Art Therapists

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About the Job

Plan or conduct art therapy sessions or programs to improve clients' physical, cognitive, or emotional well-being.

It is also Called

  • Registered Art Therapist
  • Registered & Board Certified Art Therapist
  • Medical Art Therapist
  • Hospice Art Therapist
  • Group Therapist
  • Expressive Therapist
  • Expressive Art Therapist
  • Director of Community Life
  • Day Treatment Clinician/Art Therapist
  • Creative Art Therapist
View All

What They Do

  • Coordinate field trips for client groups to museums or other public displays of art.
  • Coordinate art showcases to display artwork produced by clients.
  • Photograph or videotape client artwork for inclusion in client records or for promotional purposes.
  • Conduct information sharing sessions, such as in-service workshops for other professionals, potential client groups, or the general community.
  • Instruct individuals or groups in the use of art media, such as paint, clay, or yarn.
  • Teach art therapy techniques or processes to artists, interns, volunteers, or others.
  • Review research or literature in art therapy, psychology, or related disciplines.
  • Analyze data to determine the effectiveness of treatments or therapy approaches.
  • Supervise staff, volunteers, practicum students, or interns.
  • Interpret the artistic creations of clients to assess their functioning, needs, or progress.


People who work in this occupation generally have the interest code: SAI.

This means people who work in this occupation generally have Social interests, but also prefer Artistic and Investigative environments.

Work Values

People who work in this occupation generally prize Relationships, but also value Achievement and Independence in their jobs.

Things They Need to Know

  • Psychology - Knowledge of human behavior and performance; individual differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; psychological research methods; and the assessment and treatment of behavioral and affective disorders.
  • Therapy and Counseling - Knowledge of principles, methods, and procedures for diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation of physical and mental dysfunctions, and for career counseling and guidance.
  • Fine Arts - Knowledge of the theory and techniques required to compose, produce, and perform works of music, dance, visual arts, drama, and sculpture.
  • Customer and Personal Service - Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.

Things They Need to Be Able to Do

  • Social Perceptiveness - Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
  • Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Judgment and Decision Making - Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • Service Orientation - Actively looking for ways to help people.

Education Required

Most of these occupations require graduate school. For example, they may require a master's degree, and some require a Ph.D., M.D., or J.D. (law degree).


In 2017, the average annual wage in Pennsylvania was $46,700 with most people making between $31,120 and $64,900


avg. annual growth

During 2014, this occupation employed approximately 1,410 people in Pennsylvania. It is projected that there will be 1,570 employed in 2024.

This occupation will have about 16 openings due to growth and about 34 replacement openings for approximately 50 total annual openings.

Pennsylvania Department of Education