Art therapists are one of the happiest careers in the United States.

At CareerExplorer, we conduct an ongoing survey with millions of people and ask them how satisfied they are with their careers. As it turns out, art therapists rate their career happiness 3.7 out of 5 stars which puts them in the top 19% of careers.

To put this into perspective, we compared how happy art therapists are to similar careers in the industry. Take a look at the results below:

Salaries and satisfaction ratings in similar careers

Career Satisfaction Avg Salary
Craft artist
4.0
$36k
Art therapist
3.7
$48k
Recreational therapist
3.4
$48k
Art teacher
3.4
$34k
Music therapist
3.2
$48k

So what does it mean to be happy in your career? Let’s break it down into different dimensions:

  • Salary: Are art therapists happy with their salary?
  • Meaning: Do art therapists find their jobs meaningful?
  • Personality fit: How well suited are people’s personalities to their everyday tasks as art therapists?
  • Work environment: How enjoyable are art therapist’s work environments?
  • Skills utilization: Are art therapists making the best use of their abilities?

Are art therapists happy with their salary?

Art therapists rated their satisfaction with their salaries 2.8/5. Art therapists tend to be quite unhappy with their salary, with very few reporting satisfaction with their pay.

We asked art therapists how fairly compensated they are for their work.
Their response was:

2.8 out of 5 stars

91 art therapists

5 Star
16%

16% of art therapists rated their compensation 5 stars

4 Star
12%

12% of art therapists rated their compensation 4 stars

3 Star
26%

26% of art therapists rated their compensation 3 stars

2 Star
26%

26% of art therapists rated their compensation 2 stars

1 Star
19%

19% of art therapists rated their compensation 1 stars

Do art therapists find their jobs meaningful?

On average, art therapists rate the meaningfulness of their work a 3.9/5. Unlike many careers, art therapists have little difficulty finding meaning in their work, and it likely constitutes one of the main reasons people become art therapists.

We asked art therapists how meaningful they found their work.
Their response was:

3.9 out of 5 stars

96 art therapists

5 Star
41%

41% of art therapists rated how meaningful they found their career 5 stars

4 Star
27%

27% of art therapists rated how meaningful they found their career 4 stars

3 Star
18%

18% of art therapists rated how meaningful they found their career 3 stars

2 Star
8%

8% of art therapists rated how meaningful they found their career 2 stars

1 Star
6%

6% of art therapists rated how meaningful they found their career 1 stars

How well are people’s personalities suited to everyday tasks as art therapists?

Art therapists rated their personality fit with their work an average of 4.1/5. The majority of art therapists find their personalities quite well suited to their work, with relatively few having complaints about their fit.

We asked art therapists how well their personalities fit into their careers.
Their response was:

4.1 out of 5 stars

95 art therapists

5 Star
43%

43% of art therapists rated their career fit 5 stars

4 Star
33%

33% of art therapists rated their career fit 4 stars

3 Star
15%

15% of art therapists rated their career fit 3 stars

2 Star
5%

5% of art therapists rated their career fit 2 stars

1 Star
4%

4% of art therapists rated their career fit 1 stars

How enjoyable is an art therapist’s work environment?

As a whole, art therapists rated their enjoyment of their work environment 3.7/5. A solid majority of art therapists enjoy their work environment, probably contributing to overall higher satisfaction with working as an art therapist.

We asked art therapists how much they enjoyed their work environment.
Their response was:

3.7 out of 5 stars

94 art therapists

5 Star
26%

26% of art therapists rated their work environment 5 stars

4 Star
41%

41% of art therapists rated their work environment 4 stars

3 Star
18%

18% of art therapists rated their work environment 3 stars

2 Star
12%

12% of art therapists rated their work environment 2 stars

1 Star
3%

3% of art therapists rated their work environment 1 stars

Are art therapists making the best use of their abilities?

Former art therapists on CareerExplorer have rated their skills utilization 3.8/5. Most art therapists surveyed find that they manage to use their abilities to their fullest as an art therapist, which helps contribute to higher career satisfaction in the long term.

We asked art therapists how well their abilities were used in their careers.
Their response was:

3.8 out of 5 stars

95 art therapists

5 Star
37%

37% of art therapists rated their how well their skills were utilized in their career 5 stars

4 Star
24%

24% of art therapists rated their how well their skills were utilized in their career 4 stars

3 Star
21%

21% of art therapists rated their how well their skills were utilized in their career 3 stars

2 Star
16%

16% of art therapists rated their how well their skills were utilized in their career 2 stars

1 Star
2%

2% of art therapists rated their how well their skills were utilized in their career 1 stars