What does an Art Director do?

Art directors are responsible for overseeing the care of valuable art pieces within a collection. This role also requires managing staff to ensure the proper care for different pieces of art, as well as ensuring strict guidelines exist that help determine how each piece of art is handled. Art directors regularly plan and organize new exhibitions, and work to procure new artwork for display within a museum, art gallery, or public and private space. Advancement into this position often follows successful years of service within an art gallery or museum, as well as through proven work in art and art history.

Art directors should possess a Bachelor's degree in art, graphic design, or other art-related fields. A Master's degree in a related field may be preferred, while a PhD in a related field may be preferred for more prestigious art director positions. This role requires significant and proven attention to detail, as well as strong communication and leadership skills.

What responsibilities are common for Art Director jobs?
  • Utilize proven art skills and experience to create and implement new projects
  • Collaborate with designers and other team members to implement creative direction
  • Work independently to create initial drawings, storyboards, or architectural designs for art spaces
  • Support the vision of the organization to help fulfill short and long term goals
  • Work to procure equipment and items necessary for new art projects
  • Communicate with local officials, news organizations and the community to create interest in upcoming initiatives
  • Work with clients to design and create projects, as needed
  • Reach out to business leaders, officials, and others to create new relationships for the organization
What are the typical qualifications for Art Director jobs?
  • Master's degree or PhD in art-related field may be preferred for some positions
  • 1-5 years of experience in an art-related field or more, depending on the size of the organization
  • Previous business experience, to include sales and marketing
  • Ability to communicate across levels of an organization, including with executives and other senior-level officers
  • Comfort liaising with community and business leaders to arrange and promote projects
  • A strong understanding of modern graphic design software, including products such as InDesign, Illustrator and Photoshop
  • Proven leadership skills and a talent for providing effective feedback and direction
  • Comfort using computer operating systems, including Microsoft Office and MacOS, as well as common productivity tools such as Microsoft Office Suite
  • Notably creative with a desire to merge knowledge and experience with business and art
Work/Life Balance
3.4 ★
Total Pay--
Career Opportunity
3.5 ★
Avg. Experience5-7 years

How much does an Art Director make near United States?

$92,962 /yr
Total Pay

Base Pay


Additional Pay


 / yr
Most Likely Range
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Art Director Career Path

Learn how to become an Art Director, what skills and education you need to succeed, and what level of pay to expect at each step on your career path.

Art Director

Years of Experience Distribution

0 - 1
2 - 4
5 - 7
Not including years spent in education and/or training

Art Director Insights

Read what Art Director professionals have to say about their job experiences and view top companies for this career.
Interactive Art Director
Jan 6, 2023

“the Ceros Studio is one of the most efficient and amazing creative softwares I have ever used.”

Cheil WorldwideCheil Worldwide
Senior Art Director
Aug 1, 2022

“And so far there is an excellent bonus system based off of your performance review.”

Interface EngineeringInterface Engineering
Senior Designer/Art Director
Sep 14, 2023

“Our team coordinator is fantastic and I really feel lucky to have joined this group.”

The ArterieThe Arterie
Junior Art Director
Jul 16, 2023

“I always feel support from my team and I love the cool projects that we get to work on.”

Art Handler
Jul 27, 2023

“Fun place to work with interesting opportunities to interact with museums and private owners of art work.”

Art Director
Aug 21, 2021

“Fantastic company to work at and I have been enjoying my time greatly working with some amazing artists and designers.”

DCG CommunicationsDCG Communications
Art Director
Dec 27, 2021

“I have had some amazing opportunities and have grown so much in my career while working at DCG.”

Rule29 CreativeRule29 Creative
Art Director
Mar 28, 2022

“These initiatives fall outside of your billable workload but are given the same weight and priority.”

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Art Director Interviews

Frequently asked questions about the roles and responsibilities of an Art Director

The most similar professions to Art Director are:
  • Visual Designer
  • Production Artist
  • Web Designer
  • Graphic Designer

Related Careers

Visual Designer
No skills overlap
Production Artist
No skills overlap
Web Designer
No skills overlap
Graphic Designer
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Art Director Jobs