10 Creative majors, degrees or educations that make money
10 Creative majors, degrees or educations that make money

10 Creative Majors, Degrees, or Educations that Make Money

You have heard the horror stories of the “starving artist” who just wants to pursue their passion but can’t afford to pay their rent, much less support his family.

How does an artistic, creative person like you make sure you won’t go hungry pursuing your passion?

How can you have fun learning, creating, and expressing yourself while also earning a living?

If you are asking questions like these, you do have a valid and meaningful concern.

While it’s true that a degree per-se does not qualify one for such jobs as much as hard smart work afterward does, earring the right degree or getting the right education does give you an early head start.

There is power and money making opportunities with creative and artistic thinking.

Education and training is like getting compounding interest on your money that continues to build and grow and pay you throughout your entire life. (share with the world)

We took the time to research the most and high-paying artistic creative jobs, the creative majors, creative educations, and creative degrees that are behind the best creative and artistic jobs. Knowing your desired destination and each respective starting point, can lead to making reliable and realistic money that you can actually live on or even raise a family with.

There are a lot of creative ways to make money, but we found the best 10 highest paying jobs that also pay you for your creativity.

Most of these jobs could be considered traditional or at least well-know and talked about. But we'll put them all together in context for you to consider for your next creative or artistic career, side hustle or side gig.

The 10 Highest Paying Creative & Artistic Majors or Degrees - 12 minute read

Take a few minutes to get to know each type of creative job that will allow you to be creative and make money, and where you could start your journey. We think you’ll feel optimistic after reading through the list. Let’s work our way up from the 10th highest pay to the top.  

10. Editors

You can begin an artistic creative career from any writing-related major like Creative Writing, Communications, English, or Journalism. Yes, even English majors can get good jobs.  This professional field is safe, stable, and growing, especially in terms of medium and technology, from print to digital.

Editors are #10 among best paid creative majors, degrees or educations.
Editors are #10 among best paid creative majors, degrees or educations.

If you’re the type who can ensure highly valuable content is ready for publication, then you can have a creative job almost anywhere in the world. You also get to build a platform of authority, as well as a team who have fun working together exploring old and new stories, discovering new or more contemporary takes on them. 

Some of the highly recommended places to earn these types of degrees include the University of Iowa, the University of Massachusetts, Arizona State University, and the University of Florida. But getting an education in high school and a local community college is a great place to start your training.

Then you could work at local or national newspapers, or publishing houses among others. No matter where you work you will be managing a team of writers.

You should be the type of person that is a stickler for error-free writing, and ensure you and your team produce engaging content that attracts a lot of readers. You could make about a little over $63,000 per year (on average), as per a most recent publication of the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

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 9. Writers and Authors

Telling stories or informing people is another potentially high-paying job. Like editors, you can also begin from any of the same range of majors and universities mentioned above. You potentially set yourself up to earn about a little over $67,000 per year as a freelancer or employed writer or an author.

Writers are the #9 best paid artistic and creative majors that make money
Writers are the #9 best paid artistic and creative majors that make money

Your choice of creative media aside from books can also include theatre plays, a television series, feature films, documentaries, commercial ads, and online content. That means you can work in production, ad agencies, or as freelancers. You also have the choice to draw from your own life, or those of others.

As an author, you can usually branch out into speaking or consultancy fields as they relate to the fields of your written subject matters.

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 8. Industrial Designers

Designing things like where we live, what we ride, or what our kids play with as industrial designers is another great artistic job.

In fact, industrial designers get to experience a perfect blend of business, creative, and scientific skills. You would be developing any and all kinds of manufactured products, from their concept stages. While considering visual aesthetic, your creativity takes into account function, cost, and user-friendliness. Designs progress from sketches to virtual models, to working prototypes before manufacture or marketing.

The fun of it is practically working as a professional inventor. 

Industrial designers are #8 on our list of best paid artistic and creative majors.
Industrial designers are #8 on our list of best paid artistic and creative majors.

You’d start off with majors like Industrial Design, Architecture, or Engineering from universities like the Iowa State University, the University of Maryland, or the University of Michigan

As an industrial designer, depending on your interest, you get to work in companies that manufacture appliances, electronics, toys, or vehicles among others.  

You’d be paid around over $71,500 per year, and demand for this job is expected to grow 4% through to 2026. 

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7. Technical Writers

Being an excellent detailed communicator levels up your pay as a writer. As a technical writer, you produce how-to manuals and instruction guides which entail product studies, conversations with designers and developers, and attention to user feedback. 

You could earn popularity as the expert whose manuals can be easy to read by millions of customers.

Besides the written text, you could create or attain visual elements such as charts, diagrams, or photographs. You may as well be responsible for creating interactive presentations of technical information including video and audio elements. This gets you paid almost $75,000 per year. 

You would start off enrolling in the following creative majors: Communications, Instructional Design, English, with a background in Computer Science, Statistics, Web Design, or Engineering, Product Design or similar program in universities like Arizona State University, the University of Florida, Ashford University, or Western Governors University. This career path shows a promise of 11% growth through to 2026.

Upon graduation, you could choose to work for companies in the following industries: IT or Tech, Engineering, Science, Healthcare and Medicine, Aerospace, Insurance, or Government. Or you could also work from home as a freelancer.

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 6. Fashion Designers

Designing original clothing, footwear, or other accessories that can spotlight your creation on international catwalks and multimedia platforms around the globe gets you paid a little over $75,000 per year. 

Fashion designers are #6 on our list of the best creative majors that make money
Fashion designers are #6 on our list of the best creative majors that make money

You would be among the most glamorous, highly paid creative and artisitc workers, rubbing shoulders with the celebrities of the world. 

You can start with majors in Fashion Design or Fashion Merchandising from schools like the Fashion Institute of Technology, The New School's Parsons School of Design, or Savannah College of Arts and Design.

With all the new ways to sell clothes, you could be your own designer with your own clothing line or work for another brand. The exponential growth of the digital economy further enhances these potentials. 

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 5. Front-end Web Developers / Designers

Here is where creative fields start getting digital. Contributing to our ever increasing demand for cyber world operations, web developing or designing pays you around at least a little over $77,000 per year and has a prospect of 15% growth through to 2026.

You get to design, develop, and deploy web and mobile applications, not just for its aesthetic appeal, but also for functionalities that draw user traffic toward them. This explains the necessity for you to be a coding-wizard. The fun is in acquiring and compounding technological wisdom to produce innovative solutions.

You’d be wise to enter as a major in web development which can be taken from either Arizona State University, Brigham Young University – Idaho, Liberty University, or Northwestern State University.

Then you could choose to work at any organization’s IT department, a web design agency, a software house, or be employed directly by IT consultancies.

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 4. Multimedia Artists and Animators

Your love for illustration and animation can get you work that pays around more than $77,500 per year, with a demand of 8% growth through to 2026. 

Animators are #4 on our list of the creative majors that make money
Animators are #4 on our list of the creative majors that make money

Because of an increasingly digital economy, animators and illustrators are in high demand so you will have opportunities to be employed by major production outfits for television shows or feature films, or have your own agency catering to online content makers, or even game designers.

You can start out in various creative majors like Computer Graphics / Graphic Design, Film Studies, Animation, Fine Arts, Multimedia Design or Animation, or Web Design from either Full Sail University, Southern New Hampshire University, New York University, or University of Southern California. 

While more than 50% of multimedia artists and animators are self-employed, you may also work in the motion picture and video industries, in software publishing, computer systems and design, advertising, public relations, and others related.

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 3. Art Directors

Being a mastermind of design, you would put together different media like photographs, graphics, and images to create the message a client wants to convey. You ensure there is a unified visual style of a product all throughout traditional and digital media.

While you would have oversight of an array of creative workers across the different media, you would also factor in budgets and timelines from interfacing with clients and other departments. 

You can start from any assortment of majors to get there: Fine Arts - Graphic Design, Literature, Communication, Film Studies, Multimedia Design or Animation, Advertising, even Fashion Design, Fine Arts, Web Design, and Fine Arts – Photography. 

Kent State, Savannah College of Arts and Design, the University of California Santa Cruz, the University of New Hampshire, Arizona State University, the University of Florida, New York University, or the University of Southern California are among the best  universities and colleges often cited to equip and qualify you to earn around $101,500, with a prospect growth of 5% through to 2026.

Traditionally, art directors work in advertising or public relations. Most are also self-employed. But you can also work in newspaper or magazine publishing, video or motion picture, or specialized design service firms. 

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 2. Creative Directors

With similar creative majors from any of the universities that art directors come from, you could be a higher level strategic mastermind of an organization's creatives.

You would have artistic technical and professional and leadership skills. Your scope goes beyond a unified visual design; you oversee campaigns that involve more than traditional or digital media  that includes live events or supported advocacies. 

You collaborate with every executive at all levels. You lead a greater number of creative and artistic team members on different levels, which earns you around $120,000 per year with a growth prospect of 8% through to 2028.

You’d usually do this at an ad agency or as an in-house creative director of a company’s marketing department. 

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1. User Experience (UX) Directors

And to top it all off, it’s a creative job that is an amalgamation of communication and computer that has since at least 2019 been the highest paying. It is among the most recent blend of creative fields of the 21st century that seems has yet to be picked up by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, along with the Creative Director before this.

User experience interface designers are #1 on our list of the most creative majors that make money.
User experience interface designers are #1 on our list of the most creative majors that make money.

Qualifying for this job means you’ve become an expert of your organization’s computer application or software products, as well as an expert at understanding its customers.

Yours would be a high-paying job because you are able to bring in a lot of customers which can help in growing  the organization’s market and in brand engagement. You would be able to influence revenue, customer satisfaction, and brand loyalty.

Experienced and qualified UI/UX designers are in high demand. Thus you would earn around $161,000 per year with a prospect growth of also 8% through to 2028. In a nutshell, you direct your team to make a site or an app easy to use and beneficial for its users. That’s what you as a user experience (UX) director can be. 

Though the position is a recent development, the title was derived from a conceptual design discipline with roots in disciplines of the late 1940s. It was  a term coined in the early 1990s with the proliferation of workplace computers.

For those who are more familiar with traditional jobs, it would be interesting to note how this job is a multi-discipline blend of classic and contemporary elements including research, visual design, information architecture, interaction design, usability, accessibility, and the human-computer interaction.

Creative majors you may take to enter this career include the following: Graphic Design, Fine Arts, Business, or even Design & Visual Communication. 

All these may be taken at the University of Wisconsin – Madison, the University of Minnesota - Twin Cities, the University of Georgia, the University of Florida, the University of the Incarnate Word, Northwestern State University, the University of Southern California, or the University of Pennsylvania.

You may start out as a UX freelancer prior to this position, but by the time you qualify for it, you’d probably be in an organization’s Engineering, Marketing, or Product Development Department. 

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Creative Degrees and Educations Do Make Money

High paying creative jobs begin with communication related skills. It starts with the simple skill of reading and writing well. It escalates as those skills get more visual and physical; you get paid more for producing visual beauty, and useful, tangible products. Then the game changer comes with blending all that with IT skills. 

Yes there are more than 10 entry points into creative jobs as far as degrees go. But in a nutshell, the creative high payers are in communications, design, manufacturing, and computer or IT. And as mentioned at the beginning like getting insurance early, compound your ability interest, get a head start, and go through the learning curve early on.