Are you interested in a career as an art therapist? If so, you’ve found the right place. If you’re ready to see what’s currently available you can search for jobs below or you can click here.
Navigating a potential career as an art therapist is not easy right now. There are lots of questions and confusion both inside and outside of the industry. There are also many varying opinions on whether art therapy will stand on its own, much like music and speech therapy, or whether it will continue down the path of being considered a part of the counseling arena. Depending on what you believe, there are advantages and disadvantages to all sides and its good to research this and form your own opinion.
We have a variety of art therapy career articles including: Career Outlook, How to Become an Art Therapist, Certification (U.S. and International), Salary Trends and an example of art therapy in practice.
An Art Therapist’s Job Description
What is a Professional Art Therapist and What Do They Do?
A professional art therapist works in the mental health field. He or she is dedicated to helping both adults and children of all ages with their mental, physical, and emotional health by incorporating art making into the patient’s counseling sessions. Art therapy is used to treat stress, depression, low self-esteem, behavioral problems, and to resolve conflict.
Other Problems Treated with Art Therapy
- Substance abuse and addiction
- Family and relationship problems
- Mental illness
- Domestic violence and sexual abuse
- Disability and illness related to emotional and social difficulties
- Cognitive, physical, and neurological issues
Professional Art Therapists Work in the Following Settings:
- Medical and psychiatric hospitals and clinics
- Mental health agencies
- Halfway houses
- Homeless shelters
- Domestic violence shelters
- Schools and colleges
- Correctional facilities
- Nursing homes
Art therapists need to be compassionate towards their patients, great listeners and even better observers. They are generally emotionally stable, empathetic, patient, kind, have an understanding of artistic media, great interpersonal skills, and a good insight into human behavior.
Education and Salary
Professional art therapists typically must have a minimum of a master’s degree and a post-education supervised experience. The art therapist’s career has an average job growth outlook and the salary will differ depending on location, field of work, and experience.
School Art Therapists
School art therapists help students enhance their abilities in a school setting by working with teachers, parents, school counselors, and school psychologists in order to obtain referrals for students to receive art therapy. Once treatment is approved, the art therapist will work with the students to establish goals and objectives.
Medical Art Therapists
Medical art therapists work with teams to help patients suffering from a variety of illnesses or issues. These teams typically include psychiatrists, doctors, psychologists, physical therapists, and nurses. They work together to ensure that the patients get the best possible treatments for their specific needs.
Working With Children vs. Adults
When working with children, art therapists usually need to be a bit more patient than they do with adults. Children aren’t as mature as adults and can sometimes have a more difficult time expressing themselves. A sweeter, more playful approach may work better with children, who are often more open to trying new things.
On the other hand, adults have had more time to develop than children. In most cases, adults know how to express their feelings better than young children – however, adults can sometimes be more closed-minded than children.
U.S. vs U.K. Art Therapists
In order for art therapists to practice legally in the UK, they must be registered with the Health and Care Professions Council. They also must have taken an approved postgraduate level training course. In some cases, the trainee must provide a portfolio of his or her artwork.
Although the requirements of becoming an art therapist differ in the US and the UK, the job responsibilities are typically the same. Art therapists are there to help all types of people with many different problems. They are patient, kind, and compassionate. The salary ranges are different from location to location, but art therapists are typically in the business because they love to help others.
Current Job Opportunities
Find recent U.S. art therapist job opportunities below (We’ve also added UK art therapy jobs here). You can also search for any job opportunity in any location by changing the search terms. If you’re not familiar with what an art therapist does, then you can see an art therapist job description example. Feel free to post comments below about any other opportunities or post a job here.
Related UK Job Opportunities