If you’ve been thinking about combining your creativity with your love of tech, you’ve come to the right place.
Today, we’ll discuss the best creative jobs in tech that pay well. You’ll learn:
Let’s make sure we’re on the same page about what creative jobs in tech that pay well actually are.
What careers combine art and technology?
Creative jobs in tech call for a unique combination of creative and technical skills.
Believe it or not, these two things do go together! Jobs in this field include animation (2D and 3D), virtual effects artistry, video game design, and more.
And while creative jobs often get a bad rap for not paying well, creative careers in tech can pay into the six-figure range. You just have to know where to look.
So, if you want to explore high-paying creative jobs in tech, read on!
Different types of creative jobs in tech
The tech job is dynamic and ever-growing, which means there are dozens of creative jobs to choose from.
Here are 21 creative jobs in tech that pay well.
Average salary: $70,530 to $74,000
As an animator, you’ll act as the artist responsible for creating several frames that move quickly to create movement within a scene.
While some animation is still done traditionally, animators now use animation software and computers to turn hand-drawn images into the 2D and 3D materials you see on digital platforms and in video games, movies, websites, and more.
Animation jobs include:
- 2D animator
- 3D animator
- 3D lighting artist
- Texture artist
While you don’t need a degree to become an animator, you’ll need to know the ins and outs of software applications and specialize in a specific area to stand out. To learn about becoming an animator, check out this guide.
Average salary: $94,076
While some game designers focus solely on the 3D animation of the game, others are involved in almost every aspect of bringing a video game to life. This includes creating everything from the rules to the games’ narratives.
Other responsibilities include:
- Brainstorming new game ideas and creating the storyboard
- Writing game code and fixing any bugs
- Working with developers to bring it to life
- Testing early versions of the game
- Creating patches or other fixes
Most game design jobs focus on user experience and game logic. This includes environment artists, game lighting artists, and programmers.
To be successful, a game designer should have creative, technical, and problem-solving skills.
Although no formal education requirements exist, a bachelor’s degree in software engineering is recommended. It will help you learn the basics and gain experience with critical skills like software, web development, and UX and UI.
Augmented reality designer
Average salary: $84,783
Augmented reality, also called AR, combines the physical world with computer-generated input. While still relatively new to most people, you’ve likely seen it on social media platforms like Snapchat and Instagram and apps like Pokémon GO or IKEA’s Place.
AR engineers are the ones who make it possible for digital content to react to environmental changes (mostly movement) in real-time. Their responsibilities include:
- Developing new concepts and designs
- Creating wireframes and prototypes
- Testing the AR designs
It’s a great time to get into AR design. Tech companies Microsoft, Apple, Google, and Facebook, have started using it on their platforms, and the market size is expected to reach $142.5 billion by 2032.
Most companies require a bachelor’s degree in a software-related field such as computer science, software development, or hardware engineering.
User Experience Design (UX)
Average salary: $104,107
User experience (UX) designers create the kind of experiences that focus on the user-friendliness of products or services. Their ultimate goal is to create an experience that’s functional and enjoyable.
In addition to understanding user psychology and the product itself, the responsibilities of a UX designer include:
- Conducting user research and testing and creating wireframes based on results
- Solving common UX problems like usability or findability
- Working closely with designers and developers to design user interfaces
- Working with the marketing and sales team to determine if the product meets the user’s needs
UX designers work on web, mobile, and desktop applications and physical products like electronics, appliances, and healthcare devices.
UX design jobs include researchers, interaction designers, visual designers, and writers. Regardless of the path you choose, you should be knowledgeable about your target audience and able to collaborate effectively.
You don’t need a degree to become a UX designer, but a bachelor’s degree in design or a related field would help. You’ll need a portfolio, design software experience, and HTML/CSS knowledge.
Online courses like this one are also available.
Average salary: $103,420
As an artificial intelligence (AI) developer, you’ll ideate and bring new artificial intelligence programs to life.
AI is just getting started, which means the industry’s demand for developers is high. Some of the most common responsibilities of an AI developer include:
- Identifying problems that AI can solve and implementing solutions
- Developing algorithms that help the machines process, learn, and make decisions based on provided data
- Analyzing the data used to train AI models
- Creating AI models and monitoring and evaluating their performance to increase accuracy and efficiency
Skills needed to become an AI developer include knowledge of programming languages, strong math and data skills, and an understanding of AI principles. You should also have strong problem-solving and critical-thinking skills.
You’ll find that having a Bachelor’s degree in a field such as computer science or related fields is required for most entry-level positions.
Average salary: $93,742
Creative leads are the team members responsible for overseeing digital projects or the digital components of larger projects.
They’re responsible for guiding team members through the creation of digital assets like some of the ones we’ve mentioned in this article. That includes 3D art, UX design, game design, AR, and more.
It’s important to note that a creative lead isn’t a creative director. Creative directors don’t often have the technical expertise of a creative lead and, unlike a creative lead, typically work on more than one project at a time.
The responsibilities of a creative lead include:
- Coming up with and outlining a creative vision for the project
- Assign specific goals for team members
- Perform quality checks of the assets
- Using specific software for designing, visualizing, and editing assets
- Working closely with creative, art, and editorial directors
Creative leads can work in several industries, from marketing and advertising to e-commerce and music.
Most employers require at least a bachelor’s degree in graphic design, digital production, or related field. To get ahead of the competition, look for internships or fellowships and work on creative projects.
Average salary: $87,739
While a web developer career is more technical than creative, it still calls for creativity and problem-solving to create and maintain useful and attractive websites.
There are three types of developers:
Back-end developers build the website by creating the structure and writing and testing the code.
Front-end developers create the part of the website that visitors actually see, from the layout to graphics and HTML enhancements.
Full-stack developers act as both back-end and front-end developers and can build an entire website.
Some developers also work as webmasters who keep the site updated.
Typical responsibilities of web developers include:
- Writing and testing site codes
- Troubleshooting performance or UX issues
- Working closely with designers, developers, and stakeholders
- Analyzing user activity to make sure the content is useful
Skills you’ll need as a web developer include coding, responsive design, technical SEO, and visual design. You’ll also need to be able to work closely with team members to bring the vision to life.
Most web developers have an associate’s or bachelor’s degree, but getting a degree isn’t always necessary. If you’re not sure where to start, check out this guide on how to become a web developer without a degree.
Average salary: $145,148
Creative directors are responsible for the overarching creative vision of a brand project and bringing it to life in digital, print, or film formats. Heavily creative, this role involves maintaining a consistent look and feel throughout the project.
The creative director also ensures that budgets, timelines, and client relationships are all on track.
Typical responsibilities include:
- Directing art directors, illustrators, copywriters, and more
- Brainstorming and coming up with concepts and overseeing them from start to finish
- Working closely with account executives to understand client goals
- Editing content and presentations
To become a creative director, you should have at least some proven experience in a similar role, first-hand knowledge of marketing, graphic design, brand development, and the creative process. You should also be comfortable with design software and leading large teams.
Average salary: $84,051
While data analysts collect, analyze, and interpret data, they play a much bigger role in business than just crunching numbers in a spreadsheet.
They work in five stages: identifying the data, collecting it, cleaning it, analyzing it, and interpreting the results.
The insights they glean empower them to make decisions that will grow the business. With it, they can help determine which customers to target in the next ad cycle, the ideal customer’s age, any patterns in customer behavior, and more.
A data analyst’s daily responsibilities include:
- Developing systems and databases to optimize data efficiency and quality
- Working with management teams to determine business needs
- Use data to locate improvement opportunities
- Reviewing computer reports, printouts, and more to locate and correct problems
Data analysts work in almost every industry, including fashion, food, entertainment, and technology, to name a few.
To become a data analyst, you should have a bachelor’s degree (typically in math, data analytics, or a related field), technical skills such as database experience, and knowledge of programming languages.
Average salary: $69,030
Despite its name, the role of multimedia artist is a tech-heavy one.
While you do need a keen eye for design and detail to be a multimedia artist, it’s crucial that you have experience with computer software, coding, and animation. As a multimedia artist, you’ll create designs and effects for digital media like touch displays, virtual product walls, and mobile apps.
More often than not, multimedia artists work in one medium to ensure they can best create cohesive graphics for a project.
- Using computer software to design graphics, illustrations, and animations
- Creating a storyboard for storylines and graphics
- Creating special effects
- Working closely with design staff
- Editing assets
While some multimedia artists pursue four-year degrees, they’re not necessary to get a job in the field. However, you should be creative, technically savvy, and able to collaborate to find success.
Average salary: $88,531
Simply put, mobile designers are the people behind the user experience of your phone and the apps on it.
They’re responsible for developing how an application works, looks, and feels to the user. Like UX designers, they aim to create a functional, enjoyable user experience.
- Collaborating with UX teams
- Working on several different platforms, including iOS and Android
- Developing designs to meet client needs
- Creating all deliverables, from specifications and workflows to wireframes and mock-ups
- Quality assurance testing
While you don’t need a specific degree to become a mobile designer, a degree in a related field is usually preferred. In addition, you should have experience with design software, a background in responsive design, and a deep understanding of what your users need and how they behave.
Average salary: $66,675
Web designers design and create the layout of websites and web pages. It’s easy to think they’re the same as web developers, but they don’t typically touch the structure or code of the site – only the visual and usability aspects.
Responsibilities of web designers include:
- Working with clients to ensure all needs are met
- A grasp of what the user needs
- Creating mock websites for testing and feedback
- Testing the site’s functionality and usability
- Designing graphics and logos
Other responsibilities that sometimes fall to the designers include digital retouching and providing training to those using the site once it’s complete.
This is another career that doesn’t require a four-year degree, but certifications are a great way to get some leverage in the field. You’ll also need coding, UX, design program, and visual design knowledge.
Visual communication design
Average salary: $70,387
Visual communication design is precisely what it sounds like creating visual content for digital and print mediums that effectively communicate a particular message.
As a visual communications designer, you’ll create designs that tell brand stories while conveying easy-to-understand information and leaving a positive impression. You can work in several industries, including advertising, television, and publishing.
- Determining the best message to convey
- Tailoring designs to target audiences
- Creating visuals that work across several platforms
- Working in tandem with graphic designers, illustrators and animators
Skills needed to succeed include branding, creativity, graphic design, and storytelling.
Average salary: $64,660
These copywriters are responsible for crafting marketing materials such as case studies, web copy, and product guides for technical industries such as construction or IT. Despite the need for technical knowledge, the role still calls for crafting copy that gets the reader to take action.
- Writing about technical topics for non-technical audiences
- Updating written materials
- Collaborating with experts, engineers, and more
- Collecting user data to determine which documents need revising or updating
Most technical copywriting jobs require a bachelor’s degree in a field such as English or related field. You’ll also need to be skilled in publishing software, have excellent problem-solving abilities, and know how to simplify complicated material for all knowledge levels.
Average salary: $55,756
Graphic designers mix art and technology to make impactful stories for brands, whether in print or digital. Because of this, they typically work in advertising, public relations, and marketing.
- Working with text and images
- Choosing type, size, color, line length, and more
- Collaborating with writers
- Using data to create graphics and diagrams
- Creating brand identities
Graphic designers tend to work in one medium. Specialties include website UI, product packaging, book and magazine design, signage, and video games.
Graphic designers should have good communication skills, experience with design software, and an understanding of programming languages. A degree isn’t necessary, but taking at least one course to cement your knowledge is a good idea.
Average salary: $95,777
Product designers do exactly what it sounds like: oversee, from start to finish, the design process of a product. They also supervise the improvement of existing products.
Because of that, they know exactly what it takes to make a product as functional and attractive as possible. But don’t get them confused with a UX designer! Product designers focus more on usability, customer experience, and business goals.
- Representing user needs
- Defining a product’s vision and communicating it to stakeholders
- Coming up with relevant features and capabilities
- Creating a sketch, model, or blueprint using computer software
You don’t need a degree to be a product manager, but you should have UX/UI skills, experience with visual design programs, and project management experience.
Social media manager
Average salary: $54,411
Social media managers cultivate a business’s online presence by creating compelling materials, engaging with customers, and staying on top of trends to increase followers and engagement.
Their responsibilities include:
- Developing and creating content for publishing, including photos, videos, and text posts
- Overseeing campaigns from ideation to completion
- Posting content and engaging with customers across several channels
- Defining KPIs and KRAs for campaigns, then analyzing that data
To become a social media manager, you should be skilled in writing, editing, and design and have a keen eye for timing. Degrees aren’t necessary, but one in PR, marketing, or English will give you a leg up.
Average salary: $82,912
Because they oversee almost every aspect of brand marketing, a brand manager is critical to a company’s success. Their efforts in better aligning several teams, including social, research, and design, lead to stronger sales.
Responsibilities of a brand manager include:
- Market research
- Analyzing data to identify trends
- Ensuring alignment across all marketing efforts
- Budget management
They’re also skilled at writing, communication, brand strategy, and project management.
Average salary: $116,353
A creative consultant helps businesses with any creative aspect of their business, whether branding, advertising, web design, or content creation. Their guidance allows companies to tell the right story most effectively and ensures a great experience for both client and customer.
- Preparing and pitching proposals and design briefs
- Providing creative guidance across several mediums, including email, calls, and in-person
- Training clients on resources to use in future projects
- Finding places to improve in campaigns, designs, or projects
Creative consulting often requires a bachelor’s degree, portfolio, and knowledge of design and/or project management software. You should also be a great collaborator and multitasker while remaining creative and meeting deadlines.
What are the highest paying creative jobs in tech?
Pursuing a career that balances your creative side with your technical skills can be highly lucrative. Just look at creative consultants ($116,000+), creative directors ($145,000+), AI developers ($103,000+), and animators ($70,000+)!
As technology evolves, jobs like these will be in high demand. Some industries to keep an eye on are virtual reality, which calls for AR designers, and artificial intelligence, which means that the demand for AI developers will increase.
There you have it – 21 examples of jobs that marry creativity with technical savvy!
If you’re interested in animation specifically, check out our How to Get A Job Intensive.
We’ll show you everything from how to build a resume to creating a great demo reel.
About Jasmine Katatikarn
Jasmine Katatikarn is the founder of Academy of Animated Art. She has 20+ years of experience in Feature Animation and VFX. Jasmine’s lighting credits include movies like Ice Age, Ferdinand, Peanuts, and Rio. Read more about Jasmine here.