21 Advertising Roles From Entry-Level to Management

Updated June 24, 2022

Businesses that crave growth may advertise their brand, products and services. A well-crafted advertisement can help a company reach their target audience and drive them to engage with the company through buying what they offer. Whether you're a creative or you enjoy working with data-driven analytics, you may find a role for you in advertising. In this article, we share what advertising is and list some advertising roles you can consider if you want to work in the industry.

What is advertising?

Advertising is just one way that brands market themselves and their products, services and ideas. To carry out an effective advertising campaign, there can be a lot of individuals involved. Advertising involves creating content on the right medium for the right audience, bringing together copy and imagery to produce something that entices the audience to take action.

A company may produce their own advertising, or hire an advertising firm that specializes in this type of communication to develop and create advertisements for them. Advertisements can appear in printed materials like newspapers, magazines and direct mail pieces, on websites either within content or on the sidebar of the page and on television or radio.

If you want to work in advertising, you can consider these roles:

1. Illustrator

National Average Salary: $41,888 per year

Primary Duties: An illustrator creates drawings to include in the advertisement. Their work may also be featured in other brand assets that the audience of the advertisement may view. For example, if a brand is running an advertisement in a magazine and the ad asks the viewer to visit a certain website to redeem an offer, the illustrator's work may be on the advertisement itself and on the landing page that includes the offer.

2. Web designer

National Average Salary: $44,167 per year

Primary Duties: A web designer is responsible for redesigning and building websites for clients or the company they work for. They usually have skills in HTML, CSS or other coding languages and experience with different design software. Web designers can create a website that has the ability to hold advertisements from partner companies or is a landing page that advertisements encourage their audience to visit. A web designer typically uses a pre-formed website and makes design and functionality adjustments to it.

Read more: Learn About Being a Web Designer

3. Social media manager

National Average Salary: $44,493 per year

Primary Duties: A social media manager is responsible for creating content, managing campaigns, running social media advertisements and building an online community. This person has experience in online strategy and targeting certain groups who would be most receptive to certain advertisements. These individuals are usually great communicators, creative, write well and keep up with digital trends and online media.

Read more: Learn About Being a Social Media Manager

4. Graphic designer

National Average Salary: $49,241 per year

Primary Duties: A graphic designer usually works under an art director and, with their guidance, creates graphics for advertisements and other brand assets. They create their visual concepts by using fonts, imagery, color and layout that help make effective advertisements and other marketing material that will resonate with the intended audience.

Read more: Learn About Being a Graphic Designer

5. SEO specialist

National Average Salary: $53,320 per year

Primary Duties: An SEO specialist is responsible for optimizing websites so that the site can appear higher in search engine results pages when a user submits a query. The goal of SEO is to attract more visitors to the website which can, hopefully, lead to more sales. An SEO specialist will need to understand a user's search intent and be aware of what keywords a user is searching with so they can work on the backend of the website to make sure that certain pages contain the keywords.

An SEO specialist is important in advertising because brands may pay for space on a website based on how much traffic that website receives.

6. Media planner

National Average Salary: $55,782 per year

Primary Duties: A media planner or media buyer performs research to identify which platforms are best for a brand's advertising goals, whether that's brand awareness goal or sales. A media planner has to understand the goals of the marketing campaign so they can select the right medium for the advertisement. They are usually analytical, have an in-depth knowledge of how certain media platforms work and are comfortable negotiating advertising costs for placement.

7. Content producer

National Average Salary: $56,660 per year

Primary Duties: A content producer is responsible for creating content for use on multiple mediums, like reports, blog posts and infographics. Some content producers are skilled in copywriting, graphic design and photography, and are able to blend all of their creative skills together to create written or visual content for an intended audience. In advertising, a content producer is highly valued for being able to create content for both print and digital assets that appeal to the advertisement's audience.

8. Copywriter

National Average Salary: $61,849 per year

Primary Duties: A copywriter may be responsible for writing the copy that appears on an advertisement or other branding materials. Copywriters have a strong command of the English language and are proficient in spelling and grammar. They are also able to convey a message through their words to help make a sale.

Read more: Learn About Being a Copywriter

9. Digital strategist

National Average Salary: $64,179 per year

Primary Duties: A digital strategist is responsible for developing the strategy for brands so they can increase their web presence and showcase their products and services online. A digital strategist will create a plan that combines all digital channels together to make sure that the messaging is cohesive and appealing to the specific audience found on that platform. These digital platforms may include a website, social media channels, emails and more.

10. Account executive

National Average Salary: $67,931 per year

Primary Duties: An account executive works closely with an advertising agency's clients. They are there to answer any questions or address concerns, deliver drafts and final copies of advertisements and maintain a relationship with the client to hopefully continue to sell advertising space.

Read more: Learn About Being an Account Executive

11. Ad Traffic manager

National Average Salary: $69,594 per year

Primary Duties: An ad traffic manager works with account executives and other employees in the marketing or advertising department to facilitate the delivery of assets from creative employees to the account executives so that the agency can meet deadlines and keep their work flowing.

12. Marketing manager

National Average Salary: $71,774 per year

Primary Duties: A marketing manager usually reports to a marketing director, if there are both positions at a company. While the marketing director may work mostly on big-picture strategy, the marketing manager works closer to the team and makes sure that all marketing materials, including advertisements, follow brand standards. They may oversee the creative development process and figure out ways to appeal to the audience and entice them to take action on the advertisement. The marketing manager may also be in charge of the budget.

Read more: Learn About Being a Marketing Manager

13. Data analyst

National Average Salary: $75,152 per year

Primary Duties: A data analyst helps a company understand how effective their advertising is. They usually look at a user's interaction with the ad and how many views the advertisement received to establish a larger picture of how effective the advertisement is at meeting its goals. They may also look at trends and previous data so they can make real recommendations to advertisers, which will help in the creation process of future advertisements.

Read more: Learn About Being a Data Analyst

14. Art director

National Average Salary: $77,496 per year

Primary Duties: An art director is responsible for creating the design of the visual parts of an advertising campaign, and they may even lead a team in this. They'll define what the style of the advertisement should be and select the images or other visual elements that will be included in the design. Their designs may be included in advertisements for television, websites, billboards or product packaging. An art director is creative, familiar with typography and printing, has knowledge of different design software and keeps up-to-date with current design trends.

Read more: Learn About Being an Art Director

15. Web developer

National Average Salary: $78,532 per year

Primary Duties: A web developer differs from a web designer in that the developer is a programmer who can create websites from scratch, writing code in HTML, CSS or other programming languages and creating wireframes. A web developer can make sure that the website layout incorporates areas for advertisements and can help a visitor navigate well through the website's features and information.

Read more: Learn More About Being a Web Developer

16. Brand strategist

National Average Salary: $80,247 per year

Primary Duties: A brand strategist is responsible for understanding the current market trends, researching industry data and developing strategies for a brand that helps them in selling their product or service or increasing brand awareness and audience retention. Based on their industry knowledge, a brand strategist will make recommendations to a company for how they can and should position themselves in the market, what their brand voice should be, the colors that would resonate most with their audience and more.

17. Project manager

National Average Salary: $86,586 per year

Primary Duties: A project manager in advertising helps the team adhere to project deadlines. They may work with members of the team and assign tasks and due dates so that all parts of the ad creation process progresses as it should and the team can deliver the ad to the client as requested.

Read more: Learn About Being a Project Manager

18. Application developer

National Average Salary: $91,538 per year

Primary Duties: An application developer is a programmer who creates digital apps that run on desktop computers, tablets and smartphones. They'll go through the process of brainstorming the app and how it should be designed, write the coding language to create the program and then test the application to make sure it's easy for the user to operate. An application developer usually has experience in wireframing and programming and coding languages. They also keep up with technology so they can create apps that work well on various platforms.

19. Director of Marketing

National Average Salary: $99,424 per year

Primary Duties: The director of marketing may report to the creative director and they are responsible for managing a smaller team or a major project. They may work with graphic design, strategy, public relations or other team members to make sure that the marketing process goes smoothly.

Read more: Learn About Being a Marketing Director

20. UX designer

National Average Salary: $102,146 per year

Primary Duties: A user experience (UX) designer is responsible for making sure how something functions is optimal for the user. They'll start by creating a map for how the site or mobile phone app will flow from one page or screen to another depending on the user's actions. They have an eye for detail and a goal of crafting a valuable and effective platform for the end user.

Read more: Learn About Being a UX Designer

21. Creative director

National Average Salary: $108,331 per year

Primary Duties: The creative director is a very important part of a marketing or advertising team because they lead the team of all these creative and crucial roles to deliver advertisements, strategy and solutions for the brand or to clients. The creative director makes sure that all work from their team fits with branding and follows the strategy. They give guidance to their team, help them conceptualize their designs and assist them in growing their skills.

Read more: Learn About Being a Creative Director

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