Top 10 Creative Jobs the Labor Market Needs — That Actually Pay You

While the rest of the world obsesses about hot STEM jobs and their shiny salaries, what’s a creator to do? We can’t all be software engineers!

Good news: Here are 10 in-demand creative careers that pay good wages.

The latest stats from Find Your Calling show plenty of demand for people who enjoy expressing themselves through words, music, images, and the like. Are you always doodling on your homework or making home movies or scribbling stories? One of these careers might be calling your name! Check out the infographic below.

NOTE: Each of these careers typically requires a bachelor’s degree.

1. Graphic Designers – High demand for graphic designers these days! There are currently 287,000 graphic designers in the US and they’ve added 21,000 new jobs since 2011. They earn about $37K-$57K/year.

2. Public Relations Specialists – These specialists love working with people (the media) and words (writing material to pitch to the media) in order to help grow their company. There are 237,000 public relations specialists in the US with 21,000 new jobs since 2011. They earn about $43K-$79/year.

3. Producers and Directors – Producers are responsible for the big plan of getting the movie made while directors execute actual creative decisions. With 11,000 new producer and director jobs since 2011 (123,000 total in 2016), America sure does love the folks who make good movies! Typically, producers and directors earn about $49K-$103K/year (unless you’re George Lucas).

4. Interior Designers – Do you have an eye for turning rooms from ducklings into swans? Interior designers are in charge of colors, lighting, furniture, and the like. There are 93,000 interior designers in the US (9,700 new since 2011) and they earn about $38K-$56K/year.

5. Interpreters and Translators – Heads up if you speak more than one language! You are in high demand. Since 2011 the US has added 13,000 jobs in interpreting (spoken word) and translation (written word), making a total of 78,000 today. You would earn about $35K-$55K/year.

6. Art Directors – People who love both art and the responsibility of leading a team would make good art directors. Directors manage other artists in creating everything from magazines to movie productions. There are 57,000 art directors in the US (5,000 new since 2011) and they earn about $54K-$89K/year.

7. Technical Writers – Words and deadlines are what make technical writers come alive. They prepare instruction manuals, how-tos, and blog articles. Right now there are 55,000 technical writer jobs in the US (6,500 new since 2011) and they earn about $57K-$87K/year.

8. Multimedia Artists and Animators – Talk about fun! These guys create animation and visual effects for movies, TV, video games, etc. There are 51,000 artists and animators in the US, adding 5,200 new since 2011, and they earn about $40K-$64K/year.

9. Commercial and Industrial Designers – Magicians who combine art, business, and engineering—that’s these guys. They create new products based on what real people will actually buy. There are 43,000 commercial and industrial designers in the US (4,300 new since 2011). Of all the designer types (graphic, interior), they earn the most at about $51K-$75K/year.

10. Film Editors – Sometimes the director edits their own film, sometimes they don’t, and that’s when the film editor comes in. Editors are in charge of cutting all the footage and turning it into the movie you see on the screen. There are 36,000 film editors in the US (4,800 new since 2011) and they earn about $46K-92K/year.

“We often see a big push for careers in health care, STEM, and IT, but we thought—what about folks that like the arts and creativity? What careers should they pursue?” said Rob Sentz, founder of Find Your Calling and CINO at Emsi. “We want them to know they can contribute to the big needs in business. We need creators everywhere.”

Check out the infographic to see the top skills employers look for!

Would you like any of these careers? Find out at Find Your Calling! Take the Discovery Questionnaire and get matched with careers you love. Contact Gwen with questions at

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