opportunities for professional development, industry insights, and networking.

What Skills Make You A Strong Candidate

To thrive as a Creative Director, valuable qualities include visionary thinking, leadership skills, effective communication and collaboration, a strategic mindset, and a strong aesthetics and design sense. Visionary thinking. Leadership. Communication and collaboration. Strategic mindset. Aesthetics and design sense.

Salary & Job Outlook

  • Average Salary ($129,936)
  • Job Outlook (6%)

Creative Directors’ salaries vary based on factors like experience, location, and industry, averaging around $129,936 annually. In terms of job outlook, the profession falls under the cluster of Art Directors which is projected to grow at a rate of 6% from 2022 – 2032. The modest growth can be attributed to the increasing use of digital media, which allows for more opportunities for art and design work. 


14. Art Gallery Manager


Art Gallery Managers are responsible for the overall operation and management of art galleries. They oversee the curatorial, administrative, and financial aspects of running a gallery, creating an environment that showcases and promotes artworks to the public.

As an Art Gallery Manager

In this role, you will curate exhibitions, manage gallery staff, coordinate events, and handle the business side of running an art gallery. You will collaborate with artists, collectors, and clients to promote and sell artworks while also fostering relationships with the local community and art organizations.

Benefits

  • Promoting Art Appreciation: By running an art gallery, you promote art appreciation and cultural enrichment within your community. You provide a space for people to engage with art, fostering a deeper understanding and appreciation of visual arts.
  • Educating the Public: Art galleries often host educational programs, workshops, and talks. As a gallery manager, you can contribute to art education by providing opportunities for the public to learn about different art forms and artistic processes.
  • Connecting with the Art Community: Managing an art gallery allows you to connect with artists, art collectors, critics, and other members of the art community. This networking fosters a vibrant and enriching exchange of ideas and perspectives.
  • Supporting Artists: Art Gallery Managers play a crucial role in supporting artists’ careers. By promoting their work and providing a platform for exposure, you contribute to the growth and success of emerging and established artists.

Working Conditions

Art Gallery Managers work in gallery spaces, overseeing the day-to-day operations and managing a team of staff members. They often interact with artists, collectors, and visitors, ensuring a smooth and engaging gallery experience. The role may require occasional evening or weekend work during exhibition openings and events.

Further Studies

To excel as an Art Gallery Manager:

  • Bachelor’s Degree: A bachelor’s degree in art history, fine arts, museum studies, business administration, or a related field is usually the minimum requirement set by employers. These programs offer foundational knowledge in art, business practices, and customer relations.
  • Work Experience: Prior work experience in an art gallery, museum, or a similar setting is often required. Roles such as gallery assistant, art handler, or customer service representative can provide valuable hands-on experience and introduce you to the operational aspects of an art gallery.
  • Master’s Degree (Optional but Beneficial): Although not a requirement, a master’s degree in museum studies, arts administration, or business management can provide more specialized skills and could be advantageous for career progression. These programs often cover topics like fundraising, curatorial practices, and organizational management.
  • Software Proficiency: Knowledge of inventory management software, customer relationship management (CRM) systems, and basic financial software is often necessary for day-to-day operations. Some employers may also prefer candidates with skills in graphic design software for promotional activities.

What Skills Make You A Strong Candidate

To succeed as an Art Gallery Manager, valuable qualities include artistic knowledge, business acumen, communication and interpersonal skills, organizational abilities, and a genuine passion for art. Artistic knowledge. Business acumen. Communication and interpersonal skills. Organizational abilities. Passion for art.

Salary & Job Outlook

  • Average Salary ($53,927)
  • Job Outlook (10%)

The average annual salary for Art Gallery Managers in the United States is around $53,927. In terms of job outlook, the field for archivists, curators, and museum workers, which includes Art Gallery Managers, is projected to grow by 10% from 2022 to 2032, according to the BLS. This rate is faster than the average for all occupations. The growth is partially attributed to the increasing public interest in art, culture, and history, which art galleries aim to promote and preserve.


15. Art Historian


Art Historians are experts in studying art and its historical context. They analyze artworks, explore artistic movements, and contribute to preserving art history.

As an Art Historian

You will conduct research, analyze artworks, and write scholarly articles or books on various art-related topics. You will study the cultural, social, and historical contexts in which artworks were created, providing valuable insights into their significance and influence. Art Historians typically work in academic institutions, museums, or research organizations.

Benefits

  • Preserving Cultural Heritage: Art Historians play a crucial role in preserving cultural heritage by documenting and analyzing artworks from different eras. Your work helps to ensure that art and its historical significance are not lost over time.
  • Contributing to the Field of Knowledge: Art Historians contribute to the field of art history through their research and writings. Your studies and discoveries can enrich the understanding of art and its impact on society, making you an integral part of the academic and cultural community.
  • Educating Others: As an Art Historian, you have the opportunity to share your knowledge and passion for art with others. You can teach in academic settings, give lectures, and write books or articles, inspiring a new generation of art enthusiasts and scholars.

Working Conditions

Art Historians work in a variety of settings, including universities, museums, galleries, and research institutions. They spend their time conducting research, analyzing artworks and historical documents, and writing scholarly publications. Some Art Historians may also participate in exhibitions, lectures, and academic conferences.

Further Studies

To pursue a career as an Art Historian, you may consider the following:

  • Bachelor’s Degree (Minimum Requirement): A bachelor’s degree in art history, fine arts, or a related humanities field is generally the minimum educational requirement. This foundation will provide you with a broad understanding of art movements, cultural contexts, and critical theories.
  • Master’s Degree: A master’s degree in art history or a closely related field is often the next educational step and is usually required for more specialized roles. It allows you to delve deeper into specific art periods, geographical areas, or themes. A thesis is typically required, giving you the opportunity to conduct original research.
  • Doctoral Degree (Ph.D.): For academic positions or high-level curatorial roles, a Ph.D. in art history is generally required. This entails several years of research and the completion of a dissertation that makes an original contribution to the field.
  • Academic Publishing: Participation in academic journals, book projects, and conference papers is important for career progression, especially within academia. Publishing your research not only contributes to the field but also builds your reputation as an expert.
  • Internships and Research Projects: Hands-on experience through internships or research projects can be invaluable. Whether it’s at a museum, research institution, or university, practical experience can provide you with a more nuanced understanding of art historical work.

What Skills Make You A Strong Candidate

To excel as an Art Historian, valuable qualities include research skills, artistic knowledge, writing and communication abilities, attention to detail, and a commitment to lifelong learning. Research skills. Artistic knowledge. Writing and communication. Attention to detail. Lifelong learning.

Salary & Job Outlook

  • Average Salary ($38,409)
  • Job Outlook (3%)

The average annual salary for Art Historians is around $38,409 per year. In terms of job outlook, the field of Historians is expected to grow by 3%, according to BLS, which is as fast as average. There is a steady demand for Art Historians in museums, galleries, and cultural institutions, although these positions are often competitive.

Making the Right Career Choice

It’s clear that a degree in art offers a wide range of practical opportunities. The 15 career options we’ve examined, from Graphic Designer to Art Historian, shows just how diverse a degree in art is.

Whether you’re drawn to visual arts, education, curation, or design, there’s a place for your creativity in the professional world. As you consider your future, remember that an arts degree isn’t just about creativity – it’s a stepping stone to meaningful and tangible career options. Your passion for the arts can indeed translate into a fulfilling and sustainable professional journey.


Ammar Ahmed

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