Account managers oversee account executives. Duties may vary depending on employer and the size of the department. For example, managers at marketing or advertising firms might serve more of a general supervisor role and engage in generating new clients or leads, motivating staff, and developing strategies and goals. Account managers might also have their own portfolio of clients. A lot of the time, account managers are the first point of contact that potential clients connect with, which is a big responsibility. The hours can be long and travel might become second nature, but the median salary for account managers is impressive. Like any other managerial position, this role requires years of experience and proven success in the field.

Job Outlook for Account Managers

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) lists a marketing manager’s average salary at $126,190. There are no national statistics strictly for account managers, but this can be utilized as a fair assessment. This industry is expected to grow at an average rate in the next ten years, which can provide a source of comfort. However, since it is such a lucrative field, there are a lot of aspiring marketing pros wanting to get a piece of the proverbial pie. It’s increasingly important for candidates to have both relevant skills/background as well as education in order to succeed.

Education Requirements for Account Managers

At the managerial level, oftentimes the most prevalent thing a candidate must possess is experience. However, holding a related degree can still vastly improve someone’s chances of securing a job offer. Related degrees include Business, Finance, and Communication. A MBA, especially with an emphasis in marketing, is the golden goose in this industry. Accreditation is also available via the Center for Marketing Excellence (CME), but these courses are relatively costly at $8,500 per course. Individuals who have been in the business for many years and are considering returning for a degree or advanced degree should bear in mind that students of all ages can be found on college campuses today.

Key Personality Traits of Account Managers

An account manager has to balance strong communication skills – verbal and written – along with a sharp eye. This is largely a sales position. Account managers must be comfortable cold calling or fishing for new clients. This means being able to work and communicate well with all types of personalities. At the same time, these managers may be in charge of multiple accounts so being highly organized is very important. Keeping track of sales, strategic plans, and campaigns can be very demanding.

Types of Work Environments

Account managers are necessary in almost all large businesses, corporations, and sometimes government agencies. Some account managers work for marketing or advertising firms. In advertising agencies, account managers may have more autonomy and more clients than managers working for businesses. Other account managers may work in the marketing or sales departments of large corporations. Large corporate marketing departments often have a few types of managers focused on accounts, marketing, and communications. Another option is government agencies. These agencies can have a tough time translating what exactly the agency is doing for citizens. This is where the marketing department steps in. Account managers in this situation may be charged with overseeing fundraisers and community outreach programs.

Account managers work with people. Whether professionals are researching trends for a potential new product, teaming up with the sales division, or fostering a relationship with a prospective new client, it’s all about communication and collaboration. This is not a position for a wallflower or someone who likes to work independently. Networking and social skills come into play. Social butterflies can flourish in this environment, assuming they know when to get down to business and get things done.