Visual & Performing Arts
Types of Degrees Visual & Performing Arts Majors Are Getting
The following table lists how many visual and performing arts graduations there were in 2018-2019 for each degree level.
|Education Level||Number of Grads|
What Visual & Performing Arts Majors Need to Know
In an O*NET survey, visual and performing arts majors were asked to rate what knowledge areas, skills, and abilities were important in their occupations. These answers were weighted on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being the most important.
Knowledge Areas for Visual & Performing Arts Majors
This major prepares you for careers in which these knowledge areas are important:
- English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
- Communications and Media - Knowledge of media production, communication, and dissemination techniques and methods. This includes alternative ways to inform and entertain via written, oral, and visual media.
- Customer and Personal Service - Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
- Fine Arts - Knowledge of the theory and techniques required to compose, produce, and perform works of music, dance, visual arts, drama, and sculpture.
- Computers and Electronics - Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
Skills for Visual & Performing Arts Majors
When studying visual and performing arts, you’ll learn many skills that will help you be successful in a wide range of jobs - even those that do not require a degree in the field. The following is a list of some of the most common skills needed for careers associated with this major:
- Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
- Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
- Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
- Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
- Judgment and Decision Making - Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
Abilities for Visual & Performing Arts Majors
A major in visual and performing arts will prepare for your careers in which the following abilities are important:
- Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
- Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
- Near Vision - The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
- Written Comprehension - The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
- Speech Clarity - The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
What Can You Do With a Visual & Performing Arts Major?
Below is a list of occupations associated with visual and performing arts:
Who Is Getting a Master’s Degree in Visual & Performing Arts?
At the countrywide level, the racial-ethnic distribution of visual and performing arts majors is as follows:
|Race/Ethnicity||Number of Grads|
|Black or African American||1,019|
|Hispanic or Latino||1,349|
Americans aren’t the only ones with an interest in Visual & Performing Arts. About 25.3% of those with this major are international students.
How Much Do Visual & Performing Arts Majors Make?
Master’s Degree Starting Salary
The median starting salary of students who graduated in 2015-2017 with a master’s degree in visual and performing arts was $28,000 per year. These stats come from the U.S. Department of Education. During this timeframe, most salaries fell between $22,500 (25th percentile) and $34,700 (75th percentile).
Note that some of these people may have jobs that are not directly related to a visual and performing arts degree.
Salaries According to BLS
Visual and Performing Arts majors often go into careers where salaries can range from $58,370 to $82,560 (25th to 75th percentile). This range includes all degree levels, so you may expect those with a more advanced degree to make more while those with less advanced degrees will typically make less.
To put that into context, according to BLS data from the first quarter of 2020, the typical high school graduate makes between $30,000 and $57,900 a year (25th through 75th percentile). The average person with a bachelor’s degree (any field) makes between $45,600 and $99,000. Advanced degree holders make the most with salaries between $55,600 and $125,400.
Amount of Education Required for Careers Related to Visual & Performing Arts
Some careers associated with visual and performing arts require an advanced degree while some may not even require a bachelor’s. Whatever the case may be, pursuing more education usually means that more career options will be available to you.
How much schooling do you really need to compete in today’s job market? People currently working in careers related to visual and performing arts have obtained the following education levels.
|Education Level||Percentage of Workers|
|Less than a High School Diploma||5.1%|
|High School Diploma - or the equivalent (for example, GED)||11.2%|
|Post-Secondary Certificate - awarded for training completed after high school (for example, in agriculture or natural resources, computer services, personal or culinary services, engineering technologies, healthcare, construction trades, mechanic and repair technologies, or precision production)||5.2%|
|Some College Courses||9.5%|
|Associate’s Degree (or other 2-year degree)||7.3%|
|Post-Baccalaureate Certificate - awarded for completion of an organized program of study; designed for people who have completed a Baccalaureate degree but do not meet the requirements of academic degrees carrying the title of Master.||1.8%|
|Post-Master’s Certificate - awarded for completion of an organized program of study; designed for people who have completed a Master’s degree but do not meet the requirements of academic degrees at the doctoral level.||1.1%|
|First Professional Degree - awarded for completion of a program that: requires at least 2 years of college work before entrance into the program, includes a total of at least 6 academic years of work to complete, and provides all remaining academic requirements to begin practice in a profession.||2.1%|
Online Visual & Performing Arts Programs
In 2018-2019, 2,304 schools offered a visual and performing arts program of some type. The following table lists the number of programs by degree level, along with how many schools offered online courses in the field.
|Degree Level||Colleges Offering Programs||Colleges Offering Online Classes|
|Certificate (Less Than 1 Year)||1,031||45|
|Certificate (1-2 years)||746||28|
|Certificate (2-4 Years)||129||6|
|Doctor’s Degree (Research)||372||2|
|Doctor’s Degree (Professional Practice)||9||0|
|Doctor’s Degree (Other)||12||0|
Is a Degree in Visual & Performing Arts Worth It?
The median salary for a visual and performing arts grad is $64,340 per year. This is based on the weighted average of the most common careers associated with the major.
This is 61% more than the average salary for an individual holding a high school degree. This adds up to a gain of about $488,800 after 20 years!
Majors Related to Visual & Performing Arts
You may also be interested in one of the following majors related to visual and performing arts.
|Major||Number of Grads|
|Liberal Arts / Sciences & Humanities||547,539|
|English Language & Literature||59,299|
|Foreign Languages & Linguistics||34,386|
|Theology & Religious Vocations||32,172|
|Philosophy & Religious Studies||16,252|
- College Factual
- College Scorecard
- National Center for Education Statistics
- O*NET Online
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
- Usual Weekly Earnings of Wage and Salary Workers First Quarter 2020
- Image Credit: By Bonnielou2013 under License
More about our data sources and methodologies.