Art therapists in the UK work in a variety of settings: NHS, social services, primary, secondary, further and special education, charities, prisons, private practice, etc. They also work with people of all ages living with a wide range of emotional or physical conditions.
Art therapists need to be flexible and resourceful. Within the current context in health and social care, entrepreneurial skills are also needed: most art therapists start their career on a self-employed basis and set up art therapy provisions in a wide variety of setting (but this is increasingly the case for many health and care professions).
Many art therapists work in partnership with other professionals such as artists-in-health to develop innovative approaches to practice. Careers in art therapy are expanding in new areas: art therapy is increasingly used within mainstream education (pre-school, primary and secondary). It is also developing within museums and galleries. Each year, the BAAT surveys its newly qualified members on their experience of finding employment. Click on the pdf for the 2017 survey of newly qualified art therapists which gives an encouraging picture of their experience of finding work: 2017 Newly Qualified ATs survey.pdf
Art therapy can offer a life-long career that enables personal and professional growth. Having a job that has art at its heart is a great experience. The basic starting salary is around £25,500 per year (FTE). To see an example of a day in the life of an art therapist, click here
View a video from NHS Careers on Careers in Art Therapy
UK Art Therapists are State Regulated and In order to work as an art therapist or art psychotherapist (both titles are protected by law and inter-changeable), it is mandatory to have completed on the art therapy trainings validated by the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) and to be on the HCPC Register.