Visual arts and crafts professionals design, make and repair visual two- and three-dimensional concepts and forms through painting, drawing, carving, sculpting, modelling, printmaking, video, multimedia, found objects, ephemera, soundscapes and other media.

Where visual arts and crafts professionals are employed

Most artists/craftspersons are involved in small business operations and often rely on exhibition sales and commissioned pieces for income. Exhibitions and major commissioned pieces provide opportunities to become well known and therefore increase business prospects. Work is sold wholesale to shops, galleries and department stores or directly from a studio. Few craftspersons are employed full-time in their craft. Often other career opportunities develop in craft education, administration, curating, museum and gallery conservation or community artwork. Artists often establish a studio or cooperative base and take part in group or individual exhibitions. They may be represented by galleries that promote and sell their work.

Other opportunities include public or private art commissions, residencies, research and grant opportunities, as well as work within the creative industries. Other possible employers include educational institutions, television and theatre companies, design and printing firms, hospitals and museums.

Job opportunities are extremely competitive and depend on the demand for artistic services, the quality of the artist's work and their reputation within the arts industry. Most artists take on other jobs for financial support.


Full-time visual arts and crafts professionals in South Australia generally earn less than $600 per week.

Graph of pay scales for Visual Arts and Crafts Professionals

Job prospects

In 2011 there were 183 people employed full-time as visual arts and crafts professionals in South Australia compared with 226 in 2006.

How to become one

You can work as an artist or craftsperson without formal qualifications. However entry to this occupation may be improved if you have qualifications in relevant art-related disciplines, which may enhance your skills. You may like to consider a vocational education and training qualification in an art-related area, such as visual arts or design. Applicants may be required to attend an interview and/or submit a folio of work. As subjects and prerequisites can vary between institutions you should contact your chosen institution for further information.

See courses related to this occupation.

You can also become an artist/craftsperson by studying visual arts, creative arts, fine arts or design at university. To get into these courses you usually need to gain your South Australian Certificate of Education. Prerequisite subjects or assumed knowledge in one or more of English and an arts or design subject are normally required. Applicants may also be required to attend an interview and/or submit a folio of work. A high level of talent is required. Most universities in Australia offer degrees in these areas. Universities have different prerequisites and some have flexible entry requirements or offer external study. 

For information on course admission requirements and how to apply to the universities and TAFE in South Australia visit the South Australian Tertiary Admissions Centre (SATAC).

Check South Australian Universities at The University of Adelaide, Flinders University and University of South Australia.

For information about Australian universities visit Quality Indicators for Learning and Teaching (QILT).

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Career information has been sourced from government publications, see data sources for more information.

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