What Can I Do With My Visual Arts Major?

Visual Arts

The beautiful and functional things in the world around us don’t just materialize out of thin air.  The visual arts are arts that we can see.  From the clothing we wear to the art on our walls to the homes we live in, these things wouldn’t exist without those who have an eye for visual arts and design.  The visual arts are art forms such as ceramics, drawing, printing, sculpture, electronic art, filmmaking and architecture.  Many artistic disciplines (performing arts, apparel/textile arts, etc) include aspects of the visual arts as well as arts of other kinds.

Visit NHTI’s Visual Arts Department for information on degree and course offerings.

Career Paths for This Major

When you graduate with this major, you will have work options that are varied and that depend upon your specific interests, abilities, work values, and hands on experience in the field.  Visual and fine artists often have areas of specialty such as painting, drawing, printmaking, photography, film/media production, sculpture, ceramics, and digital imaging.  They may earn income by opening their own studios or selling their work to museums, private collectors, art galleries, and stores.  Some pursue additional or alternative income as teachers, administrators, designers, art agents, gallery directors, and more. Many artists pursue 4 year degrees and graduate studies in order to pursue college or university teaching careers.  Graphic designers and illustrators are visual communicators who freelance and/or work for a firm, using  print, film, and digital media to service commercial clients.  Graphic designers and illustrators create brochures, posters, logos, product packaging, promotional materials, web page design, advertising imagery, and more involving visual communication.  Art majors also pursue careers outside of the art world where they use their diverse liberal arts background to seek employment in interdisciplinary fields.


Skills Developed Through This Major

  • Creativity and the ability to communicate ideas and emotions through art
  • Ability to recognize differences in shape, shading and color
  • Aptitude for spatial relationships
  • Self-management, discipline, ability to meet deadlines and work under pressure
  • Good verbal and written communication skills
  • Critical thinking skills
  • Ability to conduct thorough research

Sample Career Titles

These titles include positions that you qualify for with this associate degree as well as those that require a bachelor’s degree and beyond.

Book Illustrator Medical Illustrator Book Designer
Curatorial Consultant Interior Designer Fashion Designer
Studio Artist Advertising Agent Art Teacher/Professor
Television Graphics Specialist Art Therapist Exhibits Specialist
Art/Museum Curator Jewelry Designer Architect
Art Director Art Historian Printmaker
Art Buyer Potter Photographer (freelance and commercial)
Painter (Artist) Sculptor Stained Glass Artist
Entrepreneur Art Appraiser Illustrator
Visual Journalist Web Page Designer Graphic Designer
Fashion Illustrator Animator Set Designer/Illustrator
Freelancer Fine Art Restorer Cartoonist
Multimedia Specialist Digital Artist Advertising Artist
Industrial Designer Film Editor Gallery Director
Web Designer Visual Arts Administrator  


Sample Employers

Museums Graphic Design Firms
Photography Studios Private and Public Schools
Colleges & Universities Broadcasting Companies
Self-Employment Magazines/Newspapers
Manufacturers Publishers
TV & Film Industry Public Relations Firms
Printing Firms Advertising Agencies
Art Studios/Galleries Business & Industry
Interior Design Theaters
Historic Sites Corporate Firms

Ways to Explore and Reality Test Careers

There are four key ways to explore your favorite career interests … through reading, through speaking with those in the know, through observing and through doing.  Use the link(s) below to begin exploring major related careers through ‘reading’.  Go to the Exploring Career Interests link to get tips on all four key exploration strategies.

Additional sources of information for this major include:

  • NHTI Faculty, Academic Advisors, and Visual Arts Department resources.
  • Professionals who are working in the field
  • Professional Associations (see below)


How to Increase Employability

  • Become an active student member of college, community, or professional associations, which helps you build leadership skills and promote connecting (networking) with fellow professionals.
  • Obtain quality practical experience prior to graduation through part-time, full-time and summer employment/internship positions related to your targeted field.
  • Participate in volunteer and service learning opportunities.

Professional Association Links

Professionals who do work related to this major belong to these associations.  You can use the links below to do career research and to connect with local association members.  You may also be able to join an association of interest, at a reduced rate, as a student member.

Employment and Internship Links

See below for job posting sites related to this major (including our own home grown NHTI posting site – see first link).


Susan Haas
Visual Arts Dept. Chair

(603) 224-1017

31 College Drive
Concord, NH 03301
(603) 230-4011

Academic Advising
31 College Drive
Concord, NH 03301
(603) 230-4021
Fax: (603) 223-0785