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Creative Careers in… Part 3: Art and Education


Art and Education

There’s more to arts education than working in a school. Whether you want to teach kids or adults, give face-to-face instruction or work behind the scenes, there are many ways to share your knowledge and enthusiasm.

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Arts Education Officer

Working in a museum, gallery or community venue, your job would be to make art accessible to visitors. This could require knowledge of the National Curriculum in order to prepare workshops for school visits.  However, you will also need to be able to engage adults or specific target groups. You may have to work with freelance artists and manage residencies. Developing educational resources and marketing materials is likely to be a part of the work. Similar roles include Exhibition Designer, Community Artist.

Editorial Assistant

Roles in publishing can of course be in any topic, but there are publishers who specialise in the arts.  This could be a good fit for those who want to help spread knowledge of the art world without standing at the front of a classroom. You’ll need excellent attention to detail and precise spelling and grammar. Administration is a large part of the role, and there will be tight deadlines so you’ll need to be able to work under pressure. Social media is playing an increasingly large part in the industry. See also Technical Illustrator.

Documentary Filmmaker

Actually there are a huge number of roles in TV and filmmaking and if you’re at all interested in film you probably have a grasp of some of them (if not, check out Creative Skillset). The point is that documentaries are a way of educating, of making information accessible to an audience. Whether you’re directing, working the camera, scouting locations or working in post-production (or even just making the tea), you’ll be involved in bringing knowledge to life.


If you like working with children but don’t want to be based in a school, you could work in an after-school club, holiday camp or other out of school setting. Play is a great way for kids to learn! Whether you’re part of an organisation specialising in art and craft activities, or offering a full range of experiences such as cooking, drama and outdoor games, you’ll need lots of creativity – and energy. You will need to have a responsible attitude, but also a sense of humour. You’ll also be well-organised, and able to communicate well with parents and carers. If you’re interested in alternative forms of education, you might also like to read up on Forest Schools, Steiner Schools and Montessori.

Higher Education Lecturer

At the other end of the scale, you might be so involved in your specialist subject that you want to teach it at a higher level. University lecturers divide their time between research and/or professional practice, and passing on their skills and knowledge to their students. You will give lectures, lead seminars, do administrative tasks and may also have a pastoral role, looking out for the wellbeing of your students. There will be marking to do, and certain times of year will be very pressured. You’ll need expert knowledge, gained through your own study and passion for the subject. You will also have to be committed to your own personal and professional development. You may write papers for academic journals, and may in time take on management roles in your department.

Don’t forget – if you’re interested in any of these jobs, research them thoroughly. There are some useful links in the first post in this series, Introduction to Creative Careers.

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written by Beth Hammond

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