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5 Careers That Let You Be Creative At Work

Last updated August 17, 2023

5 Careers That Let You Be Creative At Work

Are you a creative person? Do you want to have a job where you can use your creativity in unique ways? If so, a job in the creative economy might be a great fit for you! The creative economy involves jobs that value creativity across a variety of industries. These jobs rely on creative skills to provide a service or product to end customers creatively. Here are a few jobs in the creative economy to consider:

Software Developer

Overhead shot of someone typing on their laptop. There is a book on Python programming language on a chair to the left.

A software developer creates applications that allow people to do a variety of tasks on computers and other devices - like smartphone apps, computer games, social media sites, and more! They also develop systems that run on devices and allow them to function properly. Software developers use their creativity to analyze the needs of the users and design, then test and develop software accordingly. Their role is to design each piece of an application or system and create a plan for how the pieces will work together. After designing the program, they usually work closely with computer programmers to write the code and test it.

A software developer usually has a bachelor’s degree in computer science and has a creative mind. To be successful, a software developer should be detail oriented, have analytical skills, creativity, flexibility, problem-solving skills, interpersonal skills, and an understanding of HTML, programming languages, and multimedia publishing tools.The average salary for software developers in 2020 was $110,140 per year or $52.95 per hour.


A man outside taking a picture on a professional point-and-shoot camera

A photographer produces and preserves images to record events and to tell stories. Most photographers use a digital camera, which allows them to transfer the image to a computer where they can use image processing software to edit the image and then print it out. In addition to a camera, photographers can use drones to capture 360-degree imagery. Photographers can get into many specialties, like commercial photography, photojournalism, event photography, and fine arts. Depending on the photographer’s specialty, their job may also include framing services for their images and presenting their work in albums or public spaces.

A photographer is not required to have postsecondary education, although many take classes and earn a bachelor’s degree to improve their skills. Taking good photos also requires skills that are developed over time with practice. If you’re interested in pursuing photography as a career, check with your high school or college counselor for any available photography courses at your school. Having strong artistic and creative ability, technology skills, interpersonal skills, and customer service skills is important for a photographer. The average salary for photographers in 2020 was $41,280 per year or $19.85 per hour.

Graphic Designer

Image of a graphic designer working on a design in an illustrator program.

A graphic designer creates visual work to present an idea or story. They develop the layout and production design for things such as advertisements, product labels, magazines, and book covers. They usually use computer software like Adobe Illustrator or Photoshop to create designs to communicate a message, and they work with both text and images and decide how those should be combined. Graphic designers can work with a variety of clients from corporate brands, local mom-and-pop shops, advertising agencies, and more. A good graphic designer can tell a story to evoke emotion, or present data through visual graphics and diagrams to make information easier to understand.

Graphic designers usually need a bachelor’s degree. They need to have creativity, artistic ability, analytical skills, computer skills, attention to detail, and project management skills. If you’re thinking about a career in graphic design, you can start by taking classes in art history, drawing, and web design (some high schools and most colleges even offer a graphic design course!). You can also find internships with advertising agencies to start building your portfolio and keep up with the current design tools. The average salary for graphic designersin 2020 was $53,380 per year or $25.66 per hour.


A woman writing on a notebook at her desk. She is looking out into the distance with the sun shining on her face.

A writer creates written content for a variety of media like online publications, magazines, books, scripts, and advertisements. They choose subjects that will interest readers, write scripts, conduct research to gather facts, and present their drafts to editors and clients. They work with editors and clients to revise their work and prepare it for publishing.

A bachelor’s degree is usually needed for a full-time job, and employers can prefer people with a degree in English, journalism, or communications. A writer needs to have strong writing skills, critical-thinking skills, creativity, persuasion, social perceptiveness, and persistence. If you’re interested in becoming a writer, you can gain experience by working for your high school or college newspaper, or find an internship with a local newspaper, magazine, radio station, or blog. The average salary for writers in 2020 was $67,120 per year or $32.27 per hour.

Advertising, Promotions, and Marketing Manager

TThis manager plans programs to create interest in products or services. Advertising managers collaborate with sales staff and other coworkers to create ideas for an advertising campaign, oversee the development of advertising, and they work with the finance department to prepare a budget and cost estimates. Promotions managers oversee programs and campaigns like special events, in-store displays, coupons, and sweepstakes that combine advertising with purchasing incentives. Marketing managers predict demand for products and services, identify markets, and develop pricing strategies.

A bachelor’s degree is required for most positions, and additional certifications are preferred. Most advertising and promotions managers begin in entry-level positions and work their way up to management roles and have creativity, analytical, communication, interpersonal, and organizational skills. The average salary for advertising, promotions or marketing managers in 2020 was $141,490 per year or $68.03 per hour.

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