12 high-paying jobs for artistic people

Graphic designers, interior designers, and video game designers are just a few of the high-paying jobs out there for artistic and creative people. Flickr/Rich Bowen

When you think of jobs in the arts, making a lot of money usually doesn’t come to mind.

But there are actually many jobs for artists and creative thinkers that come with a decent salary – you just need to know where to look.

We searched through US Department of Labour database O*NET, the Occupational Information Network, for high-paying jobs that might appeal to artistic people. O*Net designates these jobs a “primary interest” of “artistic.”

O*NET defines artistic occupations as jobs that “frequently involve working with forms, designs and patterns. They often require self-expression and the work can be done without following a clear set of rules.”

Here are 12 high-paying jobs for artistic and creative people that pay on average more than $US55,000 a year in a range of industries and fields:


Median annual salary: $US57,210

Plan, coordinate, or edit content of material for publication. May review proposals and drafts for possible publication.

Makeup artists


Median annual salary: $US60,970

Apply makeup to performers to reflect period, setting, and situation of their role. Includes theatrical and performance.

Poets, lyricists, and creative writers


Median annual salary: $US61,240

Create original written works, such as scripts, essays, prose, poetry, or song lyrics, for publication or performance.

Film and video editors


Median annual salary: $US62,760

Edit moving images on film, video, or other media. May edit or synchronise soundtracks with images.

Landscape architects


Median annual salary: $US63,480

Plan and design land areas for projects such as parks and other recreational facilities, airports, highways, hospitals, schools, land subdivisions, and commercial, industrial, and residential sites.

Fashion designers


Median annual salary: $US65,170

Design clothing and accessories. Create original designs or adapt fashion trends.

Multimedia artists and animators


Median annual salary: $US65,300

Create special effects, animation, or other visual images using film, video, computers, or other electronic tools and media for use in products or creations, such as computer games, movies, music videos, and commercials.

Commercial and industrial designers

Median annual salary: $US67,970

Develop and design manufactured products, such as cars, home appliances, and children’s toys. Combine artistic talent with research on product use, marketing, and materials to create the most functional and appealing product design.

Technical writers

Median annual salary: $US69,850

Write technical materials, such as equipment manuals, appendices, or operating and maintenance instructions. May assist in layout work.



Median annual salary: $US76,930

Plan and design structures, such as private residences, office buildings, theatres, factories, and other structural property. Excludes landscape and naval architects.

Video game designers


Median annual salary: $US86,510

Design core features of video games. Specify innovative game and role-play mechanics, story lines, and character biographies. Create and maintain design documentation. Guide and collaborate with production staff to produce games as designed.

Art directors


Median annual salary: $US89,820

Formulate design concepts and presentation approaches for visual communications media, such as print, broadcasting, and advertising. Direct workers engaged in art work or layout design.