Creativity and the Arts: A Guide to Work From Home Careers

Whether at home in pajamas or basking in the sun beachside, professionals around the world are leveraging the power of the internet and communication technology to complete work outside of the office. According to Global Workplace Analytics (GWA), open-collar work—work where the person telecommuting is not self-employed—has more than doubled since 2005. Almost four million employees in the U.S. work remotely at least part of the time, and GWA estimates that 50 percent of the entire workforce has job responsibilities compatible with teleworking.

The momentum of allowing employees to work from home isn’t an accident. Employers recognize that an open-collar workforce pays enormous dividends for the worker, for the business, and for the world.

Working from Home: Good for Employees

Workers want to be open-collar. According to GWA, two-thirds of employees want to work from home, and about 85 percent of the workforce wants to telework. When surveying an audience of 5,500 job seekers in 2017, FlexJobs found that for 72 percent of respondents, the desire for flexible work stems from wanting to have a better work-life balance. While telework may have some adverse health issues related to isolation, overarchingly empirical evidence shows that telework is good for the health of the worker.

When employees can drop commutes, avoid workplace distractions, take the breaks they need without fear of repercussions, cook more nutritious meals, and lead more active lifestyles, their health and sense of balance increases. Also, open-collar positions can give caretakers or folks with chronic health issues the flexibility to proactively combat the negative health impacts of workplace flexibility bias, which is an employee’s sense that there will be negative repercussions to one’s career if they ask for time off to handle personal issues.

Working from Home: Good for Business

Healthier, happier workers who feel that they have a good work-life balance are good for business. According to GWA, employers who offer telecommuting options have seen increases in employee satisfaction, reduction in attrition, reduction in unscheduled absences, and increases in productivity. The uptick in productivity in combination with the decrease in absence and attrition rates is good for a business’ bottom line. Companies get more hours and production out of telecommuting workers and save money on things like recruiting, retraining, real estate, compliance with ADA regulations, and time wasted in face-to-face meetings.

Opening up the option for telecommuting also does wonders for a business’ talent pool. With a telecommuting option, businesses can recruit top-notch talent from anywhere in the world, instead of solely from the geographic region in which the company is located. Being able to hire from a wider talent pool can also increase workplace diversity, which has been found to improve innovation and help firms capture new markets. What’s more, opening up a telecommuting option can also keep older employees (and their lifetime of accumulated wealth of knowledge and skills) at the company thanks to increased flexibility and ability to manage possible health issues.

Working from Home: Good for the World

Working from home can benefit the environment and society in many ways. Telecommuting reduces cars on the road and the number of traffic accidents experienced on a yearly basis and decreases greenhouse gases, fossil fuel dependency, and infrastructure pressure. According to the FlexJobs 2017 State of Telecommuting in the U.S. Employee Workforce, the 3.9 million telecommuters that exist today already reduce greenhouse gases by 3 million tons, and save the environment and community $1.5 billion every year in reduced traffic accident costs and oil savings. This environmental impact is equivalent to planting 91.9 million tree seedlings.

Telecommuting Careers in the Arts

If you’re creative, artsy, or crafty and you want to reap all the benefits of telecommuting, there are many incredible options in the remote work world. Read on to learn about five careers that allow you to share your skills without having to commute to an office.

Video Editor

More than 500 million hours of videos are watched on YouTube each day, and 6.4 million students were enrolled in online learning courses in 2016. What’s more, according to The State of Social Media 2016 Report by Buffer, more than 80 percent of marketers said they’d like to create more video content if they didn’t have restraints such as time and resources.

As industries move forward, video is becoming an increasingly important medium. There are plenty of opportunities to edit videos from home that combine storytelling, digital skills, and collaboration with creative teams.

Career Outlook and Salary

According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), growth for film and video editors is expected to rise at a rate of 13 percent between 2016 and 2026—a rate that’s almost double the national average of all U.S. occupations. Being a video editor can also be a very lucrative career. The BLS (May 2017) notes that their annual median salary is $61,180, with earning potential of up to $163,440, according to the top 90th percentile of employees.

Online Courses and Programs

The minimum threshold of education for some careers in video editing is a bachelor’s degree in film or cinematography, while other professions require the necessary skills or experience. Film editors can gain the proper credentials and abilities by completing degree programs at accredited institutions or online skills-based coursework.

For example, the bachelor’s of science in digital filmmaking at Los Angeles Film School trains students to create professional-level content for a variety of mediums, including online media and mobile applications. The 120-credit program spans nine semesters, takes 36 months to complete, and tuition is $66,450.

For those looking for an inexpensive way to get started in video editing, Udemy offers a range of courses. Premiere Pro CC for Beginners is a technical course that introduces an industry-standard software to complete beginners and those that have edited in less-advanced editing software. The $199 program comprises 93 lectures with eight total hours of video instruction and can be completed at the pace of the student’s choosing.

Companies Hiring

  • Devex, a media platform for the global development community
  • Udemy, an online education platform
  • WRKSHP, gaming applications software developer
  • FantasyPros, fantasy sports website
  • DMi, digital media for the geophysical industry

Art, Creative, and Marketing Director

For creatives who have already spent some time in the business world, or for those contemplating moving up into management with a flexible schedule, it is possible to find open-collar work in a director position. If you’re interested in imagining a plan for creative work and then mobilizing a team to execute your vision, this could be a promising career path.

Career Outlook and Salary

The art director occupation will see growth of 5 percent in the decade preceding 2026, according to the BLS (2018). They can expect to earn a median annual salary of $92,500, with art directors in the 90th percentile earning $170,230 per year.

Online Courses and Programs

The baseline education needed for a creative arts director position is often a bachelor’s degree in an art or creative field. Many companies do look for and hire candidates who have advanced postsecondary degrees or an equivalent amount of experience working as a creative in the field.

Colorado State University offers an online master of arts leadership and cultural management for those interested in becoming leaders in the world of culture and art. The program can help seasoned professionals understand how to move into energizing a team. At $642 per credit, the 32-credit program will cost participants $20,544 and can be completed in two years.

An alternative is a leadership development course, such as the one offered by Udemy called “How to Hire & Manage Virtual Teams.” This is a 19-lecture course teaching students how to hire, manage, and retain virtual talent. At a price point of $99.99, the course has one hour of video lectures, and 27 supplemental resources to help seasoned veterans in any industry learn how to become an effective manager in the virtual workplace.

Companies Hiring

Art Teacher

With the growth of online universities, high schools, and skill-sharing sites, there are many opportunities to work from home as an art teacher. If you’ve ever considered sharing the skills and wisdom you learned through your creative work, this may be a great way to move into the open-collar work world.

Career Outlook and Salary

High school teachers and postsecondary teachers are both expected to be high-growth occupations according to the BLS, of about 8t percent and 18 percent growth (2016-26), respectively. At the post-secondary level, the BLS reports that median salaries for art, drama, and music teachers come in at $66,930 per year, with those at the upper decile earning $134,000. While specific data for art teachers at the secondary level is not available, the BLS reports that median wage for secondary teachers is $59,170 annually.

Online Courses and Programs

Like most jobs in education, there is a minimum threshold of certification required to become a teacher. Most post-secondary institutions require a minimum of a master’s degree, and many secondary programs require a bachelor’s degree and a certification or license to teach in the state.

Boston University’s online master’s program in arts instruction is designed for practicing artists who want to deepen their practice and teach others the power of artistic expression. In the 32-credit-hour program that most students complete in 18 to 24 months, students can specialize to become an arts education leader, an art teacher, or design their own program. At a total of $885 per credit, the program costs students $28,320.

Additionally, The Art of Education is a site where those interested in K-12 art teaching can take university-level coursework without enrolling in a program. The Designing Your Art Curriculum course can help new and experienced art teachers to structure their classroom in a way that empowers and engages students. The course takes 10 hours over four weeks to complete and costs $597 for non-graduate credit, and $1047 for graduate credit.

Companies Hiring

Interior Designer

Most people spend much of their time inside, and interior designers have the power to create the beautiful, functional spaces where humans live, play, and work.

Career Outlook and Salary

The BLS predicted 4 percent growth for the interior designer occupation between 2016 and 2026. While this is slower than average, the BLS also reports that interior designers can earn a median salary of $51,500, with designers in the top 90th percentile making $93,780 annually.

Online Courses and Programs

While some designer positions require only a high school diploma, many jobs require a minimum of a bachelor’s degree for employment.

The Art Institute Online offers two programs in which students can expand their interior design skills. The bachelor’s program blends theory and practice and prepares students for entry-level employment. The diploma program prepares graduates specifically with assisting customers in changing residential spaces. The bachelor’s program is a 180-credit-hour program spanning 15 quarters, with an approximate cost of $93,070. The diploma in residential planning can be earned in 12 months and is a 36-credit-hour program with an estimated total cost of $18,768.

For beginners looking to see if interior design is for them, Udemy offers several courses on interior design, including “How to Design a Room in 10 Easy Steps.” Through 30 lectures that contain one and half hours of video instruction, students are taught the different elements of interior design critical to creating a well-decorated room.

Companies Hiring

  • Modsy, personalized interior design plans
  • Havenly, online interior decoration platform
  • KI, furniture company

Content Writer

The written word is powerful, and there is a wide variety of opportunities for those who have mastered the craft of using words to best effect. In a sea of jobs for technical writers and resume writers, there are plenty of opportunities for those who want to use their skills in writing for more creative purposes.

Career Outlook and Salary

According to the BLS, demand for writers is going to increase at a rate of 8 percent between 2016 and 2026. Writers and authors earning median-level wages can make $61,820 per year, and those earning in the top 90th percentile can make $118,760 per year.

Online Courses and Programs

Many work-from-home employers are looking for employees with a minimum of bachelor’s degree in a writing-heavy discipline, such as English, literature, communications, and journalism. However, many writers can find work if they have extensive knowledge in a specific field, as well.

Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU) has an online bachelor’s degree in creative writing and English that is designed to turn passionate storytellers into career writers. In addition to general education and core courses, students can pursue writing workshops in playwriting, poetry, fiction, and nonfiction. At $320 per credit, tuition for the 120-credit program is $38,400.

There are also many online content courses offered through skillshare platforms. Udemy’s “Writing Tools & Hacks: Copywriting/Blogging/Content Writing” offers students with a targeted way to gain the skills specific to becoming a copywriter, blogger, freelancer, or content writer. This 32-lecture course has one hour and fifteen minutes of video lecture and can be completed at the student’s own pace.

Companies Hiring

WFH: The Future of Work

With advances in technology making creative collaboration possible, seamless, and sometimes more efficient than face-to-face collaboration, the creative sector is ripe for telecommuting opportunities. Because creative work relies on individuals with fierce talent, more companies with creative opportunities will be opening up remote positions that enable them to tap the widest talent pool possible.

If someone is already working as a creative, there are thousands of remote jobs already available for seasoned employees, and more to come. For those looking for a way to break into remote work, a work-from-home creative job may just be one program or skill-sharing course away.

Becca Brewer
Becca Brewer
Writer

Becca Brewer holds a master's of education (MEd) in human sexuality education. She loves to read, write, cycle, travel, take photos, connect with people she loves, and tell stories that unite. Currently exploring a nomadic life built on volunteerism, deep connection, learning through difference, and leading with love, Becca is attempting to use everything she’s learned about human thriving to live her best life in service of the greater good. Check out her unfolding life’s work in photos on Instagram (@BeccaBPhotos).

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