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What does a Creative Director do?

A creative director oversees a creative team and project design and handles presentation concepts. Your creativity, strong communication and management skills, and ability to meet deadlines will provide a strong start for gaining the qualifications you will likely need to be successful in this career.

Creative director job requirements

Even though creative directors can work in graphic design, film, fashion, media, they are usually found in advertising, where they develop the client's strategy, assign projects to staff, and meet deadlines. As a creative director, you might help with research or oversee product design, but you may be performing a wide variety of tasks--these can include anything from shaping an entire ad campaign to designing coupons.

Creative directors need strong communication and management skills, since they work with and direct a wide variety of people. They also must be able to make sure projects meet their deadlines and that each client's needs are met. Flexibility is a must, since travel is often necessary, and some projects may require long hours.

Education for creative directors

Creative directors may need a bachelor's degree in art, graphic design, or a related field. Coursework will usually be in liberal arts, since many creative directors work in graphic design, film, advertising, media, or entertainment. Being a creative director usually requires at least seven years of experience in one of these industries, because experience is needed to troubleshoot problems and ensure the completion of a successful project.

Creative director jobs

Professionals entering the field can benefit by applying within job sectors hiring the greatest number of creative directors. The Bureau of Labor and Statistics (BLS) reports that the following were the top three job sectors hiring the most creative directors:
  • Advertising, public relations, and related services
  • Management of companies and enterprises
  • Newspaper, periodical, book, and directory publishers
Job growth

Employment as a creative director is expected to grow about as fast as average. But since these positions are coveted, be prepared to compete for one. You also may need to relocate; according to the BLS, the states with the best employment prospects for a creative director are New York, California, Illinois, Texas, and Florida.

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