Marketing Careers

Compare Job Duties, Educational Requirements, Salaries and Job Outlooks

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There are many options for those who want a career in marketing. Among them are market research analyst, marketing manager, public relations specialist, retail salesperson, sales representative and survey researcher. Get descriptions of each of these marketing careers and compare earnings and educational requirements.

Advertising Sales Rep

Advertising sales reps sell advertising space and time in print publications and on radio and television shows, the Internet and outdoor media. There are no formal educational requirements but many employers prefer to hire job candidates who have a bachelor's degree. Advertising sales reps earned a median annual salary of $43,360 in 2009.

Market Research Analyst

Market research analysts first research markets and then analyze the data they gather to help their employers determine what products and services to sell, how much to charge for them and where and how to sell them. To work as a market research analyst one must have at least a bachelor's degree, but some employers will hire only job candidates who have a master's degree. Aspiring market research analysts should take courses in business, marketing, statistics, mathematics and survey design. In 2009 market research analysts earned median annual earnings of $61,580.

Marketing Manager

Marketing Managers help companies get products and services into the hands of customers and clients. They formulate a firm's marketing strategy by first, along with a sales or marketing team, estimating demand for and identifying markets. They also help set prices. Those who want to work as marketing managers must earn either a bachelor's degree or a master's degree in business with a concentration in marketing. Marketing managers earned a median annual salary of $110,030 in 2009.

Public Relations Specialist

Public relations specialists, also called communications or media specialists, communicate with the public on behalf of the companies, organizations or governments that employ them. Those who employ public relations specialists prefer to hire candidates with a bachelor's degree and some work experience. Public relations specialists earned a median annual salary of $51,960 in 2009.

Retail Salesperson

Retail salespeople help shoppers find products they are looking for, including clothing, electronics and sports equipment. While there are no educational requirements for those who want to work as retail salespeople, many employees prefer to hire only those who have at least a high school diploma or its equivalent. Retail salespeople earned a median annual salary of $20,260 and a median hourly wage of $9.74 hourly in 2009.

Sales Representative

Sales representatives sell products on behalf of manufacturers or wholesalers. They work either directly for those companies or for independent sales agencies. Many employers prefer to hire job candidates who have bachelor's degrees, but there are no formal requirements to work as a sales representative. In 2009 median annual earnings of sales representatives who sold scientific and technical products were $71,340 and median annual earning of sales representative who sold all other products were $50,920.

Survey Researcher

Survey researchers design or conduct surveys about people and their opinions. A bachelor's degree with coursework that includes business, marketing, consumer behavior, statistics and computer science is required for most entry-level jobs. Survey researchers earned a median annual salary of $35,380 in 2009.

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2010-11 Edition, on the Internet at and
Employment and Training Administration, U.S. Department of Labor, O*NET Online, on the Internet at (visited March 10, 2011).

Comparing Marketing Careers
Education Median Salary
Advertising Sales Rep Bachelor's preferred but not required $43,360/yr.
Market Research Analyst Bachelor's or Master's Degree $61,070/yr.
Marketing Manager Bachelor's or Master's Degree in Business (Marketing) $108,580/yr.
Public Relations Specialist Bachelor's Degree $51,280/yr.
Retail Salesperson HS Diploma or Equivalent $20,510/yr. or $9.86/hr.)
Sales Representative Bachelor's Degree Preferred $70,200/yr. (Science/Technical Products) and $51,330/yr.(All Other Products)
Survey Researcher Bachelor's Degree Preferred $35,380