Creative Director Salary
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.Read More...
Creative directors normally fall into two categories: an in-house creative director or an agency creative director. An in-house creative director is generally in charge of marketing campaigns or other creative tasks for large companies, whereas an agency creative director handles creative projects for a larger number of clients. Creative directors typically work full time in an office setting, although their hours and work environment may vary by position.
A technical or bachelor's degree in graphic design, advertising, music, media or another field relevant to the creative director's field is generally required for this position. Previous industry experience is needed as well. The creative director must be skilled in group coordination and able to provide constructive criticism. They also need to be able to move ideas throughout the entire development process from brainstorming to completion, and additional skills relevant to their specific position (such as proficiency with relevant computer programs and industry-specific knowledge) may be required or preferred as well.
Creative Director Tasks
- Develop and manage creative ideas.
- Develop and produce promotional spots.
- Coordinate with relevant departments on all promotions productions.
- Develop and manage creative teams to promote product brands.
Common Career Paths for Creative Director
While not commonly seen, Creative Directors who transition into an Executive Creative Director position may see a rise in pay. The median salary for Executive Creative Directors is $173K per year. With an annual salary of $142K, 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
Heading up the field in terms of compensation, Havas offers the most; Creative Directors earn $151K on average there.
Popular Skills for Creative Director
Creative Directors report using 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 15 percent. Skills that are correlated to lower pay, on the other hand, include Adobe InDesign, Graphic Design, and Adobe Photoshop. Most people skilled in Adobe Illustrator are similarly competent in Graphic Design.
Pay by Experience Level for Creative Director
Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.
Experience seems to be a major factor in determining the incomes of Creative Directors. The average worker who claims fewer than five years of experience earns around $55K. In contrast, however, individuals who report five to 10 years in this occupation see a much larger median of $79K. Professionals who spend a good 10 to 20 years in the workforce haul in an average of $101K. More than 20 years of experience mean a somewhat bigger median paycheck of $108K, but it's not much more than what less experienced people make.
Pay Difference by Location
For those looking to make money, Creative Directors in San Francisco enjoy an exceptional pay rate, 62 percent above the national average. Creative Directors will also find cushy salaries in Seattle (+41 percent), Los Angeles (+38 percent), New York (+32 percent), and Chicago (+20 percent). Salt Lake City is the lowest-paying area, 19 percent south of the national average. Employers also pay below the national average in Austin (18 percent lower) and San Diego (8 percent lower).