jobs in creative fields

Highest and Lowest Paying Jobs in Creative Fields

You may have heard that creative jobs don’t pay well. You may have been told that if you want to become an actor, a poet, a singer, or an artist, you shouldn’t expect much in return for your efforts.

The modern field of creative work is so diverse and cuts across so many other types of work that it’s no longer true that all creative jobs don’t pay well. Sure, some still “pay in passion,” as they used to say, but others will set you up with quite a comfortable lifestyle. Let’s dive into the full range.

Highest Paid Creative Jobs

Marketing Director

Marketing directors and specialists enjoy both high pay and creative satisfaction. Many who get jobs in marketing can actually create art that’s used in campaigns; it’s not all about delegation, paperwork, and meetings.

How can you make portable power stations seem appealing to those customers who don’t see the appeal of green technology? How can you encourage people to get potentially life-saving medical check-ups that they’d otherwise be too scared to commit to? Marketing asks you to solve tricky challenges with creativity.

Film and Video Editor

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics states that the mean annual wage for film and video editors is over $80,000. Not only is the pay good but there’s demand across the country in all fields, from entertainment to the medical field to education and the corporate world.

Commercial and Industrial Designer

With only a Bachelor’s degree, you can become a commercial and industrial designer who helps create the products we use in our everyday lives, like toothbrushes, medical technology, and blenders.

Commercial and industrial designers prepare sketches, illustrate designs, draft instruments, create 3D models, and generate ideas on what commercial products should look like and how they should function. And the pay is fantastic, with a mean annual wage over $81,000.

Lowest Paid Creative Jobs

Fine Artist

Unfortunately, most of the lowest-paying creative jobs are the most straightforwardly creative—your poets, your dancers, and worst of all, your painters.

Now, you can parlay your skills as a fine artist into all sorts of lucrative work, from becoming an art director to a gallerist to a graphic designer. But if you want to make fine art, your chances of “making it big” enough that your paintings pay your bills are slim.


Dancers are in a similar precarious position. If you’re good enough to make it into a company, you’ll be set with decent pay and benefits. But only the cream of the crop make it to that level, and there isn’t much else you can do with that skill set.

Floral Designer

Floral design is a solid career field, but the base pay is relatively low, with a mean annual wage of around $34,000. To work in this field, you have to love what you do.

Balancing Passion and Pay

Are you thinking of making the jump to a creative field? One of the hardest professional choices anyone will make is between passion and pay. But ultimately, it’s your choice and your choice alone. Only you can decide how creative your job allows you to be and what you get for it.

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