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Art Therapist Salary

Art Therapists in the United States take home an average $40K per year. Career length and the particular city each impact pay for this group, with the former having the largest influence. For the most part, Art Therapists enjoy their work and report high levels of job satisfaction. Although nearly one-fourth lack health benefits of any kind, a fair number do enjoy medical insurance, and the greater part get dental coverage, too. The vast majority of Art Therapists (88 percent) who participated in the survey are women. The data for this snapshot was collected from individuals who took PayScale's salary survey.
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$29,723 - $53,558
(Median)
30K
34K
40K
47K
54K
MEDIAN: $40,287
10%
25%
50%
75%
90%

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$15.75 - $35.89
(Median)
16
19
23
26
36
MEDIAN: $22.00
10%
25%
50%
75%
90%

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National Salary Data

 (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$21K$42K$63K
Salary
$29,723 - $53,558  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $1,277  
Total Pay (?
XTotal Pay combines base annual salary or hourly wage, bonuses, profit sharing, tips, commissions, overtime pay and other forms of cash earnings, as applicable for this job. It does not include equity (stock) compensation, cash value of retirement benefits, or the value of other non-cash benefits (e.g. healthcare).
)
$30,665 - $60,758  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 11 Dec 2014 | Individuals Reporting: 160
National Hourly Rate Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$18$36$54
Hourly Rate
$15.75 - $35.89  
   
Overtime
$0.21 - $52.35  
National Annualized Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$50K$100K$150K
Bonus
$0.00 - $1,277  
   
Total Pay (?
XTotal Pay combines base annual salary or hourly wage, bonuses, profit sharing, tips, commissions, overtime pay and other forms of cash earnings, as applicable for this job. It does not include equity (stock) compensation, cash value of retirement benefits, or the value of other non-cash benefits (e.g. healthcare).
)
$30,665 - $60,758  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 11 Dec 2014 | Individuals Reporting: 127
United States (change)

Job Description for Art Therapist

Creation of artistic works has been an ancient practice that has been said to delve into the inner workings of the human mind and bring out the true emotions of the person behind the artwork. As such, it should come as no surprise that art therapy is a viable practice meant to nurture patients in a unique way. An art therapist, therefore, is an experienced artist who also has solid knowledge of human psychology and mental development. Because art therapy is a clinical practice, it is almost essential that the art therapist have a degree in at least art or psychology. The art therapist is experienced in picking up subtle nonverbal and metaphorical imagery contained within both the process of creating the artistic piece, and the final piece itself. Any person can undergo the therapy, whether it be one person or multiple. By undergoing the process of art therapy, a patient is guided by the therapist to induce certain feelings with the goal of uncovering something about oneself. By creating the artwork, the patient can undergo personal growth and reflection, and gain an increased understanding of others or learn to cope with certain problems in their life. To become a registered art therapist, one must receive approved training, often at the postgraduate level. A typical art therapist's duties will be quite similar to that of a normal therapist, including receiving referrals from other therapists, sending out referrals of their own, attending meetings, and listening in-depth to the client, as a normal therapist would, to gain a deeper meaning of the patient's mental condition. Overall, the art therapist's job is similar to a regular therapist's, instead the art therapist uses the creation of artwork to spur deeper feelings and emotions instead of strictly conversing with the patient.


Art Therapist Tasks

  • Assess patients' development, abilities, personality, interests and conflicts through their art productions.
  • Encourage patients with special needs and circumstances to express themselves creatively with art.
  • Prepare and submit patients' reactions and progress reports, confer with treatment team.
  • Develop treatment plan with varied interventions based on assessment, interests and objectives of therapy.

Art Therapist Job Listings

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Professional skills reported by Art Therapists are few in number. Counseling and Group Therapy are considered valuable skills and can increase employee pay. Skills that seem to negatively impact pay include Group Therapy. Competency in Counseling frequently indicates knowledge of Group Therapy.

Pay by Experience Level for Art Therapist

Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.


For Art Therapists, more experience in the field does not usually mean bigger paychecks. Workers in their first five years can expect to earn $40K, but people who have been around for five to 10 years earn a noticeably bigger sum of $45K. Art Therapists who work for 10 to 20 years in their occupation tend to earn about $47K. Ultimately, more time spent in the workforce does seem to translate to bigger paychecks; seasoned veterans with more than 20 years of experience report a median income of $53K.

Related Job Salaries

Experience Affects Art Therapist Salaries

Late-Career
up arrow 25%

Experienced
up arrow 10%

Mid-Career
up arrow 7%

National Average
$42,000


Skills That Affect Art Therapist Salaries

National Average
$42,000

Counseling
up arrow 1%

Group Therapy
up arrow 9%

Job Satisfaction

Highly satisfied
Rated 4 out of 5
based on 68 votes.

Gender

Female
88 %
Male
12 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
5%
1-4 years
49%
5-9 years
21%
10-19 years
16%
20 years or more
9%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits Medical: 74% dental benefits Dental: 62%
vision benefits Vision: 40% employee benefits None: 25%