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Career and Education Opportunities for Advertising Agents in Columbia, Maryland

Advertising agent career and educational opportunities abound in Columbia, Maryland. About 2,050 people are currently employed as advertising agents in Maryland. By 2016, this is expected to grow by 21% to 2,480 people employed. This is better than the national trend for advertising agents, which sees this job pool growing by about 7.2% over the next eight years. Advertising agents generally sell or solicit advertising, including graphic art, advertising space in publications, custom made signs, or TV and radio advertising time.

Income for advertising agents is about $22 per hour or $47,560 yearly on average in Maryland. Nationally, their income is about $20 per hour or $43,480 per year. Incomes for advertising agents are better than in the overall category of Sales and Clerical in Maryland, and better than the overall Sales and Clerical category nationally.

There is one school within twenty-five miles of Columbia where you can study to be an advertising agent, among 109 schools of higher education total in the Columbia area. Advertising agents usually hold a Bachelor's degree, so you can expect to spend about four years studying 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 Columbia 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.


The Art Institute of Washington - Arlington, VA

The Art Institute of Washington, 1820 N Fort Myer Dr, Arlington, VA 22209-1802. The Art Institute of Washington is a small school located in Arlington, Virginia. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,871 students and an admission rate of 56%. The Art Institute of Washington has a bachelor's degree program in Advertising which graduated seven 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.


Columbia, Maryland
Columbia, Maryland photo by Jeff Kubina

Columbia is located in Howard County, Maryland. It has a population of over 96,421. The cost of living index in Columbia, 100, is near the national average.

The three most popular industries for women in Columbia are educational services, health care, and professional, scientific, and technical services. For men, it is professional, scientific, and technical services, public administration, and educational services. The average travel time to work is about 30 minutes. More than 59.0% of Columbia residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 28.7%, is higher than the state average.

The percentage of Columbia residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 49.3%, is less than the national average but more than the state average. Abiding Savior Lutheran Church, Atholton Seventh Day Adventist Church and Long Reach Interfaith Center are all churches located in Columbia. The most prominent religious groups are the Catholic Church, the United Methodist Church and the Southern Baptist Convention.

Columbia is home to the Symphony Woods Office Center and the Rivers Corporate Park as well as Middle Patuxent Environmental Area and Clarksville Environmental Area. Shopping centers in the area include Governor Century Plaza Shopping Center, Atholton Shopping Center and Owen Brown Village Shopping Center. Visitors to Columbia can choose from PFMG, Courtyard by Marriott and Hilton Inn Columbia for temporary stays in the area.