Art Teacher Requirements: Education and Job Training Requirements for Becoming an Art Teacher

Published Sep 08, 2009

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Do you have a passion for art and a desire to help others learn new skills and express their creativity? Consider working as an Art Teacher. Art Teachers work in schools, colleges, community centers and businesses, where they teach everyone from children to retirees. If you are an artist interested in a stable career that allows you to focus on art, becoming an Art Teacher may be a good choice for you.

Art Teacher Career Summary

Art Teachers are generally responsible for helping their students understand the techniques involved with creating art. Depending on the setting, this can mean anything from encouraging children to engage in creative play to helping older students learn how to use artistic equipment like a potter's wheel. Art Teachers often need to have a thorough understanding of art history in order to enrich students' art-making experience and to explain how different techniques have been used in famous works of art. The specific demands of an Art Teacher's job vary depending on where he or she teaches. Although all Art Teachers facilitate their students' creativity, the age and intention of students usually impact teaching method.

Education Required to Become an Art Teacher

Art Teachers need to demonstrate to potential employers that they have both the artistic ability and educational knowledge to teach effectively. An Art Teacher at a community center may not need a formal degree, just artistic ability and experience. Art Teachers at colleges and universities usually need an MFA (Master of Fine Arts), another master's degree or a doctorate, depending on where they work. Public or private school (K-12) Art Teachers need a bachelor's degree in art or art education. Aspiring Art Teachers who want to work in K-12 schools or colleges and universities may need to tailor their college curricula to include classes in art history, art appreciation and artistic media outside of their own chosen medium.

Job Training and Certifications Required to Become an Art Teacher

Necessary training for Art Teachers varies based on the teaching venue. Art Teachers in community centers, nursing homes and hospitals may learn the best way to teach through on-the-job experience. Teaching Art on the college or university level usually requires Art professors to be working artists in addition to teachers, producing artistic work and displaying it in galleries and museums. Elementary, middle and high school Art Teachers must earn teacher certification or licensure from the state government. Certification preparation may be part of the bachelor's degree, or a student may enroll in a master's program in education that leads to licensure as an Art Teacher. In addition, Art Teachers may be eligible for certification from NBPTS (National Board for Professional Teaching Standards), www.nbpts.org. Two certifications in art are offered: early adolescence-young adulthood and early-middle childhood. These certifications are voluntary.

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