Monday, 15 June 2015

Creative Agency Apprenticeships

What is an Apprenticeship?

An Apprenticeship is a where you work and learn on the job while you also work towards a government funded qualification which can be the equivalent of anything from 5 GCSE's to an NVQ Level 4 and above, or a foundation degree.

Isn't that the same as an Internship?

No, an internship is normally where you work for a company for experience for a short period of time (anywhere from a month to a year) and in most cases is unpaid or minimum wage.

So...what do all the different job titles mean?

One of the most important things I discovered by doing my apprenticeship is how many job are out there that I had no idea even existed! Now I look back I think how obvious it is that there must be people employed to write the words that go on adverts, or people that come up with the concepts for them, but at the time it just didn't occur to me. So here are some of the main positions in a creative agency that you may or may not have heard of:

Managing Director - is the big guy/gal at the top of the agency. Some agencies (often the bigger ones) find Managing Directors and Creative Directors at the same level. 

Creative Director - is the head of everything creative in the agency and is responsible for the quality of the final creative work as well as guiding the teams (Design, Copywriters, Art Directors and Developers). It takes years of experience as well as a special something to become a Creative Director.

Art Director - is responsible for the visual output and concepts of advertisements and large print jobs. Art Director's and the Copywriter's work extremely closely together on campaigns to create both visual concepts and copy that works in harmony. These generally work in advertising or creative agencies and usually work under the supervision of the Creative Director.

Graphic Designer - like all jobs, can specialise in a specific field. But in creative agencies a Designer can be expected to work on any of these: logo design, branding, newsletter design, direct mail, publications, web banners or web design.

Artworker - basically takes the creative design concepts from the designer, cleans them up or reworks the design to create an entire document and making the file print ready. An Artworker may also be asked to design visuals or mock-ups to show how a finished design could look.

UI/UX Designer - determines user experience across multiple platforms and devices. This person will be driven by finding out how and why people use products.

Copywriter - can create anything from the words, slogans or scripts for an advertising campaign. Copywriters are highly creative and have a special way with words!

Engineer/Developer - these guys bring the designs to life and code it to operate and interact as planned. They work closely with designers to create anything from newsletter emails to apps.

PR/Marketing Executive - can work both promoting and publicising the creative agency, or for the agency’s clients. They will be building, maintaining and managing the clients’ reputations (or the agency) using a range of social media.

Web Producer - combines parts of journalism, design and marketing into one role. They are responsible for driving traffic to web pages and focus on the user experience of it.

Project Manager - have the important job of ensuring projects stay within timescales and budget. As well as structuring projects, liaising with clients and members of the creative team to make sure everything runs smoothly and to the brief.

Account Manager - is the link between the creative team and the client. Usually liaising between the client and other parts of the agency to coordinate campaigns and ensure that the work matches the client’s brief.

Traffic / Creative Coordinator - pretty much help project managers stay on task. They are key in busy creative agencies and are often the bouncers for the creative time. They maintain schedules and track progress to make sure work gets done on time as well as making sure the creative team is not taken advantage of.

HR Manager - (Human resource manager) deals with issues related to people such as compensation, hiring, performance management, organisation development, safety, benefits, communication, administration, and training.


-  Confidence grows
-  Great to add to your CV
-  You can make important contacts with people in the industry
-  Advice from experienced professionals
-  Possibility of a job after
-  Learn new skills that will push your career forward faster than university
-  Help you to decide what you truly want to do and discover what you definitely don't
-  Paid to learn


-  Some days you will be bored
-  Throwing yourself in the deep end can be scary!
-  Low pay can be stressful
-  You won't get the best tasks - you need to fight for them and prove yourself
-  No guarantee of a job at the end
-  Juggling college and coursework while working and learning
-  The coursework is mind numbing and doesn't always relate to your specific apprenticeship

Want to find out more? Check out 'My Creative Pioneers Experience' post here

Have you done an apprenticeship? Want to work in a creative agency? Anything confuse you? Let me know in the comment box below, i'd love to hear from you!


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