Art Consultant Career

The art that decorates the hallways of a church or represents unique acquisitions of a private religious art collector may have involved the expertise of an art consultant, who has a good eye for selecting the appropriate art to occupy specific spaces. Every client or project presents a new challenge, as art consultants are tasked with locating pieces that complement a variety of buyers, locations, businesses and environments. As an art consultant, especially one specializing in religious art, having collegiate credentials is generally a must in order to succeed in the field.

Job Activities & Responsibilities

An art consultant selects and purchases artworks on behalf of clients that may include paintings, photographs, sculptures, and other fine art pieces. Hired by corporations, small businesses, hotels, private parties and large organizations, there are plenty of opportunities to find employment that incorporates faith-based art. Some clients rely on a consultant to suggest art for satisfying home or business décor needs, while others seek artworks to gift or add to a collection.

Art consultants often follow flexible schedules, and adjust their workday to meet the needs of clients. It is not uncommon for duties to extend into evening and weekend hours. To research, scout out and acquire certain artworks, some consultants are required to travel to art shows and auctions. An art consultant also spends time developing relationships with galleries (both nationally and internationally), artists, and other sources for art collection and retail.

Art consultants are also expected to perform the following as part of his or her job:

  • Understand the design needs or desires of a client or business
  • Meeting with clients, and assessing the space(s) requiring artwork
  • Install or arrange artwork for clients
  • Keep up with the latest art trends, as well as new and emerging artists
  • Make recommendations based on personal and/or decorative needs


The majority of art consultants hold at least a bachelor’s degree in an art-related field, such as fine arts, design, or art history. Students may also take classes in classical studies, philosophy, humanities, photography, graphic design, and art theory to gain a well-rounded perspective. Courses in theology, divinity, religious studies and in some cases, religious art, helps students build a background that makes it easier to integrate their faith into a career in art consultation.

Many graduates go on to pursue a master’s degree related to a specific field of art, to become an expert or specialist with a better understanding on how to deal with a specific genre of artworks.

Career Salary & Job Outlook

The arts consultant position is one that is often grouped with interior designers, which according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) earned a median annual salary of $51,500 in 2017. The highest 10% of these design professionals earned more than $93,780. In general, the BLS cites the salary for all arts and design occupations as $45,250.

The salary that an art consultant earns can greatly vary, and is dependent on a range of factors that include a professional’s level of expertise, the budget of clients, geographic location, art trends, and their connections within the art world. For example, an art consultant living in Los Angeles or New York City generally encounters a higher number of wealthier clients willing to pay more for their services than if they lived in a less populated area. A consultant that specializes in a particular field, such as textile arts, interior design or antiques, can use their skills and knowledge as leverage to attract more clients.

The job outlook for this occupation shows dwindling employment opportunities, with projected growth of 4% for arts and design occupations from 2016 to 2026. This is a slower than average rate for all occupations in the U.S. Roughly 33,700 new positions are expected to emerge during this time period, with some openings speaking directly to the talents of an arts consultant.