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 $163K per year. Total cash earnings of Creative Directors range from $43K on the low end to $163K on the high end; the final amount can include bonuses and profit sharing proceeds that occasionally exceed $21K and $25K, respectively. The specific employer is the main element affecting pay for this group — the particular city and tenure are driving factors as well. Men make up the majority of Creative Directors (62 percent) survey respondents. Medical benefits are awarded to a large number, and the greater part earn dental coverage. Job satisfaction for Creative Directors is high. The information for this rundown comes from respondents who completed PayScale's salary questionnaire.
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$44,426 - $152,383
(Median)
$44K
$83K
$150K
MEDIAN: $83,429
10%
50%
90%

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$13.27 - $102.24
(Median)
$13
$29
$100
MEDIAN: $29.00
10%
50%
90%

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National Salary Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
)
$0$60K$120K$180K
Salary
$44,426 - $152,383  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $20,645  
Profit Sharing
$1,024 - $25,001  
Commission
$2,980 - $38,783  
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).
)
$42,758 - $162,857  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 12 Jan 2016 | Individuals Reporting: 3,612
National Hourly Rate Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
)
$0$50$100$150
Hourly Rate
$13.27 - $102.24  
   
Hourly Tips
$0.36  
Overtime
$0.00 - $72.38  
National Annualized Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
)
$0$100K$200K$300K
Bonus
$0.00 - $20,645  
   
Commission
$2,980 - $38,783  
Profit Sharing
$1,024 - $25,001  
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).
)
$42,758 - $162,857  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 12 Jan 2016 | Individuals Reporting: 285
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Job Description for Creative Director

The creative director is the leader of a team tasked with creating and implementing creative work; this could include projects in graphic design, advertising, music, media or similar fields. Their tasks vary depending on their industry and position; for example, they may work as a lead designer for websites, oversee copywriting for advertising campaigns or serve as the art director for a publication or advertising firm. Other tasks led by a creative director commonly include helping with the casting of a commercial, developing radio commercials, and helping guide copywriters and graphic designers on a wide variety of projects.

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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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While Creative Directors do not often become Executive Creative Directors, the job pays $165K per year on average. A VP or Creative Director role is the most common promotion for Creative Directors moving up the ladder, and pay for the position tends to be around the $139K mark. Another typical, albeit less common, transition for Creative Directors is a Creative Services Director position, where earnings are usually $76K.

Creative Director Job Listings

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Popular Employer Salaries for Creative Director


The biggest paychecks can be found at Havas — the median salary there is $163K.

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 8 percent and 15 percent. At the other end of the pay range are skills like Adobe InDesign, Graphic Design, 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.


In general, experience and pay appear to be strongly linked; those with more experience usually bring in higher incomes. The average worker who claims fewer than five years of experience earns around $54K. In contrast, however, individuals who report five to 10 years in this occupation see a much larger median of $75K. People with 10 to 20 years of experience make an average of about $99K in this role. Folks who have racked up more than 20 years in the field report incomes that aren't that much higher than less experienced individuals' earnings; the veterans make just $104K on average.

Pay Difference by Location

National Average: $84,943

Larger city markers indicate a job is popular in that location.

For Creative Directors, working in the bustling city of San Francisco has its advantages, including an above-average pay rate. Creative Directors will also find cushy salaries in New York (+43 percent), Boston (+33 percent), Chicago (+30 percent), and Seattle (+27 percent). In Austin, salaries are 14 percent below the national average and represent the lowest-paying market. Employers also pay below the national average in San Diego (10 percent lower) and Dallas (6 percent lower).

Related Job Salaries

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Experience Affects Creative Director Salaries



National Average
$85,000



Skills That Affect Creative Director Salaries





Advertising
up arrow 4%

Design
up arrow 2%

Branding
up arrow 1%

Marketing Communications
up arrow 1%

Product Development
0%

National Average
$85,000







Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 617 votes.

Gender

Female
38 %
Male
62 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
1%
1-4 years
13%
5-9 years
20%
10-19 years
45%
20 years or more
21%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits
Medical: 80%
dental benefits
Dental: 65%
medical benefits
Vision: 52%
dental benefits
None: 18%
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