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Marketing Specialist

Education and Training: Bachelor’s degree, master’s degree
Average Salary: $66,850 per year
Job Outlook: Faster than average

A marketing specialist helps a company develop a marketing and promotional strategy and marketing and promotional media. Some of the tasks marketing specialists perform are developing marketing programs, researching consumer opinions and strategies, writing speeches and drafts for upper-level management, or promoting marketing events.

Marketing specialists are knowledgeable in determining consumer behavior and retrieving data regarding consumer demands and trends. Due to the continual need for their services and their varied knowledge of marketing practices, theory, and procedures, marketing specialists are highly sought by businesses and industries. Teamwork and people skills are crucial as the marketing specialist will work as part of a team and also with management and the public.

Education and Training Requirements

A bachelor’s degree in marketing, communications, or advertising is required for employment as a marketing specialist. Many employers look for individuals who have previous marketing experience as well as a proven track record of success in the area of their business. Marketing specialists who work in technical areas generally have a degree in a technical field such as mechanical engineering as well as a degree in marketing, communications, or advertising.

Certification from two organizations is available for those who wish to demonstrate their skill level. The American Marketing Association offers certification as a Professional Researcher Certification at the practitioner and expert level. The comprehensive exam covers research areas such as questionnaire design and report writing, legal areas such as ethics and privacy, and business areas such as marketing and human resources. Continuing education is required to maintain certification every two years.

The American Marketing Association offers certification as a Professional Certified Marketer. The test covers the following areas: legal, ethical, and professional issues in marketing, relationship, information and resource management, assessment and planning of the strategic marketing process, use of the marketing mix, and marketing evaluation. Continuing education is required to maintain certification every three years.

Getting the Job

Marketing specialists who have a proven history of success in marketing, a master’s degree, strong computer skills, and technical skills have the best opportunity for employment. Marketing internships for college students and apprenticeships for recent graduates are common and offer real-world professional experience that could lead to full time employment.

Job Prospects, Employment Outlook and Career Development

Competition is fierce for marketing jobs. Keeping abreast of new technologies that relate to marketing is recommended. Marketing specialists who perform well can become marketing managers as many businesses promote from within whenever possible.

Working Conditions and Environment

Marketing specialists work for companies and as independent contractors. The standard benefits package should be expected if working for a company. Working more than 40 hours per week is common as is frequent traveling. High wages are common. Stress from deadlines or project issues should be expected.

Salary and Benefits

Occupational Employment Statistics for 2010 indicate the median salary for marketing specialists was $60,570 per year. The top 90 percent made $111,440, 75 percent made $84,430, 25 percent made $43,840 and the lowest 10 percent made $33,350.

Where to Go for More Information

American Marketing Association
311 S Wacker Dr., Ste. 5800
Chicago, IL 60606
Phone: (800) AMA-1150
Fax: (312) 542-9001
American Marketing Association

Marketing Research Association
110 National Dr., 2nd Fl.
Glastonbury, CT 06033
Phone: (860) 682-1000
Fax: (888) 512-1050
Marketing Research Association

Northwestern University (Kellogg)
2001 Sheridan Rd.
Evanston, IL 60208
Phone: (847) 491-3308
Fax: (847) 491-4960
Northwestern University (Kellogg)

University of Pennsylvania (Wharton)
420 Jon M. Huntsman Hall
3730 Walnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104
Phone: (215) 898-6183
Fax: (215) 898-0120
University of Pennsylvania (Wharton)

Additional topics

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