Updated April 24, 2023
Do you have a creative skill set and innovative mind? Are you constantly thinking of new, cutting-edge ideas? If so, you may wonder what jobs are out there for creative people that fit your skill sets and interests. Look no further!
We’ve put together a list of 20 high-paying jobs for creative people.
These require originality and innovation, fit all sorts of diverse backgrounds, talents, and interests, and some pay well, too.
We’ll touch on what the jobs are and ranges of what the role pays, but first, let’s look into the benefits of having a creative career.
Benefits creative people get from creative jobs
Having a creative job—especially as an imaginative person—can have a slew of upsides. Here are just a few:
First and foremost, having a career where you use your creativity every day helps you enjoy what you do (which should be the primary goal of any job seeker). There’s nothing quite like coming up with a solution to a challenge, finding the perfect words to tell a brand’s story, or finding the ideal design to convert customers for your website.
There’s joy in creative collaboration
Collaboration with others is often a necessary part of the job for creative people. It can be an opportunity to brainstorm in an innovative space, learn from colleagues, and share ideas and practice your craft together.
You can keep your brain healthy
Finding a way to make money doing what you love pays off in more ways than increasing the balance in your bank account. Your creativity may reveal itself when you try a new hobby or discover a passion, and then you can leverage those skills to find a job you love.
Many studies have shown that creativity helps you with:
- reducing anxiety and depressive symptoms
- performance on cognitive tests
- enhancing your immune system
- improving your motor skills
If you have a job that boosts creativity, it could help promote your overall health.
Your days are rarely dull
A creative person often wears many hats in their role and rarely struggles to find ways to keep themselves busy. This may mean they are less likely to suffer from boredom or need to look for things to do. Creative roles also allow them an opportunity for self-expression and helps them feel fulfilled.
You’ll enjoy job security
The benefits of creativity are varied, but one thing is certain: if you have a creative skill set and the ability to showcase it in your job, then there will always be work out there for you in one way or another. Why not take advantage by finding employment in an area where your skills can really shine? Or think about finding a fulfilling side hustle or even starting your own business.
List of high paying creative jobs
Now that you know some of the benefits of a creative career, let’s take a look at some of the best jobs out there for creative people.
All of the salary ranges for the following jobs come from Glassdoor, ZipRecruiter, and/or Salary.com. We offer the general salary range for the United States. These salaries can change based on location, responsibilities, and experience. Some jobs that are creative include:
1. Creative director
Creative directors are in charge of the creative vision for a company, agency, or project. They are responsible for developing and implementing creative ideas and must be able to think outside the box to come up with new and innovative concepts.
A creative director is also often responsible for overseeing the work of other creatives such as graphic designers, photographers, fashion designers, interior designers, and writers within their organization.
This can be a great job for inventive and innovative people, and the skills needed for this position include strong creativity, vision planning, leadership, communication skills, and an eye for detail. The average yearly salary for this role ranges from $75,000 to upward of $200,000.
2. Graphic designer
A graphic designer uses visual elements to communicate ideas through various media platforms. They use typography, images, colors, shapes, and other design techniques in order to create the desired look or feel for clients’ projects.
Graphic designers may work independently or as part of a team depending on the project at hand, but either way, they’ll need to be able to take direction and vision from others and work well under pressure.
Graphic designers should also have solid communication and creative skills as they will often need to liaise with clients to get a clear understanding of their needs. The average salary ranges between $40,000 at the junior level and $150,000 at a more experienced level. Graphic designers can also make plenty of money working for clients on the side or as a full-time freelancer.
3. Web developer
A web developer creates and maintains the look, feel, and functionality of websites. They use various programming languages to write code that tells the website how it should look and function.
This can include anything from creating basic websites to developing more complex applications. In addition, they must have strong technical skills and knowledge of web development languages and an eye for design.
The average salary for a web developer is around $75,000, and the most experienced web developers make over $100,000.
A copywriter writes persuasive, compelling, and exciting text for advertisements, brochures, website content, and more. They must capture the attention of their audience and create a desire for the product, service, or topic they are promoting. (A copywriter wrote this article!)
Copywriters generally have a degree in English, journalism, marketing, or a related field. In addition, they should be adept at creative writing and have the knowledge to target specific audiences.
Though some copywriters with minimal experience start out making less than $40,000 with a full-time job, better pay comes with experience. Also, copywriting–like graphic design–is a job where you can freelance. That allows you work with multiple clients, which means multiple streams of income.
A creative person often wears many hats in their role and rarely struggles to find ways to keep themselves busy.
5. Marketing director
A marketing director is someone who plans and develops strategies for the promotion of products and services offered by their company.
Marketing directors typically have a degree in marketing or business administration. They must be able to understand what their customers want or need to sell then create campaigns that will appeal to them. They should also have excellent communication skills, the ability to tell a story, sell a product, and have an eye for detail.
Marketing directors may work at an agency, directly with a company, or be an independent consultant to companies that need help with their marketing efforts. Marketing directors, who typically have years of experience in less senior marketing roles, can earn a salary of $150,000 to $200,000.
6. Digital marketing manager
A digital marketing manager is someone who plans and develops strategies for the promotion of products and services offered by their company both internally and externally. Digital marketers use online channels such as:
- Google Analytics
They must be able to understand what their customers and shareholders want or need, then create campaigns that will appeal to them. Marketing managers often lead teams and come up with the strategy, while other positions like social media specialists, copywriters, and other content gurus help support the overall plan.
Digital marketing managers earn a salary of over $100,000 and upward of $150,000.
7. User experience (UX) director
A UX director is someone who designs the experiences that people have with products and services offered by their company. They must be able to think creatively while also understanding how consumers interact with technology in order to design interfaces that are intuitive and easy to use for all users.
People in this job typically run the entire UX team, too. It can be a team of designers, analysts, and researchers, some of which we’ll talk about in a moment.
A UX director is a more senior-type role, and it typically earns a salary of around $130,000, per Glassdoor.
8. UX designer
A UX designer is a great job for a creative people who have a passion for making things simple to use. They are someone who designs user interfaces for software programs such as mobile apps and websites so that they’re easy to navigate on any device (e.g., tablet vs. desktop).
They must have a strong understanding of how people interact with digital products to create an efficient and user-friendly interface. UX designers typically have a bachelor’s degree in computer science or in a technical field, and they also may have certificates from places like Nielsen Norman Group or Google.
They must have strong technical skills and knowledge about how people interact with computers and specific knowledge about each platform (e.g., iOS or Android). UX designers typically earn a salary of $85,000 or more.
9. User experience (UX) researcher
A UX researcher is someone who looks into the experiences that people have with products and services offered by their company. They are data-driven workers who should have a strong understanding of how people interact with technology and an eye for detail to identify any usability issues that may exist in the user interface.
The average UX researcher makes in the high five figures, but UX researchers with experience under their belt can earn more than $100,000 per year.
10. Video producer
A video producer creates sound and video projects for television, film, or web-based media. They’re responsible for overseeing everything from pre-production planning through post-production editing on any given project.
Video producers can work on large projects like commercials, music videos, and documentaries, or projects for corporate companies like training videos, online seminars, and more. They work closely with other creatives such as writers, editors, and directors to ensure that everything runs smoothly from start to finish.
Video producers can earn a salary ranging from $40,000 to $90,000 and often work on a freelance basis.
11. Social media specialist
A social media specialist is someone who manages the day-to-day aspects of a company’s presence on platforms like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube Channel, and more. (This is different than a marketing manager, who may have social media as one part of their overall marketing strategy.) They are responsible for creating content that will engage customers while also driving traffic back to your website, brand, or store location.
Social media specialists post content that reinforces the company’s brand message, connects with their community, and showcases the brand’s personality. It often includes relevant keywords and trends related to their company and industry to increase visits from loyal followers who want more information about what they do. A social media specialist typically earns a salary between $40,000 to $50,000 per year as they get their career going.
12. Technical writer
A technical writer creates manuals and other written materials that explain how products work. They must have a deep understanding of the product to explain it clearly and concisely. Most importantly, a technical writer finds ways to clearly convey sometimes hard-to-understand directions and topics.
These documents may be used internally within an organization as well as externally by customers. Technical writers typically earn between $60,000 and $70,000 to start.
13. Mobile designer
Mobile designers must think creatively while also comprehending how customers utilize technology to develop intuitive and simple-to-use user interfaces. A mobile designer creates the user interface and experience for apps used on smartphones and tablets. Mobile designers start off making around $50,000 to $60,000, but experienced designers make over $100,000.
14. Software engineer
Software engineering a great job for creative people. They design, develop, test, and maintain software products (think: Microsoft Word, Adobe Photoshop, Google Chrome, and other software like that.) They work closely with programmers and others on the software development team members to create high-quality software that meets the needs of their clients or employers.
Salary.com says the average software engineer’s base pay is around $84,000.
The workforce has changed over the last couple of years. Job seekers and employees have found the opportunity to seek fulfilling careers that also pay well. That’s no different for creative people who want to find jobs that maximize on their originality.
15. Brand manager
A brand is the core identity of a business. It’s what consumers see when they make decisions. The brand manager is responsible for ensuring the brand represents the values and voice of the company while also accurately communicating its services and products to consumers.
To do this, brand managers must be able to develop a high-level vision, based on research and testing, that ties the marketing plan to business goals, industry trends, and evolving consumer needs. They then craft and deliver campaigns that align with the company vision through extensive relationships across creative teams (social media, web development, videography, graphic design, etc.).
The average salary for a brand manger in the United States is $80,000, per Glassdoor. However, brand managers often have room for extra compensation through performance bonuses.
16. Business development manager
A business development manager is responsible for developing and implementing marketing and sales strategies for their company. They work with clients and partners to identify new growth opportunities and oversee all aspects of the sales process.
Business development managers typically earn a salary over $100,000, given they oversee projects and come up with plans on how to make a business stand out and/or grow. Also, many business development managers see bonuses based on the goals attached to their role.
17. Email marketing specialist
What’s your favorite newsletter? Or have you ever been wowed by an email from a clothing brand? Have you wondered how a brand woos you to buy products after you’ve seen a fourth, fifth, or sixth email from them? An email marketing specialist was likely behind this push.
An email marketing specialist is responsible for creating and executing email campaigns that promote a company’s products or services. They must have an in-depth understanding of crafting effective emails that will engage recipients and encourage them to take action.
The average email marketing specialists earns around $60,000 per year, but that grows as you grow into a manager or director role.
18. Product designer
A product designer is responsible for designing and developing products that meet the needs of consumers. They also make improvements to existing products.
Think of the iPhone. They come out with new ones what seems like every year. However, there needs to be reasons for people to buy a new one. Product designers help make improvements (better camera, sleeker look, less weight, etc.) to the iPhones so the new ones are worth buying.
They work with teams of engineers, marketers, and executives to create these innovative and practical products and sell them to the public.
While not everyone is a product designer for a massive company like Apple, an average product designer still makes around $75,000 per year.
19. SEO specialist
An SEO specialist works on optimizing content for search engines such as Google and Bing. They focus their efforts on improving rankings in organic search results through content creation, link-building campaigns, and other methods on websites and blog posts.
A key component of SEO is keyword strategy development to try to create content that stands apart from other brands. A creative mind helps with that. As an SEO specialist, you will discover what people are researching related to your brand, then you create content that responds to those searches.
SEO specialists typically start with a salary in the $45,000 range, but that grows with experience and as you take on more of a strategist and leadership role. You can also make money freelancing with this type of role.
Animation and illustration are great outlets for creative people, and finding a job with these skills is even better!
Animators and illustrators help bring stories to life in visual mediums. They can work on projects like:
- music videos
- training videos
- YouTube videos
Rasmussen University says that “some animators choose to develop a specialty, such as hand-drawing, designing 3D characters or creating computer-generated images (CGI).” Many work on a project-by-project basis, too, which gives you flexibility on when and who your work for. However, if you do work full-time with a salary, ZipRecruiter says animators average over $50,000 per year.
Should I work in-house or at an agency for creative work?
The benefit of working in a creative field is that you have many options for the kind of workplace where you can thrive. For some, working in-house with a brand will allow you to deep dive into everything they do to become an expert in how they want to be represented to their customers. For others, working at an agency with the fast pace and diverse clients will be a thrill. Both come with upsides and challenges, so it’s really a matter of discovering what suits your talents and personality best.
The workforce has changed over the last few years. Many job seekers have found wide opportunities exist for fulfilling careers that also pay well. That’s no different for creative people who want to find jobs that maximize on their originality and compensate them well for it. If you want to start a new career or just change up your current position, these high-paying jobs for creative people may be a great place to start.
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