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Creative Director Careers

Creative directors are key personnel in marketing and advertising agencies. They design media strategies and monitor communication campaigns for brands and products. They oversee the work of copywriters and graphic designers, revise presentations and coordinate the work of the creative team, making the final calls in creating advertisements.

The job of creative directors is essentially to whittle down the creative chaos their team generates into the most efficient, witty, and spot-on ad solutions. A good creative director will know how to motivate and inspire his or her team, bring the best out of the people they work with, and give space for great ideas to grow.

Advertising is a highly competitive and lucrative business for anyone involved, and creative directors are certainly not the ones to miss out on the financial perks. There are a lot of opportunities to show your worth, and as a creative director, you can make anything between $87,869 to $169,072 a year, depending on your location, the size and reputation of your agency, your experience in the field, and the results your work brings.

There is more than meets the eye when it comes to being a creative director. For example, did you know that they make an average of $49.71 an hour? That's $103,387 a year!

Between 2018 and 2028, the career is expected to grow 1% and produce 900 job opportunities across the U.S.

What Does a Creative Director Do

There are certain skills that many creative directors 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 management skills, problem-solving skills and leadership skills.

When it comes to the most important skills required to be a creative director, we found that a lot of resumes listed 23.5% of creative directors included creative concepts, while 8.4% of resumes included graphic design, and 7.7% of resumes included online. 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 job title. But what industry to start with? Most creative directors actually find jobs in the media and retail industries.

How To Become a Creative Director

If you're interested in becoming a creative director, one of the first things to consider is how much education you need. We've determined that 67.3% of creative directors have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 12.9% of creative directors have master's degrees. Even though most creative directors 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. When we researched the most common majors for a creative director, we found that they most commonly earn bachelor's degree degrees or master's degree degrees. Other degrees that we often see on creative director resumes include associate degree degrees or high school diploma degrees.

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

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Average Salary
$103,387
Average Salary
Job Growth Rate
1%
Job Growth Rate
Job Openings
5,074
Job Openings

Creative Director Career Paths

Top Careers Before Creative Director

Top Careers After Creative Director

What is the right job for my career path?

Tell us your goals and we'll match you with the rights job to get there.

Average Salary for a Creative Director

Creative Directors in America make an average salary of $103,387 per year or $50 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $174,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $61,000 per year.
Average Salary
$103,387

Best Paying Cities

City
ascdesc
Average Salarydesc
Seattle, WA
Salary Range100k - 200k$142k$141,515
San Francisco, CA
Salary Range94k - 200k$138k$137,740
Chicago, IL
Salary Range86k - 170k$122k$121,746
Portland, OR
Salary Range84k - 169k$120k$119,619
New York, NY
Salary Range76k - 153k$108k$108,389
Portland, ME
Salary Range72k - 147k$103k$103,001
$42k
$200k

Recently Added Salaries

Job TitleCompanyascdescCompanyascdescStart DateascdescSalaryascdesc
Director of Access To The Creative Sector
Director of Access To The Creative Sector
Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
03/11/2021
03/11/2021
$58,89503/11/2021
$58,895
Creative Director
Creative Director
Robert Half
Robert Half
01/29/2021
01/29/2021
$90,00001/29/2021
$90,000
Inclusive Creative Industry Director
Inclusive Creative Industry Director
City of Seattle
City of Seattle
01/06/2021
01/06/2021
$139,89601/06/2021
$139,896
Creative Director
Creative Director
Robert Half
Robert Half
11/12/2020
11/12/2020
$125,22011/12/2020
$125,220
Creative Director
Creative Director
Randstad
Randstad
11/11/2020
11/11/2020
$97,40011/11/2020
$97,400
See More Recent Salaries

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Creative Director Resumes

Designing and figuring out what to include on your resume can be tough, not to mention time-consuming. That's why we put together a guide that is designed to help you craft the perfect resume for becoming a Creative Director. If you're needing extra inspiration, take a look through our selection of templates that are specific to your job.

Learn How To Write a Creative Director Resume

At Zippia, we went through countless Creative Director resumes and compiled some information about how best to optimize them. Here are some suggestions based on what we found, divided by the individual sections of the resume itself.

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Creative Director Demographics

Gender

male

58.7 %

female

33.4 %

unknown

7.9 %

Ethnicity

White

73.4 %

Hispanic or Latino

11.6 %

Asian

8.3 %

Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

46.6 %

French

13.9 %

Italian

6.9 %
See More Demographics

Creative Director Education

Majors

Fine Arts
10.8 %

Degrees

Bachelors

70.3 %

Associate

11.0 %

Certificate

9.0 %

Top Colleges for Creative Directors

1. Harvard University

Cambridge, MA • Private

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

2. Duke University

Durham, NC • Private

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

3. University of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, PA • Private

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

4. Northwestern University

Evanston, IL • Private

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

5. Carnegie Mellon University

Pittsburgh, PA • Private

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

6. University of Southern California

Los Angeles, CA • Private

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

7. University of Texas at Austin

Austin, TX • Public

In-State Tuition
$10,610
Enrollment
40,329

8. University of Florida

Gainesville, FL • Public

In-State Tuition
$6,381
Enrollment
34,564

9. Northeastern University

Boston, MA • Private

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

10. New York University

New York, NY • Private

In-State Tuition
$51,828
Enrollment
26,339
See More Education Info
Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary

Top Skills For a Creative Director

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, 23.5% of creative directors listed creative concepts on their resume, but soft skills such as management skills and problem-solving skills are important as well.

Best States For a Creative Director

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as a creative director. The best states for people in this position are Alaska, Washington, Illinois, and California. Creative directors make the most in Alaska with an average salary of $157,283. Whereas in Washington and Illinois, they would average $131,519 and $117,908, respectively. While creative directors would only make an average of $116,735 in California, 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 Jobs:
97
Highest 10% Earn:
$221,000
Location Quotient:
0.75
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. Illinois

Total Creative Director Jobs:
185
Highest 10% Earn:
$203,000
Location Quotient:
0.87
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. Oregon

Total Creative Director Jobs:
77
Highest 10% Earn:
$202,000
Location Quotient:
1.05
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 Employers

We've made finding a great employer to work for easy by doing the hard work for you. We looked into employers that employ creative directors and discovered their number of creative director opportunities and average salary. Through our research, we concluded that Ogilvy was the best, especially with an average salary of $134,997. Creative follows up with an average salary of $166,475, and then comes Robert Half International with an average of $96,692. In addition, we know most people would rather work from home. So instead of having to change careers, we identified the best employers for remote work as a creative director. The employers include Afterpay Touch, Invitae, and Moxielash

1. Ogilvy
4.5
Avg. Salary: 
$134,997
Creative Directors Hired: 
34+
2. Creative
4.3
Avg. Salary: 
$166,475
Creative Directors Hired: 
31+
3. Robert Half International
4.5
Avg. Salary: 
$96,692
Creative Directors Hired: 
28+
4. Leo Burnett
4.4
Avg. Salary: 
$134,161
Creative Directors Hired: 
26+
5. The Walt Disney Company
4.7
Avg. Salary: 
$220,211
Creative Directors Hired: 
24+
6. Grey Global Group
4.7
Avg. Salary: 
$135,261
Creative Directors Hired: 
22+

Creative Director Videos