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Advertising Manager Job Description, Career as an Advertising Manager, Salary, Employment

Definition and Nature of the Work, Education and Training Requirements, Getting the Job

Education and Training Bachelor's degree minimum; master's degree preferred

Salary Median—$63,610 to $107,030 per year

Employment Outlook Very good

Definition and Nature of the Work

Companies employ advertising managers to publicize their goods or services. Just as most companies have departments that handle marketing, accounting, production, and human resources, they also have a department that handles advertising. Advertising managers head these departments. They work closely with marketing directors to identify their company's target market, outline goals, and set budgets for their ad campaign. The main goal of an advertising manager is to find the most effective means of informing customers about their firm's products and services.

Some companies handle part or all of their own advertising. In such cases all display, point-of-sale, and direct-mail advertising are created by the company's advertising department rather than by an outside ad agency. In a company that has a large advertising department, the advertising manager oversees the department's work and coordinates the efforts of staff members who create and place the ads. In a small department, however, the manager may actually perform some of the department's tasks, including creating the art and copy and handling work such as media buying.

Companies that do not handle their own advertising use the services of advertising agencies to plan and create their ad campaigns. In these cases advertising managers typically work with account executives at ad agencies to come up with the best ad campaigns. When projects are outsourced to an ad agency, advertising managers select the agency, explain their companies' ideas to agency account executives, and supervise the advertising agencies' handling of the account. Based on their own market research, advertising managers may know what advertising media they want to use. Authority to approve agency plans often lies with the advertising managers, but in some cases top management has final approval of all ad campaigns.

After an ad campaign is launched, advertising managers keep track of its effectiveness. If a campaign fails to produce the desired results, managers may decide to make changes to it or scrap it altogether.

Education and Training Requirements

Advertising managers are highly skilled workers with many years of experience. Some become managers after years of working for advertising agencies as advertising account executives. Others work their way up in the advertising departments of large companies.

An advertising manager works with a marketing director to develop goals and an advertising budget for a specific product. (© John Henley/Corbis.)

To get into the field of advertising, candidates need a college education. Courses in the liberal arts, communications, business administration, journalism, and marketing are useful. Many employers require advertising managers to have a master's degree, and a growing number of managers are also completing certification programs.

Getting the Job

Interested individuals should apply directly to the companies for which they would like to work. Newspaper want ads, career sites on the Internet, and trade journals often list openings for entry-level jobs in advertising departments. Private employment agencies may also provide help in finding jobs.

Advancement Possibilities and Employment Outlook

Advertising managers are already in top positions. Some take jobs with larger corporations, where they have greater responsibilities and more challenging work. Others go to work for advertising agencies or start their own agencies. As with all top management positions, there is stiff competition for the position of advertising manager.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of advertising managers was expected to grow faster than the average for all occupations between 2004 and 2014. The number of products and services competing for American dollars will likely increase in coming years. As the marketplace becomes more competitive, more advertising managers will be needed to ensure products find their way into the hands of customers.

Working Conditions

Advertising managers work under considerable pressure. Each of their campaigns is expected to produce a visible increase in their companies' sales volume. They generally work long hours in order to meet deadlines and to properly coordinate the activities of many different workers in their department.

Where to Go for More Information

American Academy of Advertising
College of Mass Communications
Texas Tech University
Box 43082
Lubbock, TX 79409
(806) 742-3385

American Advertising Federation
1101 Vermont Ave. NW, Ste. 500
Washington, DC 20005-6306
(202) 898-0089

American Association of Advertising Agencies
405 Lexington Ave., 18th Fl.
New York, NY 10174-1801
(212) 682-2500

Earnings and Benefits

Salaries vary according to the size and location of the agency. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that in 2004 advertising managers earned a median annual salary of $63,610. Those in the high-tech industry made much more. For example, the median salary for advertising managers at computer systems design companies was $107,030 per year. Managers generally receive benefits such as paid holidays and vacations, health and life insurance, and retirement plans. Many managers also receive bonuses and stock in the company and participate in profit-sharing plans.

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Job Descriptions and Careers, Career and Job Opportunities, Career Search, and Career Choices and ProfilesSales & Marketing