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Career and Education Opportunities for Advertising Agents in Charleston, West Virginia

Charleston, West Virginia provides a wide variety of opportunities, both career and educational, for advertising agents. Currently, 860 people work as advertising agents in West Virginia. This is expected to grow by 18% to about 1,020 people 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.

A person working as an advertising agent can expect to earn about $14 per hour or $29,810 per year on average in West Virginia and about $20 per hour or $43,480 per year on average in the U.S. as a whole. Compared with people working in the overall category of Sales and Clerical, people working as advertising agents in West Virginia earn less. They earn more than people working in the overall category of Sales and Clerical nationally.

There is one school within twenty-five miles of Charleston where you can study to be an advertising agent, among seventeen schools of higher education total in the Charleston area. The most common level of education for advertising agents is a Bachelor's degree. You can expect to spend about four years training to become 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 Charleston include:

  • 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.
  • 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

West Virginia State Community and Technical College - Institute, WV

West Virginia State Community and Technical College, 103 Cole Complex, Institute, WV 25112-1000. West Virginia State Community and Technical College is a small college located in Institute, West Virginia. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 1,741 students. West Virginia State Community and Technical College has a one to two year 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: Charleston, West Virginia

Charleston, West Virginia
Charleston, West Virginia photo by Malepheasant

Charleston is situated in Kanawha County, West Virginia. It has a population of over 50,302, which has shrunk by 5.8% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Charleston, 84, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Charleston are priced at $268,400 on average, which is far greater than the state average. In 2008, thirty-four new homes were constructed in Charleston, up from twenty-seven the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in Charleston are health care, educational services, and public administration. For men, it is professional, scientific, and technical services, health care, and public administration. The average travel time to work is about 16 minutes. More than 32.6% of Charleston residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 15.0%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Charleston is 7.7%, which is the same as West Virginia's average of 7.7%. About 16.7% of Charleston's residents are below the poverty line, which is better than the state average.

The percentage of Charleston residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 34.5%, is less than both the national and state average. Starcher Baptist Church, Southeast Church of the Nazarene and South Ruffner Presbyterian Church are among the churches located in Charleston. The largest religious groups are the American Baptist Churches in the USA, the United Methodist Church and the Catholic Church.

Charleston is home to the John F Kennedy Center and the Kanawha County Courthouse as well as Watt Powell Stadium and Ruffner Memorial Park. Shopping centers in the area include Patrick Street Plaza Shopping Center, Laidley Court Shopping Center and Plaza East Shopping Center. Visitors to Charleston can choose from Days Inn Charleston East WV, Motel 6 and Fairfield Inn Charleston for temporary stays in the area.