Industries with creative teams such as advertising, graphic design, arts, and more need someone who can combine creativity with leadership to manage a team, communicate with management, and provide a strategy. A creative director job description shows that someone in this position must have prior experience and be aware of what the different roles in a creative department are. Use this creative director job description article to get a better understanding of what they do, need, and if there will be a high number of job openings in the future.

What Does a Creative Director Do?

Creative directors spend the day coming up with innovative ideas and creating a strategy to make them happen. They engage in the process of continuous improvement and utilize all available resources. These professionals need not only to manage the internal creative team but to communicate clearly outside of the department to demonstrate their value to the larger system.

creative director job description of typical day

For the position of creative direction, employees should have a bachelor’s degree. However, some employers prefer a master’s degree or an undergraduate minor or certificate in a business related field. In addition, they need to work full time. The creative director salary, in the beginning, will be somewhere between $99,500 to $143,500.

Creative Director Job Description for Resume – Responsibilities

Demonstrating artistic skills and soft skills, such as communication and management, in your resume will catch the eye of many businesses looking to hire creative directors. Make sure to customize the following list to suit your abilities and experiences.

  • Identify goals for the creative team and manage their completion.
  • Work with the marketing or public relations team to understand what they want and assemble the creative team to make that happen.
  • Comply with copyright, especially ideas such as fair use and Creative Commons.
  • Conduct annual reviews with employees, giving them ways to improve through direct feedback.
  • Partner with the user experience team to pilot or prototype design solutions and then iterate on those designs.
  • Stay organized and create consistency in workflows and processes.
  • Prepare presentations to demonstrate the work of the creative team to internal and external stakeholders.

Creative Director Required Skills

  • System awareness skills. Artists traditionally have freedom of expression when it comes to their work. Creative directors need to understand their system and foster creative works that fit within the goals or mission of the company.
  • Management skills. Creative directors need to be able to manage a team by setting goals and encouraging teamwork. They also need to successfully communicate creative standards required for every project.
  • Listening skills. A lot of the time, creative directors need to take the requests of a client and create a design based on them. It is impossible to know what they really want unless you listen to them. Only ask questions when you need clarification after you gain a thorough understanding of what they are looking for. This is a highly underrated entry on the creative director skills list.
  • Advocating skills. The creative unit requires a relaxing workspace where collaboration is seamless, and creativity can thrive. Creative directors must advocate for space needs with upper management and facilities. A focused and relaxed team will create better products or content.

How to Become a Creative Director

Creative directors need a bachelor’s degree in an art-related field. They also need to gain experience in the field prior to assuming the role of director. There are creative directors in a variety of fields, and each requires slightly different focus. Thus, the creative director job description might differ from one to another. Continually learning and improving on the job will show that you are passionate about the field and allow you to move up to the position of creative director.

Education & Training Requirements

A bachelor’s degree is the minimal requirement on the creative director job description resume. They should focus on coursework in arts, public relations, marketing, and business to create a well-rounded educational experience.

A student should begin building their portfolio of work as early as possible. It should start in their freshman year and continue as they obtain full-time employment in the field. If you obtain an internship with a relevant company, you have a tremendous competitive advantage.

It is also beneficial to job shadow a few different creative directors. Because this position focuses heavily on the soft skills and creative projects, there is likely to be variation in what different directors do. Job shadowing is one of the best ways to become aware of this. It allows you to know what field you would want to pursue.

There are no required certificates or licenses to become a creative director. However, there are optional certificates in different fields. In addition, completing extra training in copyright should be essential. This is an increasingly important issue, particularly with digital media.

Work Experience

A creative director is not an entry-level position. Most employers will require anywhere from 3-5 years of experience in a related area as a minimum qualification. During this time, someone interested in this position should develop additional skills in leadership, motivation, teamwork, and business.

A creative director job description will show that completing projects is no longer a priority. Rather, they are the leader who coordinates and oversees many different projects. Thus, the ability to see the big picture is an essential skill. This will evolve with additional projects. Managing small teams or taking leadership on different tasks will accelerate the development necessary to be a successful creative director.

Work Schedules

Creative directors will have project-oriented work schedules. Many are self-employed and serve as consultants for different companies. There may be times where 40 hours a week is the minimum worked and other times where regular hours should suffice. If there is a gallery opening, a new marketing campaign, or a project due, then they might need to work well into the night.

However, they typically work in an office setting, so holidays and weekends off can be expected. Creative directors who are self-employed have a lot more flexibility in when and where they conduct their business.

Career Prospects

There are not a lot of creative directors currently in employment. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics does not categorize by creative director. They fall under the umbrella of art director. Their career outlook will grow 2 percent through the year 2024. This is slower than the overall average. One trend that is certain to occur is that print-based creative directors will have to adapt to digital publishing. Job growth will focus almost entirely on electronic resources or digital publishing.

According to Payscale, the creative director salary ranges from $45,378 to $155,681. In addition to the base income, these professionals can earn a bonus, profit share, and commission. Job advancement in this position is promising. There are a lot of quality graphic artists or visual designers who aspire to this role. Once in this position, typical career paths are to senior creative director, or in an executive role in marketing or public relations.


Creative directors have a very rewarding and fun position. The creative director job description will show that they get to balance their creative energy with managing and leading teams of talented people. Some of them include graphic designers. They can be self-employed or work for a company. The team they lead will often change or rotate as certain parts of the project get done and others emerge.