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Art Instructor

Art instructors help students understand, interpret and create works of art.

  • Avg. Salary $51,755.00
  • Avg. Wage $27.52
  • Minimum Education Varies
  • Outlook N/A
  • Employed 1,900
  • In Demand Medium
Also Known As

Aboriginal Art Instructor

Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years

Average Wage
  • Certification Not Regulated
  • Strength Required Lift up to 5 kg
NOC & Interest Codes
The Art Instructor is part of the following larger National Occupational Classification (NOC).
Art Instructors and Teachers
NOC code: 5136.3

Interest in synthesizing information to teach students the techniques and methods of drawing, painting, sculpting and other forms of artistic expression; and in preparing and assigning special exercises, advising on selection of materials and equipment to use and grading students' work


Interest in precision working to demonstrate use of materials for paintings, ceramics, sculpture and other forms of art


Interest in instructing students; and in providing audio-visual teaching aids and arranging for tours of art galleries, museums and exhibitions of students' work

Reading Interest Codes
A Quick Guide

The interest code helps you figure out if you’d like to work in a particular occupation. It’s based on the Canadian Work Preference Inventory (CWPI), which measures 5 occupational interests: Directive, Innovative, Methodical, Objective and Social.

Each set of 3 interest codes is listed in order of importance.

A code in capital letters means it’s a strong fit for the occupation.

A code in all lowercase letters means the fit is weaker.

Learn More

Updated Feb 10, 2017

Art instructors teach art history, art appreciation and the techniques and methods of artistic expression. Some work with students of all ages, while others work primarily with children, adults or seniors. They may specialize in particular types of art such as:

  • painting, printmaking, sculpture, drawing or other visual art forms
  • glass, jewelry, metals, fibre, wood or other craft media
  • graphic design
  • photography
  • art related to a particular culture, such as Aboriginal art
  • a style of artistic expression, such as abstract art

Duties and responsibilities vary considerably in this occupation but, in general, art instructors:

  • plan class content appropriate to student abilities
  • prepare materials for class use
  • explain and demonstrate art and design techniques
  • encourage students to develop ideas and explore art
  • ensure safety precautions are observed
  • make recommendations regarding supplies and equipment
  • attend meetings with supervisors and other instructors.

They may also:

  • talk about how to establish a studio or business
  • order supplies
  • organize art shows, art groups or workshops
  • set up temporary studios or workshops with specialized equipment
  • advertise classes
  • handle bookkeeping or other administrative tasks.
Working Conditions
Updated Feb 10, 2017

Art instructors may work in a variety of indoor or outdoor environments, ranging from their own homes to seniors' residences, summer camps, craft stores, school classrooms and community recreation centres. Art rooms are sometimes noisy and messy.

Instructors may teach primarily during the day, or they may offer evening and weekend classes.

  • Strength Required Lift up to 5 kg
Skills & Abilities
Updated Feb 10, 2017

Art instructors should enjoy teaching. They need to possess:

  • creativity and artistic talent
  • enthusiasm and a passion for the arts
  • patience and flexibility
  • good organizational skills
  • the ability to communicate clearly and engage students
  • the ability to give and receive constructive feedback
  • the ability to work independently and as part of a team
  • the ability to encourage and motivate students
  • the ability to work effectively with people of all ages and backgrounds.
Educational Requirements
Updated Feb 10, 2017

Education, training and experience requirements vary depending on the level of teaching involved. However, most instructors have related post-secondary education. Art instructors employed in schools must have a bachelor of education degree, or equivalent, as well as post-secondary education in art. Emplyment in a post-secondary school such as a college or university generally requires a graduate degree (master's or PhD) in fine art, or professional recognition as an artist.

Instructors of non-credit or community art classes should:

  • have significant art or craft experience
  • have experience coaching or teaching groups
  • be able to work in a variety of media (for example, metals, sculpture, oil paint, collage, computers)
  • be knowledgeable about the history, contemporary development, techniques and materials of their art forms.

Self-employed instructors who work on a contract basis for schools and community groups or who offer their own independent classes also need business skills.

Related Education

The following schools offer programs or courses that are related to this occupation but are not required to enter the field.

Keyano College

For a broad list of programs and courses that may be related to this occupation try searching using keywords.

Art and craft associations, guilds and post-secondary schools throughout Alberta offer introductory and advanced courses in a wide variety of arts and crafts. For current information about courses, please check post-secondary calendars or websites or contact organizations associated with arts or crafts.

Employment & Advancement
Updated Feb 10, 2017

Most art instructors are self-employed or work on a contract basis for art or craft centres, adult education councils, art galleries, artist-run centres, museums, friendship centres or other community service agencies. They may teach from home or give lessons at schools, community centres, studios or craft stores.

Advancement opportunities vary depending on the employer and on the art instructor's qualifications. Self-employed instructors may open their own art galleries or craft stores, or become art agents or dealers.

Art instructors are part of the larger 2011 National Occupational Classification 5136: Painters, sculptors and other visual artists. In Alberta, 76% of people employed in this classification work in the following industries:

The employment outlook in this occupation will be influenced by a wide variety of factors including:

  • trends and events affecting overall employment (especially in the industries listed above)
  • location in Alberta
  • employment turnover (work opportunities generated by people leaving existing positions
  • occupational growth (work opportunities resulting from the creation of new positions)
  • size of the occupation
Wage & Salary
Updated Feb 10, 2017

Many art instructors teach part time and spend the rest of their time working on their own artistic endeavours or in other occupations. Hourly wages for instructors vary depending in the employer and the program being taught. Instructors may or may not be paid for the time required to prepare for classes.

Painters, sculptors and other visual artists
NOC code: 5136

Survey Methodology

Survey Analysis

Overall Wage Details
Average Wage
Average Salary
Hours Per Week

Hourly Wage
For full-time and part-time employees
  • Low
  • High
  • Average
  • Median
Wages* Low (5th percentile) High (95th percentile) Average Median
Starting $0.00 $0.00 $24.63 $25.96
Overall $0.00 $0.00 $27.52 $29.20
Top $0.00 $0.00 $32.72 $35.47

Swipe left and right to view all data. Scroll left and right to view all data.

* All wage estimates are hourly except where otherwise indicated. Wages and salaries do not include overtime hours, tips, benefits, profit shares, bonuses (unrelated to production) and other forms of compensation.

D: Lowest Reliability
Data Reliability Code Definition

Lowest Reliability, represents a CV of more than 33.00% and/or if fewer than 10 survey observations and/or if survey observations represent less than 25% of all estimated employment for the occupation.

Industry Information

Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years


Recruiting Employers that Experienced Hiring Difficulties


Employers with Unfilled Vacancies of over 4 Months


2015 Vacancy Rate

Related High School Subjects
  • Fine Arts
    • Visual Arts
  • English Language Arts
  • Media, Design and Communication Arts
    • Design Studies
Related Post-Secondary Field of Study
  • Education and Library Studies
  • Fine Arts and Performing Arts
Other Sources of Information
Updated Feb 10, 2017

Cultural Human Resources Council (CHRC) website:

For more information on career planning, education and jobs, visit the Alberta Learning Information Service (ALIS) website, call the Alberta Career Information Hotline toll-free at 1-800-661-3753 or 780-422-4266 in Edmonton, or visit an Alberta Works Centre near you.

Updated Dec 01, 2016. The information contained in this profile is current as of the dates shown. Salary, employment outlook and educational program information may change without notice. It is advised that you confirm this information before making any career decisions.

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