As a creative person, the last thing you want to do is “sell out” and work for the man. Your art is sacred and no one can out a price on it… until reality sets in and you realize “selling out” actually means “paying the bills.” Luckily, there are a wide variety of careers that may offer job stability and a decent paycheck, while still providing an outlet for creativity. The following careers match all of these criteria, stimulating both your creativity and your wallet.
Primarily, a graphic designer uses visuals to promote a product, service, or message. To be effective as a designer a good eye is essential but it also helps to have some marketing savvy, as designers often work to meet the specifications of communications or promotions teams. One of the great things about this career is that it is viable in several different settings including ad agencies, websites, print, in-house design departments, and freelance. Usually, a designer starts with a sketch of the layout and makes a mock-up for approval before developing a final product.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicts that graphic design jobs will grow 13 percent from 2008 through 2018 Web design will be especially strong*. Entry-level jobs commonly require a bachelor degree, but an associate degree might also be enough for employment. A strong portfolio of sample projects is essential, especially for freelancers, who are hired on the basis of past work. The salary range for designers is fairly wide; in 2008, the median salary for entry-level workers was $35,000 and those in director positions earned $95,000.
Make-Up Artists & Estheticians
Make-up artists apply cosmetics to clients, and estheticians work to enhance the health and appearance of clients' skin, using facials, peels, hair removal treatments, and tinting procedures. Many cosmetology students are trained in both creative areas. An accredited vocational certificate or cosmetology degree helps these artists perfect their skills and qualify for necessary licensure, which varies by state.
High-profile artists work in the entertainment world, applying make-up for movie stars, television actors, or stage performers. Artists can accent beauty or manufacture scars, bruises, and other special effects. More commonly, make-up artists and estheticians work for everyday clients, in the context of wellness spas or beauty salons. They may also be hired to help clients prepare for special events, like proms and weddings.
Similar to graphic designers and copywriters, make-up artists build success based on reputation, so a good portfolio and a loyal clientele are essential. Estheticians are expected to see a large increase in employment over the next several years. As reported by the BLS, demand for such professionals is expected to grow by 20 percent, exceeding most other fields, primarily due to increased population and the cosmetic needs of baby boomers and young people.
Take a walk around your city or town and you’re looking at the artwork of an architect. The job of an architect is to not only design buildings and other structures aesthetically, but to also ensure they’re functional, economical, and safe. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2008,there were around 141,000 architecture-related jobs in the U.S., mostly in architectural and engineering roles but also for residential and non-residential building firms as well as for government agencies. Many in the field are self-employed.
Architects tend to complete more formal schooling than some other creative professionals. Five-year programs and master degrees in architecture are common credentials in the field. The BLS also reported in 2008 that the average architect made $76,750 a year.