Sr. Art Director Salary
Senior Art Directors who are practiced in their profession and carry more than 10 years of experience make up between two-thirds and three-fourths of Senior Art Directors. Pay fluctuates from $56K to $128K per year, but expected earnings average $80K annually. In the world of Senior Art Directors, overall cash allowance can occasionally include more than $15K from bonuses and, in some exceptional cases, $10K from profit sharing, causing incomes to vary widely between $56K and $128K. Geographic location is the biggest factor affecting pay for this group, followed by career duration. Most workers in this position report high levels of job satisfaction. Most report receiving medical coverage from their employers and a strong majority collect dental insurance. Women are just slightly outnumbered, with male Senior Art Directors making up 51 percent of survey respondents. Participants in PayScale's salary questionnaire provided the particulars of this report.
Job Description for Sr. Art Director
A senior art director is usually a graphic design professional with many years of experience in their field. However, the “senior” portion of their title may only indicate this individual is in charge of a team of more junior designers. Regardless of whether he or she leads a team, a senior art director generally spends most of their time developing and implementing creative solutions to various types of graphic design problems. For example, they may design web sites, retouch photos for magazine covers, or create business-specific materials such as logos, business cards, brochures, and price lists. The type of materials they design and create depends largely on the company for which they work. Senior art directors are hired by a wide range of organizations, from video game houses to financial services firms to nonprofit institutions.Read More...
If the senior art director leads a team, then a certain portion of their time involves tasks such as mentoring junior design team members and providing feedback on their designs. They may or may not be responsible for periodic performance reviews and only sometimes have input into their team members' compensation levels.
Most companies prefer senior art directors to have a bachelor's degree in graphic design, as well as five to 10 years' experience in a related industry. Some companies want a potential employee to demonstrate their proficiency with a specific software program by holding a certification, particularly Adobe products such as InDesign, Photoshop and Illustrator.
Sr. Art Director Tasks
- Dictate the conceptual and visual development of designs.
- Guide and mentor the creative team and deliverables.
- Consult with clients during revision, purchase, and support stages.
- Create designs.
Common Career Paths for Sr. Art Director
Senior Art Directors who go on to become VPs and Creative Directors may see their salaries climb quite a bit. Median pay for VPs and Creative Directors is $142K annually. A common career progression for a Senior Art Director is to become a Creative Director or an Associate Director of Creative Services. Compared to Senior Art Directors, the first group earns $2K more on average, and the second group earns $10K more.
Sr. Art Director Job Listings
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Popular Skills for Sr. Art Director
Survey participants wield an impressively varied skill set on the job. Most notably, facility with Adobe Acrobat, Adobe After Effects, and User Interface Design are correlated to pay that is significantly above average, leading to increases of 52 percent, 7 percent, and 6 percent, respectively. Skills that seem to negatively impact pay include Graphic Design. For most people, competency in Adobe Illustrator indicates knowledge of Adobe InDesign.
Pay by Experience Level for Sr. Art Director
Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.
Experience does not seem to be a strong driver of pay increase in this role. Survey participants with less than five years' experience pocket $73K on average, but those with five to 10 years of experience enjoy a much bigger median of $80K. Senior Art Directors who work for 10 to 20 years in their occupation tend to earn about $83K. 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 $84K on average.
Pay Difference by Location
For Senior Art Directors, working in the bustling city of San Francisco has its advantages, including an above-average pay rate. Senior Art Directors can also look forward to large paychecks in cities like Los Angeles (+22 percent), New York (+19 percent), Philadelphia (+9 percent), and Seattle (+3 percent). One of the biggest compensable factors for Senior Art Directors is geography, with workers in Farmington Hills earning a whopping 21 percent below the national average. Two other places where employers offer below-median salaries are St. Louis (20 percent less) and Kansas City (14 percent less).