How to Teach Your Students About Art-Related Careers Through Stations

station set up

Have you ever asked your students questions such as:

  • What type of art-related careers do you know about?
  • Would you be interested in a career related to art?
  • How important do you think a career in an art-related field is to society?

The answers to these questions will vary among your students based on their depth of knowledge in the area, their interests, and what they have been taught to value.

When I asked my students these questions, most said they knew about artists and art teachers. A few students mentioned illustrators, but that was it. I find it important to take some time in class to highlight art-related careers to enlighten students about the many jobs that relate to art. It is a great way to open their minds to the many possibilities for their future.

A fun way to get your students moving and learning about art-related careers is to set up stations that highlight them. This activity can be done in any classroom and is a great way to introduce your students to new materials!

You can set up art-related career stations in your classroom by following the 5 steps below.

station set up

Step 1: Choose art-related careers and activities.

The first thing you’ll need to do is think about what art-related careers you would like to share with your students. Then, you’ll want to think of a simple activity to go with each. Make sure to choose things for which you have adequate materials and resources.

In my classroom, I decided to expose my students to the following careers and activities.

  1. Graphic Designer
    Using the available materials, redesign a chip bag, soda can, or logo. Get creative!
  2. Architect
    Using the available materials, construct a building. Then, draw your building from observation.
  3. Digital Artist
    Explore the available apps and experiment with creating digital art.
  4. Illustrator
    Using the available materials, design your own character for a TV show, movie, or book.

After I nailed down the careers and activities, I made a sign for each station so students would know what to do. You can download the four signs (along with a blank one to customize) below!


Download Now!

Step 2: Gather your station materials.

Once you have decided which art-related careers your students will learn about, it is important to gather the necessary materials. This will depend on what you choose for your careers. Here are the materials you will need if you use the activities listed above.

Graphic Designer

  • Paper
  • Pencils
  • Markers or colored pencils


  • Blocks or other building equipment
    (I recommend these that I found on Amazon.)
  • Paper
  • Pencils

Digital Artist


  • Paper
  • Pencils
  • Markers

iPad with app open

Step 3: Introduce your students to the stations.

Start with a brief discussion of what a career is and what it would mean to have a career related to art. Make sure you discuss each of the careers you’ve chosen and explain the prompt at each station.

If you’re students are unfamiliar with moving around the room to create, make sure to lay some ground rules up front. You’ll want to cover how much time they’ll have at each station, how you’ll get their attention when their time is up, and how they will move from station to station.

In addition, don’t forget to build in time for the introduction, cleanup, and reflection.

Step 4: Let your students get to work!

Put your students into groups and let them go! Do your best to stay on track with time so students are able to explore all the stations. Projecting an online timer or giving students a verbal warning when time is almost up can be helpful.

Step 5: Reflect

After your students have visited all the stations, make sure you have them reflect a bit.

You may want to ask questions such as:

  • Which career was your favorite?
  • Do you have any questions after visiting the stations?
  • Can you think of other art-related careers?
  • What kind of career do you want to have when you get older?

You can conduct the reflection as a whole group, in partners, or individually. Sticky notes are great to use as exit tickets and would be a great idea here. If time permits, a gallery walk before reflection would be fun so students can see what their peers created.

Using this type of activity is a great way to let your students explore multiple careers in the art studio. It also gets them up and moving and allows them to stay engaged.

What art-related careers do you like to discuss in your classroom?

How do you expose your students to careers in art?

Magazine articles and podcasts are opinions of professional education contributors and do not necessarily represent the position of the Art of Education University (AOEU) or its academic offerings. Contributors use terms in the way they are most often talked about in the scope of their educational experiences.


Wynita Harmon

Wynita Harmon is AOEU’s Chair of Faculty Development and a former AOEU Writer and elementary school art educator.

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