For the first time in its history, the National Endowment for the Arts looked at future job prospects for a variety of artist occupations in Artist Employment Projections through 2018. The data are based on the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)’ Occupational Outlook Handbook: 2010-11.
Happily for artists, the news is good overall. Here’s an excerpt from the report’s summary:
This report examines the projected growth rate for artist occupations through 2018, over which time artist occupations will increase by 11 percent, compared with an overall increase in the labor force of 10 percent.
The artist occupations with the highest projected growth rates are museum technicians and conservators (26 percent), curators (23 percent), landscape architects (20 percent), interior designers (19 percent), architects (16 percent), writers and authors (15 percent), and multi-media artists and animators (14 percent).
Artist occupations likely to increase at a rate on par with the growth of the overall U.S. labor force are: graphic designers and actors (both 13 percent), art directors, photographers, and film and video editors (12 percent), and fine artists (9 percent), including painters, sculptors, and illustrators.
The artist occupations with the lowest projected growth rates are choreographers (5 percent), fashion designers (1 percent), floral designers (-3 percent), and media announcers (-4 percent).
The NEA note explores expected trends for more than a dozen artist and cultural occupations, including designers, writers, fine and multimedia artists, archivists, architects, camera operators, and musicians. In addition to occupation growth rate, the note also looks at the projected competition for jobs as well as the industry trends and macroeconomic factors that influence the demand for arts workers.