Posted by Jenn Popovic on Thursday, December 11, 2014 - 00:00
Who's ready to rock?! Moolah Palooza – TCG's 2015 Salary Guide – is your exclusive backstage pass to current hiring and compensation trends in the creative field.
Whether you're looking for your next gig or you're in search of talent that will bring down the house, we're on tour to explore the job opportunities and earning potential for the hottest creative roles in cities across North America. Our last stop was in San Francisco and now we're taking the party back East to Boston.
The Creative Job Market
Boston is home to many historical firsts. It's the U.S. birthplace of numerous goods, institutions and pastimes that are still loved and used today, including the daily newspaper, telephone, Bell in Hand Tavern (the longest continuously operating pub), Walter Baker & Company (the oldest producer of chocolate – thanks, Boston!), swimming pool, library, college, subway system, computer and first-ever World Series game! Needless to say, the Bostonians have always been innovative and hard at work.
Today, Boston continues to make strides in a number of industries, most notably: advertising, financial services, healthcare, information technology, biotechnology, engineering and construction. As the headquarters for a number of established and emerging companies in these fields, Boston is an ideal environment for eager and talented creative professionals at all stages of their careers.
TCG regional manager Kristen Johnson notes there is a ton of movement in the Boston job market. "Freelancers are moving seamlessly from gig to gig and full-time candidates are getting offers from desirable employers. Applicants with strong resumes are not on the market for long," Johnson said. She stressed that while the employment outlook is good for creative talent in Boston, "You must still be extremely prepared for the interview process, taking a very personalized approach when applying, so you can stand out amongst the competition."
Below are five in-demand creative positions in Boston, including a salary comparison of the national averages and Boston ranges. These figures can give you an idea of how the local job market, cost of living and other variables affect Boston salaries.
Top Positions in Demand
National Average Starting Salary
Boston Starting Salary
|Graphic Designer (5+ years)||$63,500-$90,000||$84,455-$119,700|
|Interactive Marketing Manager||$86,500-$127,000||$115,045-$168,910|
|Production Artist (3+ years)||$48,250-$66,000||$64,173-$87,780|
|Web Designer (5+ years)||$80,000-$112,500||$106,400-$149,625|
|User Experience (UX) Specialist||$82,500-$124,250||$109,725-$165,253|
Career Advice for Recent Grads and First-Time Job Seekers in Boston
Boston is widely considered and often ranked as a best city for college students. It's also home to some of North America's most notable educational institutions, resulting in a city filled with grads looking for work. While Boston employers tend to seek out creative candidates with professional experience, first-time job seekers can find employment if they're prepared.
Johnson and the TCG Boston team shared some job search tips for budding creative professionals:
- Keep it real. Real-world experience will be a key factor in setting yourself apart for certain roles, like graphic design, where your portfolio is a major factor in getting your foot in the door. Commit to doing as many hands-on assignments as you can – whether paid or unpaid – while you're a student. You'll want to get as wide a range as possible in your portfolio in order to appeal to a variety of employers.
- Perfect the basics. Without the luxury of extensive work experience, you've got to ensure that your resume, cover letter and references from internships are impeccable. Pay attention to detail in any materials you provide a potential employer. Your soft skills – the ability to communicate effectively verbally, in writing and through your body language – will also be an important factor in standing out from the crowd and getting ahead.
- Do the work. You've got to put a concerted effort into networking, conducting informational interviews and working with creative staffing agencies when you're looking for a job. Talk to your contacts and get their advice for landing a job. Remember to use social media wisely. There is a world of connections you can and should take advantage of but always be careful what you say and do. Your digital reputation is at stake and employers will be checking it before considering you.
Get Your Moolah Palooza Tickets
For more trends affecting the creative hiring landscape, download The Creative Group's 2015 Salary Guide.