Master of Fine Arts: Potential Careers | Minneapolis College of Art and Design

Master of Fine Arts: Potential Careers

MCAD Career Development can help you find work and help employers find you. In addition to job listings, the staff is available to meet one-on-one with students and alumni to assist with career development. Services include assistance writing and editing resumes, cover letters, and other professional correspondences; career exploration and industry research; interviewing practice; networking strategies; and industry-specific practices.

Are you interested in using your MFA to teach? The Teacher Training and Support page has up to date resources and information. 

Exhibiting Artist 

Creates work for a museum or gallery which may be on display temporarily or as a part of the institution’s permanent collection. 


Acquires, cares for, develops, displays, and interprets a collection of artifacts or works of art in order to inform, educate, and entertain the public.

Community Artist

Works with communities to improve their quality of life using a variety of art forms to explore relevant issues.

Visiting/Resident Artist

Works for a specified period of time at a school, college, museum, or center to demonstrate and teach techniques and processes in field of expertise. 

Arts Writer

Writes articles, blogs, books, short-form writing, and reviews of exhibitions, artists, films, designers, architecture, experimental sound works and so on, for various publications, both in print and online. Works to tailor writing to both general and specialized audiences, from scholarly works to local blogs.

Graphic Designer

Develops graphics and layouts for products, companies, ideas, and websites. Takes information, some of which can start out abstract, and turns it into compelling visual information your audience can comprehend. Typically requires working within the constraints of brand guidelines.

Art Director

Works with a client to create graphics for consumer advertising campaigns and product promotion. Gives presentations and develops liaisons with new clients. Develops market research and plans promotional campaigns. Handles all aspects of studio work on a freelance or staff basis. Designs graphics for use in films and television, storyboards, computer graphics, art direction, set design, advertising, promotional design work, and film titles.

Freelance Illustrator

Designs and creates images for websites, magazines, publishers, film studios, newspapers, advertising agencies, design firms, museums, and more. Usually specializes in one or two areas.

Book Illustrator

Works with a professional writer to create drawings and designs that accompany stories or information told in books or educational materials.

Comic Illustrator

Draws, storyboards, and sometimes writes narrative stories for comic books. 

Children's Book Illustrator

Creates drawings and designs that accompany stories told in children's books or educational materials. Usually works with a professional writer.

Editorial Illustrator

Creates illustrations that tell a story to accompany magazine articles, newspaper stories, or to be used as book covers or in reports.

Surface Designer

Creates patterns for fabric, clothing, and paper products.

Freelance Photographer

Works on a job-by-job basis, a perk for those who prefer to make their own schedule or to work on a variety of different projects. Typically specializes in areas such as portraits, aerial photography, weddings, food, sports, or fashion.


Sells work to individuals, galleries, interior designers, architects, libraries, community centers, churches, banks, hotels, government, and elsewhere on a freelance basis or by commission. 

Staff Photographer

Produces images for websites, magazines, advertisements, brochures, catalogs, corporate reports, publishers, architects, or other individuals and businesses that want an event documented or an image that conveys a specific thought or story.


Interprets and develops scripts. Works with the producer to choose key crew members, cast actors, select locations, and coordinate budgets and shooting schedules. Has a background in graphic design and fine arts (painting, composition, drawing, and color) are beneficial. In documentary productions often assumes the roles of producer, writer, and camera operator as well.

Film Editor

Organizes and edits film footage. Works with the director, producer, and writer to select footage to be used. Determines final rhythm of the film and in some cases the actual content. Combines picture and sound track and sees the film through to the complete print.

Production Assistant

An entry-level position, works with production manager, but assists the entire film unit with all phases of production.

Production Manager

Takes care of the financial and business side of production by organizing details such as budgeting, records of expenses, obtaining permits, hiring police protection, supervising travel arrangements, and providing housing. Acts as a peacemaker who ensures the whole production goes smoothly.

Furniture Designer

Creates furniture for everything from mass production to custom or art furniture. Oten designs for individual residences, museums, specialty stores, and other businesses that have specific needs.

Furniture Fabricator

Constructs furniture in assembly type fashion or aid with custom construction. 


Draws comic strips, caricatures, and spot illustrations for syndicated newspapers, magazines, trade or business publications, T-shirts, calendars, greeting cards, books, and more. Utilizes story-writing skills as well as humor, irony, or cynicism.

Comic Editor

Works with an artist and a publishing house to help guide a comic to print while ensuring that quality and production needs and deadlines are met.

Comic Writer

Conceives of a story and develops a plot and script, either of their own narratives that they self-publish or submit to publisher, or as a hired writer working on a pre-existing character. Works with a comic artist to illustrate the story or creates the artwork themselves.

Writer, Penciler, Colorist, Letterer, Inker

  • Develops the plot and script for the story.
  • Creates comic book layouts and illustrates the story from the writer’s script.
  • Works with the penciled illustrations to create finished artwork using India Ink.
  • Digitally colors and separates either the pencilers’ or the inkers’ line art. 
  • Sets the script and balloons on the page digitally or by hand