Health Occupations
& Technology

Art Therapist


To be a successful Art Therapist you should…

  • have strong interpersonal skills
  • be compassionate and like to help patients and their families
  • have an understanding of and ability to use art media
  • be an attentive listener
  • be flexible
  • possess emotional stability

What will my job be like?


Many physicians support the use of recreational and creative therapies to complete the healing process. Therapists in these disciplines plan and carry out treatment programs for people with physical, mental, or social disabilities, or for individuals recovering from substance, sexual, and physical abuse. Therapists use art, music, recreation, and dance to help patients relieve stress, express themselves, and build self-confidence. Another area is horticultural therapy, which involves the care of plants in the therapeutic process. Motivational and creative programs are used to encourage behavior change, improve coordination, increase social skills, and improve the quality of life.

Where could I work?

Workplace settings:
  • Mental Health Agencies
  • Hospitals
  • Clinics
  • Child and Adult Day Care Facilities
  • Nursing Homes
  • Rehabilitation Centers
  • Schools

What is the average annual salary?


What is the future of this career?

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) does not collect data on art therapists.  Instead, BLS estimates include this occupation among “therapists, all other” which is projected to grow 14% from 2016 to 2026, faster than the average for all occupations.

What type of education and/or training do I need?

An art therapist must earn a master’s degree after earning a bachelor’s degree in associated areas. Master’s degrees will require 700 hours of supervised clinical experience as well as didactic learning.

Where can I get the education and/or training?

  • Albertus Magnus College, New Haven
  • Eastern Connecticut State University, Willimantic
  • University of St. Joseph, West Hartford

Do I need a license or certification for this career?

Licensure is not required in the state of Connecticut, however, certification should be obtained by the Art Therapy Credentials Board.

Where can I get more information?

American Art Therapy Association
4875 Eisenhower Avenue, Suite 240
Alexantria, VA  22304