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Advertising art director

Alternative titles for this job include Creative

Art directors design images for ad campaigns, including film, TV, website and printed adverts.

Average salary (a year)

£18,000 Starter


£45,000 Experienced

Typical hours (a week)

38 to 40 a week

You could work

evenings occasionally

How to become

Explore the different ways to get into this role.

How to become Advertising art director

You can get into this job through:

  • a university course
  • an apprenticeship
  • working towards this role
  • graduate trainee scheme


Employers will often expect you to have a foundation degree, higher national diploma, degree or postgraduate qualification in:

  • graphic design
  • advertising design
  • illustration
  • fine art

With your degree you can apply for graduate training schemes in advertising companies.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 1 or 2 A levels, or equivalent, for a foundation degree or higher national diploma
  • 2 to 3 A levels, or equivalent, for a degree

More Information


You could apply to do an apprenticeship, which may help you to get a trainee or assistant role with a company. They include:

  • Junior Advertising Creative Level 3 Advanced Apprenticeship
  • Advertising Creative Level 6 Apprenticeship, leading to a professional qualification

These apprenticeships typically take around 2 years to complete and are a mix of learning in the workplace and off-site study.

Entry requirements

Employers will set their own entry requirements.

More Information


You can start as a junior creative to develop your skills on the job and work your way up through training and promotion.


You could get some experience before applying for your first job. This will give you a better understanding of advertising and is a good way to make contacts.

You could contact agencies directly to ask about volunteering opportunities. You could also make contacts on social networking sites like Twitter or LinkedIn.

You can get more advice on how to contact advertising agencies from the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising.

More Information

Career tips

Your creativity and ability in art and design are the most important things to many employers.

When looking for jobs, you'll need to show a portfolio of examples of your creative work. Some agencies recruit creative teams rather than just individuals. You could work with a copywriter and create ideas you can pitch together.

Professional and industry bodies

You could join the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising to find training opportunities and make industry contacts

Further information

You can find out more about careers in advertising from the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising and Discover Creative Careers.

What it takes

Find out what skills you’ll use in this role.

What it takes

Skills and knowledge

You'll need:

  • knowledge of media production and communication
  • the ability to sell products and services
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • knowledge of the fine arts
  • thinking and reasoning skills
  • the ability to come up with new ways of doing things
  • the ability to organise your time and workload
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently

What you’ll do

Discover the day to day tasks you’ll do in this role.

What you'll do

Day-to-day tasks

You could:

  • work closely with a copywriter to create adverts that your client wants
  • create storyboards or sketches of your ideas
  • present your ideas to a creative director or account team
  • choose studios or locations and attend photo or film shoots
  • make sure that budgets and deadlines are met
  • manage the final editing of the finished adverts

Working environment

You could work in a creative studio, in an office or at a client's business.

Your working environment may be outdoors some of the time.

Career path and progression

Look at progression in this role and similar opportunities.

Career path and progression

With experience, you could:

  • become a senior art director
  • work freelance
  • set up your own advertising agency
  • move into directing for TV or film

Current opportunities

Find apprenticeships, courses and jobs available near you.

Current opportunities

Apprenticeships In England

We can't find any apprenticeship vacancies in England for an Advertising art director right now.

The Find an apprenticeship service can help you with your search, send alerts when new apprenticeships become available and has advice on how to apply.

Courses In England

BA (Hons) Graphic Design

  • Start date: 09 September 2024
  • Location: Farnborough

FdA Graphic Design

  • Start date: 09 September 2024
  • Location: Durham

Jobs In the United Kingdom

The Find a job service can help you with your search for jobs and send alerts when new jobs become available.

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