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Career and Education Opportunities for Advertising Agents in Chicago, Illinois

Advertising agents can find both educational opportunities and jobs in the Chicago, Illinois area. About 6,650 people are currently employed as advertising agents in Illinois. By 2016, this is expected to grow by 13% to 7,530 people employed. This is better than the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for advertising agents are expected to grow by about 7.2%. Advertising agents generally sell or solicit advertising, including graphic art, advertising space in publications, custom made signs, or TV and radio advertising time.

Advertising agents earn about $21 per hour or $44,500 annually on average in Illinois and about $20 hourly or $43,480 annually on average nationally. Incomes for advertising agents are better than in the overall category of Sales and Clerical in Illinois, and better than the overall Sales and Clerical category nationally.

There are three schools within twenty-five miles of Chicago where you can study to be an advertising agent, among 180 schools of higher education total in the Chicago area. Advertising agents usually hold a Bachelor's degree, so it will take about four years to learn to be an advertising agent if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Advertising Agent

In general, advertising agents sell or solicit advertising, including graphic art, advertising space in publications, custom made signs, or TV and radio advertising time. They also may obtain leases for outdoor advertising sites or persuade retailer to use sales promotion display items.

Advertising agents explain to clients how specific types of advertising will help promote their products or services in the most effective way possible. They also furnish clients with estimates of the costs of advertising products or services. Equally important, advertising agents have to locate and contact potential clients to propose advertising services. They are often called upon to draw up contracts for advertising work, and collect payments due. They are expected to obtain and study data related to clients' products and business practices to propose effective sales presentations and appropriate product assistance. Finally, advertising agents attend sales meetings, industry trade shows, and training seminars to gather data, promote products, expand network of contacts, and increase knowledge.

Every day, advertising agents are expected to be able to articulate ideas and problems. They need to understand what others are saying to them even in a noisy environment. It is also important that they speak clearly.

It is important for advertising agents to decide on advertising medium to be used, and make ready sample advertisements within the selected medium for presentation to clients. They are often called upon to gather all relevant material for bid processes, and direct bidding and contract approval. Somewhat less frequently, advertising agents are also expected to process all correspondence and paperwork pertaining to accounts.

Advertising agents sometimes are asked to maintain assigned account bases while developing new accounts. and write sales outlines for use by staff. And finally, they sometimes have to write sales outlines for use by staff.

Like many other jobs, advertising agents must be persistant in the face of problems and impediments and have an achievement oriented outlook with an eye towards personal and professional growth.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Chicago include:

  • Cage Cashier. Exchange coins and tokens for patrons' money. May issue payoffs and obtain customer's signature on receipt when winnings exceed the amount held in the slot machine. May operate a booth in the slot machine area and furnish change persons with money bank at the start of the shift, or count and audit money in drawers.
  • Cashier. Receive and disburse money in establishments other than financial institutions. Usually involves use of electronic scanners, cash registers, or related equipment. Often involved in processing credit or debit card transactions and validating checks.
  • Insurance Agent. Sell life, property, or other types of insurance. May refer clients to independent brokers, work as independent broker, or be employed by an insurance company.
  • Product Demonstrator. Demonstrate merchandise and answer questions for the purpose of creating public interest in buying the product. May sell demonstrated merchandise.
  • Real Estate Agent. Rent, buy, or sell property for clients. Perform duties, such as study property listings, interview prospective clients, accompany clients to property site, discuss conditions of sale, and draw up real estate contracts. Includes agents who represent buyer.
  • Retail Sales Manager. Directly supervise sales workers in a retail establishment or department. Duties may include management functions, such as purchasing, budgeting, and personnel work, in addition to supervisory duties.
  • Retail Salesman. Sell merchandise, such as furniture, motor vehicles, or apparel in a retail establishment.
  • Sales Team Manager. Directly supervise and coordinate activities of sales workers other than retail sales workers. May perform duties, such as budgeting, accounting, and personnel work, in addition to supervisory duties.
  • Technical Service Representative. Sell goods for wholesalers or manufacturers where technical or scientific knowledge is required in such areas as biology, engineering, and electronics, normally obtained from at least 2 years of post-secondary education.
  • Telemarketer. Solicit orders for goods or services over the telephone.
  • Wholesale and Manufacturing Sales Representative. Sell goods for wholesalers or manufacturers to businesses or groups of individuals. Work requires substantial knowledge of items sold.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Advertising Agent Training

The Illinois Institute of Art-Chicago - Chicago, IL

The Illinois Institute of Art-Chicago, 350 N Orleans St, Chicago, IL 60654-1593. The Illinois Institute of Art-Chicago is a small school located in Chicago, Illinois. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 2,900 students and an admission rate of 48%. The Illinois Institute of Art-Chicago has a bachelor's degree program in Advertising which graduated eleven students in 2008.

The Illinois Institute of Art-Schaumburg - Schaumburg, IL

The Illinois Institute of Art-Schaumburg, 1000 Plaza Drive Ste. 100, Schaumburg, IL 60173-4913. The Illinois Institute of Art-Schaumburg is a small school located in Schaumburg, Illinois. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,257 students and an admission rate of 47%. The Illinois Institute of Art-Schaumburg has a bachelor's degree program in Advertising which graduated thirteen students in 2008.

North Park University - Chicago, IL

North Park University, 3225 W Foster Ave, Chicago, IL 60625-4895. North Park University is a small university located in Chicago, Illinois. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 3,255 students and an admission rate of 30%. North Park University has a bachelor's degree program in Advertising.

CERTIFICATIONS

Certified Sales Professional: The Certified Sales Professional (CSP) program gives a thorough understanding of consultative selling.

For more information, see the Manufacturers Representatives Educational Research Foundation website.

Certified Salesperson: The SMEI Certified Professional Salesperson program is ideal for professionals who are employed as a sales representatives, account managers, distributor representatives and business development personnel.

For more information, see the Sales & Marketing Executives International website.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Chicago, Illinois

Chicago, Illinois
Chicago, Illinois photo by Dschwen

Chicago is situated in Cook County, Illinois. It has a population of over 2,853,114, which has shrunk by 1.5% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Chicago, 114, is well above the national average. New single-family homes in Chicago are valued at $200,500 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, three hundred eighty-one new homes were built in Chicago, down from eight hundred seventy the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Chicago are health care, educational services, and professional, scientific, and technical services. For men, it is construction, professional, scientific, and technical services, and accommodation and food services. The average commute to work is about 35 minutes. More than 25.5% of Chicago residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 10.0%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Chicago is 11.6%, which is greater than Illinois's average of 10.5%.

The percentage of Chicago residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 57.6%, is more than both the national and state average. Southlawn United Methodist Church, Southern Missionary Baptist Church and Lakeside Evangelical Church are all churches located in Chicago. The most common religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Muslim Estimate and the Lutheran Church.

Chicago is home to the Five Crossings and the Wrigley Field as well as Monticello Park and Wilson Playground. Shopping centers in the area include Lincoln Village Shopping Center, Market Place at Six Corners Shopping Center and Kimbark Plaza Shopping Center. Visitors to Chicago can choose from Extended Stay America, Embassy Suites Lakefront and Cottage Inn for temporary stays in the area.