Chief Marketing Officer: Salary, Requirements and Career Information

Learn about the education and preparation needed to become a chief marketing officer. Get a quick view of the requirements as well as details about degree programs, job duties and average salary to find out if this is the career for you.

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Chief marketing officers are executives who manage the brand, image, and marketing of a company in order to position the company or increase sales. These positions require a college degree and experience in the field. The outlook for these positions is about as fast as all jobs.

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Essential Information

A chief marketing officer, or CMO, is a top executive who is involved in a wide variety of tasks that both increase product sales and improve brand image or marketing campaigns. The CMO works directly with sales, marketing, and development departments to ensure the integration of effective marketing strategies in all company divisions. A CMO may have a bachelor's degree in advertising or marketing, along with extensive experience in the field, but many also have a master's degree, often in business administration with a specialization in marketing.

Required Education Bachelor's or master's degree in business administration, marketing or other relevant field
Projected Job Growth (2014-2024) 6% for all top executives*
Median Salary (2016) $164,601**

Sources: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), **

Chief Marketing Officer Job Duties

Chief marketing officers oversee all marketing and sales functions in a business or organization by developing sales objectives, marketing policies, and customer relations programs. Typical responsibilities of a CMO include preparing advertising material, directing market research, price setting, estimating current market values, and predicting market trends.

Chief Marketing Officer Educational Requirements and Qualifications

Most top executives, including CMOs, possess either a bachelor's degree and extensive professional experience or a master's degree. A Master's of Business Administration (MBA) with a marketing specialty provides candidates with marketing theories and strategies as well as management skills and a business background. Because marketing requires effective and creative communication, chief marketing officers may also hold a degree in journalism, communications, advertising, or public relations.

Excellent communication skills are necessary for a CMO position. Due to constant interaction with clients, employees, managers, and board members, a CMO must be able to present his or her ideas effectively and persuasively. An understanding of economics, accounting, and the ability to critically analyze data are also necessary for an executive marketing position. Other important qualities of all top executives include strong leadership, motivational, and problem-solving skills.

Chief Marketing Officer Salary and Career Information

According to, chief marketing officers earned between $80,253 and $253,036 per year, according reports from January 2016. The same source indicated that the median annual salary earned was $164,601 the same year.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) indicated that the industries that employed the largest number of marketing managers in May 2015 included management of companies and enterprises; computer systems design and related services; management, scientific, and technical consulting services; insurance carriers; and advertising, public relations and related services ( The BLS expected a 9% increase in employment opportunities for all marketing managers between 2014-2024. The BLS also predicted that, in the same time period, jobs for top company executives would grow by an estimated 6%, about the same as the national average for all occupations.

Chief marketing officers require a bachelor's degree in a business related subject, and are often required to hold a master's degree. They require extensive experience in business and marketing. The median annual salary they can expect is about $164,000.

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