Advertising Art Career Options and Requirements

Oct 04, 2019

Advertising art programs teach students how to create appealing visual images that convey a message or solve a problem. Continue reading for an overview of training requirements as well as employment and salary info related to some career options for graduates.

A career as an advertising artist requires a bachelor's degree in computer graphics, animation or art, graphic design, or a related field. Advertising artists develop promotions used in print or on TV to generate interest in products or services.

Essential Information

Advertising artists develop print or multimedia advertisements that shape opinions or make products or services desirable to consumers in a memorable way. For the best career prospects, candidates should have a bachelor's degree in computer graphics, art, graphic design or a similar discipline.

Career Title Multimedia Artist & Animator Graphic Designer Art Director
Education Requirements Bachelor's degree in computer graphics, animation or art Bachelor's degree in graphic design or a similar discipline Bachelor's degree in an art- or design-related discipline
Projected Job Growth (2018-2028)* 4% 3% 1%
Median Annual Salary (2018)* $72,520 $50,370 $92,780

Source: *United States Bureau of Labor Statistics

Career Options

Individuals who have earned degrees in graphic design or related subjects and who have the necessary experience might pursue positions such as multimedia artist or animator, graphic artist or art director. Career opportunities could be found within an organization's creative department, with marketing and public relations firms, graphic design firms, publishing firms or television and film studios.

Multimedia Artist and Animator

Multimedia artists and animators are responsible for creating animation as well as visual and special effects for movies, video games and computer programs. They often create three-dimensional characters or background scenery.

As reported by the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment of multimedia artists and animators was expected to increase by 4% during the 2018-2028 decade. In May of 2018, the median salary for these specialists was $72,520 annually.

Graphic Artist

A graphic artist can combine color, illustration, photography, animation, sound and text styles to produce product packaging, company logos, print and multimedia advertising as well as public service ads. They also arrange for the visual layout of brochures, magazines, newspapers, book covers and websites. Graphic artists may be self-employed, or they may work in-house for companies or design firms.

A graphic artist initially meets with a client or creative director to learn what idea is to be conveyed. He or she will also learn about any research done by the client or marketing department regarding consumer behavior; this information will be incorporated into the design plan. Once the artist has created an initial design or concept, he or she will need to be receptive to suggestions for refining or changing the design to accurately relay the client's vision. Once a graphic artist has demonstrated talent, he or she can work on increasingly sophisticated projects, and may advance to the position of art director or creative director.

According to the BLS, employment for graphic designers was expected to grow 3% from 2018-2028, slower than the average for all occupations. The BLS stated that individuals with website design and animation experience would have an edge in finding jobs. The BLS also stated that, as of May 2018, the median annual salary for graphic designers was $50,370.

Art Director

An art director, also sometimes referred to as a creative director, envisions the style of the visual artistry that is seen in various media, including television, magazines and film. The creative or art director will consult with the art, copywriting and production team to ensure client standards and specifications are being met, and that the project is completed on time and within budget. In addition, the art director supervises employees who develop art layouts, and they make the decisions about which art or photographs will be featured in publications or productions.

The BLS reported that jobs for art directors were predicted to expand by 1% from 2018 through 2028. The median annual salary for these professionals was $92,780 as of May 2018.


A bachelor's degree in graphic arts or a related field is generally required for both entry-level and advanced positions in the field, reports the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics ( Employers and clients also like to see evidence of artistic ability in a portfolio or a collection of a person's best work. This can consist of artwork done in studio art and design classes as well as internships in the field. Knowledge of computer drawing and design programs will be important. Individuals who want to be successful in this field must also stay aware of the latest trends and consumer tastes.

Advertising artists may work for a company's marketing division, an independent marketing firm, or television and film studios. They need the ability to convey concepts visually and may be responsible for producing images used in printed ads, on billboards, or on television.

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