Art Therapist

Occupation Information table
Overview: Art therapists help rehabilitate mentally ill and physically disabled patients using art therapy programs. They help patients use art techniques which can serve as a vehicle for patient self-expression, creativity & emotional outlet. They work as part of a medical team.
Duties: They educate mentally disturbed patients with skills needed to create paintings, drawings and sculptures as a means for self- expression, releasing of emotions and insight to their problems.

They assess patients' level of functioning to determine what art form(s) would be appropriate for the patient to attempt. They help patients to experiment with techniques and materials.

Jointly review with patients their art work in order to assist them explore their problems. They advise patients about methods to enrich artistic quality and deepen the therapeutic value.

They confer with psychiatric and medical team members responsible for patients in order to receive information about patients' behavior. They use this information to assess treatment methods.

Degree(s): A.S. Dance 
A.S. Art: Concentrations in Art & Design or Art History 
Job Outlook: Employment in this field is projected to grow 9% to 13% from 2018 to 2028, which is faster than the average projected growth for all occupations.
Salary Range (National Average): $29,000 to $35,000
Growth: Growth
Education Level: Typically, a Bachelor’s Degree from a 4-year college (some are 5 years) is required to be considered for this occupation.
Additional Training/Education: Training is very specialized and must be pursued at a college or university accredited by the American Art Therapy Association. A bachelor's degree is a necessary pre-requisite, a master's is needed for therapeutic practice, and a Ph.D. for college teaching jobs. Art therapy education includes a study of fine arts, psychology and sociology. An additional degree in social work or counseling will enhance your job opportunities.
Recommended Skills:
  • Weighing out the options in a situation or a problem and logically choosing the best course of action.
  • Painting, drawing, crafting, sculpting and creative designing.
  • Actively looking for ways to help people.
  • Paying attention to what other people are saying, and taking time to understand the points being made.
  • Allocating and budgeting your time for different tasks so that things get done when needed.
  • Using your hands to operated fine instruments and precision tools.
  • The ability to understand complex written paragraphs, instructions, or reports.
  • Being aware of the reactions of others, and understanding why they react the way they do.
  • Talking, giving speeches, or speaking in a group to convey information, explain ideas, or give instructions.
  • Teaching others how to do something.
Recommended Values:
  • Being involved in helping other people in a direct way either individually or in a small group.
  • Doing something to contribute to the betterment of the world. Doing something for the greater good.
  • Being able to express creative ideas through the arts.
  • Persuading and influencing others to change their attitudes, behavior, and/or opinions.

* National data collected by the Department of Labor in 2014 with projections through 2024. For New York green job information .

* For New York salary data information .

* For New York green job information .

Understanding acquiring positions in this field may be enhanced through continuing academic study (i.e. earning a baccalaureate or a master's degree) and/or work experience in the field, Queensborough Community College has established transfer agreements with other institutions for students who wish to further pursue their educational goals. Students are highly encouraged to meet with one of our Career Services to fully understand the opportunities available through study in their degree program.