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Creative Director Salary

Creative Directors in the United States tend to be well-versed in their field, and about two-thirds have more than 10 years of experience. Average salary is expected to be around $83K per year, but may range from $43K to $159K per year. Total cash payments to Creative Directors include potential for bonuses, profit sharing and commission. In exceptional cases, the first two can peak near $20K each, and the last component can even exceed $38K (albeit rarely); this causes total cash payments to vary between $43K and $159K. The most important factor affecting compensation for this group is career length, followed by the particular city and the specific company. Most Creative Directors like their work and job satisfaction is high. Male Creative Directors who responded to the survey are more common than women; more than half (62 percent) are men. A large number enjoy medical while the larger part get dental coverage. Vision coverage is also available to roughly one-half. The data for this snapshot was collected from individuals who took PayScale's salary survey.
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$44,118 - $149,007
(Median)
$44K
$83K
$150K
MEDIAN: $82,739
10%
50%
90%

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$13.55 - $100.12
(Median)
$14
$29
$100
MEDIAN: $28.00
10%
50%
90%

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National Salary Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$60K$120K$180K
Salary
$44,118 - $149,007  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $20,226  
Profit Sharing
$1,021 - $20,798  
Commission
$3,500 - $37,500  
Total Pay (?
XTotal Pay combines base annual salary or hourly wage, bonuses, profit sharing, tips, commissions, overtime pay and other forms of cash earnings, as applicable for this job. It does not include equity (stock) compensation, cash value of retirement benefits, or the value of other non-cash benefits (e.g. healthcare).
)
$42,953 - $158,769  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 16 May 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 2,925
National Hourly Rate Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$50$100$150
Hourly Rate
$13.55 - $100.12  
   
Overtime
$0.00 - $73.42  
National Annualized Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$100K$200K$300K
Bonus
$0.00 - $20,226  
   
Commission
$3,500 - $37,500  
Profit Sharing
$1,021 - $20,798  
Total Pay (?
XTotal Pay combines base annual salary or hourly wage, bonuses, profit sharing, tips, commissions, overtime pay and other forms of cash earnings, as applicable for this job. It does not include equity (stock) compensation, cash value of retirement benefits, or the value of other non-cash benefits (e.g. healthcare).
)
$42,953 - $158,769  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 16 May 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 237
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Job Description for Creative Director

The Creative Director is a position found in industries where expression and creativity are required, such as music, fashion, graphic design, advertising, film, entertainment, and media.

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Creative Director Tasks

  • Coordinate with relevant departments on all promotions productions.
  • Develop and manage creative teams to promote product brands.
  • Develop and manage creative ideas.
  • Develop and produce promotional spots.

Common Career Paths for Creative Director


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There are some Creative Directors — though it's uncommon — that transition into Executive Creative Directors, where earnings are an average $163K annually. With an annual salary of $139K, VP or Creative Director is the most common role for Creative Directors to subsequently assume on their way up the ladder. Transitioning into a Creative Services Director role — which usually pays $76K — is also typical for Creative Directors, though less common by comparison.

Creative Director Job Listings

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Popular Employer Salaries for Creative Director


Popular Skills for Creative Director


Survey results imply that Creative Directors deploy a deep pool of skills on the job. Most notably, skills in User Interface Design, Team Leadership, Copywriting, and Strategic Marketing are correlated to pay that is above average, with boosts between 7 percent and 14 percent. Skills that pay less than market rate include Graphic Design, Adobe InDesign, and Adobe Photoshop. Adobe Illustrator and Adobe Photoshop are also commonly seen together.

Pay by Experience Level for Creative Director

Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.


For many Creative Directors, experience and pay levels seem to be correlated; more years in the business generally lead to more money. Folks with fewer than five years of experience take home $53K on average, and those who have worked for five to 10 years see a bigger median salary of $72K. Creative Directors with one to two decades of relevant experience report an average salary of approximately $99K. Respondents who claim more than 20 years of experience may encounter pay that doesn't quite reflect their extensive experience; these veterans report a median income of around $105K.

Pay Difference by Location


San Francisco is home to an above-average pay rate for Creative Directors, 43 percent higher than the national average. Creative Directors will also find cushy salaries in New York (+43 percent), Boston (+38 percent), Chicago (+30 percent), and Seattle (+25 percent). Austin is the lowest-paying area, 12 percent south of the national average. Two other places where employers offer below-median salaries are Dallas (11 percent less) and San Diego (7 percent less).

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Experience Affects Creative Director Salaries



National Average
$84,000



Skills That Affect Creative Director Salaries






Design
up arrow 4%

Marketing Communications
up arrow 2%

Branding
up arrow 1%

National Average
$84,000

Web Design
up arrow 4%

Product Development
up arrow 4%






Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 586 votes.

Gender

Female
38 %
Male
62 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
1%
1-4 years
12%
5-9 years
21%
10-19 years
45%
20 years or more
21%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits Medical: 81% dental benefits Dental: 65%
vision benefits Vision: 51% employee benefits None: 18%
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