Creative Director Salary

The majority of Creative Directors in the United States — nearly two in three — boast more than 10 years of experience in their profession. Salaries stretch from $43K to $160K per year, and the median is $83K per year. Total cash compensation to Creative Directors bottoms out near $43K and approaches $160K on the high end; the biggest paychecks include approximately $20K from bonuses and almost $23K from profit sharing. The most important factor affecting compensation for this group is career duration, followed by the particular city and the individual firm. The majority of workers are highly satisfied with their job. Medical benefits are awarded to a large number, and a majority earn dental coverage. Male Creative Directors who responded to the survey are more common than women; more than half (63 percent) are men. This report is based on responses to the PayScale salary survey.
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$44,368 - $150,153
(Median)
$44K
$83K
$150K
MEDIAN: $83,440
10%
50%
90%

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$13.89 - $99.51
(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
$44,368 - $150,153  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $20,282  
Profit Sharing
$1,036 - $23,270  
Commission
$4,797 - $39,866  
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).
)
$43,048 - $160,151  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 2 Jul 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 3,019
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$34$68$102
Hourly Rate
$13.89 - $99.51  
   
Overtime
$0.00 - $72.35  
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$70K$140K$210K
Bonus
$0.00 - $20,282  
   
Commission
$4,797 - $39,866  
Profit Sharing
$1,036 - $23,270  
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).
)
$43,048 - $160,151  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 2 Jul 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 247
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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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Creative Directors sometimes assume positions such as Executive Creative Directors. That role pays $163K per year on average. Going from Creative Director to VP or Creative Director is the transition that occurs most often in this field, where the paychecks are $139K. Many others choose to work as Creative Services Directors, where pay is typically $76K.

Creative Director Job Listings

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Popular Employer Salaries for Creative Director


Popular Skills for Creative Director


Survey respondents exploit a significant toolbox of skills in their work. Most notably, skills in User Interface Design, Team Leadership, Advertising, and Copywriting 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. Those with knowledge of Adobe Illustrator tend to be skilled in Adobe Photoshop as well.

Pay by Experience Level for Creative Director

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


For many Creative Directors, more experience generally translates to higher pay. Workers in their first five years can expect to earn $54K, but people who have been around for five to 10 years earn a noticeably bigger sum of $73K. Creative Directors claiming one to two decades of experience make an estimated median of $99K. People who have worked for more than 20 years report a median income of $105K, which is barely higher than the median for folks with 10 to 20 years of experience.

Pay Difference by Location


Surpassing the national average by 43 percent, Creative Directors in New York receive some of the highest pay in the country. Creative Directors will also find cushy salaries in San Francisco (+42 percent), Boston (+33 percent), Chicago (+29 percent), and Seattle (+24 percent). In Austin, salaries are 15 percent below the national average and represent the lowest-paying market. Employers in Dallas and San Diego also lean toward paying below-median salaries (11 percent lower and 6 percent lower, respectively).

Related Job Salaries

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Experience Affects Creative Director Salaries



National Average
$85,000



Skills That Affect Creative Director Salaries






Design
up arrow 3%

Marketing Communications
up arrow 1%

Branding
0%

National Average
$85,000

Product Development
up arrow 4%







Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 568 votes.

Gender

Female
37 %
Male
63 %

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: 17%
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