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
Creative Directors do not often transition into Executive Creative Director roles. The role averages $172K per year. The most common career progression for Creative Directors leads to becoming a VP or Creative Director, where average pay is $142K annually. However, many Creative Directors also opt to become Creative Services Directors. Typically, a Creative Services Director brings home $76K.
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Popular Employer Salaries for Creative Director
The biggest paychecks can be found at Havas — the median salary there is $151K.
Popular Skills for Creative Director
Creative Directors report using 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 8 percent and 14 percent. Skills that pay less than market rate include Adobe InDesign, Graphic Design, and Adobe Photoshop. The majority of those who know Adobe Illustrator also know Graphic Design.
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. Salaries of relatively inexperienced workers fall in the neighborhood of $54K, but folks who have racked up five to 10 years see a notably higher median of $79K. Experienced professionals who have spent one to two decades on the job can score lucrative paychecks that average out to $101K. Creative Directors who surpass 20 years on the job report pay that isn't as high as one would expect; the median compensation for this crowd sits around $107K.
Pay Difference by Location
San Francisco offers some of the highest pay in the country for Creative Directors, 69 percent above the national average. Creative Directors will also find cushy salaries in Seattle (+39 percent), New York (+34 percent), Los Angeles (+32 percent), and Boston (+20 percent). Those in the field find the lowest salaries in Austin, 19 percent below the national average. Employers pay around 18 percent less in Salt Lake City and 2 percent less in Miami, below-median salaries for those in this field.
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