Career & Money

Top Six-Figure Jobs For Creatives And Unique Thinkers

Being a creative doesn't mean you have to settle for mediocre jobs that don't allow you creative expression just to pay the bills. There are opportunities out there that allow you to use multiple skills of creative thinking, vision, and artistry, and several offer high salaries. The performing and creative arts industry revenue has grown to reach an estimated $57 billion this year. This includes actors, artists, models, media personalities, and authors, among other creative professions.

“The ease of accessing content via the internet has made this industry less dependent on location. Performers and artists are now able to distribute their work from anywhere with a high-speed internet connection,” IBIS World, a data research firm, reports.

If you're a creative professional who needs a boost in income, has a bit of experience with creative projects, or wants to use your transferable skills from one job to transition into another industry, check out these top six-figure jobs for creatives:

​1. Fit Model

Average Yearly Salary: $100,000+

We all know about supermodels who make six- into seven- and eight-figure salaries walking in fashion shows or posing for campaigns. And while they are the exception, not the norm, there is a specific type of modeling that an everyday professional can do to potentially earn an amazing salary. These are models who are hired by designers or clothing manufacturers to test the fit, style, and appearance of the fashions they offer, especially if it’s a niche line or department like plus, petite, maternity, or big and tall.

You don’t necessarily have to walk a catwalk or take photos, but you have to have specific measurements that fit certain niches and of course, be confident, professional, timely, and reliable in testing out the garments.

​2. Creative or Art Director

Average Yearly Salary: $114,155

These professionals are in charge of the creative or visual vision of a brand, concept, or project, and they have to use skills such as research, team management, digital media, and art conceptualizing in order to do their job well at the six-figure salary level. Indeed indicates a candidate must have five to eight years of experience, know how to market themselves and their ideas, and be able to work well with clients and team members.

Delmain Dobeson/Getty Images

​3. Digital Designer

Average Yearly Salary: $109,503

You’ll be able to use your strategic creativity to develop websites, web pages, newsletters, and other digital products for a company or brand, and you’ll have diverse options in terms of what industry you’d like to work in. It’s not a job just exclusive to media or advertising, as you might be supporting individual personalities, campaigns, small businesses, or various aspects of a corporation. You must have a knack for combining your ideas with skills using design programs and coding languages like Adobe Creative Suite, JQuery, HTML, CSS, and JavaScript.

​4. Animator

Average Yearly Salary: Up to $101,000

If you are an artist or love to play around with the ways you can use art to create cartoons, tutorials, games, and other interactive experiences, this is perfect for you. There are diverse ways you can pursue this, and if you’re a freelancer, you can work with multiple clients to really stretch your range and earning potential.

Some animators can even earn extra via commissions or profit-sharing depending on experience, contract, and nature of the projects they work on. You’ll need to be trained in animation software programs as well as basic sketching and art skills. For some projects or jobs, you might also be handling budgets, editing, or creating new storylines and scripts.

​5. Public Relations Managers

Average Salary: Up to $186,000

Professionals who are public relations managers (or strategists) in top business markets like New York, Los Angeles, or Washington D.C. command the big salaries and are able to combine critical, communications, and creative skills to not only manage the pitching and marketing of clients, concepts or messaging but helm the vision of taking a professional, brand or business to the next level.

You’ll need several years of experience, strategic marketing, an MBA, or a master’s level communications degree. Many who have paid their dues start their own firms, bringing the earnings well into six figures as well.

Phynart Studios/Getty Images

​6. Social Media Content Creator

Average Annual Salary: 100,000+

There are millions of content creators who have hit the six-figure mark via YouTube, Instagram, and TikTok. To be clear, these are creatives who have built strategy and business acumen into their creative pursuit, and some of the top-earning content creators have agents and talent managers to help facilitate their boosts in income. Some have started officially structured businesses to offer content creation, ambassador, strategy, and video content services, while others are simply fully self-employed and are hired as freelance employees.

Some are hired by brands, small businesses, and corporations to create exclusive content as employees. Brand deals and resources like YouTube’s ad revenue and TikTok’s Creator Fund also add to the earnings. For this, you must be able to multitask and schedule using platforms like Sprout Social, Buffer, or Hootsuite, have a knack for social media video production, and have a knowledge of SEO and digital marketing.

​7. Digital Marketing Manager

Average Annual Salary: $124,000

In this position, you’d be leading the digital marketing strategy and operations to increase the demand for a product, tap into new customers, enhance sales, and drive traffic to a company’s website or store. A knowledge of SEO and SEM is required, with at least five years of experience as a digital marketer, as well as a knack for sales, creative visuals, and a bachelor’s degree in marketing or other digital media marketing niches.

​8. Medical Illustrator

Average Annual Salary: $168,000

If you have a passion for healthcare but want something a bit more on the creative side and less on the medical or tech side, this is perfect. In this job, you’ll be collaborating with researchers, doctors, and other medical professionals to turn complex concepts into visual images that can be used in books, presentations, or other educational purposes. Experience in artistry, drawing, and sketching is required, as well as training and education in both life sciences and visual media.

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