How to Become a


The complete career guide to be a Sculpter: 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

Sculpters make use of a variety of techniques to create aesthetically pleasing three-dimensional products, including carving, shaping clay, whittling, or chiselling. The focus of the role is to create handmade objects for their beauty rather than functionality. In order to transform design ideas into reality, Sculpters employ a wide range of materials for their craft such as polystyrene foam, clay, marble, concrete, plaster, wood, and stone.

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What is a Sculpter?

Sculpters may have the following duties to handle:

  • Collaborate with clients, editors, writers, art directors, and others interested regarding the nature and content of creative products to be crafted.
  • Monitor the latest events and trends in the market, research specific subject areas, attend art exhibitions, and read art publications to build new ideas and keep abreast of the art world.
  • Evaluate and test sculptures or paintings that are in need of restoration or cleaning to determine techniques and materials to be used.
  • Interpreting and realizing the ideas of designers and other clients such as Production Designers, Visual Special Effects Directors or Props Masters, with a range of hand and power tools.

Day in the life

Daily tasks might include working on public art installations or creating commissioned artworks for a wide range of clients depending on the sculptor’s level of expertise. Some might choose to teach sculpture techniques at an educational institution or create reproductions of iconic pieces for television and film. The work can be exciting and motivating for Sculpters who are self-employed, as they have flexible schedules and sell their original art to private collectors or galleries.

Work schedule and typical hours

Most Sculpters work full time, but part-time and variable work schedules are also a possibility. Many hold another job in addition to their work as an artist when starting out. During peak periods, Sculpters can put in extra hours to meet deadlines. Self-employed artists have greater flexibility and can set their own hours based on the workload.

The work environment can vary greatly depending on the type of sculpting the artist does. For instance, some Sculpters work at fine art or commercial art studios at office buildings or warehouses. Others might work at a shared studio-space or have a private studio set up at their home.

Growth of the job

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labour Statistics, the career outlook for fine artists, which includes sculptors, is predicted to have slower than average growth, with employment expected to increase by 3% between 2014 and 2024. The employment outlook for art related fields such as sculpting is expected to see an increase of sixteen percent by the year 2016.

Growth in this job sector is dependent on the overall state of the economy, since people are more likely to make art purchases when they have spending money. With positive economic growth, people or businesses will invest in quality artwork, which is not the case during economic downturns.

Typical employers

Employment growth of artists depends in large part on the overall state of the economy, because people usually make art purchases when they can afford to spend the money. In spite of huge competition, recruiters from art organizations, galleries, art studios and individual clients are always looking to track down creative talent. Talented individuals with an advanced understanding of artistic nuances are likely to bag good job opportunities, versus others on the market.

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How To Become a Sculpter

Outstanding skill and artistic creativity is a must when looking to become a sculptor. You have to use computer based software and show prospective customers the thought behind every design process. You also need to prepare a portfolio early on, to present to potential clients during a job search or when looking for more freelance opportunities. Internships can be completed to improve one’s skill and create professional portfolios that are more appealing.

Typically, Sculpters have a bachelor’s degree in art or a bachelor of Fine Arts from a 4-year college or university course in order to improve job prospects. Some also earn their master’s degree, since there are specialized programs that focus on sculpting. Coursework includes ceramics, figure modelling and stone carving. Practice and repetition is needed to hone the skills learned by sculptors.

Besides art history and studio art, such programs in fine arts can also have core subjects like social science, English and natural science. In 2014, the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD) accredited approximately 320 post secondary institutions with art and design programs.


Sculpter 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




High Range


National Hourly Wage

Low Range




High Range


How do Sculpter salaries stack up to other jobs across the country? Based on the latest jobs data nationwide, Sculpter'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 Sculpters

  • 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


2024 Est. Jobs


Job Growth Rate


Est. New Jobs


How does Sculpter 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 Sculpters

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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