“The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires.” - William Arthur Ward
Teaching isn’t always most artists’ first choice of career. After all, with students not paying attention, pressure from parents, and less-than-ideal working conditions, teaching doesn’t necessarily draw a lot of people in. Large numbers of newly qualified teachers are leaving the profession after only a few years.
So how much do art teachers earn?
How Much Do Art Teachers Earn in Primary and Secondary Schools?
The arts often seem to be under threat but art as a subject remains a staple of primary and secondary education. After that, most people stop studying art. During their time at school, however, students will learn about primary colours, artistic expression, composition, and creativity. Furthermore, they’ll learn to use different materials and about the history of art.
Art and design is a compulsory subject through to key stage 3 and at least one subject in the arts needs to be offered at key stage 4. This means that once students get to GCSE level, they don’t necessarily have to study anything to do with art.
Find out how to become an art teacher.
How much Do Art Teachers Earn?
Anyone who wants to teach art as a school teacher will probably need to have a bachelor's degree in art and a recognised teaching certification or qualification. Usually, teacher education involves completing a PGCE (Postgraduate Certificate in Education) and gaining Qualified Teacher Status (QTS). Similarly, an education degree is also often accepted.
You'll find that many universities in the UK have a department of education or school of education where these programmes are offered. In the PGCE, aspiring teachers will learn about teacher preparation, how to make lesson plans, the basic skills they need for teaching, and all about pedagogy.
While this teacher certification includes some teaching experience as part of a placement (usually in a secondary school), your first teacher job will be where you cut your teeth.
More importantly, this is when you'll start earning a proper teacher's salary. Teacher jobs are paid differently depending on your qualifications and whether or not you're in London. Similarly, a subject area that's in demand will encourage people to become a teacher by providing funding for the PGCE and better wages when they start working.
Generally, around £17k is the starting wage for unqualified teachers and the main pay range for qualified teachers outside of London is £24k. Teachers in London will start by earning between £25k and £30k.
Of course, these are just the lower ranges and a teacher salary will vary according to qualifications, experience, etc. The main pay ranges reach up to £35k outside of London and between £37k and £41k for those in and around the capital.
Those working in a private school tend to earn more than those in a state school as there's more money available in private schools. However, the requirements aren't always the same and there are fewer of them.
Find out the qualifications art teachers need.
How Much Do Experienced Art Teachers Earn?
The more experience an art teacher gains, the more they can tend to earn. While we mentioned the pay ranges for unqualified and starting salaries for teachers, the upper pay ranges make getting a degree in education or a PGCE sound far more appealing.
Outside of London, teachers can earn between £37k and 40k and those in and around London are on £38k and £49k.
Of course, these are the teaching jobs at the upper pay ranges and are reserved for school teachers with experience in the school system and great results.
Beyond the upper pay ranges, there are also leading practitioners. These exceptional teachers can earn between £41k and £62k outside of London and between £42k and £70k in London.
Find out how to study to become an art teacher.
How Much Do Art Teachers Earn Abroad?
You don't necessarily have to get a teaching certificate and start your teaching career in the UK. There are also jobs for educators all over the world. You might want to be a teacher somewhere where the weather is nicer, for example.
While the certification requirements are different in different countries, the process for becoming a teacher in other countries usually follows a similar system to that in the UK: complete a degree in a particular subject and then become certified as a teacher through teacher training or another qualification.
Of course, the world is a big place and we can't put an average on how much art teachers will earn. Check the average wages for teachers in the countries you're interested in. What we can say is that there are countries where teachers are paid more than in the UK and there are countries where they're paid less.
Discover the skills that make a good art teacher.
How Much Do Private Art Teachers Earn?
As a private art tutor, you get to be the boss and decide how you teach art. Similarly, you can choose your rates. Of course, you need to think carefully about how much to charge as you’ll want to earn money but also not put off potential students.
You need to think carefully about your outgoings. As a small business owner, you’ll have to think carefully about your outgoings.
On Superprof, the average cost of art and design tutors in London is £24 per hour. Of course, the rates will vary according to where the tutor works, what their experience is, how many lessons they teach per week, and their qualifications, for example.
If you’re teaching just a few tutorials a week, you won’t be able to survive if you’re charging pennies for them. You need money to live.
How Much Do Art Teachers Earn in Other Art Classes?
You can also teach art classes for private companies or in night classes. Art is a popular enough subject that there are many places where you can teach it. There are night classes for adults offered by local governments as well as private companies offering classes for all ages. Don’t expect an amazing wage, though. The private companies are rarely huge and can’t afford to pay their teachers loads of money. That said, at least your students will want to be there.
If you're interested in becoming a private art or drawing tutor, consider signing up to Superprof and creating your profile. You can offer three different types of tutorials: face-to-face tutorials, online tutorials, and group tutorials. As there are pros and cons to each for both the student and the tutor, you need to think carefully about which combination of them you'll offer before you start.
Face-to-face tutorials are just between you and your student. With just one student in the session, every session needs to be tailored to them. Of course, this means that you'll need to prepare a lot outside of the lessons. However, you can reflect this in your rates as you're offering a tailored bespoke service to the student. Face-to-face tutorials are usually the most expensive type of tutorials but they're also the most cost-effective for students so make sure that they're aware of this.
Online tutorials are also between you and your student but you won't physically be there in the room with them. Instead, you'll teach them remotely using a computer, webcam, and video conferencing software like Skype. Much like face-to-face tutorials, online tutorials are a tailored service and you'll have to spend time planning each session but you'll save a lot of travel time as you only need to make it to your computer rather than the student's house. With all the time you save by not travelling, you can add even more tutorials into your schedule. With fewer outgoings and increased earning potential, you can charge more competitive rates for your tutorials.
Group tutorials involve teaching several students at the same time. Of course, with several students to keep happy, you won't be able to fully tailor the tutorials to each student. However, with several students paying for each hour of your time, you can charge less and still earn more at the end of each hour. Of course, this only works if your classes are full and the more students you have in your class, the less appealing your tutorials will be. Furthermore, group art tutorials will require a large space so if you don't have a studio or dedicated space available, you may have to look into renting a space for your lessons.