Art Works Blog

Artists in the Work Force Mini-Quiz

This weekend, millions of American workers will take a break from the daily grind, including artists and arts workers. Learn more about this segment of the workforce in this Labor Day quiz.

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Q How many working artists are there in the U.S.?

[showhide type="q1a" more_text="a ) 350,000" less_text=" X " hidden="yes" ]Did you know that at 2.1 million working artists are one of the largest classes of workers in the United States?1 That's nearly the same size as the U.S. military’s active-duty and reserve personnel.2 Forty-four percent of these artists work part-time.3[/showhide]

[showhide type="q1b" more_text="b ) two million" less_text=" X " hidden="yes" ]Did you know that at 2.1 million working artists are one of the largest classes of workers in the United States?1 That's nearly the same size as the U.S. military’s active-duty and reserve personnel.2 Forty-four percent of these artists work part-time.3[/showhide]

[showhide type="q1c" more_text="c ) six million" less_text=" X " hidden="yes" ]Did you know that at 2.1 million working artists are one of the largest classes of workers in the United States?1 That's nearly the same size as the U.S. military’s active-duty and reserve personnel.2 Forty-four percent of these artists work part-time.3[/showhide]

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Q What's the median salary for full-year, full-time artists?

[showhide type="q2a" more_text="a ) $25,000" less_text=" X " hidden="yes" ]Most working artists are not starving. Using a five-year data set from 2005-2009, the median wages/salaries for artists was estimated at $43,000.4 This is higher than the median for the whole labor force ($39,000), but lower than the median wage of the “professional” category of workers ($54,000), which includes artists.5[/showhide]

[showhide type="q2b" more_text="b ) $43,000" less_text=" X " hidden="yes" ]Most working artists are not starving. Using a five-year data set from 2005-2009, the median wages/salaries for artists was estimated at $43,000.4 This is higher than the median for the whole labor force ($39,000), but lower than the median wage of the “professional” category of workers ($54,000), which includes artists.5[/showhide]

[showhide type="q2c" more_text="c ) $63,000" less_text=" X " hidden="yes" ]Most working artists are not starving. Using a five-year data set from 2005-2009, the median wages/salaries for artists was estimated at $43,000.4 This is higher than the median for the whole labor force ($39,000), but lower than the median wage of the “professional” category of workers ($54,000), which includes artists.5[/showhide]

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Q What's the biggest category of arts workers?

[showhide type="q3a" more_text="a ) entertainers" less_text=" X " hidden="yes" ]More than one-third of artists (39 percent, or 829,000 workers) are designers. The next time you wear clothes, use a fork, sit in a chair, drive a car, or visit a website, give a shout-out to the designers who helped to make them. 6[/showhide]

[showhide type="q3b" more_text="b ) designers" less_text=" X " hidden="yes" ]More than one-third of artists (39 percent, or 829,000 workers) are designers. The next time you wear clothes, use a fork, sit in a chair, drive a car, or visit a website, give a shout-out to the designers who helped to make them. 6[/showhide]

[showhide type="q3c" more_text="c ) musicians" less_text=" X " hidden="yes" ]More than one-third of artists (39 percent, or 829,000 workers) are designers. The next time you wear clothes, use a fork, sit in a chair, drive a car, or visit a website, give a shout-out to the designers who helped to make them. 6[/showhide]

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Q Which state has the highest percentage of musicians?

[showhide type="q4a" more_text="a ) New York" less_text=" X " hidden="yes" ]Think Grand Ole Opry. In Tennessee, 22 percent of all working artists are musicians, and Mississippi is close behind, with musicians making up 16 percent of the state's artist workforce. While New York and California continue to host the highest overall numbers of working artists, many other states also surpass the national average, including Colorado, Connecticut, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Maryland, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, Rhode Island, and Washington state.7[/showhide]

[showhide type="q4b" more_text="b ) Tennessee" less_text=" X " hidden="yes" ]Think Grand Ole Opry. In Tennessee, 22 percent of all working artists are musicians, and Mississippi is close behind, with musicians making up 16 percent of the state's artist workforce. While New York and California continue to host the highest overall numbers of working artists, many other states also surpass the national average, including Colorado, Connecticut, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Maryland, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, Rhode Island, and Washington state.7[/showhide]

[showhide type="q4c" more_text="c ) Mississippi" less_text=" X " hidden="yes" ]Think Grand Ole Opry. In Tennessee, 22 percent of all working artists are musicians, and Mississippi is close behind, with musicians making up 16 percent of the state's artist workforce. While New York and California continue to host the highest overall numbers of working artists, many other states also surpass the national average, including Colorado, Connecticut, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Maryland, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, Rhode Island, and Washington state.7[/showhide]

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Q Which arts profession is expected to have higher than average growth rates?

[showhide type="q5a" more_text="a ) landscape architects" less_text=" X " hidden="yes" ]All of the above. Landscape architects, interior designers, and architects are all projected to have higher rates of growth through 2018, at 20, 19, and 16 percent respectively. What's behind the prognosis? As the U.S. population grows older, demand for healthcare facilities will rise. All these professions help create pleasant surroundings for people in hospitals, long-term care residences, and other settings.8[/showhide]

[showhide type="q5b" more_text="b ) architects" less_text=" X " hidden="yes" ]All of the above. Landscape architects, interior designers, and architects are all projected to have higher rates of growth through 2018, at 20, 19, and 16 percent respectively. What's behind the prognosis? As the U.S. population grows older, demand for healthcare facilities will rise. All these professions help create pleasant surroundings for people in hospitals, long-term care residences, and other settings.8[/showhide]

[showhide type="q5c" more_text="c ) interior designers" less_text=" X " hidden="yes" ]All of the above. Landscape architects, interior designers, and architects are all projected to have higher rates of growth through 2018, at 20, 19, and 16 percent respectively. What's behind the prognosis? As the U.S. population grows older, demand for healthcare facilities will rise. All these professions help create pleasant surroundings for people in hospitals, long-term care residences, and other settings.8[/showhide]

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Q What percentage of artists have a college degree?

[showhide type="q6a" more_text="a ) 6 percent" less_text=" X " hidden="yes" ]They should call them smartists. Nearly 60 percent of all artists have a bachelor's degree,9 compared to 32 percent of all workers. Having that college degree will help, since most future growth is projected in white-collar industries, such as professional and managerial services.10[/showhide]

[showhide type="q6b" more_text="b ) 60 percent" less_text=" X " hidden="yes" ]They should call them smartists. Nearly 60 percent of all artists have a bachelor's degree,9 compared to 32 percent of all workers. Having that college degree will help, since most future growth is projected in white-collar industries, such as professional and managerial services.10[/showhide]

[showhide type="q6c" more_text="c ) 85 percent" less_text=" X " hidden="yes" ]They should call them smartists. Nearly 60 percent of all artists have a bachelor's degree,9 compared to 32 percent of all workers. Having that college degree will help, since most future growth is projected in white-collar industries, such as professional and managerial services.10[/showhide]

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Q Which arts profession has more women than men?

[showhide type="q7a" more_text="a ) writers and authors" less_text=" X " hidden="yes" ]All of them! Three out of four dancers are women, as are more than half of all designers and writers. You don't see as many women in the fields of architecture, music, producers or directors, and photographers.11 Also, their paychecks are under par when it comes to their male counterparts. On average, women artists make 81 cents for every dollar a male artist earns. That's one penny more than what women earn in the overall labor force. 12[/showhide]

[showhide type="q7b" more_text="b ) dancers and choreographers" less_text=" X " hidden="yes" ]All of them! Three out of four dancers are women, as are more than half of all designers and writers. You don't see as many women in the fields of architecture, music, producers or directors, and photographers.11 Also, their paychecks are under par when it comes to their male counterparts. On average, women artists make 81 cents for every dollar a male artist earns. That's one penny more than what women earn in the overall labor force. 12[/showhide]

[showhide type="q7c" more_text="c ) designers" less_text=" X " hidden="yes" ]All of them! Three out of four dancers are women, as are more than half of all designers and writers. You don't see as many women in the fields of architecture, music, producers or directors, and photographers.11 Also, their paychecks are under par when it comes to their male counterparts. On average, women artists make 81 cents for every dollar a male artist earns. That's one penny more than what women earn in the overall labor force. 12[/showhide]

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Q Which type of arts event or activity has the lowest rate of paid workers?

[showhide type="q8a" more_text="a ) merchandise display" less_text=" X " hidden="yes" ]Outdoor art festivals rely heavily on volunteers, with 61 percent of festivals having year-round volunteer staff. On average, these events have two to three paid, full-time, year-round staff, two to three part-time staff, and 15 volunteers. 13[/showhide]

[showhide type="q8b" more_text="b ) computer animation" less_text=" X " hidden="yes" ]Outdoor art festivals rely heavily on volunteers, with 61 percent of festivals having year-round volunteer staff. On average, these events have two to three paid, full-time, year-round staff, two to three part-time staff, and 15 volunteers. 13[/showhide]

[showhide type="q8c" more_text="c ) outdoor arts festivals" less_text=" X " hidden="yes" ]Outdoor art festivals rely heavily on volunteers, with 61 percent of festivals having year-round volunteer staff. On average, these events have two to three paid, full-time, year-round staff, two to three part-time staff, and 15 volunteers. 13[/showhide]

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Q How many artists work for themselves?

[showhide type="q9a" more_text="a ) 15 percent" less_text=" X " hidden="yes" ]If you're looking for entrepreneurial workers, look at artists. More than a third -- 34 percent -- are self-employed, that's 3.5 times more than the total U.S. workforce.14 In addition, more than half of artists (54 percent) work in the private, for-profit sector. 15[/showhide]

[showhide type="q9b" more_text="b ) 34 percent" less_text=" X " hidden="yes" ]If you're looking for entrepreneurial workers, look at artists. More than a third -- 34 percent -- are self-employed, that's 3.5 times more than the total U.S. workforce.14 In addition, more than half of artists (54 percent) work in the private, for-profit sector. 15[/showhide]

[showhide type="q9c" more_text="c ) 65 percent" less_text=" X " hidden="yes" ]If you're looking for entrepreneurial workers, look at artists. More than a third -- 34 percent -- are self-employed, that's 3.5 times more than the total U.S. workforce.14 In addition, more than half of artists (54 percent) work in the private, for-profit sector. 15[/showhide]

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  1. The 2.1 million figure represents workers, both full- and part-time, whose employment as an artist takes up the greatest number of hours in a given work week. Artists and Arts Workers in the United States, page 6.
  2. Source: Artists in the Workforce, page iii. Also, according to the 2012 Statistical Abstract, there were 1.9 million active duty and reserve personnel in 2009.
  3. Artists and Arts Workers, Page 26, Table 1.
  4. Artists and Arts Workers, page 10.
  5. Median wages and salaries of full-year, full-time workers, Artists and Arts Workers, page 26.
  6. Artists and Arts Workers, page 5.
  7. Artists and Arts Workers, pages 16-17.
  8. Artist Employment Projections through 2018, page 5, 8-9.
  9. Artists and Arts Workers, page 9.
  10. Artist Employment Projections through 2018, page 10, reference to Help Wanted: Anthony Carnevale, Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce. June 2010.
  11. Producers and Directors refers to those who produce or direct stage, television, radio, video, or motion picture productions for entertainment, information, or instruction. Artists in the Workforce, 1990-2005, page 133.
  12. Artists and Arts Workers in the United States, page 10.
  13. Live from Your Neighborhood: A National Study of Outdoor Arts Festivals, page 39, Table 5.
  14. Artists and Arts Workers, page 12.
  15. Artists and Arts Workers, page 13.

 

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