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Summary Report for:
27-1011.00 - Art Directors

Formulate design concepts and presentation approaches for visual communications media, such as print, broadcasting, and advertising. Direct workers engaged in art work or layout design.

Sample of reported job titles: Art Director; Art Supervisor; Creative Director; Creative Guru; Design Director; Designer; Director of Creative Services, Consumer Products; Group Art Supervisor; Production Manager; Senior Art Director

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Tasks  |  Technology Skills  |  Tools Used  |  Knowledge  |  Skills  |  Abilities  |  Work Activities  |  Detailed Work Activities  |  Work Context  |  Job Zone  |  Education  |  Credentials  |  Interests  |  Work Styles  |  Work Values  |  Related Occupations  |  Wages & Employment  |  Job Openings  |  Additional Information

Tasks

  • Formulate basic layout design or presentation approach and specify material details, such as style and size of type, photographs, graphics, animation, video, and sound.
  • Manage own accounts and projects, working within budget and scheduling requirements.
  • Confer with creative, art, copywriting, or production department heads to discuss client requirements and presentation concepts and to coordinate creative activities.
  • Present final layouts to clients for approval.
  • Review and approve art materials, copy materials, and proofs of printed copy developed by staff members.
  • Work with creative directors to develop design solutions.
  • Create custom illustrations or other graphic elements.
  • Confer with clients to determine objectives, budget, background information, and presentation approaches, styles, and techniques.
  • Review illustrative material to determine if it conforms to standards and specifications.
  • Negotiate with printers and estimators to determine what services will be performed.
  • Attend photo shoots and printing sessions to ensure that the products needed are obtained.
  • Research current trends and new technology, such as printing production techniques, computer software, and design trends.
  • Hire, train, and direct staff members who develop design concepts into art layouts or who prepare layouts for printing.
  • Mark up, paste, and complete layouts and write typography instructions to prepare materials for typesetting or printing.
  • Conceptualize and help design interfaces for multimedia games, products, and devices.
  • Prepare detailed storyboards showing sequence and timing of story development for television production.

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Technology Skills

  • Computer aided design CAD software Hot technology — Autodesk 3ds Max Design
  • Desktop publishing software — Adobe Systems Adobe InDesign Hot technology ; Quark
  • Development environment software — Adobe Systems Adobe ActionScript Hot technology
  • Document management software — Adobe Systems Adobe Acrobat Hot technology
  • Electronic mail software — Microsoft Outlook Hot technology
  • Graphics or photo imaging software — Adobe Systems Adobe Illustrator Hot technology ; Adobe Systems Adobe ImageReady; Adobe Systems Adobe Photoshop Hot technology ; Autodesk Maya (see all 7 examples)
  • Internet browser software — Web broswer software
  • Mobile operator specific application software — Mag+; Mobile application software; Tablet application software
  • Network conferencing software — Atlassian Confluence
  • Object or component oriented development software — jQuery Hot technology
  • Office suite software — Microsoft Office
  • Presentation software — Apple iWork Keynote; Microsoft PowerPoint Hot technology
  • Project management software — Atlassian JIRA Hot technology
  • Spreadsheet software — Microsoft Excel Hot technology
  • Video creation and editing software — Adobe Systems Adobe AfterEffects Hot technology ; Adobe Systems Adobe Director; Apple Final Cut Pro Hot technology ; MAXON CINEMA 4D
  • Web page creation and editing software — Adobe Systems Adobe Dreamweaver Hot technology ; Social media software; WordPress
  • Web platform development software — Apache Software Foundation Flex; Extensible HyperText Markup Language XHTML Hot technology ; JavaScript Hot technology ; PHP: Hypertext Preprocessor Hot technology (see all 10 examples)
  • Word processing software — Microsoft Word

Hot technology Hot Technology — a technology requirement frequently included in employer job postings.

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Tools Used

  • Charcoal pencils — Sketching pencils
  • Desktop computers
  • Digital camcorders or video cameras — Digital video cameras
  • Digital cameras — Digital still cameras
  • Notebook computers — Laptop computers
  • Personal computers
  • Tablet computers

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Knowledge

  • Sales and Marketing — Knowledge of principles and methods for showing, promoting, and selling products or services. This includes marketing strategy and tactics, product demonstration, sales techniques, and sales control systems.
  • English Language — Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Communications and Media — Knowledge of media production, communication, and dissemination techniques and methods. This includes alternative ways to inform and entertain via written, oral, and visual media.
  • Computers and Electronics — Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
  • Customer and Personal Service — Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
  • Design — Knowledge of design techniques, tools, and principles involved in production of precision technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.
  • Fine Arts — Knowledge of the theory and techniques required to compose, produce, and perform works of music, dance, visual arts, drama, and sculpture.
  • Administration and Management — Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
  • Sociology and Anthropology — Knowledge of group behavior and dynamics, societal trends and influences, human migrations, ethnicity, cultures and their history and origins.

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Skills

  • Active Listening — Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  • Speaking — Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Judgment and Decision Making — Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
  • Time Management — Managing one's own time and the time of others.
  • Complex Problem Solving — Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
  • Critical Thinking — Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Reading Comprehension — Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • Coordination — Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
  • Active Learning — Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
  • Management of Personnel Resources — Motivating, developing, and directing people as they work, identifying the best people for the job.
  • Persuasion — Persuading others to change their minds or behavior.
  • Social Perceptiveness — Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
  • Monitoring — Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
  • Writing — Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
  • Instructing — Teaching others how to do something.
  • Learning Strategies — Selecting and using training/instructional methods and procedures appropriate for the situation when learning or teaching new things.
  • Management of Financial Resources — Determining how money will be spent to get the work done, and accounting for these expenditures.
  • Negotiation — Bringing others together and trying to reconcile differences.
  • Operations Analysis — Analyzing needs and product requirements to create a design.
  • Service Orientation — Actively looking for ways to help people.
  • Systems Analysis — Determining how a system should work and how changes in conditions, operations, and the environment will affect outcomes.

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Abilities

  • Fluency of Ideas — The ability to come up with a number of ideas about a topic (the number of ideas is important, not their quality, correctness, or creativity).
  • Originality — The ability to come up with unusual or clever ideas about a given topic or situation, or to develop creative ways to solve a problem.
  • Near Vision — The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
  • Oral Comprehension — The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • Oral Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
  • Written Comprehension — The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
  • Information Ordering — The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
  • Speech Clarity — The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
  • Deductive Reasoning — The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
  • Inductive Reasoning — The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
  • Problem Sensitivity — The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
  • Speech Recognition — The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
  • Visualization — The ability to imagine how something will look after it is moved around or when its parts are moved or rearranged.
  • Visual Color Discrimination — The ability to match or detect differences between colors, including shades of color and brightness.
  • Written Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
  • Category Flexibility — The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.
  • Far Vision — The ability to see details at a distance.

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Work Activities

  • Thinking Creatively — Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.
  • Interacting With Computers — Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
  • Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
  • Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships — Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
  • Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work — Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems — Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
  • Judging the Qualities of Things, Services, or People — Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people.
  • Communicating with Persons Outside Organization — Communicating with people outside the organization, representing the organization to customers, the public, government, and other external sources. This information can be exchanged in person, in writing, or by telephone or e-mail.
  • Scheduling Work and Activities — Scheduling events, programs, and activities, as well as the work of others.
  • Coordinating the Work and Activities of Others — Getting members of a group to work together to accomplish tasks.
  • Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events — Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
  • Selling or Influencing Others — Convincing others to buy merchandise/goods or to otherwise change their minds or actions.
  • Processing Information — Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates — Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
  • Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge — Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
  • Developing Objectives and Strategies — Establishing long-range objectives and specifying the strategies and actions to achieve them.
  • Analyzing Data or Information — Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.
  • Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others — Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used.
  • Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards — Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
  • Documenting/Recording Information — Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
  • Performing for or Working Directly with the Public — Performing for people or dealing directly with the public. This includes serving customers in restaurants and stores, and receiving clients or guests.
  • Provide Consultation and Advice to Others — Providing guidance and expert advice to management or other groups on technical, systems-, or process-related topics.
  • Resolving Conflicts and Negotiating with Others — Handling complaints, settling disputes, and resolving grievances and conflicts, or otherwise negotiating with others.
  • Performing Administrative Activities — Performing day-to-day administrative tasks such as maintaining information files and processing paperwork.
  • Developing and Building Teams — Encouraging and building mutual trust, respect, and cooperation among team members.
  • Monitoring and Controlling Resources — Monitoring and controlling resources and overseeing the spending of money.
  • Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings — Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.

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Detailed Work Activities

  • Design layout of art or product exhibits, displays, or promotional materials.
  • Determine technical requirements of productions or projects.
  • Manage operations of artistic or entertainment departments or organizations.
  • Coordinate artistic activities.
  • Present work to clients for approval.
  • Design layouts for print publications.
  • Write informational material.
  • Review art or design materials.
  • Collaborate with others to develop or refine designs.
  • Develop artistic or design concepts for decoration, exhibition, or commercial purposes.
  • Prepare production storyboards.
  • Draw detailed or technical illustrations.
  • Confer with clients to determine needs.
  • Negotiate for services.
  • Research new technologies.
  • Coordinate design activities.
  • Select staff, team members, or performers.
  • Train others on work processes.

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Work Context

  • Electronic Mail — 100% responded “Every day.”
  • Face-to-Face Discussions — 96% responded “Every day.”
  • Time Pressure — 89% responded “Every day.”
  • Work With Work Group or Team — 84% responded “Extremely important.”
  • Spend Time Sitting — 75% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
  • Telephone — 72% responded “Every day.”
  • Contact With Others — 51% responded “Constant contact with others.”
  • Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — 50% responded “Extremely important.”
  • Structured versus Unstructured Work — 51% responded “A lot of freedom.”
  • Spend Time Making Repetitive Motions — 62% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
  • Indoors, Environmentally Controlled — 75% responded “Every day.”
  • Freedom to Make Decisions — 44% responded “A lot of freedom.”
  • Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results — 58% responded “Very important results.”
  • Frequency of Decision Making — 59% responded “Every day.”
  • Importance of Repeating Same Tasks — 66% responded “Extremely important.”
  • Spend Time Using Your Hands to Handle, Control, or Feel Objects, Tools, or Controls — 71% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
  • Responsibility for Outcomes and Results — 45% responded “Very high responsibility.”
  • Coordinate or Lead Others — 45% responded “Extremely important.”
  • Letters and Memos — 41% responded “Every day.”
  • Duration of Typical Work Week — 52% responded “More than 40 hours.”
  • Deal With Unpleasant or Angry People — 34% responded “Once a year or more but not every month.”
  • Physical Proximity — 42% responded “Slightly close (e.g., shared office).”
  • Deal With External Customers — 37% responded “Extremely important.”
  • Level of Competition — 33% responded “Highly competitive.”

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Job Zone

Title Job Zone Four: Considerable Preparation Needed
Education Most of these occupations require a four-year bachelor's degree, but some do not.
Related Experience A considerable amount of work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is needed for these occupations. For example, an accountant must complete four years of college and work for several years in accounting to be considered qualified.
Job Training Employees in these occupations usually need several years of work-related experience, on-the-job training, and/or vocational training.
Job Zone Examples Many of these occupations involve coordinating, supervising, managing, or training others. Examples include accountants, sales managers, database administrators, graphic designers, chemists, art directors, and cost estimators.
SVP Range (7.0 to < 8.0)

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Education


Percentage of Respondents
Education Level Required
74   Bachelor's degree
17   Master's degree
9   Associate's degree

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Credentials

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Interests

Interest code: AE

  • Artistic — Artistic occupations frequently involve working with forms, designs and patterns. They often require self-expression and the work can be done without following a clear set of rules.
  • Enterprising — Enterprising occupations frequently involve starting up and carrying out projects. These occupations can involve leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes they require risk taking and often deal with business.

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Work Styles

  • Attention to Detail — Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
  • Dependability — Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
  • Adaptability/Flexibility — Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
  • Innovation — Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.
  • Achievement/Effort — Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
  • Initiative — Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
  • Leadership — Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.
  • Cooperation — Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
  • Independence — Job requires developing one's own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.
  • Persistence — Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
  • Integrity — Job requires being honest and ethical.
  • Analytical Thinking — Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
  • Stress Tolerance — Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations.
  • Concern for Others — Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
  • Self Control — Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
  • Social Orientation — Job requires preferring to work with others rather than alone, and being personally connected with others on the job.

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Work Values

  • Independence — Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy.
  • Achievement — Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment. Corresponding needs are Ability Utilization and Achievement.
  • Working Conditions — Occupations that satisfy this work value offer job security and good working conditions. Corresponding needs are Activity, Compensation, Independence, Security, Variety and Working Conditions.

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Related Occupations

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Wages & Employment Trends

Median wages (2015) $43.15 hourly, $89,760 annual
State wages Local Salary Info
 
Employment (2014) 75,000 employees
Projected growth (2014-2024) Slower than average (2% to 4%) Slower than average (2% to 4%)
Projected job openings (2014-2024) 15,800
State trends Employment Trends
 
Top industries (2014)

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2015 wage data external site and 2014-2024 employment projections external site. "Projected growth" represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2014-2024). "Projected job openings" represent openings due to growth and replacement.

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Job Openings on the Web

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Sources of Additional Information

Disclaimer: Sources are listed to provide additional information on related jobs, specialties, and/or industries. Links to non-DOL Internet sites are provided for your convenience and do not constitute an endorsement.

  • Art directors external site. Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor. Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2016-17 Edition.

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