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Summary Report for:
27-1013.00 - Fine Artists, Including Painters, Sculptors, and Illustrators

Create original artwork using any of a wide variety of media and techniques.

Sample of reported job titles: Artist, Artist Blacksmith, Automotive Artist, Fine Artist, Illustrator, Painter, Portrait Artist, Sacred Art Artist, Sculptor, Stained Glass Artist

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Tasks  |  Technology Skills  |  Tools Used  |  Knowledge  |  Skills  |  Abilities  |  Work Activities  |  Detailed Work Activities  |  Work Context  |  Job Zone  |  Education  |  Credentials  |  Interests  |  Work Styles  |  Work Values  |  Related Occupations  |  Wages & Employment  |  Job Openings  |  Additional Information


  • Use materials such as pens and ink, watercolors, charcoal, oil, or computer software to create artwork.
  • Integrate and develop visual elements, such as line, space, mass, color, and perspective, to produce desired effects, such as the illustration of ideas, emotions, or moods.
  • Confer with clients, editors, writers, art directors, and other interested parties regarding the nature and content of artwork to be produced.
  • Submit preliminary or finished artwork or project plans to clients for approval, incorporating changes as necessary.
  • Maintain portfolios of artistic work to demonstrate styles, interests, and abilities.
  • Create finished art work as decoration, or to elucidate or substitute for spoken or written messages.
  • Cut, bend, laminate, arrange, and fasten individual or mixed raw and manufactured materials and products to form works of art.
  • Monitor events, trends, and other circumstances, research specific subject areas, attend art exhibitions, and read art publications to develop ideas and keep current on art world activities.
  • Study different techniques to learn how to apply them to artistic endeavors.
  • Render drawings, illustrations, and sketches of buildings, manufactured products, or models, working from sketches, blueprints, memory, models, or reference materials.
  • Create sketches, profiles, or likenesses of posed subjects or photographs, using any combination of freehand drawing, mechanical assembly kits, and computer imaging.
  • Create sculptures, statues, and other three-dimensional artwork by using abrasives and tools to shape, carve, and fabricate materials such as clay, stone, wood, or metal.
  • Study styles, techniques, colors, textures, and materials used in works undergoing restoration to ensure consistency during the restoration process.
  • Develop project budgets for approval, estimating time lines and material costs.
  • Shade and fill in sketch outlines and backgrounds, using a variety of media such as water colors, markers, and transparent washes, labeling designated colors when necessary.
  • Collaborate with engineers, mechanics, and other technical experts as necessary to build and install creations.
  • Create and prepare sketches and model drawings of cartoon characters, providing details from memory, live models, manufactured products, or reference materials.
  • Examine and test paintings in need of restoration or cleaning to determine techniques and materials to be used.
  • Create graphics, illustrations, and three-dimensional models to be used in research or in teaching, such as in demonstrating anatomy, pathology, or surgical procedures.
  • Brush or spray protective or decorative finishes on completed background panels, informational legends, exhibit accessories, or finished paintings.

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Technology Skills

  • Accounting software — Intuit QuickBooks Hot technology
  • Computer aided design CAD software Hot technology — Autodesk 3D Studio Design; Autodesk AutoCAD Hot technology ; Dassault Systemes CATIA Hot technology ; Trimble SketchUp
  • Data base user interface and query software — eArtist; Camp Software Art Licensing Manager; FileMaker Bento; GYST
  • Desktop publishing software — Adobe Systems Adobe FrameMaker; Adobe Systems Adobe InDesign Hot technology
  • Development environment software — Adobe Systems Adobe ActionScript Hot technology
  • Document management software — Adobe Systems Adobe Acrobat Hot technology ; Code Line Art Files
  • Electronic mail software — Email software
  • Enterprise application integration software — Extensible markup language XML Hot technology
  • Graphics or photo imaging software — Adobe Systems Adobe Creative Cloud Hot technology ; Adobe Systems Adobe Illustrator Hot technology ; Paintbrush; Xara Designer Pro X (see all 15 examples)
  • Instant messaging software — Twitter
  • Internet browser software — Web browser software
  • Object or component oriented development software — C# Hot technology ; C++ Hot technology ; Python Hot technology
  • Office suite software — Microsoft Office
  • Point of sale POS software — Credit card processing software
  • Presentation software — Microsoft PowerPoint Hot technology
  • Project management software — WorkingArtist Systems WorkingArtist
  • Video creation and editing software — Adobe Systems Adobe AfterEffects Hot technology
  • Web page creation and editing software — Adobe Systems Adobe Dreamweaver Hot technology ; Facebook Hot technology
  • Web platform development software — Hypertext markup language HTML Hot technology ; JavaScript Hot technology
  • Word processing software — Microsoft Word

Hot technology Hot Technology — a technology requirement frequently included in employer job postings.

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Tools Used

  • Anatomical models — Bust armatures; Figure armature systems; Head armatures
  • Angle grinder — Angle grinders
  • Artist knives — Encaustic scrapers
  • Bench scales — Digital scales
  • Blow torch — Oxyacetylene torches
  • Calipers — Digital calipers
  • Camera flashes or lighting — Remote firing flashes; Stationary lighting systems; Strobe flashes
  • Camera lens — Camera lenses
  • Camera lens filter — Lens filters
  • Camera tripods — Photography tripods
  • Clay or modeling tools — Clay cutters; Sculpting thumbs; Slab rollers; Thin line sculpting tools (see all 25 examples)
  • Developing tongs — Printing tongs
  • Developing trays — Processing trays
  • Digital cameras — Single lens reflex SLR cameras
  • Drying cabinets or ovens — Drying cabinets
  • Extruders for modeling materials — Handheld clay extruders
  • Film squeegee — Print squeegees
  • Fountain pens — Artists' fountain pens
  • Gas welding or brazing or cutting apparatus — Brazing tools
  • Grinding machines — Ball mills
  • Hammers — Bush hammers
  • Handheld thermometer — Digital thermometers
  • Hydrometers — Digital hydrometers
  • Kiln accessories for firing ceramics — Kiln oxygen probes; Kiln ventilation hoods
  • Kiln furniture — Ceramic bead bars; Kiln carts
  • Kilns for firing ceramics — Electric kilns; Gas kilns; Pottery kilns; Raku kilns (see all 5 examples)
  • Laboratory graduated cylinders — Graduated measuring cylinders
  • Laser printers — Photo quality computer printers
  • Masks or accessories — Dust masks
  • Mat cutter — Mat cutters
  • Metal inert gas welding machine — Metal inert gas MIG welders
  • Notebook computers — Laptop computers
  • Paint sprayers — Paint spray guns
  • Palette knives — Artists' palette knives
  • Palettes for paint or ink mixing — Artists' palettes
  • Personal computers
  • Photographic enlargers — Photo enlargers
  • Photographic timer — Enlarger timers
  • Plasma cutting machine — Plasma cutters
  • Pneumatic hammer — Pneumatic chisels
  • Potters wheels for hand made ceramics — Electric potters wheels; Kick wheels
  • Power grinders — Die grinders
  • Power sanders
  • Power saws — Electric saws
  • Protective gloves — Heat resistant gloves
  • Pyrometers — Digital pyrometers
  • Rasps — Riffler rasps; Steel rasps
  • Rock cutters — Stone saws
  • Safety glasses — Protective safety glasses
  • Sand blasting machine — Sandblasting guns
  • Scanners — Computer data input scanners
  • Sharpening stones or tools or kits — Tool sharpening stones
  • Shielded metal arc welding or stick welding machine — Shielded arc welders
  • Spatulas — Encaustic spatulas
  • Specialty brushes — Acrylic paintbrushes; Oil paintbrushes; Sumi paintbrushes
  • Spirit burners — Alcohol lamps
  • Stonemason chisel — Hand chisels; Stone carving chisels; Stone carving knives
  • Tablet computers
  • Thermocouples — Theromcouples
  • Tile cutter — Tile cutters
  • Tongs — Dipping tongs; Raku tongs
  • Triple beam balances — Triple beam scales
  • Utility knives — Linoleum cutters
  • Viscosimeters — Digital viscosometers
  • Watercolor brushes — Watercolor paintbrushes
  • Welding masks — Welding facial shields
  • Wood chisels — Wood carving chisels; Wood carving skews
  • Wood gouge — Wood carving gouges
  • Wood mannequins — 23

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  • Fine Arts — Knowledge of the theory and techniques required to compose, produce, and perform works of music, dance, visual arts, drama, and sculpture.
  • Design — Knowledge of design techniques, tools, and principles involved in production of precision technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.
  • 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.
  • Sales and Marketing — Knowledge of principles and methods for showing, promoting, and selling products or services. This includes marketing strategy and tactics, product demonstration, sales techniques, and sales control systems.
  • English Language — Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Production and Processing — Knowledge of raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and other techniques for maximizing the effective manufacture and distribution of goods.
  • Administration and Management — Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
  • Mathematics — Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.

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  • Active Learning — Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Complex Problem Solving — Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
  • Social Perceptiveness — Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.

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  • Originality — The ability to come up with unusual or clever ideas about a given topic or situation, or to develop creative ways to solve a problem.
  • Visualization — The ability to imagine how something will look after it is moved around or when its parts are moved or rearranged.
  • Fluency of Ideas — The ability to come up with a number of ideas about a topic (the number of ideas is important, not their quality, correctness, or creativity).
  • Arm-Hand Steadiness — The ability to keep your hand and arm steady while moving your arm or while holding your arm and hand in one position.
  • Manual Dexterity — The ability to quickly move your hand, your hand together with your arm, or your two hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble objects.
  • Visual Color Discrimination — The ability to match or detect differences between colors, including shades of color and brightness.
  • Finger Dexterity — The ability to make precisely coordinated movements of the fingers of one or both hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble very small objects.
  • Near Vision — The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
  • Selective Attention — The ability to concentrate on a task over a period of time without being distracted.
  • Speech Recognition — The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
  • Category Flexibility — The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.
  • Deductive Reasoning — The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
  • 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.
  • Speech Clarity — The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.

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Work Activities

  • Thinking Creatively — Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.
  • Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems — Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
  • Handling and Moving Objects — Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.
  • Selling or Influencing Others — Convincing others to buy merchandise/goods or to otherwise change their minds or actions.
  • Communicating with Persons Outside Organization — Communicating with people outside the organization, representing the organization to customers, the public, government, and other external sources. This information can be exchanged in person, in writing, or by telephone or e-mail.
  • Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships — Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
  • Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work — Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
  • Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge — Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
  • Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events — Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
  • Judging the Qualities of Things, Services, or People — Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people.

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Detailed Work Activities

  • Develop artistic or design concepts for decoration, exhibition, or commercial purposes.
  • Collaborate with others to determine technical details of productions.
  • Present work to clients for approval.
  • Maintain records, documents, or other files.
  • Draw detailed or technical illustrations.
  • Construct distinctive physical objects for artistic, functional, or commercial purposes.
  • Conduct research to inform art, designs, or other work.
  • Monitor current trends.
  • Research new technologies.
  • Estimate costs for projects or productions.
  • Coordinate logistics for productions or events.
  • Determine technical requirements of productions or projects.
  • Apply finishes to artwork, crafts, or displays.
  • Build models, patterns, or templates.
  • Collaborate with others to prepare or perform artistic productions.
  • Entertain public with comedic or dramatic performances.
  • Create computer-generated graphics or animation.

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Work Context

  • Freedom to Make Decisions — 88% responded “A lot of freedom.”
  • Structured versus Unstructured Work — 86% responded “A lot of freedom.”
  • Spend Time Using Your Hands to Handle, Control, or Feel Objects, Tools, or Controls — 83% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
  • Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — 57% responded “Extremely important.”
  • Deal With External Customers — 51% responded “Extremely important.”
  • Telephone — 47% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
  • Indoors, Environmentally Controlled — 65% responded “Every day.”
  • Level of Competition — 34% responded “Moderately competitive.”
  • Frequency of Decision Making — 51% responded “Every day.”
  • Face-to-Face Discussions — 35% responded “Once a month or more but not every week.”
  • Time Pressure — 37% responded “Once a month or more but not every week.”
  • Wear Common Protective or Safety Equipment such as Safety Shoes, Glasses, Gloves, Hearing Protection, Hard Hats, or Life Jackets — 27% responded “Once a month or more but not every week.”
  • Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results — 40% responded “Very important results.”
  • Electronic Mail — 42% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
  • Spend Time Standing — 48% responded “About half the time.”
  • Spend Time Making Repetitive Motions — 30% responded “About half the time.”
  • Exposed to Contaminants — 33% responded “Every day.”
  • Contact With Others — 37% responded “Occasional contact with others.”

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Job Zone

Title Job Zone Three: Medium Preparation Needed
Education Most occupations in this zone require training in vocational schools, related on-the-job experience, or an associate's degree.
Related Experience Previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is required for these occupations. For example, an electrician must have completed three or four years of apprenticeship or several years of vocational training, and often must have passed a licensing exam, in order to perform the job.
Job Training Employees in these occupations usually need one or two years of training involving both on-the-job experience and informal training with experienced workers. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with these occupations.
Job Zone Examples These occupations usually involve using communication and organizational skills to coordinate, supervise, manage, or train others to accomplish goals. Examples include food service managers, travel guides, electricians, agricultural technicians, barbers, nannies, and medical assistants.
SVP Range (6.0 to < 7.0)

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Percentage of Respondents
Education Level Required
22   High school diploma or equivalent Help
22   Bachelor's degree
16   Less than high school diploma

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Interest code: AR

  • Artistic — Artistic occupations frequently involve working with forms, designs and patterns. They often require self-expression and the work can be done without following a clear set of rules.
  • Realistic — Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.

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Work Styles

  • Attention to Detail — Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
  • Independence — Job requires developing one's own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.
  • Innovation — Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.
  • Dependability — Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
  • Achievement/Effort — Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
  • Integrity — Job requires being honest and ethical.
  • Persistence — Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
  • Initiative — Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
  • Cooperation — Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
  • Adaptability/Flexibility — Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
  • Analytical Thinking — Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
  • Stress Tolerance — Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations.
  • Self Control — Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
  • Leadership — Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.
  • Concern for Others — Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.

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Work Values

  • Independence — Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy.
  • Achievement — Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment. Corresponding needs are Ability Utilization and Achievement.
  • Working Conditions — Occupations that satisfy this work value offer job security and good working conditions. Corresponding needs are Activity, Compensation, Independence, Security, Variety and Working Conditions.

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Related Occupations

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Wages & Employment Trends

Median wages (2016) $24.42 hourly, $50,790 annual
State wages Local Salary Info
Employment (2014) 26,000 employees
Projected growth (2014-2024) Slower than average (2% to 4%) Slower than average (2% to 4%)
Projected job openings (2014-2024) 5,700
State trends Employment Trends
Top industries (2014)

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2016 wage data external site and 2014-2024 employment projections external site. "Projected growth" represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2014-2024). "Projected job openings" represent openings due to growth and replacement.

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Job Openings on the Web

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Sources of Additional Information

Disclaimer: Sources are listed to provide additional information on related jobs, specialties, and/or industries. Links to non-DOL Internet sites are provided for your convenience and do not constitute an endorsement.

  • Craft and fine artists external site. Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor. Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2016-17 Edition.

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