Art Director Salary With and Without a Graduate Degree

//Art Director Salary With and Without a Graduate Degree

Art Director Salary With and Without a Graduate Degree

Many creative people endeavor to become art directors at advertising agencies. This role lets them use their talent for “big picture” thinking, and play with a number of mediums including:

  • Copy online and in print
  • Fonts/Graphics for multiple outlets
  • Photography and Video production
  • Content campaigns

But did you know that having a graduate degree could have a big impact on salary? The additional training in both soft and hard skills is something that can be leveraged when negotiating either for a new position or for a raise. Let’s explore the impact a graduate degree can have on how much an art director can earn.


Art Director Salaries With A Graduate Degree: Multiple Factors To Consider

Art director salaries can range based on a number of factors including:

  • Geography/location of job
  • Years of experience in the field
  • Size of the agency
  • Size of the your team
  • How many people you report to
  • Clientele

According to, the range of an art director runs from $82,696 to $116,443. Without a graduate degree you’re more likely to warrant asking for $8,000-$10,000 more per year. After that, the other factors listed above also make monetary impacts to your compensation.

Some agencies may include bonuses, commissions, and other incentives that could also supplement your income or else incentivize you, but degrees are more of a surefire way to increase your salary range.


Salaries Of Art Directors With NO Graduate Degree

Before we look at salaries for art directors without a graduate degree, we should make clear that it becomes much more difficult to even secure a position as an art director. Creative industries of all kinds are highly competitive. Art directors tend to act as leaders, and leadership positions are even more difficult to secure. Without a graduate degree, you will have a more difficult path towards distinguishing yourself and the potential range of salaries remains similar according to, but it takes longer to get there. You are likely to be starting out at a much lower level of compensation, or in a completely separate role.


How Experience Changes Art Director Salaries

Experience changes the amount of compensation you will be able to command as an art director. Don’t be surprised if you start out at a small agency that is outside the range described above. In fact, you may even begin by doing freelance and contract work while you build up your portfolio, and increase your experience.


The Impact Of Geography On Art Director Salaries

When you are looking at salaries, you have to consider the cost of living in your area of choice. Naturally, many art director roles are situated in companies in large cities, where the cost of living tends to be very high. However, the digital age is changing everything. There are startups and creative companies all over the world now. Do your research to find the best option for you.


Learn More About Earning A Graduate Degree To Become An Advertising Art Director

One of the benefits of a graduate degree education is the resources and accumulated knowledge that the professors and instructors can offer you. Florida International University and Miami Ad School bring you a world-class graduate-level education in advertising. Join a cadre of alumni who have thrived in the advertising industry all over the world. Contact Grizelle De Los Reyes, Director of the FIU-MAS Creative Track Program by filling out our contact form to learn more about art direction, and other roles in the world of advertising.




By |2019-03-21T16:48:18+00:00March 18th, 2019|Art Direction|0 Comments
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