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Working as a Creative Director & Designer

There is more than meets the eye when it comes to being a creative director & designer. For example, did you know that they make an average of $64.98 an hour? That's $135,156 a year!

Between 2018 and 2028, the career is expected to grow 3% and produce 8,800 job opportunities across the U.S.

What Does a Creative Director & Designer Do

There are certain skills that many creative directors & designer have in order to accomplish their responsibilities. By taking a look through resumes, we were able to narrow down the most common skills for a person in this position. We discovered that a lot of resumes listed artistic ability, computer skills and analytical skills.

When it comes to the most important skills required to be a creative director & designer, we found that a lot of resumes listed 18.8% of creative directors & designer included graphic design, while 14.6% of resumes included creative concepts, and 8.5% of resumes included company website. Hard skills like these are helpful to have when it comes to performing essential job responsibilities.

When it comes to searching for a job, many search for a key term or phrase. Instead, it might be more helpful to search by industry, as you might be missing jobs that you never thought about in industries that you didn't even think offered positions related to the creative director & designer job title. But what industry to start with? Most creative directors & designer actually find jobs in the technology and manufacturing industries.

How To Become a Creative Director & Designer

If you're interested in becoming a creative director & designer, one of the first things to consider is how much education you need. We've determined that 68.7% of creative directors & designer have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 9.5% of creative directors & designer have master's degrees. Even though most creative directors & designer have a college degree, it's possible to become one with only a high school degree or GED.

Choosing the right major is always an important step when researching how to become a creative director & designer. When we researched the most common majors for a creative director & designer, we found that they most commonly earn bachelor's degree degrees or associate degree degrees. Other degrees that we often see on creative director & designer resumes include master's degree degrees or high school diploma degrees.

You may find that experience in other jobs will help you become a creative director & designer. In fact, many creative director & designer jobs require experience in a role such as graphic designer. Meanwhile, many creative directors & designer also have previous career experience in roles such as art director or creative director.

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Average Salary$135,156
Job Growth Rate3%

Creative Director & Designer Career Paths

Top Careers Before Creative Director & Designer

Top Careers After Creative Director & Designer

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Average Salary for a Creative Director & Designer

Creative Directors & Designer in America make an average salary of $135,156 per year or $65 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $184,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $98,000 per year.
Average Salary
$135,156

Best Paying Cities

City
Average Salary
San Francisco, CA
Salary Range111k - 209k$153k$152,689
New York, NY
Salary Range85k - 160k$117k$116,824
Denver, CO
Salary Range79k - 153k$111k$110,595
Chicago, IL
Salary Range74k - 139k$102k$101,821
Columbia, MO
Salary Range66k - 127k$92k$92,371
Doral, FL
Salary Range55k - 120k$82k$81,939
$55k
$209k

Recently Added Salaries

Job TitleCompanyCompanyStart DateSalary
Creative Director-Store Design & Visuals | Luxury Home Furnishings
Creative Director-Store Design & Visuals | Luxury Home Furnishings
Interior Talent
Interior Talent
01/25/2021
01/25/2021
$100,00001/25/2021
$100,000
The North Face: Director, Creative Design (TNF Footwear)
The North Face: Director, Creative Design (TNF Footwear)
VF Corporation
VF Corporation
01/07/2021
01/07/2021
$144,00001/07/2021
$144,000
Creative Director & Designer
Creative Director & Designer
Gecko Hospitality
Gecko Hospitality
10/08/2019
10/08/2019
$130,00010/08/2019
$130,000
Creative Director of Graphic Design
Creative Director of Graphic Design
Blutonic, Inc.
Blutonic, Inc.
06/28/2019
06/28/2019
$90,00006/28/2019
$90,000
Creative Director Graphic Designer
Creative Director Graphic Designer
Copacabana Design USA, Inc.
Copacabana Design USA, Inc.
05/14/2019
05/14/2019
$57,51205/14/2019
$57,512
See More Recent Salaries

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Creative Director & Designer Demographics

Gender

male

57.2 %

female

37.9 %

unknown

5.0 %

Ethnicity

White

75.0 %

Hispanic or Latino

10.3 %

Asian

8.3 %

Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

36.4 %

Italian

12.1 %

French

10.6 %
See More Demographics

Creative Director & Designer Education

Degrees

Bachelors

68.7 %

Associate

13.8 %

Masters

9.5 %

Top Colleges for Creative Director & Designers

1. University of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, PA • Private

In-State Tuition
$55,584
Enrollment
10,764

2. Carnegie Mellon University

Pittsburgh, PA • Private

In-State Tuition
$55,465
Enrollment
6,483

3. University of Southern California

Los Angeles, CA • Private

In-State Tuition
$56,225
Enrollment
19,548

4. Harvard University

Cambridge, MA • Private

In-State Tuition
$50,420
Enrollment
7,582

5. Duke University

Durham, NC • Private

In-State Tuition
$55,695
Enrollment
6,596

6. Northeastern University

Boston, MA • Private

In-State Tuition
$51,522
Enrollment
13,760

7. New York University

New York, NY • Private

In-State Tuition
$51,828
Enrollment
26,339

8. Boston University

Boston, MA • Private

In-State Tuition
$53,948
Enrollment
17,238

9. Northwestern University

Evanston, IL • Private

In-State Tuition
$54,568
Enrollment
8,451

10. University of Michigan - Ann Arbor

Ann Arbor, MI • Public

In-State Tuition
$15,262
Enrollment
30,079
See More Education Info
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Internship
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Top Skills For a Creative Director & Designer

The skills section on your resume can be almost as important as the experience section, so you want it to be an accurate portrayal of what you can do. Luckily, we've found all of the skills you'll need so even if you don't have these skills yet, you know what you need to work on. Out of all the resumes we looked through, 18.8% of creative directors & designer listed graphic design on their resume, but soft skills such as artistic ability and computer skills are important as well.

Best States For a Creative Director & Designer

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as a creative director & designer. The best states for people in this position are Washington, Oregon, Nevada, and Alaska. Creative directors & designer make the most in Washington with an average salary of $155,573. Whereas in Oregon and Nevada, they would average $142,850 and $139,462, respectively. While creative directors & designer would only make an average of $138,065 in Alaska, you would still make more there than in the rest of the country. We determined these as the best states based on job availability and pay. By finding the median salary, cost of living, and using the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Location Quotient, we narrowed down our list of states to these four.

1. Washington

Total Creative Director & Designer Jobs:
138
Highest 10% Earn:
$237,000
Location Quotient:
1.21
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

2. Oregon

Total Creative Director & Designer Jobs:
57
Highest 10% Earn:
$225,000
Location Quotient:
1.13
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

3. California

Total Creative Director & Designer Jobs:
741
Highest 10% Earn:
$220,000
Location Quotient:
1.47
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here
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Top Creative Director & Designer Employers

1. Crispin Porter Bogusky
4.2
Avg. Salary: 
$166,527
Creative Director & Designers Hired: 
7+
2. Creative
4.3
Avg. Salary: 
$153,688
Creative Director & Designers Hired: 
4+
3. MAC Cosmetics
4.1
Avg. Salary: 
$156,577
Creative Director & Designers Hired: 
2+
4. The Bon-Ton
3.7
Avg. Salary: 
$171,074
Creative Director & Designers Hired: 
2+
5. Daniel
3.9
Avg. Salary: 
$135,135
Creative Director & Designers Hired: 
2+
6. SPECTRUM MARKETING
4.1
Avg. Salary: 
$135,922
Creative Director & Designers Hired: 
2+

Creative Director & Designer Videos

Updated October 2, 2020