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.

$55,590 - $119,971
(Median)
$56K
$80K
$120K
MEDIAN: $79,640
10%
50%
90%

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$27.12 - $96.35
(Median)
$27
$49
$96
MEDIAN: $49.00
10%
50%
90%

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National Salary Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
)
$0$50K$100K$150K
Salary
$55,590 - $119,971  
   
Bonus
$988 - $14,795  
Profit Sharing
$594 - $9,863  
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).
)
$56,059 - $127,955  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 28 Oct 2016 | Individuals Reporting: 573
National Hourly Rate Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
)
$0$60$120$180
Hourly Rate
$27.12 - $96.35  
   
Overtime
$1.53 - $151.01  
National Annualized Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
)
$0$120K$240K$360K
Bonus
$988 - $14,795  
   
Profit Sharing
$594 - $9,863  
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).
)
$56,059 - $127,955  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 28 Oct 2016 | Individuals Reporting: 43
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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.

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Sr. Art Director Tasks

  • Consult with clients during revision, purchase, and support stages.
  • Create designs.
  • Dictate the conceptual and visual development of designs.
  • Guide and mentor the creative team and deliverables.

Common Career Paths for Sr. Art Director


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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

National Average: $80,991

Larger city markers indicate a job is popular in that 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).

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Experience Affects Sr. Art Director Salaries



National Average
$81,000



Skills That Affect Sr. Art Director Salaries

Adobe Acrobat
up arrow 52%

Adobe After Effects
up arrow 7%


Adobe Photoshop
up arrow 1%

Design
up arrow 1%

Web Design
0%

Project Management
0%

National Average
$81,000

Advertising
up arrow 1%

Adobe InDesign
up arrow 2%

Adobe Illustrator
up arrow 2%

Graphic Design
up arrow 3%

art direction
up arrow 3%

Job Satisfaction

Highly satisfied
Rated 4 out of 5
based on 82 votes.

Gender

Female
49 %
Male
51 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
0%
1-4 years
5%
5-9 years
26%
10-19 years
47%
20 years or more
21%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits
Medical: 89%
dental benefits
Dental: 79%
medical benefits
Vision: 67%
dental benefits
None: 9%
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