Art Directors: Salary, Job Description, How To Become One, and Quiz

Stan T.Career, Overview

Art Directors

Art Directors formulate design concepts and presentation approaches for visual productions and media, such as print, broadcasting, video, and film. Direct workers engaged in artwork or layout design.

Becoming One
Bachelor's degree
Job Satisfaction
Job Growth

Interest Match

Job description

Art Directors formulate design concepts and presentation approaches for visual communications media, such as print, broadcasting, and advertising. Direct workers engaged in art work or layout design.

  • Formulate basic layout design or presentation approach and specify material details, such as style and size of type, photographs, graphics, animation, video, and sound.
  • Manage own accounts and projects, working within budget and scheduling requirements.
  • Confer with creative, art, copywriting, or production department heads to discuss client requirements and presentation concepts and to coordinate creative activities.
  • Present final layouts to clients for approval.
Read more about what does an Art Director really do at work and what is it like being and working as one.


Average salary
$104590 per year

Average hourly wage
$50 per hour

Art Directors with little to no experience tend to make between $52160 and $67930 while the more experienced ones can earn over $126500 per year.

Top 5 paying states Hourly Annual
CA $61 $127,630
NY $60 $124,710
GA $54 $111,500
OR $52 $108,830
WA $51 $106,260

One of the easiest ways to increase your salary as an Art Director is to move to a higher paying state like CA. Right now, the highest paying states for Art Directors are CA, NY, GA, OR and WA.

However, a higher pay at CA doesn’t guarantee that you will make more because the living expenses at CA might be twice as high than where you are currently at now.

Three other factors that can increase your salary as an Art Director is the degree you hold, the industry you work in, and lastly the company you work for.


Recommended degree level
Bachelor’s degree

We asked other Art Directors what degree they had when they got the job and most of them said they had a Bachelor’s Degree followed by a Master’s Degree.

Other than that, we also asked them what did they major in and here are the most popular majors that came up.

Digital Arts
Graphic Design
Read more about how to become an Art Director and the degree, training and education you need.

Pros and Cons

Here are some of the pros and cons of being an Art Director.

Suitable for people who likes to work with designs
Suitable for people who wants independence and likes to work on their own and make decisions
This career is perfect for people who love to work indoors.
Very high salary (top 25% highest paid careers)
Not suitable for people who likes to solve problems mentally
It is hard to get into this career. A considerable amount of work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is required for this career.
Long working hours (More than 40 hours per week)

What is the job like

Job satisfaction

Is this job meaningful

67% of Art Directors said they were satisfied with their job and 35% said they feel like their job is making other people’s lives better.

Is this right for me

Best personality for this career
The Artists and The Entrepreneurs

You can read more about these career personality types here.

People who are suitable for this job tends to like working with forms, designs and patterns. They often require self-expression and the work can be done without following a clear set of rules..

They also like starting up and carrying out projects. They like leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes they require risk taking and often deal with business.

Learn more about Art Directors

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Job Description

Related career information

Art Directors job description, Art Directors salary, Art Directors information, what is the job of an Art Director like, pros and cons about Art Directors, colleges and universities for Art Directors, is Art Directors the right career for me, careers in Art, Entertainment and Sports

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