Ten of the Highest-Paying Jobs in Marketing

Salary Range for Some of the Field’s Top Jobs, with Position Descriptions, and Qualifications

Working in marketing or advertising? Hoping to one day land a top job in your career field? If so, or if you're either a college student studying marketing, or you're planning to get a degree in this field, here's some information on some of the top positions that offer top pay. This information might help you if you plan to one day reach for a top job in one of these areas of marketing.

Using data from websites including,, and, I have compiled a listing of jobs, job descriptions, and salaries that you might be qualified to try to get. Of course, getting selected for interviews and/or jobs for these positions will be fiercely competitive, so it will be up to you to communicate to potential employers that you have the stuff they need—the skills, knowledge, experience, personality, and the energy they’re looking for in their next top marketing or advertising employee.

If you're still in college and you have your eye on one of these top positions, pay a visit to your school's career counseling office (most colleges and universities have one of these). Get as much information as you can on the career of your dreams, and then prepare yourself well, academically, while you're still in school. Competition is going to be fierce for top-paying jobs, so you will need to be just as fierce in your qualifications and preparation.

International Marketing—Top Annual Salary Range for Top Executives: $250k—$290k

Because of the Internet, new opportunities keep opening up in the area of international marketing. The World Wide Web has ushered in a "revamping" of the meaning of “international marketing.” Although it was once the domain and privilege of huge multinational companies, nowadays, anyone with a website can become an international marketer.

The Internet provides a portal for global marketing, and that means any business can become a “global” business. Still, since being able to go global doesn’t mean you know how to market your products and services globally, the Internet is also ushering in new jobs for people interested in international marketing. Not every job will have a salary range like the one listed above, but with enough experience and results in international marketing under your belt, you could become poised to parlay your qualifications, successfully, to companies offering higher pay in order to gain the knowledge and expertise of the qualified "pros" of international marketing.

Sales Channel Development Officers—Top Annual Salary Range for Chief/Top Execs: $115k to $270k

Sales-related jobs in marketing are the ones that have the clearest, most direct link to bringing money into the organization. One sales area of marketing is called “channel development.” Executives working in channel development are responsible for developing and implementing effective sales strategies. People qualified to fill these positions must be able to demonstrate understanding of sales channels, including partner channels, and have the knowledge (and experience) to reach sales goals and maximize revenue for their employers.

Channel development execs know how to use their knowledge of sales channel development strategies to help their employer and the employer’s channel partners expand their customer base, solve customer’s problems, and grow business. Many years of proven skills in sales and channel development are usually the major qualifications for top positions in this area. In this area, these skills are valued and rewarded, highly.

Chief Marketing Officer—Top Annual Salary Range: $120k-$300k

This "C" level marketing position is the usually the top marketing job. Skills/knowledge required include being able to plan and direct all aspects of a company’s marketing program—from assessing opportunities, to guiding external advertising agencies or an internal marketing department, in the execution of effective marketing promotions/campaigns. Top marketing officers usually have an impressive, results-driven portfolio of accomplishments to show that clearly demonstrate past successes.

People qualified for these top jobs can demonstrate plenty of successful results developing effective marketing plans, identifying/assessing changes in the company’s marketing environment, and in evaluating opportunities and threats to their company’s position in the market, based on assessment/evaluation of competitor’s marketing strategies. These execs know how to develop, evaluate, modify, or adapt their employer’s marketing plans and strategies, as needed, in order for the company to remain competitive and successful.

Chief Marketing Research Officers—Top Annual Salary Range: $110k-$250k

Every company is interested in knowing the market potential of the products and services they offer.Top marketing research officers provide their employers with "educated guesses" they need to try to peek into the future. This position is responsible for the oversight and direction of a company’s marketing research program. That means they are in charge of providing the research that is necessary to analyze sales results to extract information and indications of trends that can help to predict: Future for sales, customer buying patterns, competitive moves, and so on.

Marketing research executives collect and study market data for the purpose of recommending where companies might need to apply more or less efforts to obtain the highest sales results. They analyze the effectiveness of advertising and the sales/purchasing data of customers and competitors, and they also collect, evaluate, and interpret findings from research studies across a variety of sales channels.

Backgrounds of top marketing research officers usually include a bachelor’s degree or higher, in business, statistics, or some other area of specialty, as well as ten or more years of experience in positions that have helped refine judgment/critical thinking skills, while providing a solid foundation in the concepts and practices of marketing research.

Marketing Director—Top Annual Salary Range: $90k-$190k

He or she is the "Maestro" of the marketing department, although the title “Marketing Director” can mean a variety of different things, depending on where the position is located. In general, however, it is a position responsible for the direction and oversight of a company’s marketing program. In some companies and/or organizations, the position might be the top marketing job, reporting to top management.

Marketing directors are responsible for tasks including planning, developing, and creating marketing plans for products and/or services; conducting marketing research to stay abreast of changes in the competitive environment or within sales channels, and overseeing/guiding the work of any external advertising or public relations firms under contract with the company or organization.

This position requires broad knowledge of marketing and advertising that, typically, is obtained by completing a bachelor’s degree, an advanced degree (such as an MBA), and gaining at least seven to ten years of experience in management positions in marketing. Individuals in this position need strong written and verbal communications skills, and they need to be capable of sound judgment/critical thinking skills. They must be capable of multitasking, not just in leading others, but in pitching in to help out when and where they are needed to plan and accomplish company marketing goals and objectives.

E-commerce Marketing Director—Top Annual Salary Range: $90k-$190k
Some companies/organizations will have, often as a separate position from that of Marketing Director, a role for an E-commerce Marketing Director. This position usually will have responsibilities and job qualification requirements similar to those of the Marketing Director, but with specialized knowledge and experience in areas related to online marketing/E-commerce activities.

VP of Database Marketing—Top Annual Salary Range: $150k-$180k

Direct-response marketing includes marketing efforts eliciting direct contact, and that which seeks to deliver a direct response from recipients of a marketing message. The Database Marketing vice president’s job is to provide oversight of the development of strategically targeted marketing programs with the goal of delivering tangible results in the form of new customers, or in leads that could be used to cultivate new customers. The top boss in database marketing will usually manage a staff of managers, assistants, and statistical analysts who work to maintain and utilize the company’s marketing database to help maximize sales results for marketing efforts.

A bachelor’s degree, knowledge or principles and experience in the practices of data collection and analysis, coupled with a strong understanding of database software is usually required for top executives in this area of marketing management.

Internal/Employee Communications Director—Top Annual Salary Range: $150k-$180k

Sometimes called the Internal Communications Director, this position is responsible for oversight and direction of all communications in the organization that are directed toward employees. The primary responsibility, in general, is to keep company employees informed through internal communications programs and strategies. The executive holding this position is usually responsible for overseeing the planning, design, preparation, and dissemination of employee information, as well as for developing policies and procedures that establish and maintain employee communications standards. This position may manage both people and projects, and might work in cooperation with employees in corporate public relations, as well as with those responsible for external corporate marketing communications.

Positions may require advanced degrees in marketing communications, human resources communications, or related fields, and at least ten or more years of related work experience.

Executive Creative Director Range $90k-$400k

The top creative job in the field of advertising (which is the creative area of marketing) is the role of Creative Director. Usually found in advertising agencies, this position is responsible for directing the work of people involved in creating advertising and promotions. They oversee the formulation of design concepts and are in charge of guiding approaches used to show clients recommended creative strategies, concepts, and/or creative recommendations for advertising campaigns. Top Creative Directors must have an extensive background in producing top-notch creative work in advertising or marketing, and they must have the knowledge, skills, and experience needed to supervise employees tasked with artwork/graphic design, copy writing, and interactive/multimedia design and production.

A bachelor’s degree (and maybe an advanced degree) and at least ten to 15 years of proven, successful experience in one of more creative areas in advertising, and experience working as a creative director, is usually required to qualify for the position of Top/Executive Creative Director. Also, since managing other people is expected of those filling top positions in this area, most employers will also want to see evidence of successful management of people as well as projects.

Top Account Management Executive Salary Range--$115-$240

Account management refers to control of profit and loss from sales, and account managers are responsible for developing and maintaining key business relationships for a company or organization, and for negotiating sales contracts and securing/closing sales. Top Account Management Executives are responsible for the oversight and direction of the account management function. They develop and oversee policies, initiatives and goals with regard to account management, and plan and implement client/account acquisition and retention strategies, so that the company can increase/maximize sales revenue. They’re also responsible for ensuring day-to-day management of client accounts, and for ensuring customer satisfaction with products and services.

A bachelor’s degree and at least ten years of proven, successful sales experience is usually required to qualify for top positions in account management. Also, since managing other people is expected of those filling top positions in this area, most employers will also want to know potential top managers have managed people as well as projects, in the past.

Be Prepared to Show What You Know

Money and jobs are still tight, so these days, in most instances; the prize (the job) is going to those who have the most to offer. If you have the experience a job calls for, be sure your resume communicates well that you have it. Marketing and communications professionals expect would-be marketing and communications employees to be able to communicate well. This is seen as part of your ability to “promote” a product. In this case, it just happens that the product is you.

Any training and/or experience that qualifies you for high-paying marketing roles—from target audience analysis, to creating advertising, to developing media plans to reach potential customers using traditional and “new media” channels/vehicles—your resume and portfolio (if you are in a creative area) will need relay, clearly and succinctly, to potential employers.

© 2012 Sallie B Middlebrook PhD

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Comments 15 comments

Rambler1 profile image

Rambler1 4 years ago from East side of the free world.

What ever happen to the days of high paid engineers?

drmiddlebrook profile image

drmiddlebrook 4 years ago from Texas, USA Author

Hi Rambler1,

I'm sure there are still jobs in engineering that offer very high pay. I'm just looking at the high-paid positions in one of my own career fields. Marketing is a field with a lot of lower-level positions, so I wanted to inspire those who are either in it, or interested in it, to aim higher, if they so desire! Thanks for reading, and for your comment.

informationshelte profile image

informationshelte 3 years ago

Hi drmiddlebrook,

I agree with you that international marketing is one of the major trends in the field of contemporary marketing. Nowadays everyone with access to an Internet connection and a desktop or portable device has the potential to establish a global startup business, with virtually very little capital or other resources. This is further facilitated by the fact that the English language is still the major language in the world trade. However, I believe that the knowledge of one or more languages that are used in the targeted countries where the marketers efforts are directed, will certainly help. The knowledge and use of other languages is the common point between the "old" international marketing approach and the modern one.

Academic institutions offering marketing training were perhaps a bit late to realize the tremendous potential offered by the new web applications and platforms. Until recently, most of them used to offer International Marketing courses based on the old-fashioned approach which asked for the pre-requisite of large-scale, well-established international business organizations. They could not even imagine that a single entrepreneur with a laptop and a wi-fi access, somewhere in the world, would be the next-generation international marketer. After pioneering software engineers developed the necessary ground and made their applications popular in other areas, such as online socialization (see Facebook), the marketing side of things followed and turned everyone with an appetite to earn money on the Internet, into a local and/or international marketer.

I am still not sure whether universities and colleges have yet managed to fully understand the implications of this groundbreaking development. Very timidly and slowly they have started to incorporate Internet-based marketing courses in their syllabii. That is a very welcome change of direction, although still on a small scale, and I am sure that it will benefit marketing students by increasing their job prospects and earnings in an increasingly web-oriented marketplace.

drmiddlebrook profile image

drmiddlebrook 3 years ago from Texas, USA Author

Thank you informationshelte, for your visit, and for such a "thorough" response. Lots of information/education in that response! I agree with you, wholeheartedly. I think a lot of players in the higher education arena are still in "denial" when it comes to the impact, potential, and limitless possibilities of the online/Internet world. Some of the major players have tightly embraced the Internet and its potential, while others are much slower to admit that all areas of the academic arena, especially business/marketing, must welcome and embrace the challenges and possibilities that come along with change.

Janette 2 years ago

I see this and read and know the job descriptions for the job and I think they are not good paying jobs when you consider the responsibilities. I think is is low wage for what is expected of a person.

drmiddlebrook profile image

drmiddlebrook 2 years ago from Texas, USA Author

Thank you Janette for your visit. It is always interesting hearing the opinions of readers. Perhaps the wages appear low, but remember these are "average" salaries. Some people earn a lot more in these or similar roles, while others earn a lot less. What an individual is paid, ultimately, depends on all they bring to the negotiation table, the company they want to work for and its willingness/ability to negotiate on salary and compensation, and the strength of the job applicant's salary negotiating skills.

drmiddlebrook profile image

drmiddlebrook 2 years ago from Texas, USA Author

Thank you samantha williams. So glad to offer something you feel you "is a great article with a lot of value." That's exactly what I hoped this Hub Page would be. I too wish marketing was "taught ... in [grade] school," or at least some type of "consumer behavior" course. It would help a lot to prepare people to be smarter consumers as well as to put marketing strategies to work in ways that can help them make their lives better.

Coach Tara profile image

Coach Tara 2 years ago from USA

Very Interesting Stats!! Sales ROCKS!

drmiddlebrook profile image

drmiddlebrook 2 years ago from Texas, USA Author

Hi Coach Tara. You are so right, sales is a very good profession--especially if you get with a really good company. Excellence in sales can lead to top-paying positions at companies. The bottom line is, companies exist to bring in revenue and sales positions are charged with that responsibility, so when you're great at the company's biggest need, you will be noticed and usually rewarded greatly!

Easy Exercise profile image

Easy Exercise 2 years ago from United States

Dr. Middlebrook,

Very well done and very comprehensive. I especially enjoyed the layout as it made it easy to jump from one job to the next. A chart might be the only item that would add to this great content.

Voted up and greatly enjoyed! Thank you!

drmiddlebrook profile image

drmiddlebrook 2 years ago from Texas, USA Author

Thank you Easy Exercise for your visit and your comments. I will definitely look into adding a chart. I'm always looking for ways to enhance Hubs, and I think a chart might work well in this Hub. Thanks again.

Hanifq 23 months ago

I wonder if 'database marketing' manager need any experience in IT or programming at all?

drmiddlebrook profile image

drmiddlebrook 23 months ago from Texas, USA Author

Thank you for that question Hanifq. If you do a quick Google search for "database marketing manager job description," it will pull up several jobs that you can look at and see what types of requirements they want. I've been doing resumes for a lot of people in this area, and most of them don't have programming experience. They usually have strong experience in or understanding of database marketing, however (and that might qualify as "IT experience"). Requirements will vary, of course, from company to company, but most of these jobs are more about understanding marketing needs, startegies, and tactics, more than with programming. I'm sure it helps to have as much IT knowledge and experience as possible, but this is a marketing position--usually, not an IT position.

Amarbani profile image

Amarbani 22 months ago from India

Nice hub!!! Even I am a marketing manager and aspire to become a chief marketing officer someday...

drmiddlebrook profile image

drmiddlebrook 22 months ago from Texas, USA Author

Good luck Amarbani! Thank you for visiting my Hub and for your comments and the "Nice hub" compliment. I appreciate all. You have a wonderful goal and I'm sure you'll make it.

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