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Careers for an Associate Degree in Fine Arts

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An associate degree is earned through a two-year college program, providing a basic education in a specific subject and a core curriculum of English, math and science classes. An associate degree in fine arts may include courses in painting, sculpture, drawing, photography, graphic arts, fashion and art history. Although many of these professions require a bachelor's degree or higher for entrance into the field, some careers, particularly those demanding talent, an associate degree may be all that is needed.

Fashion Designer

Fashion Designers are typically creative, persuasive individuals with an eye for color and detail. They may specialize in designing clothing, accessories or foot wear. They may be required to use equipment such as computer-aided design (CAD) to assist in the sketching process. Designers must also be familiar with textiles, fabric types and marketing techniques. An associate degree is needed for entry into the field, but some employers require a bachelor's degree. Fashion designers my work for apparel manufacturers, fashion design firms or they may be self-employed. The median salary for this occupation was $61,160 a year in 2008, according to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics.


Photography is an excellent profession for individuals with artistic, technical and creative abilities. They may use the traditional silver-halide film cameras or digital cameras to capture images. Photographers can develop their own film and store their photos on computers. Although a formal education may not be required to become a photographer, job candidates must be knowledgeable in all aspects of the field regarding equipment use, techniques and processes. Portrait, commercial and Internet photographers are expected to be the most in demand, according the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Wages vary depending on the employer, with mean salaries ranging from $33,780 to $72,370 annually, as of 2009.


Animators, or cartoonists, possess imagination and drawing talent. They may draw, edit and color works by hand or with the help of computers. Animators also take photographs, transfer them to film and add special effects. Hands-on learning and experience is provided through colleges, universities or professional schools. An associate degree or certificate is earned through professional schools and a bachelor's degree is typically earned at the college or university level. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics' Occupational Handbook, the median salary for animators was $58,250 a year in 2009.


Heather Neuharth received her B.A. in psychology with a minor in multicultural and ethnic studies at Westfield State College. She has been employed as a direct-care professional for the mentally ill, a job coach for individuals with disabilities and an activity assistant for the elderly. Neuharth writes for various online publications.