Production Designers and Art Directors

Art Director Wins Academy Award

In films, videos, and television commercials, production designers are responsible for the overall look of the visual elements and approve the props, costumes, and locations. Art directors are the top assistants of production designers; they ensure that the production designer’s vision is implemented. In the past, the art director title was used to denote the head of the art department. The Academy Award for Best Art Direction still references art directors, but the award is actually given to top production designers.

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Quick Facts
Alternate Title(s) None
Duties Oversee the visual elements and "look" of movies, television shows, and videos, including props, costumes, and locations
Salary Range $25,000 to $100,000+
Work Environment Indoors/Outdoors
Best Geographical Location(s) Los Angeles and New York, but opportunities exist in all regions
Minimum Education Level
  • Bachelor's Degree
School Subjects
  • Art
  • Business
  • Theater/Dance
Experience Several years' experience required
Personality Traits
  • Artistic
  • Creative
  • Curious
  • Drawing/Design
  • Interpersonal
  • Leadership
Certification or Licensing None
Special Requirements None
Employment Prospects Fair
Advancement Prospects Fair
Outlook About as Fast as the Average
Career Ladder
  • Producer
  • Director
  • Production Designer
  • Art Director
  • Production Staff Worker