How Do I Become a Creative Director?

Research what it takes to become a creative director. Learn about education requirements, job duties, average wages and job outlook to find out if this is the career for you. Schools offering Digital Cinematography degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Is a Creative Director?

Creative directors oversee marketing campaigns and organize advertisement projects. They work with staff to figure out budgets, costs, plans and media. They do promotions, advertising, negotiate contracts and conduct research studies. They also take part in pricing of products to appeal to customers. Creative directors meet with clients and also hire staff to help with the process.

Learn more about this field in the chart below.

Degree Required Bachelor's
Education Field of Study Advertising, marketing
Key Skills Leadership, communication, and organization
Job Growth (2014-24) 9% for advertising, promotions, and marketing managers*
Average Salary (2015) $113,610 for advertising and promotions managers, $140,660 for marketing managers*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Are There Any Education Requirements for Creative Directors?

Depending on the company you want to work for, you may need a bachelor's degree to become a creative director. An advertising or marketing undergraduate degree program can provide you with foundational knowledge of the business field. You also could take courses related to the creative director profession, such as brand management, marketing strategies, consumer behavior and visual communication techniques.

These programs can help you refine your communication skills and creative talents. By the time you graduate, you'll be prepared to write copy, brainstorm effectively, design layouts and use the appropriate technology to present your creative ideas.

Do I Need Additional Training or Experience?

Experience in the field is crucial. Creative director job postings on in February 2017 sought applicants with at least 7-10 years of related experience. Knowledge of various media platforms, such as radio broadcasts, the Internet and print, is a common requirement. Some entry-level positions that could provide you with the experience needed to be a creative director are product consultant, public relations specialist, sales representative or product buyer.

Some job listings also required that you provide evidence of a flourishing advertising career. You need to have developed and followed through on advertisement concepts to produce successful end products. Additionally, you may need some leadership experience to apply for a creative director position since you'll need to be able to motivate, support and oversee your team members' work.

What Might My Job Responsibilities Be?

As a creative director, you might work in the advertising or marketing department of a large company, developing campaigns or selling advertising packages. You likely would watch over the entire creative staff, which could include artists, writers, art directors and copy editors. Your duties might include organizing their schedules, providing them with daily tasks and assigning them to specific projects. Other responsibilities could include brainstorming ideas for advertising campaigns, working 1-on-1 with creative staff to implement or refine ideas, creating websites, managing the budgets for particular projects and keeping track of trends in the field that could enhance your campaigns.

What Are Some Related Alternative Careers?

Similar career options include art director, editors and graphic designers. Art directors make sure the style and images in a project turn out well. They create and design the art for the project they are working on whether it is for a magazine, newspaper or television production. Editors plan, edit and review projects that are to be printed. Graphic designers communicate ideas visually to customers. They create the layout for various projects that may include magazines, brochures or other advertisements. These options all require a bachelor's degree.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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