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Career and Education Opportunities for Advertising Agents in Des Moines, Iowa

Advertising agents can find both educational opportunities and jobs in the Des Moines, Iowa area. There are currently 2,110 jobs for advertising agents in Iowa and this is projected to grow by 22% to about 2,570 jobs by 2016. This is better than the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for advertising agents are expected to grow by about 7.2%. In general, advertising agents sell or solicit advertising, including graphic art, advertising space in publications, custom made signs, or TV and radio advertising time.

Advertising agents earn about $15 hourly or $32,990 annually on average in Iowa and about $20 hourly or $43,480 annually on average nationally. Compared with people working in the overall category of Sales and Clerical, people working as advertising agents in Iowa earn less. They earn more than people working in the overall category of Sales and Clerical nationally.

There are fifteen schools of higher education in the Des Moines area, including one within twenty-five miles of Des Moines where you can get a degree to start your career as an advertising agent. 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.


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 Des Moines include:

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Wholesale and Manufacturing Sales Representative. Sell goods for wholesalers or manufacturers to businesses or groups of individuals. Work requires substantial knowledge of items sold.


Drake University - Des Moines, IA

Drake University, 2507 University Avenue, Des Moines, IA 50311-4505. Drake University is a medium sized university located in Des Moines, Iowa. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 4,753 students and an admission rate of 69%. Drake University has a bachelor's degree program in Advertising which graduated twenty-five students in 2008.


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.


Des Moines, Iowa
Des Moines, Iowa photo by BinaryBoyXP

Des Moines is located in Polk County, Iowa. It has a population of over 197,052, which has shrunk by 0.8% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Des Moines, 79, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Des Moines cost $175,000 on average, which is below the state average. In 2008, one hundred sixty-five new homes were built in Des Moines, down from three hundred nine the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Des Moines are finance and insurance, health care, and educational services. For men, it is construction, finance and insurance, and accommodation and food services. The average travel time to work is about 18 minutes. More than 21.8% of Des Moines residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 6.5%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Des Moines is 7.1%, which is greater than Iowa's average of 6.1%.

The percentage of Des Moines residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 48.2%, is less than both the national and state average. Epworth United Methodist Church, Union Park Baptist Church and Seventh Day Adventist Church are all churches located in Des Moines. The most prominent religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and the United Methodist Church.

Des Moines is home to the Activities Center and the Blank Park Zoo as well as M L King Park and Des Moines Botanical Garden. Shopping centers in the area include Merle Hay Mall, Des Moines Park Fair Mall and Southridge Mall. Visitors to Des Moines can choose from Palace Inn, Holiday Inn Express Des Moines and Casa Bella Motel for temporary stays in the area.