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Advertising art director

Alternative titles for this job include Creative

Art directors design the visual side of advertising campaigns for all kinds of media including film, TV, web or print.

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 an 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

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 do a junior advertising creative, advanced apprenticeship which would give you some of the skills and knowledge for this role. With experience you could work your way up to art director level.

The apprenticeship typically takes 18 months to complete as a mix of learning in the workplace and 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 the industry and is a good way to make useful contacts.

You can contact agencies directly to ask about placements, and make industry contacts through relevant groups on social networking sites like LinkedIn. You can get more advice on how to approach advertising agencies from the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising.

Other Routes

In larger advertising agencies, you may be trained through a structured graduate scheme, if you have a relevant degree.

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 together with a copywriter and together create finished concepts you can pitch.

Professional and industry bodies

You could join the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising, for professional development, training opportunities and to 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 original ideas that fit your client's brief
  • produce storyboards or sketches of your ideas
  • present the ideas to the agency’s creative director and account team
  • help present ideas to the client
  • make any changes that the client asks for
  • hire graphic designers, artists, photographers or film companies to produce the artwork or TV ads
  • choose studios or locations and attend photo or film shoots
  • make sure that budgets and deadlines are met
  • oversee 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 progress to senior art director or creative director.

You could also work freelance or set up your own agency.

Some art directors 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

FdA Graphic Design

  • Start date: 05 September 2022
  • Location: Durham

Technical Award in Graphic Design

  • Start date: 06 September 2022
  • Location: Corsham

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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