Account executive

Account Executive

The Account Executive, working with the wider account management team, makes sure that the relationship between the agency and the client runs smoothly. It is an entry level role, and works across the whole agency. Solving problems, attending meetings, drafting internal and external communications, putting together project timing schedules and documenting progress on the agency projects would be the core part of the role. They act as the bridge between the agency and the client, they fight for good ideas to come to life, and they make sure it is all on budget, and on time. This role has traditionally been referred to as a ‘suit’, but can also be Client Service, Client Management, or Business Managers. They are the only people in an agency who are in a project from beginning (the client brief) to end (sending the final versions out).

Career progression

There are not defined time periods between levels of seniority. Talent defines how quickly you can rise to the top, as well as agency requirements (if there are new clients brought on, you may find you move much faster!). When you start in your role, look for opportunities to support your team and wider business, find a mentor or group that can help you when you are feeling stuck, ask lots of questions, and then try putting your hand up for as many projects and opportunities as you can.

What might I be able to earn?

The following provides an indication of the sort of earnings that you can achieve in your career.

We’ve taken a selection of roles and provided indicative earning potential. Due to the merit-based nature of the industry, the different levels of responsibility that titles can carry – based on size of agency and nature of accounts – alongside geographical location and the different ways in which agencies interpret individual titles, these are indicative only.

To be successful you'll need...

A love of relationship building, creating great relationships with a broad range of people, and continuing to strengthen them all the time.
You will be the negotiator extraordinaire – you fight for good ideas when either your team has come up with something amazing and your client needs to be pushed a little bit outside their comfort zone, or you need to pull your creative team back in line with what the client wants.
Managing the day-to-day administration of your clients, you will need to be good with details and communication (of all kinds), as well as having oversight of budgets.
Organised, you will have lots of clients at the same time, and you’ll need to make sure they all feel like your number one priority.
Being curious, and enjoying the research to get to understand your client – you will know their brands as well as they do, you understand the ways each business works (and who you need to win over to get things approved).

Common Study Choices for Account Executives

The best thing about getting into this type of role is that you do not need to have a specific tertiary subject area – we welcome all areas of study. Mostly agencies are looking for people who are great at communicating, who are confident and enthusiastic.

This can be from a tertiary pathway – but what you study can be anything you are passionate about. It can also be from outside of tertiary, but if you have experienced “corporate” work (understanding the hierarchies within a business, understanding business etiquette etc) you will find it is a much smoother transition in.

Getting a job as an Account Executive

There are a number of different ways to get a job as an account executive. There are graduate programmes (see The Comms Council Graduate Programme for more details).

Applying directly for any of these roles, make sure to emphasis your communication and organisational skills  within your CV.

Discover your dream career today!