How Do I Become an Account Manager?

Explore the career requirements for account managers. Get the facts about education requirements, salary, and potential job growth to determine if this is the right career for you. Schools offering Sales & Marketing degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Career Information At a Glance

Account managers work in a variety of industries and serve as a client's main contact person within a business or organization. See the table below for a brief outline of some career facts on account managers in two different industries.

Advertising and Promotions Manager Portfolio Manager
Degree Required Bachelor's Bachelor's
Education Field of Study Business administration Finance, accounting, mathematics, business or law
Key Responsibilities Meet with clients and company representatives to plan advertising campaigns, gather information, prepare budgets and coordinate marketing teams Evaluate clients' financial standings, guide clients' decisions on investments, insurance, pensions and real estate
Licensure N/A Required for many positions
Job Growth (2012-2022)* 7% for all advertising and promotions managers 16% for all financial analysts
Median Salary (2013)* $93,880 for all advertising and promotions managers $78,380 for all financial analysts

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Does an Account Manager Do?

Account managers or executives work in many industries, often acting as their company's representative to particular clients. It's their job to oversee the details of each account, and they might work in advertising, promotions, public relations, marketing, sales and financial industries. Some account managers may be referred to as sales managers, account development managers, sales representatives or other titles.

Duties of account managers can vary based on your industry and company. As an account executive in advertising or marketing, you might gather information, prepare budgets and coordinate teams. You may be responsible for layout, copy, script, video and audio editing. You might meet with clients and company representatives to plan advertising campaigns. You may also work with sales and advertising agencies to develop promotional materials and keep an eye on competitors.

Account managers who work in finance are often called financial advisors. As a finance advisor, you guide clients while they make investment, insurance, pension and real estate decisions. You evaluate your clients' financial standings by appraising their liabilities, assets and cash flows. You may also broker financial products if you have the appropriate licenses.

What Kind of Education Do I Need?

Degree requirements for account managers vary depending on the field, but experience in your industry is often required to advance to these positions. You may need a bachelor's degree in business administration with a minor in marketing if you want to work in promotions management, sales or marketing fields. Financial advisors typically have a bachelor's degree in finance, accounting, mathematics, business or law. A master's degree in business administration may be required for some jobs or advancement opportunities.

How Can I Become Licensed?

According to the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, you must be registered if you sell or manage financial products (www.finra.org). There are several registrations and examinations available depending on the type of investments or securities. Examples of these are the registered options principal, investment company products representative and general securities representative.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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