Our online Bachelor of Arts in Psychology prepares students with the skills they need, such as data analysis and statistical interpretation, to pursue a career as an advertising sales representative.

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Advertising sales representatives sell advertising space and media for various outlets, including television, Internet, radio, signage, publications and more. These professionals are also sometimes referred to as account executives or sales agents. They develop new accounts while maintaining current clients and explain how various advertising outlets and strategies will effectively promote products and services. One of the many responsibilities of an advertising sales representative is to estimate the cost of advertising services and deliver sales presentations. They also build and maintain relationships with clients, helping to inform customers of their advertising options and determine the most effective mix. Some advertising sales representatives also do the hands-on work involved in creating media kits and sales contracts. Travel may be required to meet with existing and potential clients on site.

Another important part of the advertising sales job description is the building of relationships with clients. Sales representatives need to learn about client preferences, and then identify marketing and advertising strategies that will both meet these needs and increase revenue and generate more brand awareness. It is important for these professionals to be knowledgeable about trends in the industry and have a thorough understanding of a client’s competition. Advertising sales representatives compile this information and data into reports about the accounts they manage and must present the information clearly and persuasively.

Outlook and Salary

This career path is stable, with little or no change through the year 2022, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Media companies utilize advertising sales representatives to create profitability, and the success of advertising firms is contingent on the work of these professionals as well. Though advertising sales in industries like newspaper publishing are expected to decline, increased advertising money will likely be devoted to digital media outlets such as ads created for mobile devices and online radio.

The median annual wage for advertising sales representatives was just over $46,000 in 2012. However, the top 10 percent of professionals in this field earned more than $103,000 in the same year. This variation is due in part to pay based on commission and performance.

Characteristics of Successful Advertising Sales Representatives

You can’t be shy if you want to succeed as an advertising sales representative. You’ll need strong communication skills, both oral and written, as well as a social personality. Persuasiveness is also an asset for advertising sales representatives because a large part of their responsibilities is to solicit the purchasing of advertising space. Being able to work as part of a team is also an asset, as is negotiation. In general, these professionals are resourceful, creative and persistent.


Many advertising sales representatives hold a bachelor’s degree in psychology or a related field. Transferable skills from psychology degree programs include basic research methods, data analysis and data interpretation. These professionals also need the background in critical thinking that a psychology degree can provide. This career is driven by building client relationships, so the understanding of interpersonal, social and cultural complexities is a valuable skill that individuals will gain through the study of psychology. The general studies of behavior and diversity are also an asset to advertising sales representatives.