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15 high-paying jobs for creative people


By Kerri Anne Renzulli, CNBC

You don't have to suffer for your art — at least not when it comes to salary. There are plenty of high-paying gigs that will reward your creativity to the tune of more than $59,000 a year.

CNBC Make It analyzed data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics to identify 15 occupations focused on creating, designing, or remaking images, products, technology, and information that also come with paychecks as large as $92,000 a year — well above the median salary of $46,800 U.S workers earned in 2018, according to the BLS.

So if you want to be nicely compensated for your design talents, consider one of these 15 jobs:


Makeup artists


Median annual wage: $59,300

Projected job growth through 2026: 12%

These workers can apply makeup to clients for events like weddings, proms or other events, or transform performers' face and bodies to resemble any character in any time-period, setting or situation. Those who specialize in doing makeup for the stage or theater command higher wages, but many talented makeup artists have found high paying-gigs by working with a celebrity, like Kim Kardashian-West's personal makeup artist Mario Dedivanovic, or through popularizing their work on social media.

Little formal education is required to become a makeup artist, though many do complete a cosmetology program. Any makeup artist who is also a cosmetologist will need to be licensed. Theater degree programs, which typically include courses on stage makeup, can also be another route into the profession.


College art, drama, and music teachers


Median annual wage: $69,960

Projected job growth through 2026: 12%

These professors typically teach various courses within their field of specialization to students enrolled at colleges and universities. They may also conduct research, publish original research, apply for grants to fund their research, or supervise graduate teaching assistants who are teaching classes.

Depending on the subject taught and the type of educational institution, the kind of educational background a professor needs may be different. Typically a Ph.D. in a subject related to the one they will be teaching is required but a master's degree may be enough for some post-secondary teaching roles at community colleges. However, some university humanities departments may be more interested in the work experience and contributions an applicant has made in the field.


Web developers


Median annual wage: $69,430

Projected job growth through 2026: 15%

These tech workers design and create websites, ensuring a company or client gets the look they desire as well as the performance and traffic capacity needed. Their job can range from helping a client determine what information the site should contain, to writing code or testing applications.

While there is no technical degree requirement for this job, many in the field have at least an associate's degree in web design. Those who complement their design skills with programming languages also easily break into the industry as employers tend to favor developers with those skill sets, according to the BLS.


Editors


Median annual wage: $59,480

Projected job growth through 2026: -1%

Strong communication and writing skills are necessary for this occupation, which involves planning, revising and producing content for publication in books, newspapers, magazines or websites.They typically review content for spelling, grammar, factual and structural problems, rewrite content to make it easier to understand, review pitches from writers and assign stories, and help writer's develop new ideas in line with the publication's style and needs.

A bachelor's degree in communications, journalism, or English, combined with previous writing and proofreading experience, is typically required to be an editor, according to the BLS. Employers also typically favor candidates who have worked across multiple forms of media, such as television, websites, or social media, and experience or expertise in the field they're covering.


Writers and authors


Median annual wage: $62,170

Projected job growth through 2026: 8%

Just as the title suggests, these workers make a living effectively conveying stories or information and facts to readers through clean prose in a variety of places such as advertisements, books, guides, manuals, magazines, movies, plays, television scripts, blogs and novels.

While no degree is necessary to write a book, play or other material, many salaried positions in the field do prefer for applicants to have a bachelor's degree in English, journalism, or communications. Some do find their way into the industry through internships or self-publishing content through blogs or other forms of social media.


Film and video editors


Median annual wage: $62,650

Projected job growth through 2026: 17%

Using video-editing software, these film industry workers arrange video footage to tell a story or convey information. They may collaborate with camera operators and producers and directors on the overall vision for the production, the filming and editing techniques needed to improve a scene, or what is the appropriate equipment, such as the type of lens or lighting, to use.

Many film and video editors have a bachelor's degree in a field related to film or broadcasting, but a clear understanding of digital cameras and video-editing software is most important to land a job.


Industrial designers


Median annual wage: $66,590

Projected job growth through 2026: 4%

These workers combine art, business, and engineering to make products that people use every day, according to the BLS. They develop the concepts and designs for all kinds of manufactured products from cars to children's toys. It's their responsibility to consider the functions, aesthetics, production costs, and usability of each of the new products they are creating.

A bachelor's degree, typically in industrial design, architecture, or engineering, is usually required for entry-level industrial design jobs, but the BLS also notes it is important to have an electronic portfolio with examples of your design projects.


Landscape architects


Median annual pay: $68,230

Projected job growth through 2026: 6%

These architects design parks, gardens, playgrounds, green roofs, and other outdoor spaces for campuses, recreational facilities, businesses, governments and private homes. To do this, they meet with clients, prepare site plans and cost estimates, chose the landscaping materials and analyze environmental reports on land conditions, concerning things like drainage and energy usage.

To become a landscape architect, you'll need at least a bachelor's degree in landscape architecture and a state-issued license, which typically requires completion of an internship.


Producers and directors


Median annual wage: $71,680

Projected job growth through 2026: 12%

These workers create movies, television shows, and commercials as well as live theater and other performing arts productions. They select scripts or topics for a show, chose actors and other crew members, oversee the design and finances of the production, and then ensure the project stays on schedule and budget.

Most producers and directors have a bachelor's degree, usually in film or cinema, writing, or acting, and several years of work experience in a related-occupation such as actor, film and video editor, or cinematographer.


Technical writers


Median annual wage: $71,850

Projected job growth through 2026: 11%

If you've got experience in a field like medicine, engineering, or computer science as well as strong communication skills, becoming a technical writer will earn you a nice salary bump over other writing careers. These writers craft instruction manuals, how-to guides and journal articles to convey complex information more easily to an average reader. To do this, they will often study product samples, speak with the designers and developers, and listen to user feedback.

Employers favor candidates with a bachelor's degree in journalism, English, or communications, though many technical writing jobs do also require workers have either a degree or some knowledge of the scientific field the content they'll be producing pertains to.


Multimedia artists and animators


Median annual wage: $72,520

Projected job growth through 2026: 8%

These artists create two- and three-dimensional models, moving images, computer-generate images, and visual effects for television, film, video games and other entertainment media. They typically work with clients, such as directors, game designers, or other animators to help create the ideal graphics needed, set development deadlines and edit the animation or effects based on such client's feedback.

Employers favor job applicants with a bachelor's degree in computer graphics, fine arts, animation, or a related field as well as an impressive portfolio of work and strong technical skills, according to the BLS.


Fashion designers


Median annual wage: $72,720

Projected job growth through 2026: 3%

These workers create original designs for new clothing, footwear or other accessories. They sketch out their ideas and designs, select the fabrics and patterns used in producing the item as well as the production techniques used to bring it to life, and then work the pieces into a collection that will appeal to consumers and retailers.

Most fashion designers have a bachelor's degree in a related field, such as fashion design or fashion merchandising. Developing a strong portfolio, or collection of design ideas that demonstrates your styles and technical abilities, can also help you to land a gig without that educational background since as many employers rely on this when making hiring decisions.


Art directors


Median annual wage: $92,780

Projected job growth through 2026: 5%

These workers are responsible for the visual style of a product. They determine how to best represent a message or concept visually and then determine which photographs, art, or other design elements to use when producing items ranging from product packaging to media like magazines, newspapers, movie and television productions.

Most art directors have at least a bachelor's degree in an art or design subject and started out in another art-related occupation working their up to a director-level role.


Architects


Median annual wage: $79,380

Projected job growth through 2026: 4%

These workers plan and design houses, factories, office buildings and other structures. They can work on public or private projects and design for both indoor and outdoor spaces. They typically meet with clients to understand the requirements for a structure and then prepare scaled drawings of possible designs as well as the anticipated costs and construction time. If they receive the commission, they then oversee the work site to ensure construction adheres to the architectural plans.

Becoming an architect is a three-step process. First, you must complete at least a bachelor's degree in architecture, gain relevant experience through a paid internship, typically lasting three years, and then pass the Architect Registration Examination.


College English language and literature teachers


Median annual wage: $66,590

Projected job growth through 2026: 10%

Like college art or music professors, these educators typically teach multiple courses within their field of specialization to higher education students. They may also conduct research, publish original research, apply for grants to fund their research, or supervise graduate teaching assistants who are teaching classes.

Typically a Ph.D. in a subject related to the one they will be teaching is required to become a professor but some post-secondary teaching roles at community colleges require only a master's degree.

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