How to Become an Advertising Manager



Career Path Guide

To become an advertising manager, you typically either need years of experience in the advertising industry, jobs of progressive responsibility, or a degree relevant to advertising. Ideally, you have both.


To be successful in this field, you'll also need to make sure this career aligns with your interest, skills, and personality traits.


Does the following describe you?


• You have a passion for communicating with people through advertising

• You have an interest in a creative career with business responsibilities

• You have an interest in creating, implementing and evaluating advertising campaigns

• You are accountable and responsible

• You enjoy leading and motivating others

• You are willing to work long hours, sometimes under pressure


Below we've provided detailed information on what kind of foundation you'll need to set in order to pursue this occupation. We've also included helpful information for this career, such as salary expectations, working conditions, a list of possible employer types, and much more!



Education Needed 

Having a relevant degree is not always a requirement for becoming an advertising manager. Many employers however, prefer candidates for these positions to have relevant education. Having a degree also usually means higher pay.


A degree in a relevant field is also beneficial for a career as an advertising manager because it can provide you with general advertising and theory knowledge. Relevant fields of study may include:


• Advertising

• Communications

• Marketing

• Media studies


Many programs in these areas also offer internships and other work placement opportunities that allow you to get hands-on experience, and make industry contacts. The company with which you intern may even offer you a full-time job upon graduation, if they like your attitude and work ethic.


Success Tip: The more education you have that’s directly related to advertising, the higher up you are likely to be able to start in your first job with an organization. 





Advertising Manager Job Description

An advertising manager is responsible for generating interest among potential buyers of a product or service on behalf of their employer or client. They do so by overseeing the planning, organization and implementation of advertising strategies and campaigns.


They may work on advertising campaigns and strategies for a department, an entire organization, or on a one-time project basis, such as when working for an external client. 



General Job Duties

• Ensure current and newly acquired customers are retained

• Perform analysis of competitors

• Perform consumer needs assessment

• Liaise with senior management to determine budget and timeline of campaign

• Develop advertising strategy for products or services

• Oversee the implementation of advertising and marketing plans

• Determine which mediums to use, such as radio, television, print and online advertisements

• Work with product development department to determine pricing

• Work with advertising illustrators, creative directors and other professionals to develop advertisement themes



Experience You'll Likely Need

Arguably the most important qualification you can have when applying for advertising manager jobs is relevant work experience. Employers generally prefer to hire candidates for advertising manager jobs who have experience in positions of increasing responsibility within an advertising department or advertising agency.


If you don’t have any advertising industry experience, you can start by working in an entry-level position, such as administrative assistant, with an advertising agency or other employer in this field. In fact, many people who have become advertising managers have started at the bottom of their organization and worked their way up.


Bring a good attitude to work every day, and try to learn as much as you can along the way. Then, when a position of increased responsibility and pay comes along, apply for it. 



Skills Needed to Be Effective as an Advertising Manager

In order to be effective as an advertising manager, you need a certain set of skills and abilities, including:


Leadership skills: Advertising managers must be able to lead and motivate a team. The must also be able to take accountability for the results of the team.


Creative skills: When creating advertising campaigns and strategies, advertising managers need to be creative, imaginative, and flexible. 


Analytical skills: Because the advertising industry is in constant change, advertising managers must be able to analyze industry trends, and effectively determine the most promising strategies for their campaigns.


Decision-making skills: Advertising managers often must choose between competing advertising and marketing strategies put forward by their staff and team members.


Communication skills: Advertising managers must be able to communicate effectively with a broad-based team of staff members during the process of creating, implementing and evaluating an advertising campaign, or broad strategy. They must also be able to able to negotiate with suppliers, and make presentations to clients under pressure.





Characteristics & Traits Needed 

No sense getting into this field if you can't handle the ups and downs it'll present. You'll also need to enjoy what you do, if you’re going to devote your professional energy to it. The personal traits and characteristics it takes to succeed in this career include:


• A passion for communicating with people through advertising

• Interest in a job that offers challenges and pressure

• Interest in working in a creative field, with business responsibilities

• Accountability and responsibility

• Enjoy leading and motivating others

• An interest in developing, implementing and evaluating projects

• An interest in a career with upward mobility

• A willingness to work long hours

• Tact, and a professional manner



Who Creates Jobs for Advertising Managers?

Advertising managers may hold jobs within a variety of various organizations, including:


• Advertising agencies that put together advertising campaigns for clients

• Media firms that sell advertising space or time

• Organizations that advertise heavily



Average Salary Level

The salary level of advertising managers can vary, typically depending on the following factors:


• Their level of experience

• Their level of education

• The region in which they work

• The size and type of their employer


Average Salary in Alberta: According to the 2018 Alberta Wage and Salary Survey, Albertans working in the Marketing Managers occupational group earn an average salary of $99,784 per year.


Median Salary in United States: According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median salary level of American workers in the Advertising, Promotions, and Marketing Managers occupational group is $115,750 per year. 



Career Advancement in This Field

Career advancement opportunities for advertising managers vary depending on the size and nature of the organization, and the manager's qualifications.


Advancement is however, usually in the form of moving into an executive management position, such as advertising director, or sales and marketing director. Advertising managers may also become partners in the agency, or open their own advertising agency.



Advertising Management Jobs

Our job board below has "Advertising Manager" postings in Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom and Australia.





Work Environment

Work Setting: Advertising managers typically work in an office environment. They may be required to travel in order to attend meetings with representatives of communications media publishers.


Working Hours: Most of these professionals work full-time hours during the week. It is common to work long and irregular hours in this profession, particularly when meeting deadlines.


Working Conditions: Advertising managers work closely with the top executives of their organization. Their work may be done under pressure, as it has a direct effect on the revenue of their organization. It can also be stressful when managing the work of employees who have become dissatisfied in the workplace. 



Similar Occupations in Our Database

Listed below are careers in our database that are similar in nature to Advertising Manager, as they may involve many of the same skills, competencies and responsibilities.


Advertising Account Executive

Advertising Consultant

Advertising Illustrator

Art Director

Marketing Director



References for This Career Guide

To find out more about what an advertising manager does, how much they earn, and other details of this career, please consult the following resources:


Occupations in Alberta:Advertising, Marketing and Public Relations Managers.” (n.d.). ALIS website - Alberta Learning Information Service. Retrieved October 19, 2019.

Occupational Outlook Handbook - Management:Advertising, Promotions, and Marketing Managers.” (September 4, 2019). United States Bureau of Labor Statistics website. Retrieved October 19, 2019.

Communications Careers:How to Become an Advertising Manager.” (n.d.). Maryville University website. Retrieved October 19, 2019.



Scholarships for Relevant Fields of Study

Looking for Canadian or American scholarships to help you on your way to becoming an advertising manager? We’ve got you covered! Here's how to find the best-suited scholarships:


• On, our scholarship listings are sorted by major

• The “Relevant Majors” section below shows what majors apply to this career

• Search scholarships by major on our Communications Scholarships, Management Scholarships and Marketing Scholarships pages


Success Tip: Be sure to apply for any scholarships that you even barely qualify for, as there are millions of dollars of scholarships that go unused every year due to a lack of applicants!



Relevant Majors

Studying one of the university majors listed below is an excellent starting point for getting into this profession. Click on the links to find out what else you can do with these majors!


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Advertising Manager