Jobs in the Creative Industries

VP Creative


“Creativity is just connecting things. When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they really didn’t do it, they just saw something. It seemed obvious to them after a while. That’s because they were able to connect experiences they’ve had and synthesise new things.”


Steve Jobs, co-founder, Apple


What work could I do? »

Find out what type of work you could do, and what roles you could end up in if you took the Creative Industries pathway.

You may be self employed with several jobs on the go at the same time. Along with your own creative activities, these make up your income. On the other hand, you could be working in a small business as an employee, or on a short term contract.

Examples of jobs include:

  • actor, musician, singer, dancer
  • film maker, photographer, technician
  • writer, composer, editor, stylist
  • curator, exhibition manager
  • designer, including graphic, animation, and CGI, computer gaming, architecture, costume, stage and set, lighting and sound, advertising and branding, industrial, interior, and fashion
  • technician, including sound, lighting, props, stage and set, makeup
  • visual artist, sculptor
  • ngā toi and pasifika practitioner, kaiako, kaiāwhina
  • director, producer, content manager, publisher
  • event co-ordinator, arts business manager (kaiwhakahaere), arts leader, cultural advisor, organiser.

In the Creative Industries, some employment is available through arts organisations that develop and provide regular or one-off events, seasons of work, tours, and festivals. For more information regarding jobs in this sector, take a look at the job profiles for the creative industries sector.

So, where might I end up?

You could start off in a creative role as part of a team and work your way through to being a film producer or an event manager. As well as being hard working and talented, you might also be in the right place at the right time and go on to become a famous musician, designer, writer, actor, director or artist! You may maintain consistent employment in your chosen field in the creative industries, or find yourself loving the challenge of using your talents and skills across many fields.

Self employment and project work »

Being a small business owner could be a great way to make a living in this sector. While starting a business is risky, it can also be very rewarding.

You will need to develop your own basic accounting, marketing, project management, and self-promotion skills. For practical advice and support see the following organisations:

Project-based work

Much of the work in the creative industries is project based, so a good understanding of project management is essential, especially if you are self employed. It is likely you will need to source and manage many projects over the course of a lifetime when working in the creative industries.

Fundraising for self initiated projects can find you competing for money. You may already have entered local or national competitions. Individuals and businesses must be able to write strong applications. Take a look at options such as crowd-funding through websites like Pledge MeGivealittleKickstarter and Boosted, or websites that advertise projects, such as The Big Idea | Te Aria Nui and Freelancer. Some activity in this sector comes from successful applications for funding from Creative New ZealandNew Zealand On Air and the New Zealand Film Commission. For further information about contestable funding, check out the following:

Job profiles for the Creative Industries sector »

Browse listings of jobs, link to information on the Careers New Zealand website, and see what level of qualification you might need for different jobs in this sector.

There are a huge number of roles and occupations available in this sector, ranging from entry level through to high level.

NCEA level 2 is the minimum you need for entry level jobs or apprenticeships. This gives you a good foundation in the skills and competencies you will need to go further. For other roles, you’ll definitely need to further your education after school by undertaking tertiary study or training on the job.

More information about all the roles listed here can be found on the Careers New Zealand website, along with key information about the job, what it pays, and current opportunities.

To find out the pay, prospects, and study costs of a number of jobs you can also check out the Occupation Outlook.

The asterisks in the following table show the level (or levels) of qualification usually associated with the role.

Sometimes you need a specific qualification to get into a job, but in many areas you can work towards higher qualifications by learning on the job. Check out the job profiles on Careers NZ, or talk to your careers advisor to find out more. (*Job roles with an asterisk are in the Creative Industries but detailed qualification and salary information may not be listed for that specific role on the Careers New Zealand website.)







NCEA Level 2
Postgraduate degree




Advertising Specialist


Advertising, Sales or Marketing Manager



Animator/Digital Artist






Architectural Technician





Arranger *



Art Director (Film/Television/Stage)





Artistic Director



Audio Visual Systems Design*




Body Artist



Box Office Manager*


Clothing Designer


Clothing Pattern Maker


Chief Executive/Managing Director














Director (Film/Radio/Television/Stage)








Entertainment Rigger*


Events Manager


Exhibition Technician


Film /Television Camera Operator


Film and Video Editor


Furniture Finisher





Game Developer


Graphic Designer


Graphic Pre-Press Worker







Industrial Designer


Interior Designer








Landscape Architect


Lighting Technician


Live Sound Design*



Mac Operator*


Marketing Specialist



Make-up Artist



Media Producer



Naval Architect/ Boat Designer


Performing Arts Administrator


Photo Retoucher



Production Assistant (Film/Television/Radio/Stage)




Production Designer*


Production Manager



Properties (Props) Construction/Design


Public Relations Professional


Radio Presenter



Screen Printer



Sewing Machinist






Sound Technician


Stage/Set Designer*





Technical Writer


Television Presenter


Tour Manager*


Venue Technician*


Visual Merchandiser


Wardrobe Assistant*


Wardrobe Manager*



Web Developer



Find out more

Browse a selection of other websites where you can find out more about this sector.