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25 of the Highest Paying Artist Jobs in 2023

The best Artist jobs can pay up to $157,000 per year.

An artist produces creative works in the form of painting, photography, sculpture, drawing, performance, mixed media, or other art forms. They utilize their talents to create work in a way that is unique to them, using a personal creative process to complete their project. They may focus on one specific medium or may combine multiple forms of art. For example, a sculptor uses their hands, tools, or a wheel to mold clay into a work of art. Once the piece is dry, the sculptor may paint the piece before it is baked in a kiln. Sketch artists may use pencil, chalk, charcoal, or other writing utensils to draw realistic or abstract images. Artists may create artwork for personal satisfaction or as a paid professional.

There are many different kinds of artists, and each uses a different medium to express themselves. They often bring their particular style and point of view to the works they produce. Some examples of artists are painters, photographers, sculptors, calligraphers, illustrators, printmakers, and graphic designers. They may produce art as a hobby for their personal use, or they may be hired to work as a professional artist. Some artists focus on a specific medium or style, but art tends to be a fluid form of expression, so many artists cross over into different forms of art. For instance, a painter might exclusively create paintings or incorporate sculpting into their craft.

High Paying Artist Jobs

  • Digital Artist

    Digital artists have a few career paths from which they can choose. Many of these involve designing visual effects and animated images for various media like videos and computer games. You can find digital artist work with film production, advertising, video game, and software design companies. In any digital artist role, you use computer software to bring your art to life, whether it be a drawing or a sculpture. Depending on your field, these may then become 3D, interactive graphics for websites or visual characters. You can specialize in a niche such as game design, web design, multimedia, or animation. Whichever area you choose to work in, creativity is a top focus.

  • Game Designer

    A Video Game Designer works closely with a video game design team to create computer and video games for specific gaming consoles. The Game Designer is the creative driving force behind the game and conceives the mechanics and layout. This can include the story, characters, levels, and scenarios of the game. Depending on the size of the project, the Game Designer may work on their own or with a large team. Some Game Designers may have a niche or specialty within the industry such as the type of game they like to make or a certain creative style.

  • Director of Creative Services

    As a director of creative services, you oversee and support design, branding, and marketing activities for a company or organization. You manage a team of employees or contractors whose duties focus on developing the brand or creating marketing materials, websites, and other content. You define the goals of each project and come up with a concept and plan to meet those goals. Your responsibilities can also include managing the budget for creative projects, hiring employees and contractors, and tracking progress. Some creative services directors manage projects directly, while others delegate management duties to other staff members.

  • Art Director

    An art director is the head of the art department for a company. As an art director, your responsibilities and duties include overseeing all visual art related tasks and projects for your department, such as publication layouts, photography, or advertising images. You train the junior members of your team, delegate responsibilities to them, and see that their projects are being completed on time and on budget. In this management role, you are responsible for everything your team produces. You must work collaboratively with other teams within the company to meet project requirements.

  • Visual Designer

    A visual designer creates designs for clients. Their responsibilities include designing the visual aspects of advertisements, marketing campaigns, and products. Specific job duties vary depending on their employer or clients. For example, they may create product labels, layout print publications, or design web pages. They often meet with clients to determine their needs, collaborate with other graphic designers, create design plans, and submit sketches and project proposals.

  • Creative Services Manager

    A creative services manager (CSM) directs creative output for a brand from the early concept stages through to production. Duties include developing ideas on how to advertise, working with department leads to create a shared vision, and leading a design team to complete projects. Other CSM responsibilities include developing a project management process for each campaign. They may work with a predetermined team or choose team members from the art and development departments. Qualifications include a bachelor’s degree in advertising, marketing, or a similar field.

  • Designer

    A designer uses creative skills to organize ideas and information into a visual layout to help companies define products and services. As a designer, you can find jobs in many industries, including fashion merchandising, advertising and marketing, computer programming and software development, and manufacturing. Specific job duties vary, depending on the type of industry you are in and the project you are assigned. But for most designers, your responsibilities include working with a team to bring ideas to fruition, such as new product designs or how best to present a new service. You must also ensure that your end result meets your client's needs.

  • Copywriter

    Copywriters are writing professionals who write text and content for advertising and marketing purposes. The primary responsibility of Copywriters is to create text that informs the targeted audience about a product, service, or another project the company offers. Copywriters may be on staff or work independently as a freelancer. In this role, you research your topic to collect data about your subject so that you can include relevant information in your text, then you develop short- or long-form content for your company, depending on the project. For example, some Copywriters may write for direct mail campaigns and have more space to explain the product or service you are marketing, while others focus primarily on digital forums such as social media.

  • Creative Writer

    A creative writer uses their experience and imagination to write stories, poems, and other literary works to introduce the readers to an idea or narrative. For this career, your responsibilities may vary depending on the type of content and employer, but generally, you create material that is entirely your own. You can find employment at publishing companies, marketing agencies, as an independent author, or as a freelance writer producing content on a variety of subjects for clients.

  • Video Editor

    Video Editors select, cut, and assemble raw footage to create video content. Production studios, broadcasting companies, newsrooms, and others rely on video editors to create quality videos. As a Video Editor, you use computer software applications to edit digital footage. You may also work with sound and graphics. Video Editors usually collaborate with the director or producer to ensure the final product aligns with their vision. Some Video Editors create promotional videos, educational and training videos, and presentations for clients. Video projects often run on tight deadlines, so video editors must also work well under pressure to meet those deadlines.

  • Web Designer

    Web Designers create website designs, layouts, and graphics. They are primarily responsible for the look and feel of a website. They may create images, icons, and wireframes for websites. Many also use HTML, CSS, and sometimes JavaScript to code their sites. Some Designers use website applications or content management systems like WordPress, Joomla, Drupal. Their job duties may include testing browser compatibility, updating the site with new content, and performing search engine optimization.

  • Journalist

    Journalists gather information and present it in written or spoken form in news stories, feature articles, or documentaries. Journalists may work on the staff of news organizations or work as freelancers, reporting stories for paying clients. Sometimes journalists will specialize in a particular area, such as art or politics. Others do more generalized reporting, covering a wide range of news stories and subjects as they occur.

  • Videographer

    As a professional Videographer, you capture live events, such as weddings or professional conferences, utilizing video recording and sound equipment. You are responsible for selecting the equipment that best suits the event and venue to capture it in the manner desired by your client. Videographers must also maintain and repair cameras and sound equipment as needed and may need to manage a crew as well, depending on the size of the production.

  • Print Designer

    A print designer performs a role similar to graphic designers; however, instead of art, you are solely focused on the print that will be on a finished product. You can work in many industries, from marketing to journalism to specialized design services. As a print designer, your job duties include setting up print fonts, arranging the wording, adding colors, and making certain phrases eye-catching to the reader. The work is typically project-based and must be coordinated with the graphic design and artwork.

  • Proofreader

    Proofreaders are hired to review and find mistakes in printed or digital materials. Traditionally, they were employed by newspapers and book publishers to correct initial versions of writings before they printed final copies. Now, most proofreaders work on digital formats and are hired to read blogs, news sites, social media updates, and online reviews. A Proofreader sometimes doubles as a Copy Editor, correcting grammar and spelling mistakes as they work and offering suggestions to improve the copy. They also make sure the layout of the page is readable, and that page elements do not hinder or cover any text.

  • Illustrator

    An illustrator is an artist who creates commercial designs and images. Some illustrators work with traditional media, utilizing watercolors or oil paint to produce their designs. They often produce works for publications such as children's books, newspapers, and magazines to highlight the text. Others may use illustration and editing software to create digital images. These kinds of illustrators work in a variety of industries; their job duties may include designing images for apparel, accessories for toys, or sketching interior design or architectural prints. Manufacturers also use illustrators to create product packaging, while advertising companies hire illustrators to work on marketing materials.

  • Web Editor

    A web editor works with internet or website content. While their responsibilities may include ensuring that HTML code is correct, many in this role focus on the user experience on the front-end and act as an author or editor of new content. In some cases, a web editor may work on the back-end of a site to manage its technical framework. Responsibilities often include planning, programming, and publishing new materials. These duties often involve the use of professional design or editing software.

  • Fine Artist

    A fine artist uses a number of techniques and materials to create works of art for sale or exhibition. A fine artist can work in a variety of media, such as oil or acrylic painting, pen and ink, photography, ceramics, and other sculpting materials. Some fine artists craft objects that are functional and aesthetically pleasing, while others work solely to design pieces of art that have only a decorative purpose. Many fine artists work alone, but some, especially those who work in mediums such as sculpting or illustration, might work in teams.

  • Copy Editor

    As a copy editor, your responsibilities and duties include reviewing written material, called copy, before it is put into print or posted online. You examine the material for grammar and spelling mistakes and structural errors. You also ensure that the tone, tense, and style meet the guidelines set out by the publisher. If you work in journalism for the copy desk of a news organization, you not only proofread but also fact check and make sure there is no slanderous content. You also check headlines to ensure they are attention grabbing and grammatically correct.

  • Photo Editor

    As a Photo Editor, you may find yourself working in a wide variety of industries, including news, book publishing, advertising, website development, and the arts. You may be asked to airbrush photos for advertising or select and edit images to go with a story. You may work with photographers to discuss the objectives of a project and collaborate to achieve it.

  • Art Consultant

    Art consultants advise people or organizations on acquiring artwork for aesthetic and decorative purposes. As an art consultant, your services are used in the health care industry, educational institutions, and corporations to find art pieces for physical spaces. You may also work directly for art museums, galleries, and private collectors. Your responsibilities involve obtaining artwork that aligns with a client’s brand or setting. For example, a hospital might want visual artwork that helps promote morale and positive emotions, while a corporate client may call for something more high-end, signaling professionalism and luxury. You may have additional duties, including art installation and inventory management. Art consultants are experts in the art world, so you must keep abreast of new art trends and artists.

  • Photo Journalist

    A photojournalist takes photographs for a news outlet or publication to accompany articles. For this career, you need a keen eye, the ability to work well with people, and should be trained in photography techniques such as lighting, editing, and angles. You can work as part of a news organization or be a freelance photographer who takes pictures to sell to news organizations. In the age of digital media, the pictures taken by a photojournalist often make the difference in being able to successfully tell a narrative.

  • Craft Artist

    Craft artists create goods or artwork by hand for sale and exhibition. They utilize a variety of materials to make beautiful and functional pieces, such as glass blown vases, ceramic cookware, and knitted clothing. A craft artist may make original pieces from scratch, using fresh materials, or may modify products to make them more visually appealing. These products could include colorfully painted plant pots, embroidered towels, or personalized garden benches. Craft artists may work as independent sellers or in a small studio with several other artists. There are also opportunities for craft artists to work at large companies, where their duties are to design product lines based on craft styles. For example, a large manufacturer might contract a ceramicist to style a line of dishware.

  • Photographer

    Professional photographers capture moments using cameras and other equipment. They often take pictures of people, but they also photograph outdoor locations, artwork, animals, and a wide range of other subjects. Photographers may take pictures for their own use, or they may be hired by individuals, groups, or companies. Before the photo shoot, professional photographers offer advice about locations, settings, and poses based on their expertise. Standard tools used by a photographer include a camera, tripod, different types of camera lenses, photo editing software, and backdrops. Professional photographers may work independently on a contract basis, or they may work for a company or agency as a staff photographer.

  • Artist Assistant

    An artist assistant provides administrative or artistic support to an artist. In some assistant roles, you perform purely administrative duties, such as scheduling appointments, answering email and press queries, and communicating with gallerists, dealers, and collectors. However, you can also find roles similar to that of an apprentice. In these positions, you may help the artist create their artwork, oversee its installation at a gallery or public exhibit, and ensure that the studio remains in working order. Some assistants have both administrative and creative responsibilities. Your involvement depends on the needs of the artist.