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Advertising Careers

Career Description

Advertising managers oversee advertising and promotion staffs, which usually are small, except in the largest firms. In a small firm,  managers may serve as liaisons between the firm and the advertising or promotion agency to which many advertising or promotional functions are contracted out. In larger firms, advertising managers oversee in-house account,  creative, and media services departments.

Common Work Tasks

  • Oversee in-house account, creative, and media services departments
  • Manage the account services department, assesses the need for advertising and, in advertising agencies, maintains the accounts of clients
  • Develop the subject matter and presentation of advertising
  • Oversee the copy chief, art director, and associated staff
  • Oversee planning groups that select the communication media—for example, radio, television, newspapers, magazines, the Internet, or outdoor signs—to disseminate the advertising
  • Prepare budgets and submit estimates for program costs as part of campaign plan development
  • Inspect layouts and advertising copy and edit scripts, audio and video tapes, and other promotional material for adherence to specifications
  • Prepare and negotiate advertising and sales contracts
  • Coordinate with the media to disseminate advertising
  • Plan and prepare advertising and promotional material to increase sales of products or services, working with customers,  company officials, sales departments and advertising agencies

Other Job Titles

Advertising Managers are also known by other titles,  including:

  • Advertising Account Executive
  • Creative Director
  • Media Director
  • Promotions Manager
  • Advertising Sales Manager

Education,  Training, and Experience

Education and Training
  For advertising management positions, some employers prefer a bachelor’s degree in advertising or journalism. A course of study should include, for example, marketing, consumer behavior, market research, sales, communication methods and technology, and visual arts, and art history and photography.

Certification and Licensure
Some associations offer certification programs for these managers. Certification—an indication of competence and achievement—is particularly important in a competitive job market. While relatively few advertising managers currently are certified, the number of managers who seek certification is expected to grow.

              Familiarity with word-processing and database applications is important for most positions.  Computer skills are vital because advertising on the Internet is increasingly common. Also, the ability to communicate in a foreign language may open up employment opportunities in many rapidly growing areas around the country,  especially cities with large Spanish-speaking populations.

Persons interested in becoming an advertising manager should be mature, creative, highly motivated, resistant to stress, flexible, and decisive. The ability to communicate persuasively, both orally and in writing, with other managers, staff, and the public is vital.  These managers also need tact, good judgment, and exceptional ability to establish and maintain effective personal relationships with supervisory and professional staff members and client firms.


The median annual salary of an Advertising Manager is $78,000. The top 10 percent earn more than $145,000, and the lowest 10 percent earn less than $39,000.  Median earnings in the industries employing the largest number of financial analysts are:

  • Advertising and Related Services - $117,930
  • Management of Companies and Enterprises - $92,660
  • Newspaper, Periodical, Book, and Directory Publishers - $90,470
  • Radio and Television Broadcasting - $84,610
  • Business, Professional, Labor, Political, and Similar Organizations - $89,410

Job Outlook

  • 2006-2016 Employment growth:  6%
  • Number of new jobs created 2006-2016: 3,000
  • Employment 2006 : 47,000
  • Employment 2016:  50,000
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