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Creative Director Salary

Roughly two in three of Creative Directors in the United States are seasoned employees who have more than 10 years of experience in the field. Pay ranges from $43K to $159K per year, and the average comes out to $83K annually. Overall incomes of Creative Directors generally bottom out at around $43K and peak near $159K; the final number can, in exceptional cases, include upwards of $20K each for bonuses and profit sharing proceeds. While geography and the individual firm impact pay for this group, career length is the most influential factor. Most report receiving medical coverage from their employers and more than half collect dental insurance. Male Creative Directors are more prevalent than women among those who took the survey — 62 percent of professionals. Job satisfaction for Creative Directors is high. The numbers in this rundown were provided by PayScale's salary survey participants.
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$44,155 - $149,412
(Median)
$44K
$83K
$150K
MEDIAN: $82,857
10%
50%
90%

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$13.61 - $100.24
(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
$44,155 - $149,412  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $20,199  
Profit Sharing
$1,017 - $20,524  
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).
)
$43,001 - $159,351  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 2 May 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 2,866
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
$13.61 - $100.24  
   
Overtime
$0.00 - $73.94  
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 - $20,199  
   
Commission
$2,061 - $38,783  
Profit Sharing
$1,017 - $20,524  
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).
)
$43,001 - $159,351  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 2 May 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 235

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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 who advance into the role of an Executive Creative Director are fairly uncommon. Executive Creative Directors on average earn $163K per year. As Creative Directors progress in their field, many go on to become VP or Creative Directors. In fact, this transition is more common than anything else, and pay for the position is usually $138K per year. Another common career choice for Creative Directors is to move into a Creative Services Director role. Typically, Creative Services Directors get paid $76K.

Creative Director Job Listings

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Popular Employer Salaries for Creative Director


Popular Skills for Creative Director


Creative Directors seem to exploit a large range 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 6 percent and 14 percent. Skills that pay less than market rate include Graphic Design, Adobe InDesign, and Adobe Photoshop. It is not unusual for someone who knows Adobe Illustrator to be familiar with 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. The average beginner in this position makes around $52K, but folks who have been around for five to 10 years see a markedly higher median salary of $73K. Creative Directors who work for 10 to 20 years in their occupation tend to earn about $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 44 percent, Creative Directors in San Francisco receive some of the highest pay in the country. Creative Directors can also look forward to large paychecks in cities like New York (+43 percent), Boston (+37 percent), Chicago (+28 percent), and Seattle (+25 percent). Those in the field find the lowest salaries in Austin, 14 percent below the national average. Employers also pay below the national average in Dallas (12 percent lower) and San Diego (8 percent lower).

Related Job Salaries

United States (change)

Experience Affects Creative Director Salaries



National Average
$85,000



Skills That Affect Creative Director Salaries






Design
up arrow 4%

Marketing Communications
up arrow 1%

Branding
0%

National Average
$85,000

Product Development
up arrow 3%

Web Design
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: 50% employee benefits None: 18%
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