The creative and sometimes high-profile nature of advertising and public relations makes it an attractive, and competitive, career for job-seekers. Advertising firms promote goods and services for clients, whether by producing display advertising on billboards and subway posters, or media and TV advertising in the form of commercials.
Successful advertising and public relations professionals hold a wide array of skills, including: creativity, written and verbal communications, ability to handle tight deadlines and stressful situations and effective problem solving. In addition, advertising professionals with foreign language skills, such as Spanish, are increasingly in demand in cities with large minority populations.
Exploring Advertising Programs and Degrees
Many entry-level advertising professionals start in account management and media departments. These jobs typically require a bachelor's degree--either an advertising degree or a broad liberal arts background. Assistant art directors, on the other hand, may need only a two-year degree from an art or design school.
If you are interested in being part of a creative department, you may need related work experience. Internships are increasingly offered by employers to provide on-the-job training to aspiring advertising and public relations professionals.
Advertising and Public Relations Salaries Career Outlook
The advertising profession can be lucrative, compared to the national average. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, non-supervisory workers earned an average of $747 per week, $139 more than the national average. Average hourly wages include:
- General and operations managers: $65
- Public relations specialists: $27
- Advertising sales agents: $23
- Graphic designers: $21
- Office clerks: $12
The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that employment in advertising and public relations will grow 8 percent from 2008 through 2018, less than the national average.