Community Art Therapist Job Description [Updated for 2024]

community art therapist job description

In an era where art and therapy converge, the spotlight on community art therapists has never been brighter.

As communities evolve, the demand for skilled professionals who can blend, enhance, and protect the therapeutic values of art intensifies.

But let’s delve deeper: What’s truly expected from a community art therapist?

Whether you are:

  • A job seeker striving to understand the core of this role,
  • A hiring manager crafting the perfect candidate profile,
  • Or simply fascinated by the intricate blend of art and therapy,

You’ve landed at the right spot.

Today, we reveal a customizable community art therapist job description template, intended for effortless posting on job boards or career sites.

Let’s dive right in.

Community Art Therapist Duties and Responsibilities

Community Art Therapists use art-based activities to help individuals overcome emotional and psychological difficulties.

They work with a diverse range of clients, including children, adults and the elderly in a community setting, and employ a variety of artistic modalities such as drawing, painting, sculpture and collage as therapeutic tools.

They have the following duties and responsibilities:

  • Evaluate the emotional, mental, and physical health conditions of clients through observation and discussions
  • Design individual and group art therapy sessions to address specific therapeutic goals
  • Guide clients in creating art as a means of self-expression and self-exploration
  • Interpret clients’ art productions and the symbolic meanings in order to understand their feelings, perceptions and behaviors
  • Document and maintain client records, including therapy plans, progress notes and discharge summaries
  • Provide crisis intervention as needed
  • Work collaboratively with a multi-disciplinary team of health professionals including psychologists, social workers, and occupational therapists
  • Carry out art therapy research and contribute to the professional development of the field
  • Ensure the maintenance of a safe and therapeutic environment, respecting client confidentiality at all times
  • Engage with the local community to promote the benefits of art therapy and advocate for access to therapeutic services


Community Art Therapist Job Description Template

Job Brief

We are seeking an experienced and compassionate Community Art Therapist to join our team.

The ideal candidate will have a strong understanding of art therapy principles and practices, and use art-based activities to help individuals in our community express their feelings and cope with difficulties.

As a Community Art Therapist, you will use your creativity and therapeutic skills to improve the mental health and well-being of diverse populations within our community.



  • Design and implement art therapy sessions for individuals and groups.
  • Assess the emotional, developmental, and mental health needs of clients.
  • Use a variety of art mediums to help clients express their feelings and thoughts.
  • Document and evaluate client progress and modify treatment plans as needed.
  • Adhere to ethical guidelines and maintain confidentiality of client information.
  • Collaborate with other healthcare professionals to provide comprehensive care.
  • Conduct outreach programs to educate the community about art therapy.
  • Provide crisis intervention as necessary.
  • Maintain up-to-date knowledge of the field through continuous professional development.



  • Master’s degree in Art Therapy or a related field.
  • Registered with the American Art Therapy Association or equivalent body.
  • Experience working in community settings with diverse populations.
  • Proficiency in various art mediums and therapeutic techniques.
  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills.
  • Strong ability to empathize and build trust with clients.
  • Ability to maintain patient confidentiality.
  • Knowledge of crisis intervention techniques.



  • Health insurance
  • Dental insurance
  • Retirement plan
  • Paid time off
  • Professional development opportunities
  • Wellness program


Additional Information

  • Job Title: Community Art Therapist
  • Work Environment: Community-based settings which may include schools, hospitals, rehabilitation centers, or clients’ homes. Some office work for planning and documentation.
  • Reporting Structure: Reports to the Director of Community Services or Mental Health Services Manager.
  • Salary: Salary is based upon candidate experience and qualifications, as well as market and business considerations.
  • Pay Range: $45,000 minimum to $75,000 maximum
  • Location: [City, State] (specify the location or indicate if remote)
  • Employment Type: Full-time
  • Equal Opportunity Statement: We are an equal opportunity employer and value diversity at our company. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, color, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, age, marital status, veteran status, or disability status.
  • Application Instructions: Please submit your resume, a cover letter outlining your qualifications and experience, and a portfolio of your artwork (if applicable) to [email address or application portal].


What Does a Community Art Therapist Do?

Community Art Therapists work within various community settings such as schools, hospitals, mental health clinics, prisons, and rehabilitation centers.

They can also operate privately, offering therapy sessions to clients individually or in groups.

These therapists use the creative process of art making to improve and enhance the physical, mental, and emotional well-being of individuals of all ages.

They use art media, the creative process, and the resulting artwork to explore feelings, reconcile emotional conflicts, foster self-awareness, manage behavior and addictions, develop social skills, improve reality orientation, reduce anxiety, and increase self-esteem.

Community Art Therapists are often involved in the design and facilitation of therapeutic art-based workshops, group sessions, and individual therapy sessions.

They help clients to express themselves through art, thereby assisting them to develop new insights into their problems and concerns.

They work collaboratively with other health professionals, liaise with community organizations, and advocate for the importance of art therapy in public health and community development.

Furthermore, they are responsible for maintaining client records, documenting therapy progress, and respecting the confidential nature of therapy sessions.

They also adhere to professional and ethical guidelines as specified by relevant professional bodies.


Community Art Therapist Qualifications and Skills

A qualified Community Art Therapist should have the skills and qualifications that align with the job role, such as:

  • Strong understanding of therapeutic art practices and techniques to assist clients in expressing their feelings and experiences through art.
  • Excellent communication skills to connect with a diverse range of clients, understand their concerns, and guide them through therapeutic processes.
  • Empathy and understanding to work with clients who may be dealing with mental health challenges, trauma, stress, or other personal issues.
  • Knowledge of psychology and counseling to effectively aid clients in their healing and development.
  • Ability to create a safe, comfortable, and non-judgmental space that encourages creativity and self-expression.
  • Interpersonal skills to build trusting relationships with clients and work collaboratively with other community professionals.
  • Patient, compassionate, and adaptable, capable of dealing with emotional situations and adjusting therapy methods based on individual client needs.
  • Strong observational skills to interpret clients’ artworks and understand their feelings or conditions.
  • Problem-solving abilities to create individualized treatment plans and adjust them as necessary over time.


Community Art Therapist Experience Requirements

Community Art Therapists typically require a substantial amount of theoretical and practical experience, including a master’s degree in art therapy or a related field.

This provides them with the foundation of psychology and therapeutic techniques needed to successfully guide individuals or groups through the healing process using art.

In addition to their formal education, aspiring Community Art Therapists often complete internships or part-time roles in hospitals, mental health clinics, schools, or community centers.

This allows them to gain firsthand experience working with a diverse range of individuals, including those experiencing emotional, mental, or physical challenges.

Candidates with 1 to 2 years of experience are typically entry-level and may be expected to work under the supervision of a more experienced Art Therapist.

They generally assist in conducting therapy sessions, documenting patient progress, and preparing art supplies and environments.

Those with 3 to 5 years of experience are often ready for a more independent role where they can plan and lead therapy sessions, collaborate with other healthcare professionals, and contribute to treatment planning.

Community Art Therapists with more than 5 years of experience may have some leadership experience and could be ready for a managerial or supervisory role.

These professionals often oversee a team of Art Therapists, develop and implement therapeutic programs, and contribute to the wider goals of the organization.

Additionally, all practicing Art Therapists, regardless of their level of experience, are typically required to be registered or licensed with a recognized professional body.

This ensures they maintain high professional standards and continue their professional development.


Community Art Therapist Education and Training Requirements

Community Art Therapists typically require a master’s degree in art therapy or counseling with a specialization in art therapy.

To enroll in such a program, a bachelor’s degree in psychology, art or a related field is often preferred.

The master’s degree program generally includes practical training in a clinical setting and coursework in human development, theories of art therapy, counseling techniques, ethics and research methods.

In addition to the academic requirements, a certain number of supervised clinical hours are required to become a professional art therapist.

These hours vary by state and by certifying body.

Many employers prefer Community Art Therapists who are certified by the Art Therapy Credentials Board (ATCB).

To earn ATCB certification, therapists must complete graduate education, post-graduate supervised experience, and pass a certification exam.

Continuing education is essential for Community Art Therapists to stay updated with the latest techniques and approaches in art therapy.

This can be accomplished through workshops, seminars, or additional courses.

Apart from formal education, strong interpersonal skills, empathy, patience, and creativity are crucial for Community Art Therapists to connect with a diverse range of clients and to facilitate their therapeutic process.


Community Art Therapist Salary Expectations

A Community Art Therapist earns an average salary of $48,905 (USD) per year.

The income can fluctuate based on factors such as years of experience, specific skills, and the region in which they work.


Community Art Therapist Job Description FAQs

What skills does a Community Art Therapist need?

Community Art Therapists should possess excellent communication and interpersonal skills to build trust with their clients.

They must have a creative mindset and be able to inspire creativity in others.

They should also have a sound knowledge of different art forms and materials.

It is crucial for them to have an understanding of psychology and therapeutic techniques.

Cultural sensitivity and adaptability are also important, as they may work with diverse populations.


Do Community Art Therapists need a degree?

Yes, Community Art Therapists typically need a master’s degree in art therapy or a related field, such as counseling or psychology with a concentration in art therapy.

They also need to complete a certain amount of supervised clinical experience.

Several states require art therapists to be licensed, and certification can also enhance job prospects.


What should you look for in a Community Art Therapist resume?

Check for a master’s degree in art therapy or a related field.

It’s also important to see if they have completed the required clinical experience hours.

Certifications from recognized bodies like the Art Therapy Credentials Board can also be a plus.

Look for skills such as creativity, empathy, interpersonal skills, and experience working with diverse populations or in community settings.


What qualities make a good Community Art Therapist?

A good Community Art Therapist is empathetic and patient, with the ability to inspire trust and openness in their clients.

They should have strong communication skills and the ability to adapt their approach to suit different clients.

Creativity and a deep understanding of art is a must, as well as a solid knowledge of therapeutic techniques.

They should also be culturally sensitive and comfortable working in diverse community settings.


How does a Community Art Therapist use art in therapy?

Community Art Therapists use art as a medium to help people express their feelings and emotions, which they may find difficult to communicate verbally.

Through creating art and reflecting on the art products and processes, people can increase awareness of self and others, cope with symptoms, stress, and traumatic experiences; enhance cognitive abilities; and enjoy the life-affirming pleasures of making art.



And there we are.

Today, we’ve delved into the heart of what it truly means to be a community art therapist.


It’s not just about painting pictures.

It’s about creating healing masterpieces, one brushstroke at a time.

With our top-notch community art therapist job description template and real-life examples, you’re ready to take the next step.

But why settle there?

Explore further with our job description generator. It’s your stepping stone to accurately crafted job listings or refining your resume to precision.


Every brushstroke contributes to a larger therapeutic journey.

Let’s create that journey. Together.

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