Art Therapist Salary, Earnings and Wage Information

Art therapists are valued professionals who are trained in theories of psychotherapy as well as art aesthetics. Pay and compensation for art therapists is on par with the pay for other therapy professionals nationwide. A recent study reported that art therapists on average earn slightly less than $60,000 a year. The same study also showed that over the last few years art therapy jobs have increased by nearly 30% – an extremely high growth rate for an job sector.

As is the case with most psychology jobs, salaries for art therapists can vary dramatically based on a number of factors. Location has a big influence on what an art therapist can make. In fact, in the New England region and along the West Coast (California, Oregon, etc.) salaries for art therapists are typically higher than they are for therapists living and working in the midwestern region of the nation.

Not surprisingly, art therapists with advanced graduate degrees typically earn more than those with only a bachelor's degree. Today most art therapist positions require a master's degree, and some art therapists are even pursuing doctorate degrees.

Experience also plays into how much an art therapist can earn. An art therapist with twenty years of experience can expect to earn substantially more than a therapist fresh out of college with very little experience under their belt.

Pay is also influenced by the industry where an art therapists decides to work. The highest salaries appear to be found in the health care and health services industries, followed by community mental health organizations. However, many art therapists working with educational institutions as well as the government earn very competitive salaries.

More and more frequently, art therapists are combining a degree in art therapy with a complimentary degree in counseling, occupational therapy, social work or even psychology. Art therapists with cross-functional expertise in a variety of complimentary fields can qualify for a larger variety of higher paying positions.

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Source: US Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics,,

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