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Career and Education Opportunities for Art Directors in Los Angeles, California

If you want to be an art director, the Los Angeles, California area offers many opportunities both for education and employment. Currently, 16,000 people work as art directors in California. This is expected to grow 14% to about 18,300 people by 2016. This is better than the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for art directors are expected to grow by about 11.7%. In general, art directors formulate design concepts and presentation approaches, and direct workers engaged in art work, layout design, and copy writing for visual communications media, such as magazines, books, and packaging.

A person working as an art director can expect to earn about $43 per hour or $90,330 annually on average in California and about $37 hourly or $76,980 annually on average in the U.S. as a whole. Art directors earn more than people working in the category of Art and Design generally in California and more than people in the Art and Design category nationally. People working as art directors can fill a number of jobs, such as: creative director, art department head, and art supervisor.

There are 274 schools of higher education in the Los Angeles area, including thirty-two within twenty-five miles of Los Angeles where you can get a degree to start your career as an art director. Art directors usually hold an Associate's, or other 2-year degree, so you can expect to spend about two years studying to be an art director if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Art Director

In general, art directors formulate design concepts and presentation approaches, and direct workers engaged in art work, layout design, and copy writing for visual communications media, such as magazines, books, and packaging.

Art directors formulate basic layout designs and presentation approaches and specify material details, such as style and size of type. They also talk with creative or production department heads to consider client requirements and presentation concepts and to direct creative efforts. Equally important, art directors have to develop custom illustrations or other graphic elements. They are often called upon to inspect and approve art materials and proofs of printed copy developed by staff members. They are expected to inspect illustrative material to establish if it conforms to standards and specifications. Finally, art directors talk with clients to establish objectives and presentation approaches, styles, and techniques.

Every day, art directors are expected to be able to be creative and generate new ideas. They need to see details at a very fine level of focus.

It is important for art directors to mark up and complete layouts and write typography instructions to ready materials for typesetting or printing. They are often called upon to hire and direct staff members who develop layout concepts into art layouts or who ready layouts for printing. They also oversee own accounts and projects, working within budget and scheduling requirements. They are sometimes expected to attend photo shoots and printing sessions to insure that the products needed are obtained. Somewhat less frequently, art directors are also expected to ready detailed storyboards showing sequence and timing of story development for television production.

Art directors sometimes are asked to negotiate with printers and estimators to establish what services will be performed. and coordinate with creative directors to optimize layout solutions. And finally, they sometimes have to attend photo shoots and printing sessions to insure that the products needed are obtained.

Like many other jobs, art directors must be reliable and be thorough and dependable.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Los Angeles include:

  • Audio Visual Technician. Set up or set up and operate audio and video equipment including microphones, sound speakers, video screens, projectors, video monitors, recording equipment, connecting wires and cables, sound and mixing boards, and related electronic equipment for concerts, sports events, meetings and conventions, presentations, and news conferences. May also set up and operate associated spotlights and other custom lighting systems.
  • Craftsman. Create or reproduce hand-made objects for sale and exhibition using a variety of techniques, such as welding, weaving, and needlecraft.
  • Director. Interpret script, conduct rehearsals, and direct activities of cast and technical crew for stage, motion pictures, or radio programs.
  • Display Specialist. Plan and erect commercial displays.
  • Fashion Designer. Design clothing and accessories. Create original garments or design garments that follow well established fashion trends. May develop the line of color and kinds of materials.
  • Fine Artist. Create original artwork using any of a wide variety of mediums and techniques.
  • Florist. Design, cut, and arrange live, dried, or artificial flowers and foliage.
  • Graphic Designer. Design or create graphics to meet specific commercial or promotional needs, such as packaging, displays, or logos. May use a variety of mediums to achieve artistic or decorative effects.
  • Industrial Designer. Develop and design manufactured products, such as cars, home appliances, and children's toys. Combine artistic talent with research on product use, marketing, and materials to create the most functional and appealing product design.
  • Interior Designer. Plan, design, and furnish interiors of residential, commercial, or industrial buildings. Formulate design which is practical, aesthetic, and conducive to intended purposes, such as raising productivity, selling merchandise, or improving life style. May specialize in a particular field, style, or phase of interior design.
  • Multi-Media Artist or Animator. Create special effects, animation, or other visual images using film, video, or other electronic tools and media for use in products or creations, such as computer games, movies, and commercials.
  • Music Composer. Write and transcribe musical scores.
  • Music Director. Direct and conduct instrumental or vocal performances by musical groups.
  • Public Relations Specialist. Engage in promoting or creating good will for individuals, groups, or organizations by writing or selecting favorable publicity material and releasing it through various communications media. May prepare and arrange displays, and make speeches.
  • Set and Exhibit Designer. Design special exhibits and movie, television, and theater sets. May study scripts, confer with directors, and conduct research to determine appropriate architectural styles.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Art Director Training

The Art Institute of California-Hollywood - Los Angeles, CA

The Art Institute of California-Hollywood, 3440 Wilshire Blvd 10th Fl, Los Angeles, CA 90010-2112. The Art Institute of California-Hollywood is a small school located in Los Angeles, California. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,015 students and an admission rate of 90%. The Art Institute of California-Hollywood has an associate's degree and a bachelor's degree program in Graphic Design which graduated five and three students respectively in 2008.

Long Beach City College - Long Beach, CA

Long Beach City College, 4901 E. Carson St., Long Beach, CA 90808-1706. Long Beach City College is a large college located in Long Beach, California. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 26,097 students. Long Beach City College has an associate's degree program in Graphic Design which graduated two students in 2008.

Cerritos College - Norwalk, CA

Cerritos College, 11110 Alondra Blvd, Norwalk, CA 90650-6298. Cerritos College is a large college located in Norwalk, California. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 22,228 students. Cerritos College has an associate's degree program in Graphic Design.

InfoTech Career College - Bellflower, CA

InfoTech Career College, 16900 Lakewood Blvd Ste 209, Bellflower, CA 90706. InfoTech Career College is a small college located in Bellflower, California. It is a private for-profit school with primarily less-than 2-year programs. It has 50 students and an admission rate of 80%. InfoTech Career College has a less than one year program in Graphic Design which graduated four students in 2008.

Santa Ana College - Santa Ana, CA

Santa Ana College, 1530 W. 17th Street, Santa Ana, CA 92706-3398. Santa Ana College is a large college located in Santa Ana, California. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 26,464 students. Santa Ana College has an associate's degree program in Graphic Design which graduated three students in 2008.

The Art Institute of California-Los Angeles - Santa Monica, CA

The Art Institute of California-Los Angeles, 2900 31st St, Santa Monica, CA 90405-3035. The Art Institute of California-Los Angeles is a small school located in Santa Monica, California. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 2,209 students and an admission rate of 43%. The Art Institute of California-Los Angeles has an associate's degree and a bachelor's degree program in Graphic Design which graduated thirteen and forty-three students respectively in 2008.

Los Angeles City College - Los Angeles, CA

Los Angeles City College, 855 N Vermont Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90029. Los Angeles City College is a large college located in Los Angeles, California. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 17,310 students. Los Angeles City College has an associate's degree program in Graphic Design which graduated eight students in 2008.

West Los Angeles College - Culver City, CA

West Los Angeles College, 9000 Overland Avenue, Culver City, CA 90230-3519. West Los Angeles College is a large college located in Culver City, California. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 11,612 students. West Los Angeles College has a less than one year program in Graphic Design which graduated one student in 2008.

Westwood College-South Bay - Torrance, CA

Westwood College-South Bay, 19700 S. Vermont Avenue, Suite 100, Torrance, CA 90502. Westwood College-South Bay is a small college located in Torrance, California. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 620 students. Westwood College-South Bay has an associate's degree program in Graphic Design which graduated seven students in 2008.

Fullerton College - Fullerton, CA

Fullerton College, 321 E Chapman Avenue, Fullerton, CA 92832-2095. Fullerton College is a large college located in Fullerton, California. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 22,500 students. Fullerton College has an associate's degree and a two to four year program in Graphic Design which graduated four and zero students respectively in 2008.

Citrus College - Glendora, CA

Citrus College, 1000 W Foothill Blvd, Glendora, CA 91741-1899. Citrus College is a large college located in Glendora, California. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 13,501 students. Citrus College has a two to four year program in Graphic Design.

Mt Sierra College - Monrovia, CA

Mt Sierra College, 101 E Huntington Dr, Monrovia, CA 91016. Mt Sierra College is a small college located in Monrovia, California. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 458 students and an admission rate of 85%. Mt Sierra College has 2 areas of study related to Art Director. They are:

  • Graphic Design, bachelor's degree which graduated 8 students in 2008.
  • Intermedia/Multimedia, bachelor's degree which graduated 1 student in 2008.

The Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising-Los Angeles - Los Angeles, CA

The Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising-Los Angeles, 919 S Grand Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90015-1421. The Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising-Los Angeles is a small school located in Los Angeles, California. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 4,800 students and an admission rate of 70%. The Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising-Los Angeles has an associate's degree program in Graphic Design which graduated ninety-two students in 2008.

Golden West College - Huntington Beach, CA

Golden West College, 15744 Golden West, Huntington Beach, CA 92647-2710. Golden West College is a large college located in Huntington Beach, California. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 14,000 students. Golden West College has one to two year, associate's degree, and two to four year programs in Graphic Design which graduated eleven, zero, and zero students respectively in 2008.

El Camino Community College District - Torrance, CA

El Camino Community College District, 16007 Crenshaw Blvd, Torrance, CA 90506. El Camino Community College District is a large college located in Torrance, California. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 26,825 students. El Camino Community College District has a one to two year and a two to four year program in Graphic Design which graduated three and zero students respectively in 2008.

East Los Angeles College - Monterey Park, CA

East Los Angeles College, 1301 Avenida Cesar Chavez, Monterey Park, CA 91754-6099. East Los Angeles College is a large college located in Monterey Park, California. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 25,475 students. East Los Angeles College has an associate's degree program in Graphic Design which graduated two students in 2008.

California State Polytechnic University-Pomona - Pomona, CA

California State Polytechnic University-Pomona, 3801 W Temple Ave, Pomona, CA 91768. California State Polytechnic University-Pomona is a large university located in Pomona, California. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 21,206 students and an admission rate of 69%. California State Polytechnic University-Pomona has a bachelor's degree program in Graphic Design which graduated seventy students in 2008.

LA College International - Los Angeles, CA

LA College International, 3200 Wilshire Blvd. #400, Los Angeles, CA 90010-1308. LA College International is a small college located in Los Angeles, California. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 250 students. LA College International has an associate's degree program in Graphic Design which graduated eleven students in 2008.

Los Angeles Pierce College - Woodland Hills, CA

Los Angeles Pierce College, 6201 Winnetka Ave, Woodland Hills, CA 91371-0002. Los Angeles Pierce College is a large college located in Woodland Hills, California. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 21,832 students. Los Angeles Pierce College has a one to two year and an associate's degree program in Graphic Design which graduated two and five students respectively in 2008.

Chapman University - Orange, CA

Chapman University, One University Dr., Orange, CA 92866. Chapman University is a medium sized university located in Orange, California. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 6,131 students and an admission rate of 50%. Chapman University has a bachelor's degree program in Graphic Design which graduated fifteen students in 2008.

Art Center College of Design - Pasadena, CA

Art Center College of Design, 1700 Lida St, Pasadena, CA 91103. Art Center College of Design is a small college located in Pasadena, California. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,760 students and an admission rate of 60%. Art Center College of Design has a bachelor's degree program in Graphic Design which graduated sixty-nine students in 2008.

Cypress College - Cypress, CA

Cypress College, 9200 Valley View, Cypress, CA 90630-5897. Cypress College is a large college located in Cypress, California. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 14,990 students. Cypress College has a less than one year program in Graphic Design which graduated five students in 2008.

Irvine Valley College - Irvine, CA

Irvine Valley College, 5500 Irvine Center Drive, Irvine, CA 92618-0301. Irvine Valley College is a medium sized college located in Irvine, California. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 11,963 students. Irvine Valley College has less than one year, associate's degree, and two to four year programs in Graphic Design which graduated six, zero, and zero students respectively in 2008.

Westwood College-Los Angeles - Los Angeles, CA

Westwood College-Los Angeles, 3250 Wilshire Blvd Ste 400, Los Angeles, CA 90010. Westwood College-Los Angeles is a small college located in Los Angeles, California. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,046 students and an admission rate of 37%. Westwood College-Los Angeles has an associate's degree program in Graphic Design which graduated four students in 2008.

Los Angeles Valley College - Valley Glen, CA

Los Angeles Valley College, 5800 Fulton Avenue, Valley Glen, CA 91401-4096. Los Angeles Valley College is a large college located in Valley Glen, California. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 18,550 students. Los Angeles Valley College has a one to two year program in Graphic Design which graduated eight students in 2008.

Santa Monica College - Santa Monica, CA

Santa Monica College, 1900 Pico Blvd, Santa Monica, CA 90405-1628. Santa Monica College is a large college located in Santa Monica, California. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 29,827 students. Santa Monica College has one to two year, associate's degree, and two to four year programs in Graphic Design which graduated forty-five, thirteen, and zero students respectively in 2008.

College of the Canyons - Santa Clarita, CA

College of the Canyons, 26455 Rockwell Canyon Rd, Santa Clarita, CA 91355-1899. College of the Canyons is a large college located in Santa Clarita, California. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 20,474 students. College of the Canyons has an associate's degree and a two to four year program in Graphic Design which graduated three and zero students respectively in 2008.

Los Angeles Mission College - Sylmar, CA

Los Angeles Mission College, 13356 Eldridge Avenue, Sylmar, CA 91342-3245. Los Angeles Mission College is a large college located in Sylmar, California. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 10,264 students. Los Angeles Mission College has a one to two year program in Graphic Design.

Santiago Canyon College - Orange, CA

Santiago Canyon College, 8045 E Chapman, Orange, CA 92869-4512. Santiago Canyon College is a large college located in Orange, California. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 13,086 students. Santiago Canyon College has an associate's degree and a two to four year program in Graphic Design.

Otis College of Art and Design - Los Angeles, CA

Otis College of Art and Design, 9045 Lincoln Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90045-3505. Otis College of Art and Design is a small college located in Los Angeles, California. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,206 students and an admission rate of 53%. Otis College of Art and Design has a bachelor's degree program in Graphic Design which graduated thirty-three students in 2008.

The Art Institute of California-Orange County - Santa Ana, CA

The Art Institute of California-Orange County, 3601 W Sunflower Ave, Santa Ana, CA 92704. The Art Institute of California-Orange County is a small school located in Santa Ana, California. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,784 students and an admission rate of 48%. The Art Institute of California-Orange County has an associate's degree and a bachelor's degree program in Graphic Design which graduated fourteen and seventy-four students respectively in 2008.

Pasadena City College - Pasadena, CA

Pasadena City College, 1570 E Colorado Blvd., Pasadena, CA 91106-2003. Pasadena City College is a large college located in Pasadena, California. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 26,453 students. Pasadena City College has one to two year, associate's degree, and two to four year programs in Graphic Design which graduated five, zero, and zero students respectively in 2008.

CERTIFICATIONS

Certified Graphic Communication Manager: The In-Plant Printing and Mailing Association's (IPMA) Certified Graphic Communications Manager (CGCM) designation was created in 1976 to establish a professional standard of proficiency for the in-house graphic arts and printing management profession.

For more information, see the International Publishing Management Association website.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Los Angeles, California

Los Angeles, California
Los Angeles, California photo by Diliff

Los Angeles is located in Los Angeles County, California. It has a population of over 3,833,995, which has grown by 3.8% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Los Angeles, 166, is far greater than the national average. New single-family homes in Los Angeles are valued at $361,500 on average, which is far greater than the state average. In 2008, seven hundred twelve new homes were built in Los Angeles, down from 1,551 the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Los Angeles are health care, educational services, and professional, scientific, and technical services. For men, it is construction, accommodation and food services, and professional, scientific, and technical services. The average travel time to work is about 30 minutes. More than 25.5% of Los Angeles residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 9.1%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Los Angeles is 13.9%, which is greater than California's average of 12.3%.

The percentage of Los Angeles residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 58.1%, is more than both the national and state average. All Peoples Christian Church, All Saints Episcopal Church and All Saints Roman Catholic Church are some of the churches located in Los Angeles. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Southern Baptist Convention and the LDS (Mormon) Church.

Los Angeles is home to the Balboa Municipal Golf Course and the Angels Flight Railway as well as Hazard Park and State Street Recreation Center. Shopping centers in the area include Encino Junior Shopping Center, Encino Oaks Shopping Center and Encino Town Center Shopping Center. Visitors to Los Angeles can choose from Best Western Mid-Wilshire Plaza, Best Western Westwood Pacific and Alma Lodge for temporary stays in the area.