How to Become a Creative Director

The advertising, media, and entertainment industries are very complex and creative organizations and highly skilled and trained professionals are required to oversee the creative activities. This is the job of creative directors.

What does a creative director do?

Creative directors supervise and coordinate all aspects of the creative process of an organization. They supervise the creative team including the art director, copy chief, and associated creative staff to assist in the development of creative products and services. They develop every part of an advertising campaign based on marketing plans. They conceptualize ideas and present proposals to clients. Creative directors assign projects to staff members and make sure deadlines are met. Creative directors are also responsible for following budgets and making the necessary adjustments. They work with account executives to ensure the company is meeting the needs of clients and the creative goals and objectives are being achieved.

What kind of training does a creative director need?

Creative directors need at least a bachelor degree in design, advertising, marketing, or other related field. Many employers prefer applicants with a master degree and related experience. Most aspiring creative directors complete internships while pursuing their education to gain practical experience in the field. Many creative directors begin their career in entry-level positions and advance to creative directing positions as they gain the essential skills and experience. Many employers provide some on the job training to enable new creative directors to learn the policies and procedures of the company. Creative directors must complete continuing education to keep their skills current and stay up to date on the advancements in the field.

What are the prospects for a career as a creative director?

Employment of creative directors is expected to grow about as fast as average for all professions, increasing 13% from 2008 to 2018 (1).

Job prospects are expected to be good with strong competition. Creative directors with advanced education and extensive experience will have the best job opportunities. Many job openings will arise from the need to replace creative directors that retire, transfer, or leave the field for other reasons.

How much do creative directors make?

As of December 2009, the middle 50% of creative directors earn annual salaries between $75,850 and $120,159. The top 10% earn annual salaries of more than $142,811 (2).

A career as a creative director is a great choice for people with a strong interest in overseeing the entire creative processes of an organization. Creative directors must have a solid understanding of the creative policies and procedures as well as the objectives of their company. Self-confidence, patience, high motivation, flexibility, strong leadership skills, and good management ability are essential characteristics. Creative directors must have excellent communication and interpersonal skills and the ability to gain the respect of others. They must be able to work under stress and pressure to meet strict deadlines and have the ability to delegate tasks and make executive decisions.

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