How Do You Become an Advertising Account Executive?

If you want to become an advertising account executive, what you do while you’re in advertising school matters. Advertising is an extremely competitive field where even account managers must battle it out for the biggest accounts are the most respected firms. Job outlook in the field of advertising as a whole is projected to grow by 10 percent according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics but growth isn’t the same for positions at every level of employment.

When you take it up a notch to pursue an executive position, you have to compete against educated professionals who have years of experience, the educational attainment, and the connections to justify becoming a C-level employee. Here are some tips on how to better your chances of landing an executive role in accounting.

Know the Role

The very first step of pursuing any career would be to learn about the role. To some, the idea of holding an executive position in advertising sounds ideal because the top professionals earn an average of $195,308 per year, according to While the potential earnings are huge compared to national averages in all occupations, the responsibilities are major.

To be a good fit for the role, you have to be prepared to deal with all that comes with it. You can go to school to study the theory and practice behind a job, but not everyone is suited to hold an executive role even if they graduated the top of their class. Some of the responsibilities you must be willing to take on as an advertising executive include:

  • Planning and directing of advertising policies and initiatives
  • Direction for teams of the conception of advertisements
  • In charge of strategic initiatives and budgeting
  • Oversees all department management and answers for departmental performance issues

Earn a Degree

The first step to landing any role in advertising would be to possess a bachelor’s degree. There are a vast number of relevant programs that you can enroll in, but applying to a program majoring in advertising or marketing is ideal. These programs will give students the information they need to build on a foundation of core knowledge in the field of contract negotiations, advertising platforms, writing proposals, and more.

Interning and Getting Your First Job Offer

Students are better off applying for internships while they are still in school. With some programs, they can receive credit hours for doing the summer internship. By completing an internship, advertising students can see what it’s like to be in an advertising firm performing the entry-level duties. This is the most effective way to get a job offer out of school with one of the larger firms or organizations.

Joining Professional Associations and Advancing Your Education

The next step would be to slowly climb your way up from an assistant advertising specialist role to a lead, supervisor, or manager. Depending on the size of the organization, climbing up the ladder could happen quickly or take several years. In firms where growth is slow, some specialists will gain entry-level experience and move to a firm with less competition or more management-level openings.

One way to build connections so that you can find openings that are best suited to grow into an executive would be joining a professional advertising association like the American Advertising Federation. By pursuing continuing education via programs approved by the AAF and going to an MBA or master’s degree, you will be more of a threat to internal applicants for executives roles.

Related Resource: Top 21 Online Bachelor’s in International Business Programs 2018

It is important for advertisers to succeed as managers in special projects to demonstrate their ability to think outside the box and to plan strategically. Earning a reputation for performing is a must. Many choose to pursue positions in management with smaller firms and then work their way up to become an advertising account executive at a larger place of business after making their name in the smaller role.