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Art Directors
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Description: what do they do?
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.
Also known as:
Design Director, Designer, Director of Creative Services, Consumer Products, Creative Director, Art Director, Group Art Supervisor, Senior Art Director, Creative Guru, Art Supervisor, Production Manager

    What does this information tell me?

    This description is a quick overview of what workers in this career might do.

    "Also known as" shows other common names for this career.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from an O*NET database. Learn more on the Help page.

Career video
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    Transcript: Resourceful, creative, skilled leaders, and communicators… Art directors interpret their employer’s or a client’s vision to create the visual style of print publications, movie, and television productions. Art directors ensure their staff of artists understand the overall design of a project as they create illustrations, graphics, and stage sets to translate the vision into artwork and layouts. Art directors manage projects… keeping them on time and within budget. They oversee the layout of catalogs, newspapers, and magazines, and choose cover art for books. Artists working under art directors create graphics, charts, and illustrations. Directors also oversee the visual aspects of website and video game development. Art directors work with producers and directors of theater, television, and movie productions to develop the concept for set designs, and then oversee the production of set elements. While many art directors are self-employed, all art directors collaborate with a team of designers and artists. The work is fast-paced, and they are often under pressure to meet deadlines. Art directors need at least a bachelor’s degree in an art or design subject and five or more years of previous work experience… many start out as graphic designers, fine artists, or photographers. To apply for positions, art directors must develop a portfolio that illustrates the quality and range of their work.
View transcript
Outlook: will there be jobs?
Image. Employment outlook for this occupation
New job opportunities are likely in the future.


    What does this information tell me?

    Outlook information can tell you whether a career is expected to be in demand in the future—that is, whether there are likely to be job openings if you choose this career. Careers can have one of three outlooks:

    • A Bright outlook means new job opportunities are very likely in the future
    • An Average outlook means that a small number of new job opportunities are likely in the future (less than an 8 percent increase)
    • A Below Average outlook means new job opportunities are less likely in the future

    You can also view local job listings in this field by clicking "Find job openings" above. This can help you see if local businesses are hiring—another way of looking at demand.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from the O*NET Resource Center. Learn more about O*NET’s Bright Outlook occupations. Note this information is only available at a national level, so even if you selected a state, you’ll only see this information for the whole country.

Projected employment
Texas
4,270
2016 Employment
4,830
2026 Employment
13%
Percent change
410
Annual projected job openings
United States
101,000
2018 Employment
101,800
2028 Employment
1%
Percent change
11,100
Annual projected job openings

    What does this information tell me?

    Projected employment shows how much employment is expected to grow in this occupation over a 10-year period. This can help you decide if this career is a good choice for future job opportunities. You can look at projected employment in your state, or in other states where you might consider living.

    You can see the total number of people employed in this occupation in 2016 (for states) or 2018 (for the United States), the number expected to be employed in 2026 (for states) or 2028 (for the United States), and rate of growth over those years.

    The projections are based on assumptions of unemployment rates and labor productivity growth rates.  While the projected numbers may not be exact, they are helpful to compare one career to another, or one location to another.

    What is the source of this information?

    State-level data come from Projections Central and each state's Labor Market Information office, 2016-26.

    National-level data come from the Bureau of Labor Statistics Employment Projections, 2018-28.

Typical wages

Annual wages for Art Directors in Texas
This graph displays wage data.  Find details by selecting the table view.
This chart displays wage data.  Find details by selecting the table view.
LocationTexasUnited States
10%$45,060$52,160
25%$56,420$67,930
Median$72,080$92,780
75%$102,600$126,500
90%$127,430$172,570


    What does this information tell me?

    This chart shows you a range of how much most workers in this occupation earn per hour, in the location that you selected.

    You can select from three views of this data:

    • The Graph shows you wages at the 10th, 25th, 50th, 75th and 90th percentiles. Note that the lowest (10th %ile) wage shown is not necessarily a "starting wage." Instead it means that 10 percent of all workers in this career earn less that this amount, and 90 percent earn more. However, you can assume that you might earn close to the 10th or 25th %ile wages when you start out in most careers.
    • Select "Chart" to see a visual comparison between national wages and wages in the location you selected.
    • Select "Table" to see more wage data the national and local level.

    Please note that wage data are not available at the city or ZIP code level. If you selected a city or ZIP code, you will see wage data for the regional area.

    Also note that in this update, 21 detailed occupations found within the 2010 Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) were replaced with 10 new aggregations of those occupations; read more about these OES changes.

    You can learn more about wages for this and other occupations by clicking “See more wages” above.

    What is the source of this information?

    The wage information comes from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment Statistics Program, 2018 data. For more detailed state wage data, please find the link to your state's wage data program in the Other Resources box.

Education and experience: to get started
People starting in this career usually have:
  • Bachelor's degree
  • 5 years or more work experience
  • No on-the-job training

Programs that can prepare you:

    What does this information tell me?

    This shows you the typical level of education, work experience, and on-the-job training that most people have when they start in this career. Note that these are not requirements for entering this field, but the information can help you understand how qualified you might be.

    Interested in starting in this career? You can search for education programs in your local area by clicking “Find local training” above.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from the U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics Employment Projections, Education and training assignments by detailed occupation, 2018.

Typical education
How much education do most people in this career have?
Chart. Percent of workers in this field by education level attained

    What does this information tell me?

    This chart shows you the range of education levels that people who currently work in this field have. You can use this to see if you fit in this range. Note that this includes ALL people who work in this field and not just those getting started.

    Interested in getting qualified for this career? You can search for programs that lead to the education needed, in your local area, by clicking “Find local training” above.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from the Bureau of Labor Statistics Employment Projections, Educational attainment for workers 25 years and older by detailed occupation, 2016–17.

Certifications: show your skills
Let employers know you have the skills to do well at this job.
Earning a certification can help you:
  • Get a job
  • Get a promotion

    What does this information tell me?

    When you click "Find certifications" you'll see a list of national certifications that are related to this career. From there, you can learn how to achieve one of these certifications to help you enter or get ahead in this field.

    What is the source of this information?

    This collection of occupational certifications is collected and regularly updated by CareerOneStop. Learn more at Certification Finder Help.

Licenses: do you need one?
Some states require an occupational license to work in this career.

    What does this information tell me?

    When you click "Find license details in your state" you'll see the license name and contact information for the agency in your state that oversees licensing for this field. If you have not selected a location, you'll see a list of all state licenses for this occupation.

    What is the source of this information?

    Information on licensed occupations is gathered in each state by Labor Market Information units under a grant from the U.S. Department of Labor. Learn more at License Finder Help.

Apprenticeships: learn on the job
Apprenticeships combine paid on-the-job-training with classroom lessons.

    What does this information tell me?

    When you click "Find apprenticeship sponsors" you'll find information that can help you locate apprenticeship opportunities in your state:

    • If there are businesses that have sponsored apprenticeships in this field in the past, you'll find their name and contact information.
    • If there are related occupations that might have apprenticeship opportunities, you'll find links to that information.
    • You'll also see contact information for state and federal agencies that oversee apprenticeship programs.

    What is the source of this information?

    Apprenticeship information comes from the U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Apprenticeships, and from CareerOneStop. Learn more at Apprenticeship Finder Help.

Activities: what you might do in a day
  • Design layout of art or product exhibits, displays, or promotional materials.
  • Determine technical requirements of productions or projects.
  • Manage operations of artistic or entertainment departments or organizations.
  • Coordinate artistic activities.
  • Write informational material.
  • Present work to clients for approval.
  • Design layouts for print publications.
  • Review art or design materials.
  • Develop artistic or design concepts for decoration, exhibition, or commercial purposes.
  • Collaborate with others to develop or refine designs.
  • Prepare production storyboards.
  • Draw detailed or technical illustrations.
  • Confer with clients to determine needs.
  • Negotiate for services.
  • Research new technologies.
  • Select staff, team members, or performers.
  • Train others on work processes.
  • Coordinate design activities.

    What does this information tell me?

    This is a list of typical work activities that people in this career might do on the job. You can use this list to get an idea of whether this career might be a good fit for you.

    Click on “More activities” to see more detailed examples of activities for this career.

    You can also use this list to help you prepare for a job interview. Or, if you’ve already held a job like this, you can copy these activities to use on your resume.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from O*NET OnLine's Occupation Information. They are O*NET’s Detailed Work Activities.

Knowledge
People in this career often know a lot about:
  • Sales and Marketing - Knowledge of principles and methods for showing, promoting, and selling products or services. This includes marketing strategy and tactics, product demonstration, sales techniques, and sales control systems.
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Communications and Media - Knowledge of media production, communication, and dissemination techniques and methods. This includes alternative ways to inform and entertain via written, oral, and visual media.
  • Computers and Electronics - Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
  • Design - Knowledge of design techniques, tools, and principles involved in production of precision technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.
  • Customer and Personal Service - Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
  • Fine Arts - Knowledge of the theory and techniques required to compose, produce, and perform works of music, dance, visual arts, drama, and sculpture.
  • Administration and Management - Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.

    What does this information tell me?

    This is a list of general knowledge areas that are most commonly required for jobs in the career. Knowledge is typically gained through education and related experience.

    This list can help you learn if you are prepared for a job in this career. It can also help you decide on education or training programs that could help you prepare for the career.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from the O*NET Resource Center. Learn more about O*NET's Knowledge descriptors.

Skills
People in this career often have these skills:
  • Speaking - Talking to others.
  • Active Listening - Listening to others, not interrupting, and asking good questions.
  • Judgment and Decision Making - Thinking about the pros and cons of different options and picking the best one.
  • Time Management - Managing your time and the time of other people.
  • Complex Problem Solving - Noticing a problem and figuring out the best way to solve it.
  • Reading Comprehension - Reading work-related information.
  • Critical Thinking - Thinking about the pros and cons of different ways to solve a problem.
  • Coordination - Changing what is done based on other people's actions.
  • Management of Personnel Resources - Selecting and managing the best workers for a job.
  • Social Perceptiveness - Understanding people's reactions.
  • Persuasion - Talking people into changing their minds or their behavior.
  • Active Learning - Figuring out how to use new ideas or things.

    What does this information tell me?

    This is a list of a list the work-related skills most commonly required for jobs in the career.

    This list can help you understand how well your current skills fit this career. It can also help you plan your education or professional development.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from the O*NET Resource Center. Learn more about O*NET's Skills descriptors.

Abilities
People in this career often have talent in:
  • Fluency of Ideas - Coming up with lots of ideas.
  • Originality - Creating new and original ideas.
  • Oral Comprehension - Listening and understanding what people say.
  • Written Comprehension - Reading and understanding what is written.
  • Oral Expression - Communicating by speaking.
  • Near Vision - Seeing details up close.
  • Information Ordering - Ordering or arranging things.
  • Speech Clarity - Speaking clearly.
  • Inductive Reasoning - Making general rules or coming up with answers from lots of detailed information.
  • Deductive Reasoning - Using rules to solve problems.
  • Problem Sensitivity - Noticing when problems happen.
  • Visualization - Imagining how something will look after it is moved around or changed.
  • Speech Recognition - Recognizing spoken words.
  • Visual Color Discrimination - Noticing the difference between colors, including shades and brightness.
  • Written Expression - Communicating by writing.

    What does this information tell me?

    This is a list of a list of personal qualities that might influence work and are most commonly required for success in this career.

    This list can help you understand if your natural strengths and abilities are a good fit for this career.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from the O*NET Resource Center. Learn more about O*NET's Abilities descriptors.

Interests
  • Enterprising - Occupations with Enterprising interests frequently involve starting up and carrying out projects. Many involve leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes they require risk taking and often deal with business.
  • Artistic - Occupations with Artistic interests frequently involve working with forms, designs and patterns. They often require self-expression and allow for developing unique approaches to conducting the work.

    What does this information tell me?

    This is a list of work environment-preferences that are most commonly associated with the career. It can help you understand if your natural interests are a good fit for this career.

    Click "Take an interest assessment" for a quick 30-question assessment that can help you understand your interests and see careers that might be good matches for them.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from the O*NET Resource Center. Learn more about O*NET's Interest descriptors.

Typical tasks
  • 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.
  • Mark up, paste, and complete layouts and write typography instructions to prepare materials for typesetting or printing.
  • Present final layouts to clients for approval.
  • Review and approve art materials, copy materials, and proofs of printed copy developed by staff members.
  • Conceptualize and help design interfaces for multimedia games, products, and devices.
  • Work with creative directors to develop design solutions.
  • Prepare detailed storyboards showing sequence and timing of story development for television production.
  • Create custom illustrations or other graphic elements.
  • Confer with clients to determine objectives, budget, background information, and presentation approaches, styles, and techniques.
  • Review illustrative material to determine if it conforms to standards and specifications.
  • Negotiate with printers and estimators to determine what services will be performed.
  • Attend photo shoots and printing sessions to ensure that the products needed are obtained.
  • Research current trends and new technology, such as printing production techniques, computer software, and design trends.
  • Hire, train, and direct staff members who develop design concepts into art layouts or who prepare layouts for printing.

    What does this information tell me?

    This is a list of typical tasks that people in this career might do on the job.  You can use this list to get an idea of whether this career might be a good fit for you.

    Click on “More tasks” to see more detailed examples for this career.

    You can also use this list to help you prepare for a job interview. Or, if you’ve already held a job like this, you can copy these tasks to use on your resume.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from O*NET OnLine's Occupation Information. They are O*NET‘s Tasks.

    What does this information tell me?

    These are additional online resources related to this career. You may find different or more detailed information at these sources.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information is collected and maintained by CareerOneStop.