Advertising Director: Salary and Career Facts

Learn what type of degree programs can prepare you for a career as an advertising director. Find information about job duties and other qualifying factors, as well as the salaries associated with specific industries. Schools offering Advertising degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Is An Advertising Director?

An advertising director oversees all aspects of an advertising campaign for a product or service. They are in charge of managing staff, working with financial departments, liaising between the client and the company, and ensuring that the project remains on budget. In general, advertising directors need to have good communication skills in order to follow a client's directions accurately, as well as a strong grasp of consumer trends. They may also seek out advice from experts on how best to adapt their advertising strategies to suit the market. Most advertising director positions are attainable to those who hold a bachelor's degree in advertising, journalism or a similar field.

Education Required Bachelor's degree at minimum; master's degree may be preferred for some positions
Training Required Long-term on-the-job experience
Key Skills Interpersonal communication, organization, leadership
Projected Job Outlook (2014-2024) 5% (all advertising and promotions managers)*
Median Salary (2015) $95,890 (all advertising and promotions managers)*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Do I Need a Degree to Become an Advertising Director?

Most upper-management positions, such as advertising directors, require a college degree. A 4-year bachelor's degree in advertising or journalism can qualify you for a career in marketing. These programs teach you the basics in market research, visual arts, sales and advertising, as well as specific skills in consumer research, promotional campaigning, media relations and trending analysis. If you'd prefer to study journalism, you can apply your investigative reporting and writing education to the field of advertising.

Since an advertising director job typically requires industry-specific or managerial knowledge and skills, you'll need to acquire some experience. Regardless of which avenue you choose, several schools also offer Master of Business Administration degrees with marketing concentrations. Many programs offer online courses that let you study around your work schedule. These programs provide you with business and management instruction specific to the advertising industry.

What Other Qualifications Might I Need?

A career in the advertising industry requires a creative mind, motivation and flexibility. You could find it helpful to learn a second language, especially if your firm works with international businesses and clients. You'll need excellent presentation and communication skills and the ability to write effectively. With the increasing trend of Internet marketing, you should possess computer and Web-related skills.

What Will My Job Duties Consist Of?

An advertising director is an executive manager, so you'll provide high-level management to staff and departments, as well as creative vision and mentoring. You might be responsible for examining advertising layout concepts and creating promotional campaigns, though you'll usually delegate these tasks to your staff members. You'll have a publicly visible job, so you'll likely be required to meet with clients, consultants and department heads to ensure that advertising campaigns align with the client's vision, consumer demand and budgetary concerns.

What Salary Could I Expect?

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) stated that advertising and promotions managers employed in marketing and public relations firms earned average yearly salaries of $113,610 in 2015. The median national income for the profession that year was $95,890, though the BLS reported several industries paid over $100,000 a year, including insurance companies, securities brokers, scientific research and development services, and specialized design services.

What Are Some Related Alternative Careers?

If you are interested in working in the world of advertising and marketing, consider becoming a market research analyst. These professionals interpret market and consumer trends in order to provide reports to clients about how best to promote their products. Another career path that may involve working with advertising firms is becoming an art director. Art directors are responsible for the overall aesthetic presentation of images and articles intended for visual media, including advertising campaigns. If the communications aspect of being an advertising director is appealing, you may want to think about working in public relations. These specialists are in charge of all public communications for an organization, company or individual. Their primary job duty is to maintain a favorable public image for their client, which may involve either creating content for media publication or dealing with the media themselves.

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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