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Salary and Career Info for an Advertising Agent

Learn about the education and preparation necessary to become an advertising agent. Get a quick view of the requirements, job duties and degree programs to find out if this career is right for you.

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Advertising agents generally work for print publications or the entertainment industry, selling commercial time slots or space and collaborating with clients on marketing strategies. No college education is required, just a high school diploma, on-the-job training and experience.

Essential Information

Advertising agents sell commercial time or space to interested parties. They also help their clients develop advertising that's suitably targeted to their customer base. Agents typically find employment with mass media outlets like television stations or print publications. In addition to working with clients, they may monitor sales and watch for the latest product in order to understand the marketplace in which they operate. Only a high school diploma and on-the-job training are required to get into the field.

Required Education High school diploma or equivalent and on-the-job training
Projected Job Growth (2014-2024)* -3% for advertising sales agents
Average Annual Salary (2015)* $61,690 for advertising sales agents

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Advertising Agent Salary Information

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), advertising sales agents earned an average annual wage of $61,690 in May 2015 (www.bls.gov). Agents' salaries varied depending on the industry in which they worked. For instance, those in radio and television broadcasting brought home a mean salary of $58,000 per the BLS. Those employed by newspaper, book, periodical and directory publishers received a mean wage of $50,270 per year. The BLS notes that a significant portion of advertising agents' salaries may come from sales commissions and bonuses, so often one's salary depends on his or her sales performance.

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Advertising Agent Career Information

Advertising sales agents seek out clients to whom they can sell advertising space or time. Typically, they work for television or radio stations, newspapers, magazines or websites. They may also work for direct mail or outdoor advertisers like billboard companies.

In order to successfully carry out their job, it's important for sales agents to understand and communicate with their clients. They have to be able to compellingly pitch advertising time or space, which requires understanding their client's primary customer base. They can then best help their client's business grow through targeted marketing efforts. Thus, sales agents need to know how to employ communication skills. They also need good clerical skills to produce, file and keep track of official correspondence and paperwork from their clients.

Even after a sale is completed, agents should keep in contact with their clients. This ensures that their clients' needs are being met by the advertising they've purchased. This also allows the agent and client to work out a new marketing arrangement if they feel a different approach would be beneficial. In this situation, advertising agents employ customer service skills to keep their customers satisfied.

Besides knowing their current and prospective clients, advertising agents also need to keep current on the economic climate in general. They should stay informed of new products and services as they enter the marketplace and keep abreast of sales and demographic trends. By doing so they position themselves to better understand and appeal to current economic tendencies.

The BLS reports that many advertising agents work long, erratic hours. In addition, much of their pay may be commission-based, therefore making it stressful to meet sales quotas and earn a commission.

Advertising agencies employ advertising agents to act as liaisons between them and their clientele, in addition to selling advertisement time and space - commonly on commission. Above all, agents should maintain good business-client relationships. Advertising agents, specifically those who engage in sales, made an average salary of $61,690 a year as of 2015.

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