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The great COVID comeback – Creative salaries in 2022

According to the release of the 2022 salary guide from specialist creative recruiter Aquent, salaries are surging, particularly for those working in areas of design.

According to the release of the 2022 salary guide from specialist creative recruiter Aquent, salaries are surging, particularly for those working in areas of design, as the economy gets back to its feet and companies engage in the hiring ‘rush' that has continued to gain momentum since spring last year.

The data paints a very different picture compared to the job market in 2020, where stagnating wages and looming redundancies were seen throughout most of the advertising and creative industries. 

The picture being painted for 2022 seems to suggest a boom in wages catalysed in part by a widespread skills shortage which has resulted in mid-level and senior creatives demanding higher rates of pay.

Art directors and art designers are hot property right now. At the top end, senior art directors are seeing a rise of 21% (£15k) compared to last year, whilst salaries for senior digital designers have increased by 44% (£20k). 

This has also trickled down to mid-level and junior roles such as junior presentation designers (19%) and presentation designers (11%).

A similar situation has been seen for 3D animators, with a 28% increase for mid-level roles (£10k) and a 30% increase for senior positions (£15k) compared to last year's figures. Other roles that have seen pay increases include integrated designers (12%), and junior packaging designers with a 9% lift on last year's figures. 

Most companies that successfully weathered the storm of the pandemic are now back on track and are keen to find top talent to further growth. However, candidates are finding themselves with multiple job offers on the table and are asking for higher wages to sweeten the pot.  

42% of talent desired at least a 16% increase in wages before jumping ship. This is in sharp contrast to last year when applicants were willing to accept lower rates and a wider range of responsibilities in order to bag themselves a job. But it's about so much more than just money.

The pandemic presented something of a wake-up call for many workers. Job-seekers are now demanding more from employers. The Great Resignation of 2021 saw a mass exodus of workers as people began looking for a greater work/life balance and higher wages, forcing employers to bend to the wants and needs of the talent. 

83% of employees would turn down a job offer that didn't offer flexible working for one that does and that would never have been the case pre-pandemic.

This article originally appeared on Creativepool.

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