How to Become a

Ceramic Pottery Maker

The complete career guide to be a Ceramic Pottery Maker: salary, job growth, employers, best schools, and education you may need to get started.

Why We Love It

  • $35,710
    Potential Avg. Salary
  • Creativity Focused
    Career Attribute
  • Skill-Based Work
    Career Attribute
  • Work With Your Hands
    Career Attribute

Ceramic pottery makers are responsible for designing and crafting products with different types of clay. Ceramic items created by a ceramic pottery maker can vary depending on their employer – e.g. bowls, vases, plant pots, basins, etc.


What is a Ceramic Pottery Maker?

While a ceramic pottery maker’s work can vary based on whether he or she is self-employed. Here is a general idea of the activities they are involved in:

  • Paying close attention to a design brief and working to create and original product. A design brief usually includes the appropriate materials to be utilized and the funds available with regard to items needed.
  • Keeping up to date with current trends in the industry and attending quality courses to learn new techniques of the craft.
  • Photographing and cataloguing designs in ceramic pottery for one’s portfolio, website and catalogue in order to promote their accomplishments.
  • Collaborating with clients on decorative techniques and ensuring that the design meets their requirements before production.

Day in the life

A day in the life of a ceramic pottery maker involves deciding on the type of clay to use for every project they plan to complete. For instance, clay could be porcelain, stoneware or earthenware. Once the material is decided on, the pottery maker’s job is to mold the clay into its desired size and shape with the use of different tools like carving tools, pottery wheels, etc. When the product takes shape and is partially dry, the pottery maker will place it in an oven called a kiln. The kiln is specifically created to bake the clay at the right temperature, following which the ceramic artist is ready to paint and glaze it.

In addition to crafting pottery pieces, ceramic pottery makers have to undertake business related tasks such as doing market research on their competitors, create promotional collaterals such as flyers and brochures to promote their unique craftsmanship and handle transactions with wide-ranging clientele.

Work schedule and typical hours

Ceramic pottery makers with a full-time job can expect to work 39-40 hours a week, from Monday to Friday. During peak work periods, one may have to work overtime and operate on shifts based on company policies. Self-employed ceramicists will see that their hours fluctuate to meet demand.

The work environment can vary. Ceramic designers might work from their studio workshop at home, on an industrial estate, as part of a professional workspace complex, at design studios or on the factory floor.

Growth of the job

Employment of craft and fine artists is projected to grow 2 percent from 2014 to 2024, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labour Statistics. Ceramic pottery workers can be promoted to supervisory roles like team leader, line manager, trainer or technician, especially if they have gained additional qualifications.

To progress in terms of growth potential, ceramic pottery makers may have to switch from small organisations to more established companies. In addition, some pottery makers gradually become self-employed, setting up their own craft studio or workshop. With an appropriate teaching qualification, it is also possible to teach your specialised skills to others.

Typical employers

Ceramic pottery makers may work in one of a range of organisations, from businesses with over 4,000 employees to small pottery workshops. Some pottery makers also work independently or freelance. Although there is no formal requirement, well-trained workers with diverse artistic talents stand in good stead for better job opportunities than other competitors in the market.


How To Become a Ceramic Pottery Maker

The job of a ceramic pottery maker requires attention to detail and advanced hand-to-eye coordination due to the manual aspects of the work. A deep appreciation of the artistic and creative process is also needed to have a fresh perspective on ceramic design and succeed as a pottery maker.

While there are no formal entry requirements to become a ceramic pottery maker, one usually takes on an apprenticeship or training for this career path. Such methods provide a building block for learning the techniques to master ceramic pottery craftsmanship. During the apprenticeship, one follows an experienced worker closely and advances gradually, from observation to crafting simple shapes under supervision.

There are certain pottery techniques like casting can be learned in six to twelve weeks. Others, such as throwing or jiggering, can take more time. A large number of colleges and universities are now offering bachelor’s and master’s degrees in fine arts, where you can take courses on ceramic pottery, 3D design and applied arts to fine-tune your skillset.


Ceramic Pottery Maker Salary Data

We’ve provided you the following to learn more about this career. The salary and growth data on this page comes from recently published Bureau of Labor Statistics data while the recommendations and editorial content are based on our research.

National Anual Salary

Low Range

$23,010

Average

$35,710

High Range

$59,750

National Hourly Wage

Low Range

$11/hr

Average

$17/hr

High Range

$29/hr

How do Ceramic Pottery Maker salaries stack up to other jobs across the country? Based on the latest jobs data nationwide, Ceramic Pottery Maker's can make an average annual salary of $35,710, or $17 per hour. This makes it an Above Average Salary. On the lower end, they can make $23,010 or $11 per hour, perhaps when just starting out or based on the state you live in.

Salary Rankings And Facts

  • #608 Nationally for All Careers


Highest Education Among Ceramic Pottery Makers

  • 1.9%   Doctorate
  • 12%   Masters
  • 45%   Bachelors
  • 9%   Associates
  • 18.4%   College
  • 10.7%   High School
  • 3%   Less than High School

Job Growth Projections and Forecast

2014 Total Jobs

10,600

2024 Est. Jobs

10,600

Job Growth Rate

---

Est. New Jobs

---

How does Ceramic Pottery Maker job growth stack up to other jobs across the country? By 2024, there will be a change of --- jobs for a total of 10,600 people employed in the career nationwide. This is a --- change in growth over the next ten years, giving the career a growth rate nationwide of Below Average.

Growth Rankings And Facts

  • #594 Nationally for All Careers


What Companies Employ The Most Ceramic Pottery Makers

Industry Current Jobs New Jobs Needed % Increase
Self-employed workers 5,900 100 0%
Independent artists, writers, and performers 1,700 100 0%
Clay product and refractory manufacturing 400 -100 0%

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