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Account Executives: Job Description & Requirements

Research the educational and skill requirements needed to become an account executive, as well as the job description and employment and salary outlook. Read on to decide if this career is right for you.

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Job Description

An account executive works as a liaison between a company and an advertising agency. Most often, these workers attempt to sell an agency's services to targeted clients by performing preparatory work in the hopes of signing the client company. Working as an account executive means performing extensive research and learning all about the clients' products, marketing goals and needs. Often, account executives choose a target group, create an advertising concept and develop a promotional campaign after becoming familiar with the company's product. Account executives work with a variety of departments, such as the marketing, copywriting and art departments, in order to create innovative advertising and marketing campaigns.

Educational Requirements

Individuals looking to begin a career in this field need to have at least a bachelor's degree in business administration, advertising, journalism or marketing. Some larger companies may prefer that an applicant graduate with a Master of Business Administration (MBA). The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that students interested in becoming a manager in advertising, promotions or marketing should take classes in consumer behavior, market research, communication methods, research, sales and visual arts. After completing school, individuals can continue their education through internships and on-the-job training. No certifications or licensing are required to work as an account executive.

Required Skills

The BLS reported that account executives needed the following qualities:

  • Creativity and organization
  • Strong interpersonal skills
  • Excellent leadership abilities
  • Analytical, decision-making and management skills
  • Ability to develop lasting professional relationships with clients
  • Strong speaking skills

Employment and Salary Outlook

Career opportunities in this field were expected to increase by about 13-14% from 2010-2020, according to the BLS. The organization also reported that the median average annual salary for advertising and promotions managers was $88,590 in May 2012. Almost all account executives work full time, although many work more than 40 hours per week; the BLS reported that in 2010, 19% of marketing managers worked 50 hours or more per week.

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Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics