According to the Strong Interest Inventory (SII), there are six categories of careers: Realistic, Investigative, Artistic, Social, Enterprising, and Conventional. Collectively, the Strong Interest Inventory Assessment refers to these as the “RIASEC Hexagon.” Careers within each of these categories share certain features. Artistic careers, for example, typically involve self-expression through language, art, music, or other creative means. They tend to prefer flexible hours, independent work, and attract imaginative individuals who enjoy experimenting with new ideas. According to the Strong Interest Inventory, Postsecondary Art, Drama, and Music Teachers are considered Artistic careers.
Postsecondary Art, Drama, and Music Teachers teach high school, community college, or university courses. Like most teachers, their instruction involves explaining and demonstrating techniques or historical facts about their area of expertise. They also assign and evaluate students’ classwork and homework, including performances, projects, paintings, skits, papers, and other assignments. They lead rehearsals, facilitate class discussions, arrange workshops, and prepare and deliver lectures to prepare students for these assessments. They also complete many organizational tasks such as preparing course materials (e.g., syllabi, handouts, reference material, rubrics), maintaining student records (e.g., attendance and grades), holding office hours, procuring any necessary materials (e.g., costumes, instruments, textbooks, performance pieces). In some cases, Postsecondary Art, Drama, and Music Teachers may advise student organizations, serve on administrative committees, serve as Department Chair, write research proposals or grant requests, or perform other duties for their school or university.
Like most professionals, Postsecondary Art, Drama, and Music Teachers must take the time to stay current on unfolding developments in their fields, which may involve reading contemporary literature, attending and speaking at professional conferences, and interfacing with colleagues and graduate students. An additional responsibility is promoting their organization and their students’ work. For example, Postsecondary Art, Drama, and Music Teachers may participate in student recruitment and placement, give students advice on furthering their careers in the arts, coordinate with local galleries or exhibits to display students’ work and participate in community arts events. Their responsibilities are broad and may depend on the position and organization in which they are employed.
To be successful, Postsecondary Art, Drama, and Music Teachers must use a wide range of tools and technologies specific to their field. In addition to standard office software (e.g., e-mail, web browsers, and Microsoft Office Suite), they may also need to use computer-based training or course management software (e.g., Blackboard, Moodle, Canvas), publishing software (e.g., Adobe InDesign or Adobe Creative Suite), video editing software (e.g., Adobe After Effects), and more. Tools are similarly varied but may include musical instruments (e.g., drums, string instruments, woodwinds, pianos), sound and lighting equipment (e.g., microphones, stands, lights, soundboards), art equipment (e.g., paints, paintbrushes, paint thinners, kilns, ceramic glazes, pottery wheels, frames, metallurgy tools), costume design tools (e.g., sewing machines, needles, thread, yarn, costume makeup), and any other tools needed for their specialization.
In addition to this technical expertise, Postsecondary Art, Drama, and Music Teachers must have strong written and spoken communication skills, as much of their career involves interfacing with students, staff, parents, and administrators. They must be able to explain concepts or instructions clearly and then evaluate whether the information they conveyed has been understood. Creative thinking and the ability to execute effective solutions, especially on a budget, are essential.
Most Postsecondary Art, Drama, and Music Teachers develop their expertise through extensive education. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 51% of these professionals hold a Master’s degree, while 32% hold a Doctoral degree. Just 14% have a Bachelor’s, and virtually none hold only a high school diploma unless they complete a teaching assistantship as part of their further education.
The median salary for Postsecondary Art, Drama, and Music Teachers is $69,690 annually, with states like Arizona and Florida being slightly below average (closer to $61,000 annually) and states like Connecticut and Rhode Island being slightly above average (closer to $84,000). Another consideration is that pay tends to increase with the educational level of the instructor and the students – university instructors earn more than community college instructors, and instructors tend to make more for teaching graduate classes than undergraduate instructors. Employment in this field is already high, estimated at nearly 110,000 employees across the country, and is expected to grow an additional 10%-15% in the coming decade, a growth rate that will add roughly 11,600 new jobs.
Below are some employment trends for Postsecondary Art, Drama, and Music Teachers:
- Median Salary: $69,090 annually
- Employment: 109,300 employees
- Projected growth (2020-2030): Faster than average (10% – 15%)
- Projected job openings (2020-2030): 11,600
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- Bureau of Labor Statistics wage data and 2012-2022 employment projections Onetonline.org