By Stephanie Stevens
Being a creative person and figuring out what career you want to pursue can be a struggle. Still, a surprising number of creativity-focused professions can pay the bills and allow you to express yourself. Take a look at our list of creative careers and let us know which career path sounds the most enticing to you (or what important options we may have missed on our list).
Median annual wage: $49,120
Projected job growth: Steady
You may be surprised to see artist as a viable career option on this list, but we're here to share that not all artists are starving! If you're willing to put in the work to learn the basic techniques, comfortable with challenging yourself creatively, don't mind doing some self-promotion, and you're willing to be patient while transitioning from a "day job" to full-time artist, you can make a good living as an artist (no matter what everyone told you when you were younger).
2. CONTENT MARKETING MANAGER
Median annual wage: $74,663
Projected job growth: 16%
With 7.5 million blog posts published every day and over 17,000 job postings on sites like Indeed, Monster and LinkedIn, content marketing has become a vital part of developing an effective marketing strategy for every organization. Since it's a relatively new field, the job descriptions can vary. However, in most cases, you will need to be a decent writer, think strategically and be creative whether you're posting on social media or researching keywords for your next article.
Median annual wage: $63,400 per year
Projected job growth: -7%
Don't be discouraged by the projected decline in growth. While it's true that traditional editorial jobs for print periodicals like newspapers and magazines are currently few and far between, there are plenty of opportunities for editors to excel in other industries. Instead, try looking in areas such as corporate communications, nonprofit grant writing, teaching, technical editing and website content editing. Don't believe us? Check out the latest job listings on sites like Indeed and Monster.
4. COMMUNICATIONS & PUBLIC RELATIONS MANAGER
Median annual wage: $62,810 per year
Projected job growth: 7%
We all love to hear a good story, and in a time when capturing people's attention is a highly valued skill, the Public Relations and Communications industry is seeing a huge boom. With hundreds of thousands of businesses in the United States alone, there are plenty of opportunities to thrive and excel. Just be prepared to bring a strong portfolio of successes because it is a highly competitive field.
5. MARKETING MANAGER
Median annual wage: $141,490 per year
Projected job growth: 6%
Marketing continues to be essential for organizations to maintain and expand their share of the market. As marketing channels diversify into specializations such as market research, content marketing, database marketing and product marketing, having an experienced marketing manager who's aware of the value of those specializations and knows how to utilize those channels effectively on behalf of their clients is an absolute necessity.
6. SOCIAL MEDIA MANAGER
Median annual wage: $44,345
Projected job growth: 10%
Social media management has quickly grown from being a job that nearly anyone with a Facebook account and some writing skills could do to a complex career path that includes copywriting, photography, design, video editing, data analysis and customer service – quite possibly all in one day. They must also be comfortable with learning new social media platforms and be ready to shift strategies as a result of constantly evolving algorithms.
7. TECHNICAL WRITER
Median annual wage: $74,650 per year
Projected job growth: 12%
If you're the person people turn to for a clear explanation of recent technological advances, you are likely the perfect candidate for becoming a technical writer. Tech writers prepare how-to guides, journal articles and instruction manuals and other documentation to explain complex technical ideas and information to the public or their in-house support team. And while that may sound a bit dry, there are several creative aspects to their work, including graphic design and video production.
8. UX DESIGNER
Median annual wage: $89,300
Projected job growth: 18%
A career that's as much about collecting and analyzing data as it is about being creative, User Experience (UX) Design is for those who love to understand the psychology of how people use websites and how they can help people interact in a way that provides meaningful and relevant experiences. Design software company InVision cites User Interface/User Experience designers as the most in-demand product design job as of 2020.
9. VIDEO EDITOR
Median annual wage: $61,900 per year
Projected job growth: 18%
With the increase in demand for professionally produced video for content marketing and other promotional channels, along with an enormous boost in demand for streaming content, video editing is projected to have a period of significant growth in the next decade. A perfect time to get started in a rapidly growing field!
10. WEB DEVELOPER/DESIGNER
Median annual wage: $77,200 per year
Projected job growth: 13%
As of 2014, there were 1 billion websites online. It took only five years to nearly double that number to 1.86 billion with no signs of slowing. Knowing how to design and modify websites is a excellent choice for someone looking for a creative career option with great growth prospects. Just be prepared to learn new software and update your skillset on a regular basis to stay in step with the competition.
Want to learn more about one or more of these career paths? UC San Diego Extension offers free information sessions for many of them. Browse the list of upcoming sessions here.