Advertising Account Executive

Job Description:

Advertising account executives manage clients for an advertising agency.

Job Category:
Marketing & Advertising

What you will do:

You could:

  • meet with clients to discuss their needs
  • present ideas and how much it costs to clients
  • explain what the client needs to the creative team
  • check and report on an ad campaign’s progress
  • keep in contact with the client at all stages of an ad campaign
  • manage budgets and send bills to the client
  • try to find new business for the agency


You’ll need:

  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently
  • the ability to sell products and services

As well as:

  • customer service skills
  • persistence and determination
  • ambition and a desire to succeed
  • persuading and negotiating skills
  • the ability to use your initiative
  • the ability to accept criticism and work well under pressure
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail (organisational skills)
Illustration of employee looking at workspace

Entry Requirements:

To become an advertising account executive, you’ll want to focus on subjects that help you develop a strong foundation in communication, marketing, and business skills. While there are no specific subjects that are mandatory for this career, certain subjects can be beneficial in building the knowledge and skills necessary for success. Here are some subjects that can be helpful:

  1. English Language: Strong communication skills, including writing, speaking, and presenting, are essential for advertising account executives. English Language will help you develop these skills.
  2. Mathematics: While not as critical as English, mathematics can be valuable for understanding budgets, analyzing data, and managing financial aspects of advertising campaigns.
  3. Business Studies: This subject provides insights into business concepts, marketing principles, and management skills that are directly applicable to the role of an advertising account executive.
  4. Media Studies: If available at your school, media studies can offer a foundational understanding of the media landscape and advertising industry.
  5. Economics: A basic understanding of economic principles can be beneficial, as advertising often involves assessing market conditions and consumer behavior.
  6. IT and Digital Skills: Proficiency in information technology, including using digital tools and software, is crucial in today’s advertising world.
  7. Art or Design: While not strictly required, having a background in art or design can be valuable if you’re interested in working on creative aspects of advertising campaigns.
  8. Psychology or Sociology: These subjects can help you understand consumer behavior, attitudes, and social trends, which can be valuable in creating effective advertising strategies.
  9. Foreign Languages: Proficiency in a foreign language can be advantageous, especially if you plan to work on international campaigns or with diverse clients.
    Public Speaking or Communication Skills: If your school offers courses or extracurricular activities that focus on public speaking or improving communication skills, consider participating in them to enhance your abilities in client interactions and presentations.

Post School

You can get into this job through:

  • a university course
  • a college course
  • an apprenticeship
  • working towards this role
  • specialist courses run by professional bodies

You can get into advertising with a degree in any subject.

Some employers may prefer it if you have a degree in a subject like:

  • advertising and marketing
  • statistics or operational research
  • communication and media studies
  • business or management
  • psychology

With your degree you can apply for graduate training schemes in advertising companies.

Work experience during university
Employers value work experience so it’s important to get as much as you can during your studies.

Your university careers service can help you find work experience, internship and placement opportunities.

There is no set route to become an advertising account executive.

You might find it useful to do a Foundation Certificate in Professional Marketing.

You may be able to get into this job by doing an advertising and media executive advanced apprenticeship.

You might be able to start in a junior position at a small advertising agency in a position like admin assistant.

You can then work your way up as your experience in advertising grows.

Experience will help you understand advertising and allow you to meet new people who may help you find paid work.

You could try:

  • work experience
  • internships
  • temporary jobs

You could contact agencies directly to ask about volunteering opportunities. You could also make contacts on social networking sites like Twitter or LinkedIn.

Other Routes
You could take the advertising Foundation Certificate to get some of the skills you need to get a paid job in advertising.

The course is offered by by the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising and is open to anyone with less than one year of experience in an advertising, marketing or communications role.

Career tips
It’s a good idea to have a presence on social networking sites. You could also show your creative and communication skills to employers through your own blog or website.

Working Hours and Environment:

Typical you could work 37-39 hours a week, occasionally including evenings.

You could work in an office or at a client’s business.

Career Path & Progression:

With experience, you could:

  • get a job as an advertising account manager
  • become an advertising director
  • set up your own advertising agency