Skip to content

Sales & marketing

Advertising art director

Art directors design images for ad campaigns, including film, TV, website and printed adverts.

Annual Salary

£18,000 to £45,000

Average UK salary in 2023 was £34,963
(source Office for National Statistics)

Working hours

38 to 40 a week

You could work: evenings; occasionally

Future employment

There will be 2.4% more Advertising art director jobs in 2027.

Day to day tasks

You could:

  • work closely with a copywriter to create adverts that your client wants
  • create storyboards or sketches of your ideas
  • present your ideas to a creative director or account team
  • choose studios or locations and attend photo or film shoots
  • make sure that budgets and deadlines are met
  • manage 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.

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

With your degree you can apply for graduate training schemes in advertising companies.

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
For more information

You could do a junior advertising creative advanced apprenticeship. This would give you some of the skills and knowledge you need to be an advertising art director.

The apprenticeship typically takes around 18 months to complete as a mix of learning in the workplace and study.

After the apprenticeship, you could get a job with an advertising agency and then work your way up to an art director.

For 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.

Volunteering and work experience

You could get some experience before applying for your first job. This will give you a better understanding of advertising and is a good way to make contacts.

You could contact agencies directly to ask about volunteering opportunities. You could also make contacts on social networking sites like Twitter or LinkedIn.

You can get more advice on how to contact advertising agencies from the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising.

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 with a copywriter and create ideas you can pitch together.

Professional and industry bodies

You could join the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising to find training opportunities and 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.

Showing jobs in:
View all vacancies in this region

With experience, you could:become a senior art director; work freelance; set up your own advertising agency; move into directing for TV or film

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 or 'book' of your work to potential employers, as you'll be employed on the strength of your artwork and ideas.

You can find out more about becoming careers in advertising from the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising.

Skills required and how your skills match up

What skills are required?

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 flexible and open to change
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently
My top 5 skills
Please sign in to compare your skills to this job. Sign in

To save or view your choices and results you must sign in or register (takes 1 minute).

Sign in Register