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9 Types of Design Jobs for Creative People

Your love of color, artistic eye and impeccable sense of style cause people to label you a creative person—and you wear that label proudly. You embrace it as you enjoy expressing your originality and making things visually appealing. But what if we told you there was a way to exercise […]

smiling woman surrounded by colorful confetti

Your love of color, artistic eye and impeccable sense of style cause people to label you a creative person—and you wear that label proudly. You embrace it as you enjoy expressing your originality and making things visually appealing.

But what if we told you there was a way to exercise your creativity full time instead of just on the side? Better yet, what if you could get paid to be creative on a daily basis? The truth is there’s a wide array of design careers where people just like you can thrive.

We identified nine types of design jobs that are perfectly suited for creative people. Below is a brief breakdown of each position based on data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.1 Take a look and see which creative careers interest you most.

9 Creative careers in the design field

Great news for all you creative folks—there are many types of design careers that allow you to capitalize on your inventiveness. Learn more about a few exciting jobs for creative people like you.

1. Graphic designer

One of the most common design careers out there is a graphic designer. These professionals create designs for marketing collateral, product illustrations, brand identities and websites using computer software like the Adobe® Creative Suite.

They merge technical skill with artistic ability to create a design that resonates with its desired audience. Graphic designers may work independently as freelancers or contractors, in an in-house setting for a company or in an agency setting.

Skills for graphic designers:2

  • Adobe®Creative Suite
  • Typesetting
  • Social media
  • Website design
  • Packaging

Interested? Learn more in our article, “What Is Graphic Design? A Beginner’s Guide to This Creative Career.”

2. User experience (UX) designer

UX designers make websites, mobile applications, software or video games easier to navigate and more intuitive for users to interact with. They study and evaluate how people feel about a particular system and design their product to cater to the needs of the user. They also analyze the specific components of the system such as usefulness, value, credibility and accessibility.

For example, a UX designer might work with a retailer to update their product webpages and mitigate issues like frustrating forms, hard-to-find buttons and visual clutter that can prevent users from making a purchase.

Skills in demand:2

  • UX wireframes
  • Prototyping
  • Visual design
  • User research
  • Adobe Creative Suite

For more information, check out our article, “8 Basic User Experience Guidelines Designers Need to Know.”

3. Photographer

Photographers utilize their creativity and composition skills alongside their technical expertise to capture photographs that tell a story or document an event. The majority of today’s photographers work with digital cameras and editing software to capture subjects in commercial-quality images. Some travel to a location to shoot an event or scenery, while others have their own studios for portraits, commercial shoots or artistic work.

Skills in demand:2

  • Digital photography
  • Customer service
  • Product sales
  • Adobe Photoshop
  • Social media

4. Interior designer

Professionals in this occupation work with interior spaces to improve the safety, functionality and aesthetic appeal of the area. They select color schemes, furniture, flooring, lighting and all other elements of a room or building. Interior designers also sketch their ideas or use design software to communicate their plans with the architects, structural engineers and builders who bring their designs to life.

Skills in demand:2

  • Customer service
  • Customer contact
  • Computer Aided Drafting/Design (CAD) software
  • Sales
  • Purchasing

5. Multimedia artist & animator

These professionals create animations and special effects for movies, television, video games and other forms of media—both two-dimensional and three-dimensional. They work with teams of animators and artists to bring ideas to life using computer software or by writing their own computer code. Some work in studios or offices, but many are self-employed and work from home.

Skills in demand:2

  • Adobe Creative Suite
  • Graphic design
  • Motion graphics
  • Maya
  • UX Wireframes

Sound interesting? Learn more about this position in our article, “Everything You Need to Know About Working in Animation.”

6. Art director

Art directors work in a variety of settings such as magazines, newspapers, internet-based publications and advertising or public relations agencies. They communicate with clients while overseeing project budgets and timelines. They manage a team of design professionals, reviewing and approving all creative materials before presenting to clients.

Skills in demand:2

  • Adobe Creative Suite
  • Graphic design
  • Budgeting
  • Creative direction
  • Project management

For a closer look at the role, see our article, “What Does an Art Director Do? Expert Insight from the Pros Who Know.”

7. Advertising & promotions manager

Professionals in these positions often work in agencies to organize campaigns for clients. They may also be responsible for selling advertising space or time for media firms. This is a job for creative people with a strong business acumen, as they work with sales staff to develop concepts for campaigns, partner with creative teams to produce layouts, negotiate contracts and prepare overall campaign budgets.

Skills in demand:2

  • Budgeting
  • Project management
  • Social media
  • Ad campaigns
  • Digital advertising

8. Fashion designer

Professionals in this field design new clothing and accessories. Designs are sketched on paper or digital devices and then colors, materials and textures of the final product are determined. Fashion designers study fashion trends by reviewing magazines and attending fashion shows. They then provide sample garments to sales representatives and agents in hopes of selling their own collections.

Skills in demand:2

  • Sales
  • Customer contact
  • Product design and development
  • Adobe Creative Suite
  • Sketching

9. Film & video editor

Film and video editors use technical software to construct promotional or artistic productions from footage shot by camera operators. This creative career involves working with directors and producers to determine which material is most captivating for their audience and piece together scenes. The editing process involves trimming footage down into segments, marking frames for audio and organizing raw footage into a seamless and polished final product.

Skills in demand:2

  • Video editing
  • Adobe Creative Suite
  • Social media
  • Video production
  • Music

Start creating your ideal design career

It’s now clear that there are many different types of design jobs that will allow you to exercise your creativity day in and day out. With such a wide variety of opportunities, you should be closer to finding the creative careers that align best with your skills and interests.

Keep exploring your options by downloading our complimentary Design Career Guide to learn more about the projected growth, salary ranges and education requirements of these creative careers.

1Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, [career information accessed January 2020]. Data represents national, averaged earnings for the occupations listed and includes workers at all levels of education and experience. This data does not represent starting positions and employment conditions in your area may vary. (Analysis of job postings for design careers from Jan. 01, 2019 –Dec. 31, 2019).

EDITOR’S NOTE: This article was originally published in December 2013. It has since been updated to include information relevant to 2020.
Adobe Photoshop and Creative Suite are registered trademarks of Adobe, Inc.

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