Fine artists use visual techniques to as a form of creative expression. These artists study traditional art disciplines, such as painting and sketching. Fine artists showcase and sell their works at galleries and studios, through a broker, or to customers directly. Occupations include illustrators, painters, cartoonists, and sculptors. These artists combine visual art with a variety of forms, such as sound, storytelling, or animation. With the help of film, cameras, computers, and other tools, multimedia artists create video games, commercials, music videos, and more. Examples of occupations are special effects artists, 3D animators, and game designers.
Designers make original creations that have practical or aesthetic purpose. Businesses in nearly all industries rely on designers to develop and implement ideas for products or services. Designers may start a project by sketching ideas on paper or creating a computer prototype. Feedback from clients and staff members helps refine the ideas into a final product.
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The following design occupations described are commercial and industrial, fashion, floral, graphic, interior, and set and exhibit designers. Commercial and industrial designers. These designers focus on how customers interact with technical products and services, such as cell phones and online marketplaces.
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By researching and collecting data on customer behavior and market needs, these workers improve artistic design and ease of use, and ensure integration with existing products or services. Commercial and industrial designers usually work on teams with engineers, managers, and other designers. Fashion designers create clothing, accessories, and footwear.
For each product, they choose fabrics, colors, and patterns that are practical and have aesthetic appeal. They may develop original designs or adapt fashion trends. Some products have a recurring theme, such as a similar color palette or style, and are designed as part of a collection.
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Fashion designers may oversee production of the garments, ensuring that workers such as seamstresses follow the designs. Often, they market their products to retailers and customers at fashion and trade shows. These designers create arrangements with live and dried flowers and foliage. Floral designers may order flowers from wholesalers or grow their own.
Graphic designers visually communicate ideas and messages for commercial or promotional purposes. Using words, images, and symbols, these designers tweak style elements—such as color and typography—to create posters, logos, packaging, and other products. Graphic designers usually work for an art director or for a client directly. They also may work closely with people in advertising, communications, and marketing. These designers plan and furnish the insides of residential, commercial, and industrial spaces. Interior designers create a plan to specify design elements, such as lighting fixtures, furniture, and flooring.
Interior designers often work with architects, engineers, and builders. They may specialize in a particular style or field, such as sustainability, renovation, or kitchen design. Set and exhibit designers. Set and exhibit designers develop and prepare displays and spaces for theater, film, museum, and industry events. Designers collaborate with workers in charge of lighting, special effects, props, and construction. They also consult with experts to understand elements from a style or period, and they inspect the finished set or exhibit to ensure that it matches their design.
Media and communication workers use words or images to convey information and ideas. Some write fictional stories, and others capture information or actual events, such as breaking news. Among these creative occupations are editors, photographers, technical writers, and writers and authors. Editors plan, review, and revise written material for publication. They coordinate with writers to explore ideas, establish a schedule, and maintain style standards. Examples include technical and managing editors. Photographers use cameras, lenses, computers, and other equipment to produce images.
They photograph people, landscapes, architecture, food, merchandise, or other subjects, depending on their specialty or the type of project for which they are hired. Many photographers are freelancers, but others work for an employer, such as a newspaper or magazine. Photographers are often grouped by the type of images they create. Examples are news, medical, and portrait photographers. These writers communicate complex information to a general audience. They write instruction manuals, supporting documents, and other types of explanatory text. Technical writers often collaborate with other workers, such as product designers, engineers, and customer support specialists.
These other workers help writers understand the product and obtain data for diagrams and charts; they also offer feedback on drafts and the final product. Writers and authors compose materials for print and online publications, films and television shows, advertisements, and more. They may write fiction or nonfiction pieces, and their work might include scripts, novels, or articles. To get started, writers often research their subject matter. They also brainstorm ideas to create an outline that gives their draft structure. With the help of editors, writers and authors revise a draft until it is ready to be published.
Examples of writers and authors are screenwriters, biographers, playwrights, novelists, copy writers, and bloggers. Wages, employment, and outlook vary among creative occupations. But those data do not include wages for the many self-employed workers in nearly all of these occupations. And, although employment growth is projected to be slow for most of them, the need to replace workers who leave the occupations is expected to result in opportunities.
According to the BLS Occupational Employment Statistics survey, wages were higher than the overall median in nearly all of these occupations in May However, these estimates do not include wages for self-employed workers, whose incomes may vary more widely than those of wage and salary workers overall. Wages varied by geographic location, with workers in some metropolitan areas typically earning more than those in other cities.
Wages also varied by industry. According to data from the BLS Employment Projections EP program, employment size was relatively small in —the base year for the most recent projections data—in many of the creative occupations discussed in this article. Employment projections data include self-employment, which was common in these occupations.
Job openings are projected to vary between and In , employment for the occupations in table 2 was almost 1. Employment by occupation varied across industries. For example, nearly half of all floral designers were employed by florists. Most occupations listed in the table had a significantly higher rate of self-employment than the 6. This may be because many creative occupations lend themselves to self-employment, which includes freelance workers and business owners.
For example, writers and authors , photographers , and craft artists —occupations listed in the table with the highest rates of self-employment—may be able to generate enough income working for themselves if they can successfully sell their creative product. Employment growth is projected to be slow for most of these occupations over the —22 decade. Reasons for slow growth may vary among occupations but include foreign competition and the decline of related industries such as publishing media. Employment for technical writers is expected to be faster than the average for all occupations.
But even in occupations that have limited growth, job openings are projected because of the need to replace workers who retire or leave for some other reason.
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As with any career, working in a creative job has pros and cons. This section outlines some of them. There are some rewards that are common to most creative work. These include the outlet for being creative, the flexibility of the work, and the opportunity to collaborate with others.
Engaging in a creative activity is, for many workers, its own reward. Workers do interesting or unique projects while adding their own style. Compared with workers in some other career fields, creative workers may have more flexibility in choosing tasks or setting schedules—especially if they are self-employed. Often, workers have the creative freedom to explore a project or topic as they like.
For example, a cartoonist sketching a new superhero character might decide to combine existing ideas, such as a cape, with his or her own elements, such as the idea of a child superhero. For many workers, exploring and remixing interesting ideas is part of the fun.
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Creativity often benefits from collaboration, and many people enjoy working with others toward a common goal. Even when working alone, people in creative occupations often learn from others. As with almost any career, creative workers may face challenges in their jobs that they need to overcome. To succeed, they must be able to handle stress and frustration, accept criticism and failure, and learn to persevere.
Creative workers may feel pressure to constantly produce new or better ideas, sometimes immediately. It also may be common to work on tight deadlines for long stretches of time or to work at odd hours. And because competition for these jobs is often intense, workers may have a hard time finding enough creative work to earn an adequate income. In some jobs or on certain projects, artistic freedom may be limited. And restricted autonomy may be even more frustrating when a client changes project requirements without sufficient notice or compensation.
Self-employed workers usually face additional frustrations, including managing staff problems, assessing financial risks, and balancing work—life demands. Deciphering complex laws related to business ownership is also difficult. Creative workers imbue a little of themselves in their creations. Some workers may have difficulty separating from their work, which may make them more sensitive to criticism and prone to self-doubt. But in many creative careers, criticism is necessary. Feedback from clients, friends, and peers is often part of the creative process.
Among that feedback may be negative comments that could lead to a different approach. And creativity takes a lot of trying—and failing—before an idea comes to fruition. Production Designer Design the look of a film set and supervise the team that creates it. Television Director Make the creative calls to get the shots you want on a TV set. Medical Interpreter Help Doctors and patients communicate across language barriers. CEO Optimize an organization's performance as its highest-ranking leader.
New Media Specialist Use the Internet to market a company. Sports Reporter Cover games and keep viewers in-the-know about sports news. Clinical Psychologist Provide psychological counseling to patients in a clinic setting. Screenwriter Write dialogue and directions for a motion picture. Lawyer Provide legal advice or courtroom guidance to your clients. Line Producer Keep track of the budget for TV or film productions. Science Journalist Report on scientific breakthroughs in print, the web, or TV. Set Designer Fit out the stage for theater productions. Film Archivist Catalog and protect old films.
Art Museum Curator Manage the art collections at a museum. Collections Manager Direct all activities in a museum's or zoo's collections department. Anthropologist Study human societies and cultures. Business Development Director Forge profitable partnerships for your company. Assistant Principal Serve as the Principal's backup in managing a school. International Lawyer Handle the legal aspect of setting up business overseas.
Digital Archivist Preserve important papers by making and organizing digital copies. Landscape Architect Create parks and gardens as a licensed professional.
Music Executive Manage the business of recording music. Counseling Psychologist Provide talk therapy to help patients through their emotional challenges. Copywriter Create texts for websites, papers, advertisements and more. School Counselor Help students in their personal and educational development.
Media Buyer Purchase ad space in print and online. Digital Strategist Promote your company through digital media. Internet Reputation Manager Keep companies safe from negative publicity in the Internet. Software Architect Oversee the design and implementation of computer software. Stage Manager Coordinate all technical aspects of a live theatrical production. Veterans Service Officer Help veterans apply for benefits. Marketing Strategist Perform research to discover how best to sell a product. Art Director Control the overall look of an ad, movie, or TV show. Landscape Designer Beautify spaces by planting greenery and erecting garden structures.
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Creative Director Lead your organization's creative projects from concept to completion. Divorce Mediator Help couples work out the terms of their divorce outside of a court. Ambassador Represent the government in other countries. Middle School Principal Provide leadership to middle school students, Teachers, and staff. Instructor Impart your knowledge of a particular subject matter to others. Public Relations Manager Work with the media to build a good reputation for your company. Music Lawyer Negotiate contracts for Singers and bands. Film Art Director Manage the department charged with creating movie sets.
Judge Give verdicts on court cases. Film Editor Make the final narrative decisions on a movie by choosing the scene order. Art Conservator Repair works of art so they can still be enjoyed for years to come. Software Developer Build, test, and market computer software. Family Support Worker Connect families with the services they need. Child Psychologist Use various types of therapy to help kids with emotional or mental illness. Music Editor Plan and develop movie soundtracks. Travel Agent Help clients make travel plans and reservations. Executive Assistant Tend to all the business and travel needs of a corporate executive.
Advertising Manager Develop ad campaigns by managing one or all areas of an ad department. Cognitive-Behavioral Therapist Coach patients through problems by changing the way they think. Wedding Planner Take the task of organizing an entire wedding out of the bride's hands. Exhibit Designer Plan and put up exhibits for museums, galleries, and the like. Nonprofit Program Director Lead efforts to generate publicity and funding for worthy causes.
Real Estate Analyst Monitor real estate market conditions to help sales. Lyricist Write lyrics and catchy phrases to accompany melodies. User Experience Designer Make a website enjoyable and easy to use. Spokesperson Make public statements on behalf of your company.