High Paying Careers That Require Creativity

by Terri Williams

While some people think that left-brain or analytical and rational thinkers end up in the highest-paying careers, this is not always the case. Right-brain thinkers, or those who are creative, intuitive and imaginative, can also earn lucrative salaries. Creativity is needed to be successful in a variety of careers, and those who can think outside of the box can choose from several types of jobs.

Advertising and Promotions Managers

In the business world, marketing managers are some of the highest-paid professionals. According to May 2012 salary data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, marketing managers earned an annual mean wage of $107,060. They need creativity to devise new ways to reach and capture the attention of the target audience. A bachelor’s degree in advertising or promotions is the educational requirement for this position.

Art Directors

While creatives are expected to work in artistic careers, the salary of some of these jobs may be surprising. For example, art directors earned an average of $94,260 in May 2012, reports the BLS. Art directors need a creative vision for artistically-appealing layouts, and this vision is then communicated to artists and other team members. In fact, many art directors are promoted from lower-paying creative positions such as graphic designers, artists or photographers. The educational requirement for art directors is a bachelor’s degree in an art or design-related subject.

Mechanical Engineers

Engineering is generally thought of as a left-brain career, but it requires creativity as well, especially for mechanical engineers. The BLS reports the mean annual wage of mechanical engineers as $84,770 in May 2012. Mechanical engineers use creativity and ingenuity to analyze problems and devise solutions. They use their imagination to design tools, equipment, and machines, such as robots, elevators, escalators, electric generators and conveyor systems. They need a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering.


Architects are another group of right-brain, left-brain professionals. They earned a mean annual wage of $78,690 according to May 2012 salary data. Architects use creativity to design residential and commercial rooms, buildings and other structures. Their creative foresight allows them to visualize the final product, and create it to be aesthetically pleasing. Architects need a bachelor’s degree in architecture.

About the Author

Terri Williams began writing professionally in 1997, working with a large nonprofit organization. Her articles have appeared in various online publications including Yahoo, USA Today, U.S. News & World Report University Directory, and the Center for Digital Ethics and Policy at Loyola University Chicago. Williams has a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

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