Careers in the Licensed Professions

Creative Arts Therapist

Creative Arts Therapist Print ProfilePDF

Creative arts therapists train in both psychotherapy and creative arts, including dance, drama, music, poetry, and art therapies. These professionals assess and guide patients, helping them to use art to cope with the symptoms of stress, illness, and trauma; improve self-esteem and awareness; and develop more effective communication skills.


Complete a master’s or doctoral degree in a Department-registered Creative Arts Therapy licensure program, or the equivalent, as determined by the Department


Complete at least 1,500 hours of post-degree supervised experience in the practice of Creative Arts Therapy, including direct work with clients in an acceptable setting


Board Certification examination administered by the Art Therapy Credential Board or Certification Board for Music Therapist; or New York State Case Narrative Examination

Visit the Office of the Professions for a listing of all options and requirements.






Salary and Projected Growth

  • Median salary: $47,860 in the US, $54,910 in NY
  • Salary range: $40,190-$64,400
  • Projected growth: faster than average

Where Could I Work?

  • Private or group practice
  • Hospitals and nursing homes
  • Schools and community centers
  • Group homes, half-way houses
  • Behavioral health agencies and programs

Your Interests and Abilities

  • Psychology - including developmental and abnormal
  • Therapy and counseling
  • Diversity and cultural competency
  • Discipline-specific theory and skills

Professional Skills

  • Concern for others
  • Dependability
  • Innovation
  • Creativity

What Interests You?

Match your interests and personality to career options! Explore a free career tool at

Tip: try searching for mentoring programs—talk to a creative arts therapist about what they do and how they got started!

Office of the Professions logo

Last Updated: January 13, 2020