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Art Instructor

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

Also Known As

Indigenous Art Instructor, Art Teacher, Craft Instructor

NOC Codes

In Canada, the federal government groups and organizes occupations based on a National Occupational Classification (NOC) system. This alis occupation may not reflect the entire NOC group it is part of. Data for the NOC group can apply across multiple occupations.

The NOC system is updated every 5 years to reflect changes in the labour market. Government forms and labour market data may group and refer to an occupation differently, depending on the system used.

Here is how this occupation has been classified over time.

2006 NOC

  • 5136.3: Art Instructors and Teachers

2006 NOC-S

  • F036: Painters, Sculptors and Other Visual Artists

2011 NOC

  • 5136: Painters, sculptors and other visual artists

2016 NOC

  • 5136: Painters, sculptors and other visual artists

2021 NOC

  • 53122: Painters, sculptors and other visual artists

2023 OaSIS

  • 53122.03: Art instructors and teachers
Updated May 14, 2021

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 especially with children, adults or seniors. They may specialize in particular mediums, styles, or 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
  • Digital and media art
  • Art related to a particular culture, such as Indigenous art
  • A style of artistic expression, such as realistic, impressionistic or 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 processes and techniques
  • Encourage students to develop ideas and explore art
  • Ensure safety precautions are observed when using materials and tools
  • Make recommendations regarding supplies and equipment
  • Provide constructive feedback to students on their work
  • Attend meetings with supervisors and other instructors

They may also:

  • Talk about how to establish or do business with a studio or gallery
  • Discuss the business side of art, such as applying for grants, using contracts and enforcing copyright
  • Order supplies or equipment
  • Organize art shows, art groups or workshops
  • Arrange field trips to studios or galleries, or host guest speakers
  • Set up temporary studios or workshops with specialized equipment
  • Advertise classes
  • Handle bookkeeping or other administrative tasks
Working Conditions
Updated May 14, 2021
  • Strength Required Lift up to 5 kg

Art instructors may work in a variety of indoor or outdoor environments, ranging from their own homes to seniors' residences, summer camps, craft stores, galleries, 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.

Interests & Abilities

In Alberta, this occupation is part of 1 or more 2006 National Occupational Classification (NOC) groups. If there are multiple related NOC groups, select a NOC heading to learn about each one.

Art Instructors and Teachers

2006 NOC: 5136.3

Interest Codes

Interest Codes for This NOC Group

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

Your Interest Codes

To identify or change your interest codes, complete the Interests Exercise in CAREERinsite.

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 for this NOC group 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 About Interests


Typical ability expectations for this NOC group
Your abilities

To fill in or change the values for your abilities, complete the Abilities Exercise in CAREERinsite.

Mental Abilities

General Learning Ability

Verbal Ability

Numerical Ability

Visual Abilities

Spatial Perception

Form Perception

Clerical Perception

Physical Abilities

Motor Coordination

Finger Dexterity

Manual Dexterity

Understanding Abilities

A Quick Guide

You are born with abilities that help you process certain types of information and turn it into action. These abilities influence which skills you can learn more easily.

The abilities or aptitudes shown for this NOC group come from the General Aptitude Test Battery (GATB). The GATB measures 9 aptitudes. It groups them into 3 categories: mental, visual, and physical.

The abilities scores range from 1 to 5, with 5 being stronger.

Learn About Abilities

Traits & Skills
Updated May 14, 2021

Art instructors should enjoy teaching. They need:

  • Creativity and artistic talent
  • Enthusiasm and a passion for the arts
  • Patience and flexibility
  • 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

They should enjoy encouraging and motivating students, and working with people of all ages and backgrounds.

Educational Requirements
Updated May 14, 2021
  • Minimum Education Varies

Education, training and experience requirements vary depending on the level of teaching involved. However, most instructors have related post-secondary education, or have achieved a high degree of proficiency and recognition in a particular craft. Art instructors employed in schools must have a bachelor of education degree, or equivalent, as well as post-secondary education in art. Employment 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 materials and mediums (for example, metals, sculpture, oil paint, collage, digital media)
  • Be knowledgeable about the history, contemporary development, techniques and materials of their craft

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

To expand or narrow your search for programs related to this occupation, visit Post-Secondary Programs.

Completing a program does not guarantee entrance into an occupation. Before enrolling in an education program, prospective students should look into various sources for education options and employment possibilities. For example, contact associations and employers in this field.

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 or community calendars or websites, or contact organizations associated with arts or crafts.

Certification Requirements
Updated May 14, 2021
  • Certification Not Regulated

There is currently no provincial legislation regulating this occupation in Alberta.

Employment & Advancement
Updated May 14, 2021

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, galleries or craft stores.

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

Art instructors with sufficient post-secondary credentials as well as professional reputation may advance to art professor positions at colleges or universities.

Industry Concentration

This section shows the industries where the majority of people in this occupation work. The data is based on the 2016 Census.

In Alberta, this occupation is part of 1 or more 2016 National Occupational Classification (NOC) groups.

In the 5136: Painters, sculptors and other visual artists occupational group, 82.0% of people work in:

Employment Outlook

Employment outlook is influenced by a wide variety of factors including:

  • Time of year (for seasonal jobs)
  • Location in Alberta
  • Employment turnover (when people leave existing positions)
  • Occupational growth (when new positions are created)
  • Size of the occupation
  • Trends and events that affect overall employment, especially in the industry or industries from the previous list

In Alberta, the 5136: Painters, sculptors and other visual artists occupational group is expected to have an above-average annual growth of 2.7% from 2021 to 2025. In addition to job openings created by employment turnover, 48 new positions are forecasted to be created within this occupational group each year.

NOC groups often include several related occupations. Although there is labour market data for the larger NOC group, this occupation makes up only a part of that group. It means data for this occupation may be different than the data shown. For example, only some of the new positions to be created will be for this occupation. It also applies to other data for the NOC group such as number of people employed.

Source: 2021-2025 Alberta Regional Occupational Demand Outlook

Related Alberta Job Postings
Wage & Salary
Updated May 14, 2021

Many art instructors teach part time and spend the rest of their time working on their own artistic endeavours or in other occupations. Most are paid an hourly wage, which can vary depending on the employer and the program being taught. For small workshops, some instructors may be paid a percentage of the total class enrollment fees. Instructors may or may not be paid for the time required to prepare for classes.

Related Post-Secondary Field of Study
  • Education and Library Studies
  • Fine Arts and Performing Arts
Other Sources of Information
Updated May 14, 2021

Cultural Human Resources Council (CHRC) website:

Alberta Teacher’s Association – Fine Arts Council website:

Alberta Community Art Clubs Association website:

Get information and referrals about career, education, and employment options from Alberta Supports.

Updated Mar 31, 2021. 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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