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Advertising Assistant: Job Description, Duties and Requirements

Advertising assistants support the duties of advertising executives in advertising agencies or media outlets. Assistant or junior positions in the advertising industry often require a bachelor's degree, and internships are becoming crucial for the job experience and competitive edge they provide.

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Advertising Assistant Job Description

Advertising assistants are entry-level employees who support the job functions and administration of an advertising agency or media firm, including the account planning, research, production, sales, media, or creative departments. Assisting executives and managers in their chosen advertising specialty allows junior employees to acquire on-the-job training and skills that can lead to advancement.

Advertising assistants complete tasks specific to the department they support. Art and creative departments design graphics, storyboards, and art for campaigns. Assistant copywriters help write and proofread the text of print advertisements and commercials. Junior account executives or assistant account managers develop marketing strategies and budgets for campaigns and work extensively with clients to meet their demands. Assistant account or media planners use their knowledge of social sciences to analyze consumer behavior and research data to create effective advertising plans for a variety of media vehicles, while assistant media buyers help negotiate the purchase of advertising time.

Job Duties of an Advertising Assistant

Regardless of the department in which they are hired, assistants often serve as a conduit for internal communications between departments and often perform day-to-day tasks that ensure the smooth operations of the agency. Assistants often complete basic office duties such as photocopying, filing, and faxing as well as answering telephones, scheduling appointments, and communicating with clients. Advertising assistants also use a variety of software to conduct research, prepare presentations, and construct media campaigns. In many cases, day-to-day client interaction is left to advertising assistants in the form of telephone calls, follow-up, and the monitoring of documents, plans, and campaigns.

Education Requirements for Advertising Assistants

Entry-level positions in advertising agencies generally require a bachelor's degree in a communications field such as marketing, advertising, or journalism. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), a liberal arts education can be helpful for assistant positions in the managerial or professional sectors of the advertising industry (www.bls.gov). For assistant positions in the art and creative departments, the BLS noted that a two-year art degree is often sufficient.

An August 2011 search of available job postings on Monster.com for assistant positions in various advertising specialties showed a consistent preference for candidates with at least a bachelor's degree. Great emphasis was also placed on effective written and verbal communication skills, familiarity with Microsoft Office and relevant experience.

For most assistant positions in the advertising industry, the BLS explained that internships create more favorable job opportunities. These internships are frequently offered as part of undergraduate degree programs and help students gain initial job experience that can lead to increased job opportunities in a crowded applicant pool.

Salary Info and Job Outlook

According to PayScale.com, the majority of advertising assistants earn between $19,139 and $58,256 a year, as of December 2013. Although the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS, www.bls.gov) does not provide information specific to the field of advertising assisting, the BLS did project that the employment of advertising and promotions managers will likely grow by about 13% between 2010 and 2020, a rate consistent with the average predicted for all occupations.

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