How to Become an

Advertising Account Executive

The complete career guide to be an Advertising Account Executive: salary, job growth, employers, best schools, and education you may need to get started.

Why We Love It

  • $61,690
    Potential Avg. Salary
  • -2.7%
    Job Growth Rate
  • Deal Making
    Career Attribute
  • Good Entry Level Salary
    Career Attribute

Advertising account executives act as the liaisons between advertising providers and one or more clients who pay for advertising services. They work with the client to understand advertising needs, goals, and budgets, and then they work with designers/marketers to create campaigns that satisfy client needs.

Recommended Schools

What is an Advertising Account Executive?

The following job responsibilities are common for individuals in advertising account executive roles:

  • Meet with one or more clients to understand the goals of advertising campaigns and collect relevant information needed for campaign creation
  • Work with design and marketing teams to create campaigns that satisfy client needs and goals
  • Ensure that campaigns are delivered on time and within budget
  • Monitor campaigns to measure effectiveness, and report campaign results back to clients
  • Conduct administrative tasks: manage budgets, schedule meetings, create reports, and present campaigns for approval

A Day in the Life of an Advertising Account Executive

Advertising account executives act as the face of an advertising agency to one or more agency clients. They are the primary point of contact for clients and handle all client meetings, issues, and requests. When a new client is onboarded or an existing client prepares to initiate a new advertising campaign, an advertising account executive is assigned to the client. The account executive meets with the client, discusses client needs, goals, and budgets, and then works with in-house design and marketing teams to develop campaign materials and execution plans that satisfy client goals.

In many ways, the advertising account executive is a liaison between clients and the agencies they work for. The account executive must work to form agreements that are mutually beneficial, having both the needs and goals of their employer and their clients as priorities at all times. They negotiate prices on behalf of both entities, work to resolve issues or complaints, and ensure that delivered campaigns are producing satisfactory results. Their main goal is to maintain clients, so they perform many responsibilities to ensure the relationship between clients and agencies is mutually beneficial.

At the beginning of a new client relationship, the advertising account executive pitches campaigns and plans to earn new business. They then work with designers and marketers to form the creatives for the campaign, which may include market and audience research. When campaign materials and plans are finalized, they present materials to the client for approval. They then monitor the effectiveness of campaigns, and work with marketers and clients to recommend shifts when needed to optimize advertising campaigns and make them more effective.

Typical Work Schedule for Advertising Account Executives

Most advertising account executive roles are full-time positions conducted during normal business hours. Overtime is common in this line of work to meet deadlines and/or resolve client issues.

Typical Employers

Advertising account executives are generally employed by agencies that provide marketing and advertising services, which may include advertising agencies or media/publishing industries. For example, a digital marketing agency may hire advertising account executives to manage its clients, or a newspaper may hire account executives to oversee ads sales in print and online newspapers.

Recommended Schools

How To Become an Advertising Account Executive

The first step in becoming an advertising account executive is to earn a bachelor’s degree in a related subject. The subject studied in college can vary—marketing, business, advertising, communications, and English degrees are all common. Graphic design and fine arts degrees may also be suitable if combined with a minor or coursework in marketing or business. Since advertising account executives work closely with clients, strong communication skills and a business acumen are critical for success in the role.

After earning a bachelor’s degree, you’ll need to look for entry-level positions for advertising agencies or publishers. Starting out as a sales representative or graphic designer is common and allows you to build a portfolio of successful sales and/or campaigns. A portfolio that shows you’re adept at creating effective advertising campaigns—or an effective salesperson—will be crucial for competitiveness when applying for open advertising account executive positions later in your career.

With professional experience and an impressive portfolio, you should be able to land advertising account executive positions. However, because of the competitive nature of advertising account executive positions, many aspiring account executives choose to also pursue a master’s in business administration (MBA). Many employers are now requiring—or preferring—individuals in senior-level positions to hold master’s degrees, so an MBA could help you become more competitive for open roles.

Advertising Account Executive Salary Data

We’ve provided you the following to learn more about this career. The salary and growth data on this page comes from recently published Bureau of Labor Statistics data while the recommendations and editorial content are based on our research.

National Anual Salary

Low Range




High Range


National Hourly Wage

Low Range




High Range


How do Advertising Account Executive salaries stack up to other jobs across the country? Based on the latest jobs data nationwide, Advertising Account Executive's can make an average annual salary of $61,690, or $30 per hour. On the lower end, they can make $32,470 or $16 per hour, perhaps when just starting out or based on the state you live in.

Salary Rankings And Facts

  • #255 Nationally for All Careers

  • Above Average Salary Nationally

Programs and Degrees

Here are the most common degrees for becoming an Advertising Account Executive. a is usually recommended and specifically a degree or coursework that prepares you for the particular field, see below.

Highest Education Among Advertising Account Executives

  • 0.7%   Doctorate
  • 7.3%   Masters
  • 49%   Bachelors
  • 7.7%   Associates
  • 22.4%   College
  • 11.4%   High School
  • 1.4%   Less than High School

Job Growth Projections and Forecast

2014 Total Jobs


2024 Est. Jobs


Job Growth Rate


Est. New Jobs


How does Advertising Account Executive job growth stack up to other jobs across the country? By 2024, there will be a change of -4,500 jobs for a total of 163,400 people employed in the career nationwide. This is a -2.7% change in growth over the next ten years, giving the career a growth rate nationwide of Above Average.

Growth Rankings And Facts

  • #663 Nationally for All Careers

  • Above Avg. Growth Nationally

What Companies Employ The Most Advertising Account Executives

Industry Current Jobs New Jobs Needed % Increase
Advertising, public relations, and related services 60,800 2,100 2%
Newspaper publishers 22,700 -6,400 -6%
Radio broadcasting 16,400 -3,100 -3%

Want To Be an Advertising Account Executive? Get Started!

Generate your free SmartPlan™ to identify colleges you like, and potential ways to save on a degree or certification program toward your career with courses, offers, and much more!

Enroll Now and Get Started

or Learn More →