10 Fun Areas of Opportunity in Design and the Creative Arts
Creative industries are an increasingly important part of Canada's economy. In fact, the nation's cultural sector was estimated to be worth almost $85 billion in 2007 alone—accounting for about 7.4 percent of the country's real GDP.* And new companies in this space keep appearing. From coast to coast, fresh opportunities are sprouting up for people with the right combinations of creative and technical skills.
For example, did you know that the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) now has the third-largest talent pool of designers in North America? It's a fact. Only New York and Boston have more design professionals.** But designers are in high demand across many other regions of Canada as well.
Here are 10 of the best fields to consider as a creative Canadian:
This enjoyable field is all about solving interesting communication challenges visually. From logos to brochures to product packaging to website graphics, the range of projects that a graphic designer can work on are beyond varied. Whether for print or electronic media, today's graphic design schools understand that the opportunities to enlist your imagination and artistic flair in this career are often surprising.
Plus, the pay can be very good, particularly as you advance into more senior roles. For instance, the median salary for graphic designers in Canada is about $41,600. And the highest earners in the field make over $84,000 in some regions.***
2. Web Design
The online world would be much less appealing if we didn't have talented web designers. They don't just make websites attractive. They also make them functional and user-friendly. And, like traditional graphic designers, they also tend to earn good salaries, especially if they have solid coding and markup skills. In Canada, the median pay for web designers and developers equals about $52,000 per year. Top earners can make more than $90,000.***
Your imagination can really take flight in this industry. Creating never-before-seen characters, immersive stories, and inventive gameplay is all part of the creative process of bringing new titles to the video game market, which is massive. In Canada alone, almost 60 percent of people are gamers.**** And the country's electronic entertainment sector employs a lot of talented artists and designers. In fact, Canada ranks third in the world for the number of people employed by the video game industry.**** And the average salary for a designer in the field is more than $50,000.†
Motion graphics are everywhere. They're used to bring stories to life and to enhance the overall impact of video games, films, and other forms of multimedia entertainment or communication. Canada's digital media industry alone is worth about $22 billion.**** And that means skilled animators and multimedia and special effects designers are needed by many companies. Average salaries tend to be around $45,000 to $48,000.†
Our culture might be more visual than ever before. We crave new images. And the photos that really captivate us have the power to influence what we think, how we behave, and what we buy. So being a professional photographer can mean having the potential to help shape the world. And when you work in a commercial capacity, you have the chance to eventually make as much $78,000 or more per year.***
Music is a cornerstone of our individual and shared cultural experiences. And sound plays an essential role in immersing us in stories presented on TV, in film, or in video games. That's why a career in Canada's recording arts industry can be so fulfilling. It lets you bring joy and delight to the senses of other people. Plus, you can earn a good living. For example, median pay for a Canadian audio recording technician equals about $57,000 a year. And some people in that career earn more than $85,000.***
With successful film industries in Vancouver, Toronto, and other Canadian regions, talented actors and writers can find some pretty compelling opportunities. And many towns and cities have thriving theatre and music scenes. That means a go-getting performance artist can make a career out of his or her passion. Plus, check this out: The average annual pay for an actor in Canada is nearly $59,000.†
How a building is designed on the inside is just as important as how it looks on the outside. Probably more so. Our interior spaces need to be created based on how they're used and what we hope to get from them. Professional interior designers understand this better than anyone else. And they know how to make it all happen since good interior design programs have helped them develop high-level skills. As a result, they can often earn a very comfortable living. Median pay for an interior designer in Canada is about $45,700 a year. But, with enough experience, it is possible to make more than $86,000 in some locations.***
Before buildings can be constructed, detailed visual plans must be prepared using CADD software. Blueprints and similar technical drawings are the link between the ideas of engineers and architects and the physical work of skilled tradespeople. As a drafting technician in Canada, you could make a median salary of about $51,000. And, with the right experience, you could become a top earner and make up to $96,000 in fast-growing regions like Alberta.***
10. Fashion Design
Your unique sense of style could be the ticket to a career of truly colourful expression. Why not become one of the people setting the trends for the clothes we wear and the accessories we adorn ourselves with? Fashion design schools in Canada have helped turn many people like you into successful style mavens. And some of the highest earners in this field make more than $75,000 per year.***
* Action Canada, "Creativity Unleashed: Taking innovation out of the laboratory and into the labour force," website last visited on October 6.
** Design Industry Advisory Committee, website last visited on October 6, 2014.
*** Government of Canada, Job Bank, website last visited on October 6, 2014.
**** Canada Media Fund, website last visited on October 6, 2014.
† PayScale, website last visited on October 6, 2014.
Graphic Designers of Canada, website last visited on October 7, 2014.
Interior Designers of Canada, website last visited on October 7, 2014.
Professional Photographers in Canada, website last visited on October 7, 2014.
The Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, website last visited on October 7, 2014.
The Entertainment Software Association of Canada, website last visited on October 7, 2014.