You don’t get into the creative fields because you value things like money, health insurance or an apartment larger than a Zappos.com box. Your low income level is your badge of honor you hold over your friends who have to tuck in their shirts and sit in an aggressively air conditioned meeting rooms eight hours every day to earn their six-figure paychecks. Whether your artistic lifestyle is actually honorable is the subject of another debate, but surely every creative person has had visions of mixing the two, getting a high-paid job that also pays well, that possibly chimerical mix of passion and income.
DNAinfo yesterday ran a story on a report from PayScale showing the highest paid creative jobs in New York. And — surprise! Even the top ones are not that high paying. So it looks like there’s a limit on how much you can sell out, even if you really want to! Here is the list of the six highest-paid creative jobs in the city:
Media and Communication Workers – Median Pay of $92,000
This is, it must be noted, a very misleading category: “media workers” are not the same as “communication workers.” The former is made up of journalists, editors and content creators; the latter is comprised of the people who write emails to the media trying to get them to write about their product/client/brand etc, aka PR people. They make a lot of money for sending emails to reporters, who get paid very little for having to delete those emails all day long. As a comparison, my salary at my recent media worker job at a major NYC newspaper fell below even the “multimedia artists” level below.
Art Directors – Median Pay of $91,000
“Art Directors are directly responsible for the success of an ad campaign or promotion,” PayScale writes. This is about as lucrative as a real artistic job can ever get in NYC, it seems.
Advertising and Promotions Managers — Median Salary: $89,000
“Promotions Managers manage all the promotional (non-advertising) activities for their company or client,” PayScale writes, which makes it a more important job than just writing those promoted tweets no one reads.
Producers and Directors — Median Salary: $70,000
Most people in these roles have fewer than 20 years experience, according to PayScale. Time to get to work on that webseries!
Fabric and Apparel Patternmakers — Median Salary: $69,000 (nice)
Patternmaker is a person that comes up with the idea of how to put clothing like T-shirts and custom-made clothing together. That this is still a high-paying job in 2016 should give hope to everyone out there with a sketchbook.
Multimedia Artists and Animators – Median Pay of $61,000
PayScale calls this “quite possibly the most fun job titles on this list,” because this is the job that involves making cartoons, animations for movies and other digital media. Usually a bachelor’s degree is required. An income of $40,000 is the bare minimum needed to rent in NYC, so don’t expect $61,000 a year to get you too fancy of a place to do your art.