2017 Salary Guide Lists Ranges for 120 Creative and Marketing Jobs

According to The Creative Group 2017 Salary Guide, starting compensation for creative professionals is expected to increase 3.6 percent in 2017. In-demand positions such as user experience and mobile designers are likely to see even bigger gains.

The 9 creative and marketing professionals listed below will be in the greatest demand and shortest supply in 2017. Compared to 2016 salary ranges, their starting compensation is expected to be higher than the 3.6 percent average received by all 120 positions covered in the Salary Guide.

  • Front-End Web Developer (1-3 years’ experience): 7.2%
  • Mobile Designer: 6.8%
  • User Experience (UX) Designer (3-5 years’ experience): 6.1%
  • Content Strategist: 5.4%
  • Visual Designer: 5.3%
  • Project Manager: 4.6%
  • Digital Strategist: 4.5%
  • Interactive/Web Copywriter (1-5 years’ experience): 4.4%
  • Marcom Manager (5+ years’ experience): 4.2%

Setting the Right Salary Matters

“Hiring creative talent is getting increasingly harder as demand remains strong and unemployment rates in the industry continue to trend below the average,” said Diane Domeyer, executive director of The Creative Group. “Since it’s a candidate’s market, employers must step up their recruitment efforts to secure the talent they seek.”

When The Creative Group surveyed 400 marketing and advertising executives about their biggest recruiting challenges, compensation ranked high on the list. When the executives were asked to name the most common reason candidates turn down job offers, 27 percent said it’s because the compensation and benefits were lower than the candidate expected.

“Salary may not be the only consideration for job seekers, but companies that aren’t paying competitively stand little chance of attracting and landing highly skilled candidates,” said Domeyer.

Top 4 Hiring Trends

The Creative Group 2017 Salary Guide highlighted four key trends that hiring managers should consider.

Timing is everything. Because top candidates often receive multiple offers, organizations should move quickly. When faced with a lengthy hiring process, 39% of candidates lose interest or pursue other opportunities.

Skilled talent is in short supply. The unemployment rates for specialized positions are typically lower than the national rate.

Education is essential. More than 95 percent of jobs created during the recovery have gone to individuals with some college education.

Temporary is becoming permanent. Firms are bringing in freelancers instead of letting jobs sit vacant. This gives employers more time to recruit or determine if the temporary project professional is the right fit for a full-time role.

“Creatives with skills outside their specialty are highly marketable. In addition, digital proficiency is becoming a prerequisite for many traditional roles. For example, graphic designers need to be familiar with web layouts or social media and copywriters must have knowledge of search engine optimization.”

About the Guide

Whether you are a job-seeker or employer, The Creative Group 2017 Salary Guide can be a useful tool. It features starting salary ranges for more than 120 positions in the creative field. Positions are grouped in five categories.

Design and Production positions include creative director, creative services manager, art director, production manager, studio manager, traffic manager, illustrator, graphic designer, package designer, 3D animator, multimedia designers, presentation specialist, and production artist.
Interactive Design and Production jobs include interactive creative director, interaction designer, visual designer, user experience director, user experience specialist, user experience researcher, web designer, email designer, HTML developer, front-end web developer, interactive producer, web production artist, motion designer, video producer, video editor, mobile designer, and mobile developer.

Content Development and Management jobs include copywriter, proposal writer, curriculum developer/writer, instructional systems designer, interactive/web copywriter, blogger, copy editor, proofreader, content manager, content marketing manager, and content strategist.

Advertising and Marketing positions include chief marketing officer, marketing director, marketing communications manager, business development manager, creative director, account director, account executive, account coordinator, account planner/strategist, digital strategist, event/trade-show coordinator, social media manager, SEO specialist, email marketing specialist, marketing analytics specialist, and market researchers.

Public Relations jobs include account manager/supervisor, senior account executive, account coordinator, public relations director, and public relations specialist.

The salary data included in the guide comes primarily from The Creative Group’s North American staffing and recruiting professionals. They make thousands of full-time, temporary, and project placements each year.

The ranges published in the guide represent national averages but can be adjusted for local markets by using local variance numbers included in the guide. For example, a starting salary in Los Angeles might be 130 percent of the national average whereas a starting salary in Sioux City, Iowa might be 85 percent of the national average.

The Creative Group is a division of Robert Half, the world’s largest specialized staffing firm. The Creative Group connects companies with highly skilled interactive design, marketing, advertising, and public relations talent. The Creative Group provides flexible staffing solutions by placing candidates on a project, contract-to-hire, or full-time basis.


Starting Salaries for Creative and Marketing Pros Will Be Up About 3.5 Percent in 2015

The Robert Half 2015 Salary Guides show that U.S. starting salaries for professional occupations are projected to increase an average of 3.8 percent this year. Among all of the fields Robert Half researched, the largest expected gains in salaries are in technology. The average starting salary for a newly hired information technology worker will be up by about 5.7 percent. Accounting and finance and creative and marketing professionals can expect starting salaries to rise an average of 3.5 percent.

Salary_Guide_The_Creative_Group_2015The Creative Group’s 2015 Salary Guide lists starting salaries for more than 125 creative and marketing positions in five fields: design and production; interactive design and production; content development and management; advertising and marketing; and public relations.

Growth in the digital space, particularly mobile, is driving the demand for professionals such as digital marketing strategists and user-experience specialists. Businesses also seek content strategists, web designers and front-end web developers.

Specific job titles covered in the report include: content strategist, market researcher, blogger, copy editor, digital marketing strategist, illustrator, graphic designer, package designer, 3D modeler, video editor, web content writer, interactive art director, technical illustrator, and studio artist.

According to a section on 5 Trends Heating Up Hiring, “Talent is harder to come by. Hiring managers report that demand for top creative talent is outstripping supply in some cases. Candidates with strong portfolios and the right mix of technical and soft skills frequently field multiple offers….In addition to recruitment concerns, retention is becoming more of a priority.”

The Creative Group’s 2015 Salary Guide (“Moolah Palooza”) also says agencies and in-house departments are bringing in freelancers to help manage workloads and provide specialized skills that don’t exist internally.

Information in the Salary Guides is based on the thousands of job searches, negotiations and placements managed each year by Robert Half’s staffing and recruiting managers, along with the company’s ongoing surveys of executives. Continuing or ongoing salaries are not reported because many external factors — such as seniority, work ethic, job performance and training — impact the salaries of full-time professionals as work histories develop.

The Creative Group is a leader among creative and marketing staffing agencies. The firm specializes in connecting talented, creative professionals with companies looking to hire interactive, design, marketing, advertising and public relations talent. As the creative, and design staffing division of Robert Half, The Creative Group offers flexible solutions to meet companies’ project, contract-to-hire and full-time employment needs.


Robert Half 2015 Salary Guides

The Creative Group 2015 Salary Guide: Moolah Palooza

The Creative Group’s 2014 Salary Guide Lists Eight In-Demand Jobs

TCG-Salary-Barista-Cover2The 2014 Salary Guide for professionals in creative and marketing fields is now available free from the website of The Creative Group. Entitled “Salary Barista,” the guide serves up fresh data on the average starting compensation levels for 134 different jobs.

The Design and Production category lists salaries for 34 jobs, including Creative Director, Art Director, Studio Manager, Medical Illustrator, 3D Animator, Package Designer, and Presentation Specialist.

The Interactive category lists 26 jobs such as Interactive Creative Director, Game Designer, Blogger, Motion Designer, Web Production Artist, Video Editor, and Mobile Developer.

The Content Development and Management section provides salaries for 15 positions such as Copywriter, Medical Writer, Curriculum Developer, Proposal Writer, Copy Editor, and Content Manager.

The Advertising and Marketing category includes salary ranges for 49 corporate and/or agency jobs. Agency jobs include President, Account Manager, and Social Media Account Manager. Corporate jobs include Chief Marketing Officer, Marketing Director, and MarCom Specialist. Jobs that can be found in either an agency or corporate setting include Media Director, Brand/Product Manager, Web Analytics Specialist, Event/Trade Show Manager, and Market Researcher.

The Public Relations category lists salaries for 5 agency jobs such as Account Executive and VP/Group Director and 5 corporate jobs such as Public Relations Director and Public Relations Manager.

For each position, the guide lists national average low and high starting salaries. To determine the estimated salary range for positions in your city, use the “variance numbers” listed on page 12 and 13 of the guide.

For example, jobs based in Chicago have a 123.0 variance number; jobs in Fort Wayne, Indiana have an 81.0 variance number. If the national average starting stalary for a content manager ranges from $62,500 to $83,000, the salary range in Chicago would be 1.23 times higher (i.e., $76,875 to $102,090). In Fort Wayne, the salary would be 0.81 of the $62,500 to $83,000 range (i.e., $50,525 to $67,230).

Eight in-Demand Jobs

Salary Barista lists the eight most in-demand creative and marketing jobs and describes the required skills. The eight jobs include:

  • Digital Project Manager
  • Front-End Web Developer
  • Interactive Marketing Manager
  • Mobile Designer
  • SEO/SEM Specialist
  • User Experience (UX) Designer
  • Web Content Writer
  • Web Designer

The guide notes a continuing shortage of creative talent with digital expertise, particularly in the field of mobile design: “Companies need people who can help them develop content for small screens…Responsive design also is becoming a greater priority for businesses that want to provide customers with optimal experiences on their devices and browsers of choice.”

According to a recent study conducted by The Creative Group, more than half (52 percent) of the 400 marketing and advertising executives surveyed said it’s challenging to find skilled creative professionals today.

In a section listing five hot trends affecting hiring, the authors of Salary Barista observe that “Professionals with in-demand skills recognize that they have more choices in the current employment market and are open to pursuing new avenues, even if it means leaving a stable job. Consequently, managers are redoubling their efforts to retain top performers.”

Freelancers Bring Flexibility and Specialized Skills

To help manage heavy workloads and access specialized skills, organizations are bringing in freelancers more frequently (and for longer periods).

In a section that promotes the benefits of flexible staffing, the Salary Barista notes that, “The percentage of people who are working on a temporary or part-time basis is rising – for a variety of reasons. Specialists at very high levels often choose interim assignments over full-time work because of the schedule flexibility and diversity of projects this option provides.”

The “Salary Barista” 2014 Salary Guide includes

  • four characteristics to look for in creative talent
  • tips on preparing job offers applicants can’t refuse
  • statistics on perks and willingness to negotiate compensation

Starting Salaries Up for Creatives and Other Professionals in 2014

A division of the Robert Half professional staffing services agency, The Creative Group specializes in placing interactive, design, and marketing professionals on a project and full-time basis.

The salary guide for creative and marketing professionals was one of five salary guides released by Robert Half this week. Robert Half also released salary guides for professionals in accounting and financial services, information technology, legal services, and office and administrative support.

Overall, starting salaries for professionals in U.S. are expected to increase an average of 3.7 percent in 2014.

Technology positions are expected to see the largest gains among the fields researched with a 5.6 percent increase in the average salary for newly hired workers. Accounting and finance professionals can expect starting salaries to rise an average of 3.4 percent.

Salaries for professionals in creative fields in the U.S. are expected to be up by an average of 3.3 percent, as are starting salaries for administrative and support staff. The starting salaries for legal professionals are expected to rise 2.7 percent.

Robert Half has been publishing salary guides for businesses owners, hiring managers, and professionals since 1952. Ongoing salaries are not reported because salary increases are affected by factors such as seniority, work ethic, job performance, and training.


The Creative Group 2014 Salary Guide

The Creative Group

Robert Half

Robert Half Salary Guides