Careers in Account Management


Looking for an entry level job or internship in account management? This is an overview of how to approach the search and a list of companies that might have relevant entry level and internship opportunities.

As I was grocery shopping yesterday, something new caught my eye–Cap’n Crunch’s Chocolately Crunch. Not only did the cereal sound delicious, but it had a beautifully designed box (with “NEW!” across the top) and prime placement at the beginning of the cereal aisle. I’m not trying to make your stomach growl, although mine surely did, but I want you to think about how this situation arose. Presumably a client, The Quaker Oats Company, approached an ad agency with a brief, asking them for help with creating and introducing a new product. Within the ad agency an account manager worked closely with the agency’s creative team and the client, to make the product a success and to grow the relationship with client into a long-lasting one.

Account Management Careers

Photo Credit: Flickr user RubyGoes

Account Management Career Guide Overview

  1. What an Account Manager Does
  2. A Typical Day for an Account Manager
  3. Salary and Career Progression for an Account Manager
  4. Best Locations for Account Management
  5. Pro/Con: Being an Account Manager
  6. What You Need to Know for a Career in Account Management
  7. Account Management Resources
  8. Careers Related to Account Management
  9. Companies with Jobs and Internships in Account Management

What an Account Manager/Coordinator/Executive Does

An advertising account manager is the liaison between the clients and their agency, and is responsible for bringing in and keeping clients as happy as possible, so that they come back for more business. They work with every department inside the agency, as well as vendors and partners outside the agency, and clients. They guide a campaign or project from before its inception, to its very end. Basically they take preojects all the way through the brief and concepting and back and forth with clients, and into production to create the work. Then they’re actively involved in pushing that work out into the world, and play a role in the post-launch analytics and continual optimizing. Many of these projects overlap so they’re always juggling and managing something. Account managers need to be experts of their clients’ industry, and they need to be champions for everyone within the agency.

Account management isn’t exclusive to advertising, though that may be where it’s best known. Account positions are also extremely common at Marketing and PR firms, advertisers (as opposed to ad agencies), daily deal companies, and anywhere else that ongoing relationships are important. Account managers are responsible for keeping clients happy so that they can be sold on more business in the future.

A Typical Day for an Account Executive

On a typical day, an advertising account manager does a lot of communicating and “hand-holding.” They discuss with a client about their needs and wants and then relay this information to the creative team within the ad agency. The strategist might also present the final advertising product to another client. This might involve selling the client on the idea, negotiating the price, and working to secure future business. The account manager could also monitor current campaigns to make sure they end up successful. If a campaign wraps up, the account manager will talk with the client to ensure they’re happy and guide them through thinking about what projects might be up next.

The position looks quite similar in other industries.

Salary and Career Progression in Account Management

As an Account Manager you should make between $32,000-$76,000 per year. And there’s plenty of room for advancement. You could become an Advertising Account Director ($64,735 – $160,792) or an Account Supervisor ($48,000-$95,000). Some Account Management positions can come with a commission structure or bonus incentive if they entail more selling than hand holding.

Best Locations for Account Managers

These hot spots have the highest salaries for Account Managers:

  • Los Angeles, CA
  • San Francisco, CA
  • New York, NY
  • Seattle, WA
  • Chicago, IL
  • Boston, MA
  • Atlanta, GA
  • Washington, D.C.
  • St. Louis, MO

Pro/Con: Working in Account Management

  • You build deep relationships with clients (you have a book of business).
  • Account Managers usually work in fun atmospheres
  • Entertaining clients is a great perk.
  • You’ll have the opportunity to dig deep into a variety of industries.
  • The path to advancement is quite clear.
  • Clients can be challenging to work with, and when it hits the fan, you’re the one they call.
  • Working on deadlines comes with late nights.
  • You’re as likely to catch flack from your co-workers as you are from clients.

What You Need to Know for a Career in Account Management

To be an Account Coordinator you’ll probably need a four year degree from a university, with a focus on advertising or business. You’ll also need at least one internship in the field to build the skills for the job. It’s important that you’re able to take calculated risks, be curious, have a sense of diplomacy, and possess passion and ambition. Also, you’ll need to have organizational and project management skills, interpersonal strengths, salesmanship, strategic thinking, domain expertise, and collaboration. If you’re a people-person you can really rock this role!

Account Management Resources

If Account Management still sounds like your cup of tea, here are a few things you should do to get started (though Mad Men should teach you everything that you need to know).

Required Reading

Key Folks to Follow on Twitter

Blogs and Websites

Networking Opportunities

Careers Related to Account Management

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Companies with Entry Level Jobs and Internships in Account Management

The Business Backer Logo

The Business Backer - The Business Backer is based in Cincinnati based and “is helping small business owners flourish and grow by re-inventing relationship-based lending for the 21st century.”

See the complete The Business Backer profile

Sprout Social Logo

Sprout Social - Sprout Social is a Chicago, IL based company that offers “a management and egnagement platform for social business.”

See the complete Sprout Social profile

Domo Logo

Domo - Domo is an American Fork, UT based company that “transforms the way executives manage their business" by providing all of your important data in one intuitive platform.

See the complete Domo profile

Chalkfly Logo

Chalkfly - Chalkfly is a Detroit, MI based office supply startup that provides “the supplies you need to do your best work.”

See the complete Chalkfly profile

Chute Logo

Chute - Chute is based in SF and has developed a “visual content engine for brands” that makes “it easy to keep pace with your customers and create compelling, fresh content."

See the complete Chute profile

WPromote Logo

WPromote - WPromote is an El Segundo, CA based company that calls itself “the country’s leading Online Marketing firm." They help clients with SEO, PPC, and Social Media.

See the complete WPromote profile

OneIMS Logo

OneIMS - OneIMS is a Skokie, IL based company that offers “everything from services like branding and web design to online marketing strategies like SEO and PPC.”

See the complete OneIMS profile

The Resumator Logo

The Resumator - The Resumator is a Pittsburgh, PA based company that helps “great people build great companies” by bringing “talented professionals and compelling companies together.”

See the complete The Resumator profile

Team Detroit Logo

Team Detroit - Team Detroit is an ad agency that in 2006 brought together parts of five legendary agencies that were under the same ownership and already working with Ford.

See the complete Team Detroit profile

SheKnows Logo

SheKnows - SheKnows is a Scottsdale, AZ based “women’s lifestyle media platform” that “allows brands to distribute authentic content and integrated advertising at scale.”

See the complete SheKnows profile

Radio One Logo

Radio One - Radio One is a Lanham, MD based media company that focuses on targeting African-American and urban consumers through 54 radio stations.

See the complete Radio One profile Logo - is a San Francisco, CA based company that “was founded with the goal of connecting inspired kitchens with the masses.”

See the complete profile

Balboa Capital

Balboa Capital - Balboa Capital is an Irvine, CA based company that “has been providing equipment leasing and working capital loans to US businesses for over two decades.”

See the complete Balboa Capital profile

Innerspin Logo

Innerspin - Innerspin is a Los Angeles, CA based agency that “is focused on growing global brands through effective brand building and digital capabilities.”

See the complete Innerspin profile


HDMZ - HDMZ is a Chicago, IL and San Francisco, CA based healthcare and life science marketing agency that was founded in 1936.

See the complete HDMZ profile

FreshAddress Logo

FreshAddress - FreshAddress is a Newton, MA based company that helps “companies that depend on email to drive revenue by building, updating, segmenting, and cleaning their email lists.”

See the complete FreshAddress profile

UpOut Logo

UpOut - UpOut is a San Francisco, CA based company that “is changing how locals discover unique events in their city.”

See the complete UpOut profile

MOO Logo

MOO - MOO is an East Providence, RI based company that loves to print. They’ve even invented a word to describe what they do: “printfinity.”

See the complete MOO profile


WONGDOODY - WONGDOODY is based in Seattle, WA and “is the most awarded independent advertising agency on the West Coast.”

See the complete WONGDOODY profile

Luminate Logo

Luminate - A lot of companies have put ads alongside images, but Luminate is a Mountain View, CA based company that is putting them in the actual images.

See the complete Luminate profile

Centro Logo

Centro - Centro is a Chicago, IL based company that works “to improve the lives of those working in the advertising industry by building media management software."

See the complete Centro profile

Triggit Logo

Triggit - Triggit is a San Fran based company that “enables advertisers and agencies to build, run, measure, and optimize retargeting-driven display campaigns from a single platform.”

See the complete Triggit profile

SmartBear Logo

SmartBear - SmartBear is based in Beverly, MA, and they make “tools to help you manage the quality of your desktop, web, mobile, and api-based applications."

See the complete SmartBear profile

Haberman Logo

Haberman - Haberman is a Minneapolis, MN based agency of “modern storytellers for pioneers.” They work with "the leading entrepreneurs, innovators, healers and heroes of our day."

See the complete Haberman profile

Sojern Logo

Sojern - Sojern is based in San Francisco and has developed a travel-focused “robust audience engagement platform [that] is powered by machine-learning technology."

See the complete Sojern profile

inDinero Logo

inDinero - inDinero is a San Francisco, CA based company that will "take care of your accounting, file your corporate tax returns, and manage your payroll.”

See the complete inDinero profile

RevTrax Logo

RevTrax - RevTrax is a New York, NY based company that is taking a more modern approach to using coupons to track customer behavior.

See the complete RevTrax profile

Ahalogy Logo

Ahalogy - Ahalogy is a Cincinnati, OH based company that is “pioneering the science of discovery on Pinterest.”

See the complete Ahalogy profile

Emmi Solutions Logo

Emmi Solutions - Emmi Solutions is a Chicago based healthcare communications company that has developed “interactive solutions to achieve meaningful business and clinical outcomes.”

See the complete Emmi Solutions profile

Clever Logo

Clever - Clever is a San Francisco, CA whose software syncs "with your school’s student information system to provide an amazing experience for teachers and students.”

See the complete Clever profile

Houzz Logo

Houzz - Houzz is a Palo Alto, CA based company that offers “a collaborative platform for home remodeling and design."

See the complete Houzz profile

xAd Logo

xAd - xAd is a New York, NY based company that allows advertisers to pinpoint “target audiences at pivotal moments during the consumer’s decision-making journey.”

See the complete xAd profile

TVI Logo

TVI - TVI is a New York, NY based “award winning digital agency that designs leading brand experiences."

See the complete TVI profile

Kellen Company Logo

Kellen Company - Kellen Company is a "professional services company serving associations, companies and foundations” with offices in Atlanta, New York, Denver, Chicago, and D.C.

See the complete Kellen Company profile

Olo Logo

Olo - Olo is a New York, NY based company that makes it easy for restaurants to offer "reliable, fast, and secure digital ordering for restaurants."

See the complete Olo profile

Kids II Logo

Kids II - Kids II is based in Atlanta, GA and has “been inventing and reinventing baby toys and gear for over 40 years.”

See the complete Kids II profile


FATHOM - FATHOM is an Oakland, CA studio that uses its “expertise in 3D printing and additive manufacturing to help customers innovate faster and more efficiently.”

See the complete FATHOM profile

Godiva Logo

Godiva - It’s hard to think of a more romantic chocolatier than New York, NY based Godiva–I mean their logo is a naked lady on a horse.

See the complete Godiva profile

Relias Learning Logo

Relias Learning - Relias Learning is based in Cary, NC and offers “online training to senior care, health and human services, corrections, and intellectual and developmental disabilities organizations.”

See the complete Relias Learning profile

FierceMarkets Logo

FierceMarkets - FierceMarkets is a Washington, DC based company that specializes in business-to-business media, publications, and marketing.

See the complete FierceMarkets profile

Extole Logo

Extole - Extole is a San Francisco, CA based company that specializes in helping “brands acquire new customers at scale by rewarding existing customers.”

See the complete Extole profile

Hanley Wood Logo

Hanley Wood - Washington, DC based Hanley Wood is “the premier media, event, information and strategic marketing services company serving the residential and commercial design and construction industries.”

See the complete Hanley Wood profile

AllTrails Logo

AllTrails - AllTrails is a San Francisco, CA based startup that provides outdoor enthusiast "with the information and tools to discover top destinations near them.”

See the complete AllTrails profile

Anomaly Logo

Anomaly - Anomaly is an NYC based agency that blurs “the borders between providing traditional marketing services and working as a business development partner.”

See the complete Anomaly profile

Sparks Logo

Sparks - Sparks is a Philadelphia, PA based agency that “creates dyanmic brand experiences anywhere in the world a customer engages with your brand.”

See the complete Sparks profile

Tierney Logo

Tierney - Tierney is a Philadelphia, PA based agency that does advertising, PR, media, interactive, crisis management, and branding.

See the complete Tierney profile

Escalate Logo

Escalate - Escalate is an NYC based experiential marketing agency that escalates “customer relationships to the point of brand advocacy, with measurable results.”

See the complete Escalate profile

Invoca Logo

Invoca - Invoca is a Santa Barbara, CA based company whose "marketing tools empower you to generate better leads, higher conversions, smarter spends and greater revenue.”

See the complete Invoca profile


MINDBODY - MINDBODY is a San Luis Obispo, CA based company that believes that “small business owners deserve the time to do what they love.”

See the complete MINDBODY profile

Loverly Logo

Loverly - Loverly is a New York, NY based "one-stop-shop for wedding planning where brides and grooms find ideas, people to hire and things to buy.”

See the complete Loverly profile

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