Art Director Salary By Experience
|Experience Level||Low Hourly||High Hourly||Low Annual||High Annual|
|20 Years +||$20.77||$44.90||$43,200.00||$93,400.00|
Art directors are traditionally found in the print media industry, creating and applying visual concepts for magazines, newspapers, brochures, and books to amongst other mediums. The progress of film and television has allowed for art directors to flourish in the movie and TV industry as well, applying their expertise to create stunning and attention-grabbing images, especially in TV commercials, programs, and movie trailers. The advent of the internet also presented art directors a new avenue for their talents, as many business organizations and individuals converge online to share information, provide entertainment, and do business.
An art director typically leads a creative team, brainstorming with them to produce novel ideas and concepts for their creative projects. The concepts they create must cater to the exact specifications of their clients, which usually revolve around their intended audience. Basically, an art director must create imagery that will grab the attention of their target audience, instill a emotion or desire, and encourage them to take action.
Art directors work alongside a long string of professionals to get their job done. Photographers, sketch artists, illustrators, fine artists, and videographers are just some of the professionals they deal with everyday. Art directors are usually hired by publishers and advertising agencies. That said, opportunities are now seen in the video gaming and website development industries.
The median art director's wage in the United States is $81,260 per annum. That said, the art director pay range in the country can vary from as low as $44,120 to as high as $166,620 in a year.
Listed below are the top five industries with the highest concentrations of employed art directors and their corresponding salary rates:
|Advertising, Public Relations &Related Services||$96,180|
|Newspaper, Periodical, Book & Directory Publishers||$81,480|
|Specialized Design Services||$105,100|
|Motion Picture & Video Industries||$129,780|
|Management, Scientific & Technical Consulting Services||$88,070|
The following industries offer the highest art director pay rates in the country:
|Apparel, Piece Goods & Notions Merchant Wholesalers||$168,340|
|Furniture & Home Furnishing Merchant Wholesalers||$137,500|
|Motion Picture and Video Industries||$129,780|
|Other Miscellaneous Store Retailers||$125,210|
|Architectural, Engineering, and Related Services||$113,010|
All top hiring industries, save newspaper and periodical publishers, have art director salary averages that are higher than the national figure. The motion picture and video sector offers the best of both worlds as it is the only industry that offers excellent employment prospects and high pay rates.
Art directors need to have at least a bachelor's degree in fine arts, creative design, and other related subjects to enter the field. Some employers also consider experience in creative design and arts in lieu of an educational background. The majority of art directors have worked in various fields before they were selected for the positions. Occupations such as photographer, designer, videographer, illustrator, and advertising specialist provide a good foundation for aspiring art directors.
There are several organizations that offer training programs for art directors who want to hone their skills and improve their craft. Among them are the Art Directors and Artists Club, the Graphic Artists Guild Foundation (GAG), and the Society of Motion Picture and Television Art Directors (Art Directors Guild).
The art director profession is expected to grow by 9 percent over the 2010-2020 decade, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The said government agency says that the total number of art directors in the country will increase to as much as 80,600 by 2020 from 73,900 in 2010. The need for more art directors will stem from the massive usage of electronic magazines and online publications, though there will still be a significant demand from the traditional print media industries.
Art directors typically start out as graphic artists, illustrators, photographers, or videographers to mention a few typical professional routes. Through the years of working and acquiring new skills and experience, these professionals qualify to become art directors, which is generally considered an advanced position in itself.
Most art directors create portfolios of their work to win over prospective clients- therefore, a more experienced art director has a lot more to offer compared to those who are just starting out. Typically, advancement in this profession comes in the form of bigger projects, a higher salary and/or a potential move to a larger and more prestigious media company.
If you are interested in a career as an art director, or currently working in the industry and considering a change, the following are occupations closely related to the art director profession in terms of skill set, salary rates and requirements:
The art director position is a prestigious one; the elusive artistic job that also pays well. A high level of creativity is paramount for a successful art director career, but also imperative are skills such as communication, leadership, and time management. An individual with the right education, talent, and skills will find the art director position a very rewarding career, both creatively and financially.