Art director earnings by seniority

Approximate values based on highest and lowest earning segments.

Art director salary by state

State Name Average Salary
California $50,589
New York $82,600

How much does an Art Director earn?

Art directors typically pay their dues as graphic designers, industrial designers, or set designers, or even as fine artists and photographers. Some employers require that their art directors have at least three to five years of relevant experience. Having a portfolio that shows a variety of projects and a variety of clients can result in a higher art director salary than for an art director just starting out.

Those who work in motion picture and video industries have the highest art director salaries. Those that can offer specialized design services or advertising, public relations and related services can earn an average of $83,500/yr. Art directors that provide services at newspapers, magazines and publishing companies earn an average of $67,000/yr, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

How do art director salaries compare to similar careers?

Art directors earn about the same as related careers in the United States. On average, they make less than urban planners but more than tattoo artists.

Career Median Salary
Urban planner salary $58K
Industrial designer salary $51K
Calligrapher salary $64K
Art director salary $60K
Cinematographer salary $39K
Exhibit designer salary $53K
Film director salary $44K
Tattoo artist salary $39K

Source: CareerExplorer (Aggregated)