Working in arts, craft and design

Arts, crafts and design includes painting, sculpture, photography, illustration, jewellery making, pottery, product design, graphic design and fashion.

Being creative is essential in this industry. Many people wanting to work in arts, crafts and design develop their talent by studying at college or university, but sometimes a portfolio of your work and relevant skills and experience can be enough. You can set up your own business or work freelance. Alternatively you may prefer to work for a company that needs your skills. 

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Approximate pay levels

Figures supplied as a guide only

Artists, craftspeople and designers may work on a number of different projects or jobs at a time to earn a living. They may be employed by companies and other organisations, but it’s common for people to work for themselves and set up their own studios or workshops.

Pay level graph

Future careers

The area of digital and new media is growing rapidly. Building your portfolio and experience in this area may be useful.

Things to consider

  • People working in arts, crafts and design are usually really happy with their jobs, even though pay can be low.
  • If you work for yourself as an artist, craftsperson or designer, you may only make money when you sell a piece of your work. You may sell work at fairs or in shops.
  • Doing a relevant college or university course in art, craft or design may help you develop your talent.

Useful links

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Design Council

Creative Choices

Find out about careers in art, craft and design

Crafts Council