If you're interested in a career in art therapy, you've chosen a field that pays competitive salaries to match the growing demand for these valued therapists, trained in both art aesthetics and the theories of psychotherapy.
As per the 2013 survey by The American Art Therapy Association, which, as of 2015, has more than 5,000 members in the United States, most of the art therapists have an annual salary of between $30,000 and $80,000. Payscale.com also reports a median annual salary of $64,000 as of Aug 5, 2015.
Similar to other mental health careers, salaries for art therapists are higher in some parts of the country than others, and those with advanced degrees and experience typically earn more than those with bachelor's degrees. Most art therapist positions require a master's degree, and some states require additional certification.
Many art therapists choose to combine an art therapy degree with a degree in social work, marriage and family counseling, and occupational therapy. Positions that require combined specialties pay more, on average, than those requiring fewer qualifications.
Payscale.com reports the highest median salaries are found in the health care and health care services industries, followed by community mental health organizations, but also reports that government agencies and educational institutions pay top salaries to those with the required experience.
If you want to help others and you enjoy art and the process of creating, you should consider a career in art therapy. Hospitals, schools, prisons, hospice programs, substance abuse clinics, and community mental health organizations are just a sample of the types of employers seeking qualified art therapists. To find more about the expanding field of art therapy, request information from schools offering art therapy degree programs.