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Creative Consultant: Job Decription & Salary

Learn about a career as a creative consultant. Read the career definition, educational requirements, and career outlook for creative consultants to decide if this is the right career path for you.

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Career Definition of a Creative Consultant

While the term creative consultant is somewhat broad, it generally refers to individuals whose occupation involves developing new ideas or products to enhance a particular businesses performance. This could take the form of a graphic designer who develops a new website for a client or a writer who improves a screenplay for a production company. Overall the job of a creative consultant is to use their skills as innovators to create better products or services for their clients.

Creative consultants are usually independent contractors who find employment with marketing agencies and digital production companies. However, the skills offered by creative consultants are in high demand. Due to the nature of their work, creative consultants often work within a non-traditional schedule.

Educational Requirements Bachelor's degree
Job Skills expert with relevant software, strong communication, exceptional visualization skills, natural artistic ability
Average Salary (2017)* $64,322 (for creative strategists)
Job Outlook (2016-2026)** 5% (for all art directors)

Sources: *PayScale.com, **U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics for Art Directors

Required Education

Becoming a creative consultant will require a bachelor's degree in a related field such as marketing, graphic design, or art. There are no licenses required for creative consultants, so the degree requirements will be based mostly on client preferences.

Experience in the field of creative consulting is a key factor in obtaining jobs and clients. In order to gain this experience, new creative consultants might look to internships and assistant positions.

Required Skills

Creative consulting is an artistic and tech-heavy field. Because of this creative consultants must have finely tuned skills in their artistic field, however those specific skills will vary. For example, a creative consultant working for a marketing company designing product packaging would need to have an understanding of color schemes and style trends. In addition, they must be highly skilled with graphic design software.

In addition to expertise in an art related field, whether it be illustration or writing, and the ability to bring their craft to life with software, creative consultants must have exceptional communication skills. As the vast majority of creative consultants are independent contractors who own their own businesses, it is their responsibility to find and secure clients. This means that they must be able to effectively communicate their idea in a pitch. They must also be able to articulate their ideas and translate the needs of their clients into a product.

Many creative consultants work with marketing agencies and digital media companies, which means they must understand trends in customer behavior. An ability to research and translate that information into a product is a must for successful creative consultants.

Career Outlook & Salary

The career outlook for creative consultants is quite good. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports an expected growth of 5% between 2016-2026 for Art Directors, which is the closest occupation to creative consultants in the BLS database. This is defined as an average growth rate.

Payscale.com reports median annual salary of creative strategists, another occupational title for creative consultants, at $64,322. This number is dependent on a number of factors, including location, experience, and education.

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