Get VIP invites to recruiting events with popular employers! Sign up here.

MBA Corner
First Time on Brazen?

Spice Up Your Inbox!

Get invites to exclusive career events, networking opportunities and top career advice.



Top 10 Creative Jobs That Pay The Bills

Pin It  

painter

Want a job you love? Jumpstart your job search with our online How to Get a Job bootcamp.

You’ll probably spend around 90,000 hours at work over your lifetime. That’s a big number. So if you thrive on creativity, you’ll want to consider choosing a career where you can dedicate all those hours to outside-the-box work.

But what if living the life of a starving artist isn’t high on your to do list?

Don’t commit yourself to cubicle nation just yet. Lots of high-salary careers will let pay your bills and flex your creative muscles.

Check out ten great picks:

1. Video Game Designer

Video game designers imagine and plan games from scratch. Your inventive skills, outside-the-box problem solving and artistic talents all come into play as you develop original concepts, layouts and rules for your game.

Average Salary: $80,000

2. Makeup Artist

Your tools are brushes, paints and powders, but your canvass is the human face (and sometimes body)! Whether you’re helping a client look their best or putting cat eyes on a model, this job keeps you on your toes and in a creative frame of mind.

Average Salary: $60,000

3. Graphic Designer

As a graphic designer, you communicate in images. Whether you’re drafting an album cover, helping create an attractive website or ruling the roost of a creative agency as an art director, you employ a deep understanding of aesthetics, style and design.

Average Salary: $52,000

4. Chef

Dreaming up unusual flavor combos, arranging food beautifully on a plate, inventing whole new cooking methods—these are just some of the ways you can bring creativity into the kitchen. This hands-on job will keep you sweating, but once you’ve climbed the ranks, you’ll have free reign to concoct your own delectable dishes.

Average Salary: $47,000

5. Interior Designer

The goal of this job is to create beautiful and functional inside spaces. To bring a room together, you expertly select the perfect colors, shapes and textures. You also use your creativity to tackle challenging design problems. (How do you turn a boxy support beam into a stylish feature?)

Average Salary: $56,000

6. Film Editor

As a film editor, you don’t just passively arrange scenes into chronological order—you’re a visual storytelling master. Working with images, story, music and dialogue, you actively shape a film into a cohesive whole.

Average Salary: $70,000

7. Marketing Manager

Who says business and creativity can’t go together? As a marketing manager, you’re the brains behind getting your company on center stage. Your organization relies on you to deliver innovative solutions and unique ways to market their brand.

Average Salary: $108,000

8. Art Professor

To truly impart the world of art to sleepy freshman, you may need to devise some inventive teaching techniques. The good news is that you get to interact with art—whether it’s music, dance, theater or visual—on a daily basis.

Average Salary: $77,000

9. Sound Engineer

As a sound engineer, your job is to make live performances and studio recordings sound pitch perfect. You blend acoustic aptitude with technical know-how to skillfully record, remix or amplify a delicate balance of sound.

Average Salary: $58,00

10. Creative Director

If you really want to be an artistic head honcho, you can’t do better than aiming for the creative director spot. In this role—which is found in advertising, media, fashion and elsewhere—you oversee all of your company’s creative projects from start to finish.

Average Salary: $103,000

Would you choose a creative career path?

All salary data is from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Annie Favreau works for Inside Jobs, a site that helps people discover careers they’ll love and find the education to make it happen. Join the conversation on Twitter at @InsideJobs!

Brazen powers real-time, online events for leading organizations around the world. Our lifestyle and career blog, Brazen Life, offers fun and edgy ideas for ambitious professionals navigating the changing world of work.