Field of Study Overview

If you have a passion for one of the many types of arts, consider majoring in Visual and Performing Arts. A degree in this field will help you improve your skills and prepare you for a professional career.

Students take classes in a variety of subjects depending on the major they choose. These classes include dance, singing, computer design, acting, stage management, talent management, cinematography, sculpting, and more. These classes will not only help you become a more skilled artist, but expose you to other types of art within the Visual and Performing Arts field.

Since this is a large field, students typically decide to focus on a certain areas of specialization. Those who wish to study a little bit from each field can major in General Visual and Performing Arts, while those interested in forming crafts or materials with their hands can major in Craft, Folk Art, and Artisanry. Other majors in this fields are Dance, Design and Applied Arts, Drama and Theater Arts, Film, Video, and Photographic Arts, Fine and Studio Arts, or Music. Those interested in the business side of the arts can major in Arts and Media Management.

Required Skills

Students in the Visual and Performing Arts field are extremely creative and talented. Often, they have been performing, practicing, or working in their field since youth and are pursuing an education to improve technique and skill. Those who are successful in Visual and Performing Arts are persistent, disciplined, and hard working. They have a passion for the arts and are determined to achieve their best.

While some careers require a bachelor's degree, others only need an associate's degree or experience in the field. It is best to intern or find a summer job in the career you want to pursue to learn what type of education or certification may be necessary.


Visual and Performing Arts students hold positions in a variety of occupations including dance companies, performing arts studios, as artists, sculptors, music directors, talents agents, actors, and more. The classes you take in this field will improve your technique and prepare you for a successful career as a professional within the arts.

Occupations in the Visual and Performing Arts field are growing at an average to slower than average rate with some positions being very competitive. Students with previous experience and a genuine talent for their specialty will have better chances of finding a job in their field.

Graduates with a degree in Visual and Performing Arts earn an average starting salary of $35,237 and mid-career salary of $55,066.


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Field at a Glance

  • Yearly Graduations
    (online) 5,726
    (associate) 5,883
    (bachelor) 95,789
  • Average Starting Salary
  • Average Mid-Career Salary

Explore Top Majors in this Field

Click Major to View Top CollegesPopularitySalary PotentialMajors Matcher
Arts & Media Management Average N/AN/A
Crafts, Folk Art & Artisanry Low N/AN/A
Dance Low N/AN/A
Design & Applied Arts High Low N/A
Drama & Theater Arts Average Poor N/A
Film, Video & Photographic Arts Average Best N/A
Fine & Studio Arts High Poor N/A
General Visual & Performing Arts Low Fair N/A
Music High Good N/A
Visual & Performing Arts (Other) Low N/AN/A

College Ranking by Field of Study

Click rankings below to view the top colleges in this field
Salary data is estimated by College Factual using 2013 data provided by PayScale.
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