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5 Facts About the World of Advertising

Oh, advertising.  Long gone are the days of ad men and Don Draper, but the field is still popular for people looking to flex both their creative and business talent.  Artists, writers, and researchers all come together in advertising.  


There are a diverse number of roles you can play on an advertising team, but the goal for all of these players is the same: to get the consumer to buy a product.


So what do careers in advertising look like?  What can you expect your starting salary to be, and what’s the job outlook like for the future?


Starting Salaries are Diverse

Unsurprisingly, since there are many different roles to play when it comes to creating an advertisement, your entry level salary will vary based on what you do.  Both creative positions start at around ~$44,000, which is substantial when compared to the national average of $36,000.  The largest salary comes as an entry level assistant research executive, which involves using data to understand markets.  This may sound more like a marketing job than advertising, but the information you research will be related to your advertising strategy.


Research Has the Highest Growth Rate

Although you may have gotten into advertising to show off your creative side, data research wins again when it comes to job growth, with a staggering growth rate of 32%.  Other jobs grow at around the national average of 7%, but the real slump in job growth comes in creative positions – both junior copywriter and assistant art director are supposed to grow by only 3% between now and 2022.  It may be time to trade in Photoshop for Excel if you’re deadset on working in advertising.


You Can Live Across the Country

Plenty of companies need help with their advertising, and as such there are a ton of options available to you when it comes to where you want to live.  New York CIty and Los Angeles should come as no surprise to anyone, but there’s potential down south too in rising cities like Dallas and Atlanta.  Check out this table below with the average salary for a sales agent, along with the average cost for a 1 bedroom apartment.  St. Louis is by far the most cost effective.



Diversity is an Issue

Women actually hold 60% of positions in advertising agencies, which is a huge plus over other major industries such as finance.  However, men still dominate the creative branches of most firms.  The real struggle with diversity in advertising comes down to race though, as African Americans only make up 5% of advertising firms, and reportedly make 80 cents to every dollar their white counterparts make.


Your Salary will Jump with Experience

As you gain experience in advertising your salary will unsurprisingly increase.  We took a look at numbers for average salaries working at an advertising agency, courtesy of Payscale.  On average, advertising agencies pay the most for advertising talent, and it shows it the pay.  Within 10 years, your salary could nearly double.  Keep in mind that this is an average, and doesn’t take into account things like the prestige of the agency or the location, which can drastically affect salaries and compensation.




If advertising isn’t right for you, check out our guides on similar career paths in Public Relations and Marketing.  


Questions?  Comments?  Reach out.


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