Creative Director Salary

Creative Directors who are practiced in their profession and carry more than 10 years of experience make up around two in three of Creative Directors. Pay fluctuates from $43K to $159K per year, but expected earnings average $83K per year. With bonuses occasionally running north of $20K, profit sharing proceeds sometimes surpassing $23K, and a few commissions as high as $39K, total income for Creative Directors can range between $43K and $159K according to individual performance. While the particular city and the specific company impact pay for this group, career length is the most influential factor. Male Creative Directors are more prevalent than women among those who took the survey — 62 percent of professionals. For the most part, Creative Directors enjoy their work and report high levels of job satisfaction. A large number report receiving medical coverage from their employers and the greater part collect dental insurance. The data for this synopsis comes from respondents who took the PayScale salary survey.
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$44,196 - $149,294
(Median)
$44K
$83K
$150K
MEDIAN: $83,069
10%
50%
90%

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$13.85 - $99.64
(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
$44,196 - $149,294  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $20,188  
Profit Sharing
$1,030 - $23,489  
Commission
$2,061 - $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).
)
$42,908 - $158,805  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 20 Jun 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 2,966
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
$13.85 - $99.64  
   
Overtime
$0.00 - $72.50  
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 - $20,188  
   
Commission
$2,061 - $38,783  
Profit Sharing
$1,030 - $23,489  
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).
)
$42,908 - $158,805  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 20 Jun 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 245
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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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Though some Creative Directors move into positions like Executive Creative Director (where the average salary is $162K), this progression is not the norm. 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.

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Popular Skills for Creative Director


Survey results imply that Creative Directors deploy a substantial tool kit of skills at work. Most notably, skills in User Interface Design, Team Leadership, Advertising, and Strategic Marketing are correlated to pay that is above average, with boosts between 7 percent and 13 percent. Skills that seem to negatively impact pay include Graphic Design, Adobe InDesign, and Adobe Photoshop. Aptitude in Adobe Illustrator tends to also indicate an understanding of Adobe Photoshop.

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. Respondents with less than five years' experience take home $54K on average. In contrast, those who have been around for five to 10 years earn a noticeably higher average of $73K. Creative Directors who work for 10 to 20 years in their occupation tend to earn about $99K. Individuals who have achieved more than 20 years of experience don't seem to earn much more than people who have 10 to 20 years under their belts; the more senior group reports an average income of $105K.

Pay Difference by Location


With a pay rate for Creative Directors that is 44 percent greater than the national average, New York offers a comfortable salary for those in this profession. Creative Directors will also find cushy salaries in San Francisco (+42 percent), Boston (+35 percent), Chicago (+29 percent), and Los Angeles (+23 percent). Falling short of the national average by 13 percent, the area with the worst salaries is Austin. Below-median salaries also turn up in Dallas and San Diego (10 percent lower and 8 percent lower, respectively).

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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 2%

Branding
0%

National Average
$85,000








Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 567 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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