15 Art History Careers (With Primary Duties And Salaries)

Indeed Editorial Team

Updated 31 December 2022

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Art history is the study of artistic movements and developments through different time periods. As a current student of art history or a recent graduate of this programme, you may benefit from knowing the careers viable for you. Knowing about different careers in art history and knowing about the options available to you can help you make an informed decision. In this article, we discuss 15 art history careers along with their average salary and primary duties.

What Are Art History Careers?

Art history careers include jobs that anyone with a degree in art history or an art-related subject can undertake. Art history focuses on the evolution of culture through artefacts such as architecture, tombs, graphics and performances. Students of this programme, study and analyse famous works of art and learn research, critical thinking and communication skills.

Graduates can pursue a variety of positions, including roles as curators, archivists and professors. Depending on your passion and specialisation, a degree in art history may lead you to a career in places such as government or private organisations, museums, galleries, schools, colleges and heritage sites.

Related: What Is A Bachelor In Fine Arts Degree? Definition And Careers

15 Art History Careers

Here are some careers art history graduates may pursue:

1. Art Associate

National average salary: ₹1,70,294 per year

Primary duties: Art associates work closely with designers and artists to assist them in various aspects of their creative endeavours. An art associate's primary function is to market art programmes, support art auctioneers and teams, perform sales and arrange gallery and auction displays. They use their analytical skills, artistic abilities and communication skills to conduct research, produce schedules, help with launches and budget, contracts and manage artists' projects, including the arrangement of travel and housing and hospitality for staff and volunteers.

Related: Top Jobs In The Arts (With Duties And Earning Potential)

2. Gallery Assistant

National average salary: ₹2,00,829 per year

Primary duties: A gallery assistant provides administrative and creative services and customer service for an art gallery. This job's responsibilities include speaking with visitors, answering phone calls, coordinating events, working with gallery designers and managing the gallery's collection. Gallery assistants also prepare purchase orders and coordinate events and exhibits. During regular hours and special events, gallery assistants ensure the gallery is clean and that visitors follow the rules. They monitor and keep artwork safe while the gallery is open.

3. Museum Guide

National average salary: ₹2,64,917 per year

Primary duties: A tour guide in a museum or a museum docent serves as an emissary, educator and entertainer for the museum. These individuals possess a meticulous knowledge of the museum's exhibits, which allows them to explain an exhibit or artefact's significance and answer questions that guests might have. Museum guides are experts who can design specific tours based on an artist, theme or other categories. They help visitors experience a museum's collections through guided tours, workshops and special events.

4. Photo Editor

National average salary: ₹2,33,095 per year

Primary duties: Photo editors pick aesthetically appealing pictures to accompany magazine articles. Their duties include brainstorming creative ideas with editors, integrating photography assignments and securing copyright permissions. They may also select, position and edit photographs for publication in outlets like magazines, books, newspapers and other publications that feature photography.

Read more: How To Become A Photo Editor: A Comprehensive Guide

5. Painter

National average salary: ₹2,34,540 per year

Primary duties: A house painter applies paint, stain, varnish and enamel to property walls, ceilings and furniture. Painters can effectively use brushes, spray guns and rollers. They prepare painting surfaces by washing walls, repairing holes or removing old paint. Then they mix, match and apply paints and other finishes to various surfaces while maintaining proper colour scheme specifications. They also provide decorative and faux finishes as the project requires.

Read more: What Are Painting Skills? (Examples And How To Develop Them)

6. Graphic Designer

National average salary: ₹2,63,928 per year

Primary duties: Graphic designers communicate ideas and information through visual concepts, such as posters, billboards, packaging, logos, marketing material, advertisements, branding, publicity materials and magazine layouts. Their job description includes the entire process of defining requirements, visualising and creating graphics, including illustrations, logos, layouts and photos. Graphic designers primarily use design software to create compelling and aesthetically appealing visuals that attract and impress audiences. They also help design the visual aspects of websites, books, magazines, product packaging and exhibitions.

Read more: What Is A Graphic Designer? And How You Can Become One

7. Photographer

National average salary: ₹2,62,161 per year

Primary duties: A professional photographer takes clear, dynamic photos according to client specifications, manages shootings and processes images to ensure high-quality photos. They use a variety of photographic equipment to capture events, people, objects or scenes for records, art or commercial use. Their primary duties involve arranging the set and lighting according to specifications, directing models for the shot, improving image quality using various editing methods, archiving images in a database, taking care of photo equipment and keeping updated on photographic trends and procedures.

Related: What Are Photography Skills and How Can You Improve Them?

8. Art Librarian

National average salary: ₹2,67,463 per year

Primary duties: An art librarian manages, organises and updates a collection of art-related books, often in a museum or non-profit research centre. Regular libraries and art libraries are similar, except that all books in an art library relate specifically to some aspect of art. Librarians in such libraries take care of the library's art books and collections of production art, including costumes, production design drawings, storyboards, title art and animation reels.

9. Gallery Host

National average salary: ₹5,29,859 per year

Primary duties: A gallery host communicates with visitors effectively for all ticketing requirements, including exhibitions, memberships, programmes and events. They greet guests, process check-ins and check-outs, provide information to gallery visitors and staff, issue room keys and resolve guest complaints while complying with all brand standards, policies and procedures. They represent the public face of the gallery in a professional and welcoming manner.

10. Art Teacher

National average salary: ₹2,70,280 per year

Primary duties: Art teachers mainly work in primary and secondary schools where they plan art and art history lessons and grade art projects and examinations. They prepare and arrange art materials and art equipment in the classroom for students to use, deliver lectures to students on art, art techniques, art history and aesthetics and give drawing and painting demonstrations using different media such as oil, acrylic and watercolour paint and graphite and charcoal pencils.

Read more: Art Teacher Job Description (With Duties And Skills)

11. Illustrator

National average salary: ₹3,01,706 per year

Primary duties: Illustrators use their creative skills to create original images for a range of printed and digital products. Clients usually commission them to produce still drawings for packaging, greeting cards, books, magazines, advertisements and newspapers. Illustrators work closely with clients and the marketing team to turn ideas and printed media into inspiring illustrations. In this process, they liaise with editors, authors or designers, negotiate contracts and timescales and use software to enhance and format illustrations.

12. Visual Artist

National average salary: ₹3,30,660 per year

Primary duties: A visual artist creates works of art using a variety of materials that get exhibited in galleries, museums or in public spaces. They express their ideas, messages or emotions through their work of art and they put most of their artwork up for sale. They may draw images, work with paint, develop murals, design in 3D or create art with mixed media. A visual artist may specialise in a specific discipline, such as drawing, painting, making pottery or sculpting.

Read more: What Is A Visual Artist? (Definition And How To Become One)

13. Art Curator

National average salary: ₹4,73,889 per year

Primary duties: An art curator's primary duties comprise acquiring, collecting, assembling, managing and cataloguing works of art. They work with colleagues in areas such as conservation, education, design and marketing to display artistic and cultural collections and ensure their overall care. Art curators usually organise exhibitions, buy exhibits, arrange restoration of artefacts and identify and record items. They are also involved in research, as they write articles and may give lectures.

14. Art Director

National average salary: ₹6,14,137 per year

Primary duties: Art directors manage the visual aspects of an advertising or media campaign and coordinate the work of other artistic or design staff, such as graphic designers, illustrators, photographers and others who engage in artwork or layout design. They are a crucial part of a design team as they articulate the vision to their team, determine which artistic elements to use, develop budgets and timelines and review and approve copy, designs or photographs to best represent creative concepts.

Read more: What Does An Art Director Do? (With Skills And Career Path)

15. Artwork Manager

National average salary: ₹9,68,839 per year

Primary duties: Art managers manage the art projects involved in a production such as books, magazines, newspapers and motion pictures. They plan and execute creative designs and visual communications to meet an organisation's marketing or advertising goals. They perform market research, understand the target audience and consider the requirements of their clients. This includes providing design standards, tools and guidance to clients regarding the communication of corporate image, branding and identity.

Salary figures reflect data listed on Indeed Salaries at time of writing. Salaries may vary depending on the hiring organisation and a candidate’s experience, academic background and location.

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