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Art Instructor

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

  • Avg. Salary N/A
  • Avg. Wage N/A
  • Minimum Education Varies
  • Outlook above avg
  • Employed 1,800
  • In Demand Lower
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: Art Instructors and Teachers (5136.3) 
  • 2006 NOC-S: Painters, Sculptors and Other Visual Artists (F036) 
  • 2011 NOC: Painters, sculptors and other visual artists (5136) 
  • 2016 NOC: Painters, sculptors and other visual artists (5136) 
Interest Codes
The Art Instructor is part of the following larger National Occupational Classification (NOC).
Art Instructors and Teachers

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 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

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.

  • Strength Required Lift up to 5 kg
Skills & Abilities
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

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.

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

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.

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 [pdf] 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 (when people leave existing positions
  • Occupational growth (when new positions are created)
  • Size of the occupation

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 2019 to 2023. In addition to job openings created by employment turnover, 57 new positions are forecasted to be created within this occupational group each year.

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.

Art instructors are part of the larger 2011 National Occupational Classification 5136: Painters, sculptors and other visual artists.

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 May 14, 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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