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Job Profile: Advertising

Bureau of Labor Statistics

Job Description:

Most advertising firms specialize in a particular market niche. Some companies produce and solicit outdoor advertising, such as billboards and electric displays. Others place ads in buses, subways, taxis, airports, and bus terminals. A small number of firms produce aerial advertising, while others distribute circulars, handbills, and free samples.

Many agencies have created units to serve their clients’ electronic advertising needs on the Internet. Online advertisements link users to a company’s or product’s Web site, where information such as new product announcements, contests, and product catalogs appears, and from which purchases may be made.

Some firms are not involved in the creation of ads at all; instead, they sell advertising time or space on radio and television stations or in publications. Because these firms do not produce advertising, their staffs are mostly sales workers. Companies often look to advertising as a way of boosting sales by increasing the public’s exposure to a product or service. Most companies do not have the staff with the necessary skills or experience to create effective advertisements; furthermore, many advertising campaigns are temporary, so employers would have difficulty maintaining their own advertising staff. Instead, companies commonly solicit bids from ad agencies to develop advertising for them; the ad agencies offering their services to the company often make presentations. After winning an account, various departments within an agency—such as creative, production, media, and research—work together to meet the client’s goal of increasing sales.

National Median Salary:

In 2006, nonsupervisory workers in advertising and public relations services averaged $724 a week—significantly higher than the $568 a week for all nonsupervisory workers in private industry.

Education Requirements:

Most entry-level professional and managerial positions in advertising and public relations services require a bachelor’s degree, preferably with broad liberal arts exposure.

Assistant account executive positions—the entry-level account management occupation in most firms—require a bachelor’s degree in marketing or advertising, although some firms require a master’s degree in business administration.

Job Outlook:

Employment in the advertising and public relations services industry is projected to grow 14 percent over the 2006-16 period, compared with 11 percent for all industries combined. New jobs will be created as the economy expands and generates more products and services to advertise.