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6 High-Paying Careers for Artistic Personalities

If you’re looking for a job that fits your more artistic dispositions, you’ve probably been told to get ready to lower your salary expectations. It’s generally accepted that the pursuit of artistic careers tends to be less lucrative than other fields, but that doesn’t mean you can’t live very comfortably with an occupation that speaks to you creatively.

In his new book, “Your Guide to High-Paying Careers,” author Laurence Shatkin, Ph.D., explains that “artistic” is one of the six personality types identified by John L. Holland, along with five others – realistic, investigative, social, enterprising and conventional. These personalities are often used to categorize individuals, but they can also be applied to occupations. People with artistic personalities prefer working with forms, designs and patterns. They enjoy self-expression and work that can be done without following a clear set of rules, and they usually seek out professions that sync up with these values.

Like people, occupations are far too varied to neatly fit into six perfectly distinct categories, so many are assigned one or two secondary personality types. For example, art directors’ jobs involve a lot of creativity and self-expression, so they’re considered to be primarily artistic. But they also enjoy leading people and carrying projects through, making enterprising a logical secondary personality type. So the personality type associated with art directors is artistic, enterprising.

Below are six high-paying occupations suited for workers with the artistic personality type*: 

1. Managers broadcasting and performing arts

Organize, direct, control and evaluate operations within publishing firms, film, theatre and record production companies and broadcasting facilities.

  • Average Hourly Earnings– $37.58
  • Personality type – Artistic, enterprising

2. Architects

Conceptualize, plan and develop designs for the construction and renovation of commercial, institutional and residential buildings.

  • Average Hourly Earnings– $32.64
  • Personality type – Artistic, analytical

3. Landscape architects conceptualize landscape designs, develop contract documents and oversee the construction of landscape development for commercial projects, office complexes, parks, golf courses and residential development.

  • Average Hourly Earnings– $32.79
  • Personality type – Artistic, investigative, realistic

4. Software engineers and designers design, evaluate, integrate and maintain software applications, technical environments, operating systems, embedded software, and information warehouses and telecommunications software.

  • Average Hourly Earnings– $39.12
  • Personality type – Artistic, enterprising, realistic

5. Authors and writers plan, research and write books, scripts, storyboards, plays, essays, speeches, manuals, specifications and other non-journalistic articles for publication or presentation.

  • Average Hourly Earnings– $28.08
  • Personality type – Artistic, investigative, conventional

6. Graphic designers and illustrators Graphic designers conceptualize and produce graphic art and visual materials to effectively communicate information for publications, advertising, films, packaging, posters, signs and interactive media such as Websites and CD-ROMs.

  • Average Hourly Earnings– $22.33
  • Personality type – Artistic, intuitive

7. Graphic Arts Technicians conceptualizing a project, interpreting design specifications or sketches, preparing the page make-up, lay-out and lettering, and preparing production materials for press, electronic or multimedia publishing.

  • Average Hourly Earnings– $22.19
  • Personality type – Artistic, creative, technical

Just because you’re artistic doesn’t mean you have to be a starving artist. This list shows that with the proper drive and determination, people with artistic personalities can find a way to turn their passions into a competitive salary.

*Job descriptions and average hourly earnings taken from EMSI Data Analyst, Canada – a CareerBuilder company.

Matthew Tarpey researches and writes about job search strategy, career management, hiring trends and workplace issues for CareerBuilder.

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