If you’re a creative person, there’s a good chance that you’ve thought about using your job as an outlet for that creativity. Whether that means being able to use your imagination on a daily basis or seeing your artistic vision come to life, creative jobs can be uniquely fulfilling. And the good news is it’s never too late to make those dreams become reality.

With this in mind, we’ve outlined 11 creative jobs that’ll hopefully inspire you – and detailed how you can take steps to get there.

1. Make-up artist

Make-up artist

If you’ve always had an interest in make-up and beauty, training as a make-up artist could be an option to consider.

A career as a make-up artist has the potential to take you down various creative routes. For example, you could work in retail, theatre, film, or fashion; use your skills to help people look and feel their best; or transform a human face into a fantasy creature.

Make-up artists can also work in employed positions (such as for an agency or a beauty brand) or may decide to set up their own businesses.

Generally speaking, you don’t need much formal education to begin working as a make-up artist. Though, a lot of budding makeup artists take college courses to help them get started and grasp a better understanding of the industry.

Some of the most popular college courses include Level 2 Certificate in Make-up; Level 3 Diploma in Theatrical and Media Make-up; Level 3 Diploma in Make-up Artistry; and T Level in Hair, Beauty, and Aesthetics.

There are a number of university courses available too, including foundation degrees, higher national diplomas, or degrees in specialist make-up techniques like media make-up artistry, or special effects make-up. These aren’t necessary to get started, but they may help you to stand out from the crowd.

It can also be helpful to gain some experience working in the industry to build up your professional portfolio. This could involve working in cosmetic sales or as an assistant to a make-up team or volunteering in theatres, amateur dramatic societies, or on film sets. For more ideas, check out this advice from the National Careers Service on how to gain experience as a make-up artist.

The average make-up artist salary in the UK is £39,000, or £20 per hour. Entry level positions generally start around £26,5000.

Interested in other ways to develop your make-up knowledge?

2. Illustrator


If you’ve always had a passion for painting, drawing, or sketching, why not consider a career in illustration?

Illustrators create artwork for books, greeting cards, magazines, posters, and many other products. There are also specialist areas like scientific and medical illustration, where illustrators create the images in textbooks.

Creating illustrations can involve the use of traditional materials like pens, pencils, and paints, but these days it’s also become increasingly common for illustrators to use software to create their artwork.

The majority of illustrators are self-employed, and the great thing about this career is that skills matter more than experience. That being said, while skill is more important, having a relevant qualification can also mean you’re able to apply for more jobs.

If you’re interested in gaining a qualification, you could do a higher national diploma or degree in illustration at university. There are also college courses available, like a Level 2 Diploma in Art and Design, an A-level in Art and Design, or a Level 3 Extended Diploma in Art and Design. Average illustrator salaries in the UK range from £18,000 to £40,000, depending on experience.

Alternatively, if you’d like to become an illustrator without a qualification, you can always contact companies directly with examples of your work. Head over to the Writers’ & Artists’ Yearbook to find out more about starting a career as a freelance illustrator – from building a portfolio to finding a publisher.

Interested in learning more about illustration online?

3. Writer


If you’ve always had a way with words and are interested in a career in writing, the good news is that there are plenty of ways to get involved in this extremely diverse industry.

Writers create content for many different platforms, from books and adverts, to blogs, guides, TV scripts, and screenplays.

If you’re looking for a career in copywriting or journalism, you’ll almost always need to have a qualification. Relevant qualifications can include a degree in creative writing, English language or literature, journalism, or communication and media.

You can also develop your skills through college or online courses. And some people are lucky enough to get their foot in the door by publishing their own content on blogs, though this is rare.

If you’re interested in writing but not sure you want to gain a formal qualification, there are still plenty of ways you can develop your skills. For example, you could join a local writers’ group, enter writing competitions, or start your own blog.

Alternatively, you could have a go at writing your own book, play, or screenplay. While you don’t have to have any formal qualifications for these ventures, you’ll need plenty of talent and commitment. To find out more, check out our article; How to write a book and get it published.

Inspired to gain a qualification in writing?

4. Web developer

Web developer

If you’re passionate about technology and have some coding experience, you might be interested in becoming a web developer. Web developers design and create websites, using computer code to create websites for their clients.

We live in a digital world, and the importance of having a good website is more important than ever when it comes to business – which means that work for web developers definitely won’t be drying up any time soon!

Pay is decent, with average salaries ranging from for £20,000 beginners to £60,000+ – and many web developers are freelance or contractors. To become a web developer, you’ll need to get comfortable writing computer code and have a thorough knowledge of computer operating systems.

If you’re more of a beginner, you can do college courses that’ll put you on the road to getting a trainee developer job. Relevant courses include the Level 3 Certificate in Web Design and Development; the T Level in Digital Production, Design, and Development; and the Level 4 Diploma in Software Development.

If you have some web development experience but aren’t yet qualified to apply for web developer jobs, you could improve your skills by using free online learning resources for software development, project management, and programming languages.

To find out more about web development, or other IT jobs, you can head over to TechSkills and The Chartered Institute for IT.

Interested in developing your coding skills?

5. Editor


If you have excellent communication and writing skills, as well as an eye for spelling and grammar mistakes, you could consider working as an editor.

Editing jobs are ideal for people who want to work in the world of writing and publishing, but don’t want their job to focus entirely on writing.

However, editing is still a very creative job and can involve reviewing and revising content for books, websites, or magazines; rewriting prose where necessary; reviewing pitches from writers; and helping writers develop their stories and ideas. Examples of editing roles include copy editor, editorial assistant, web-content editor, and sub-editor.

A degree in communications, journalism, or English is almost always needed to be an editor. However, if you have previous writing and proofreading experience, a degree may not always be necessary, especially if you’re happy to start at entry level. A good way to gain editing experience and create a portfolio of work is to begin working as an editorial assistant at a publishing company.

If you feel you have the relevant communication and writing skills but need to be able to prove your talent, you could take a proofreading or editing course at The Publishing Training Centre or the Chartered Institute of Editing and Proofreading. Alternatively, we have plenty more courses available through our website, which you can browse using the button below.

Keen to start developing your editing skills?

6. Interior designer

Interior designer

Interior design is a creative job that’s ideal for anyone with a passion for home improvement.

Interior designers, whether working alone or alongside architects and builders, are responsible for giving a home, business, or industrial space a whole new look.

From a creative perspective, you’ll need to have a great eye for things like space, colour schemes, fabrics, fittings, and furniture; but you’ll also need to be able to budget and manage projects. Usually, a degree of technical knowledge is required too, as you’ll often be working with computer programs or sketches.

If you don’t have any experience but are serious about pursuing a career in interior design, one option to consider is gaining a relevant degree. For example, a foundation degree, a higher national diploma, or a degree in interior design, interior architecture, or spatial design.

Alternatively, you might prefer to do a college course, such as a Level 3 Diploma in Interior Design, a Level 3 Diploma in Art and Design, or A Level in Art and Design.

Once you’ve got a basic qualification, you’ll then be able to start your interior design career, for example as a design assistant where you can do further training on the job.

To find out more about starting a career in interior design, head over to the British Institute of Interior Design or The Society of British and International Interior Design. We also have our own guide on how to become an interior designer.

The average salary for an interior designer in the UK is currently £36,556.

Inspired by the thought of a career in interior design?

7. Technical author

Technical author

If you’ve got good writing skills and experience in a field like medicine, engineering, or computer science, then you could consider becoming a technical author.

Compared to many writing jobs, technical authors earn good money, with average salaries ranging from £20,000 for beginners to over £50,000 for experienced authors.

Technical authors write things like instruction manuals, how-to guides, and journal articles – content that explains how to use products and services. To do this, you need a high degree of technical knowledge, which is why experience in the relevant field is usually (though not always) required.

If you don’t already have qualifications in writing, journalism, or communication, you’ll almost certainly need to have a qualification in the subject you’ll be writing about; be it science, computing, engineering, telecommunications, or pharmaceuticals.

If you feel you have the necessary skills and experience to become a technical author, you can apply to companies directly. Though, keep in mind that you’ll need to show that you have industry knowledge and writing experience, as well as an understanding of things like content planning, writing for brands, and project management.

If you’d like to gain experience in any of these areas, you can find details of suitable short courses over on the The Institute of Scientific and Technical Communicators.

Interested in learning how to become a technical author?

8. Landscape architect

Landscape architect

If you have a passion for both plants and design, you might be interested in a career as a landscape architect.

Landscape architects are responsible for designing all kinds of green spaces – from gardens and playgrounds, to rooftop gardens and outdoor spaces for businesses or campuses.

Aside from having a flair for design, to become a landscape architect you’ll also need some technical and environmental knowledge, and be able to understand things like drainage, energy usage, and different landscaping materials.

Having a pretty good grasp of maths and adequate IT skills is also important because landscape architecture involves cost estimates and the use of different design software packages.

Due to the amount of knowledge required to become a landscape architect, a degree recognised by the Landscape Institute is usually required. This includes degrees in landscape architecture, landscape design and technology, garden design, or landscape or urban planning. However, if you already have a degree in a similar subject, like architecture, horticulture, or botany, you can usually just do a postgraduate degree.

If you’re keen to get your hands dirty (quite literally!) as soon as possible, you could always think about doing a chartered landscape professional degree apprenticeship. While this does take five years, it involves learning on the job as well as studying, so you’ll be able to gain practical experience much earlier on. There are also plenty of online courses you can take to give you a taste of what landscape gardening involves.

Average landscape architect salaries range from £20,000 to £45,000, with the potential to earn up to £65,000 in very senior positions.

Keen to find out more about landscape gardening?

9. Photographer


Photography is a varied and creative industry, and there are a number of ways to get involved.

Photographers can work for many different organisations, from newspapers and magazines, to advertising agencies, events companies, and public relations firms.

Many photographers are also self-employed, which means they can choose which projects they want to work on – whether that’s doing freelance work for different companies, or doing one-off personal shoots, like weddings and events.

Photographers don’t just need to be skilled at the art of photography, they also have to understand technical equipment and be able to use photographic software. Average salaries range from £17,250 for beginners to £45,000+ for more seasoned professionals.

If you’re interested in gaining a formal photography qualification, you could do a foundation degree, a higher national diploma, or a degree in photography, visual arts, commercial photography, or art and design. College courses like Level 2 Certificate in Photography or Level 3 Diploma in Photography may help you get a job as a photography assistant too.

Once you start as a photography assistant, you’ll be able to develop your skills and build a portfolio. You might also decide there’s a special type of photography that you’d like to specialise in, such as portrait, wildlife, fashion, advertising, or photojournalism.

You can join The Association of Photographers or the British Institute of Professional Photography to find out more about this creative industry.

Want to start developing your photography skills right now?

10. TV or film producer

TV or film producer

If you’re interested in working in the film and TV industry, you might like to consider a career as a TV and film producer.

Producers manage the business side of creating adverts, TV shows, and films, which can include things like reading scripts; figuring out what resources are needed; hiring staff, cast and crew, managing budgets and schedules; deciding on locations; and overseeing the design of the project.

If you’re producing for the screen, you’ll need to pitch to broadcasters to commission your show too. However, there’s also the option of working off-screen and becoming a producer for a theatre or other performing arts company.

Many producers will have a degree in film or cinema, writing, or acting. Experience in film and video editing, cinematography, or acting is also common. However, just as with video production, another way to work your way up is to start off as a production runner, programme researcher, or production administrator.

If you’d like to gain some hands-on experience in this industry, you might like to do a training scheme with a broadcaster. Head over to BBC trainee schemesChannel 4 training schemeITV Careers, or BFI to find out more. You can also join The Production Guild for further training opportunities, and to make new contacts in the industry.

Want to find out more about working as a film or TV producer?

11. Animator


If you’re passionate about story-telling and have decent tech skills, you might be interested in a career in animation.

Animators bring drawings and CGI characters to life on screen for TV, film, video games, or other digital media. They’ll typically work alongside clients including directors, game designers, and other animators to create their imagery.

Depending on the type of animation job, responsibilities can include animating storyboards, drawing by hand or using software to create characters and scenes, using motion capture methods to create lifelike movements and expressions, and adding lighting, shading, colour, depth, texture, and other effects to imagery.

To get started as an animator, you’ll need a thorough knowledge of media production and communication, as well as good design skills.

If you’re a beginner, a good place to start is to gain a degree or recognised course in animation, art and design, computer games development, animation production, or visual effects. Relevant college courses include Level 4 Junior Animator, Level 4 Junior VFX Artist, and Level 7 Storyboard Artist.

Experience is also important in animation, so volunteering for advertising agencies, animation studios, or computer game companies can also be useful. Alternatively, you could take a short training course to get some practical animation skills, or apply for a role as an animation runner to learn on the job and work your way up to assistant animator or animator.

Interested in dipping your toes into the world of animation?

Final thoughts…

If you’re a creative person and would like to channel your creativity into a job, it’s never too late to make a career change.

It may take time and effort to get where you want to be, but if you’re passionate about something, it’s always worth pursuing that dream. If nothing else, you’ll learn a lot along the way, and probably meet many new and interesting people too!

For more inspiration, you might like to have a read our article, 10 career change ideas for over 50s. Or why not browse some of our career guides for even more ideas?