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Creative salaries set to ‘rebalance’ in 2023

Following the post-pandemic ‘boom’, salary increases have steadied in the creative sector.

“There is no denying that the past few years have been quite unusual on all levels. We experienced unprecedented changes in the way we work and this has affected salaries across the industry in various different ways.”


Creative salaries are expected to stabilise in 2023, according to marketing industry recruiter Aquent.

Aquent said its 2023 salary guide is based on data compiled from 2022 UK placements and added that the marketplace has entered a “new era” since 2021, during which wages rapidly increased for key roles such as art directors and copywriters.

The data showed no changes to creative director and art director salaries across all levels when compared with figures from 2021, and the majority of creative roles recorded the same consistency.

Some areas across the design and creative category have recorded salary growth across 2022, however. One of the largest increases was reported for senior motion graphics designers, where salaries increased by 22% compared with 2021, with those at junior level rising by 12%.

Additionally, the top salary for senior video producers increased by 23%. However, there was a large disparity between those in senior levels and midweight video producers, as salaries for those in the latter role increased by 10%.

Aquent noted that, while many roles have experienced salary growth in 2022, in many cases these have been offset by the rising cost of living.

It added: “Indeed, many marketing and creative talent are seeing real-term pay cuts as the nation's inflation rate reaches a staggering 9.6%.”

Overall, midweight levels recorded the most growth while junior levels had the fewest changes to salaries.

Midweight copywriters' salaries increased by 14% in 2022 while senior copywriters' salaries rose by only 4%.

Although Aquent forecast that every sector – including user experience and account management – is set to grow this year, 2023 will bring a “rebalancing” of salaries and a “return to a more stable job market” as wage increases slow down compared with last year's “artificial inflation”.

In other areas, the data showed growth predominantly in senior and midweight roles, for example, account directors who saw a 13% increase in salaries.

This article originally appeared on Campaign.

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