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Advertising industry jobs in demand in Australia — Insights from our 2020 Salary Guide


It crosses all our minds at some point: Am I getting paid what I’m worth and how will I need to adapt in my job role to stay ahead and relevant. And if you’re a manager within an agency (advertising, digital, design, content etc), many other questions probably come up around money and talent, too—am I paying my team competitively enough to keep them? What should I budget for this role? How will I attract the best talent? 

Our Sydney and Melbourne 2020 Salary Guide is here to help. 

Here’s a breakdown of some valuable insights from our 2020 salary guide, focusing on Agency Account Management and Strategy.

This article was originally published on Adnews

  • Salaries for account managers and senior account managers have increased on average by 7%.
  • The ability to "deliver clarity and ideas out of chaos" makes the difference.
  • Likely to be more involved in the production of digital campaigns and projects.

Strategic account managers are in demand across the Australian advertising industry, according to analysis of the market by recruiters Vitamin T.

Managing director Alex Kenning says he's seeing a growing trend, across agencies of all sizes and scope, for account management teams to be more than managers -- they are also required to be thinkers, problem solvers and creatives rolled into one.

"The belief is that the account teams who not only deliver, but add value to their clients through ideas and insights across everything from brand to technology and customer experience to content strategy will win and retain more work," he says.

"They are required to have many of the traditional account management skills, but it's the ability to deliver clarity and ideas out of chaos which makes the difference — they are able to engineer a creative solution to a complex problem.

"The demand is reflected by a current trend of account management staff wanting to move into a more strategy focused role. But the authority, gravitas and presence to cut through the chaos and offer more than the client's in-house team or the current client service team, are the skills they can often lack."

Within a digital environment, Kenning says account management staff are likely to be more involved in the production of digital campaigns and projects, such as eDMs, banners and social content.

Within some agencies this has played out to them having only producer/account manager hybrids across certain clients.

According to real-time data and Vitamin T's 2020 Salary Guide, on average there has been no significant salary growth for senior account directors, client service directors/general manager roles over the last year.

This is reflected in a comparative lack of demand for senior level “traditional” account management staff across the industry.

However, both account manager and senior account manager roles have seen an average 7% increase in salaries year-on-year, and salaries for head of strategy roles have increased 13%.

Median salaries:


Senior account manager: $87.2k (up 9% increase)

Account manager: $75k (up 10.3% increase)


Senior account manager: $80k (2.8% increase)

Media Salary: $67.5k (3.8% increase)

Account management staff at all levels, from account execs through to general managers earn on average 10% more in Sydney agencies, than in Melbourne Agencies. Strategists at all levels earn the same in Melbourne and Sydney.

Men earn on average 7% more than women with the same job title.

Male group account directors get on average $19,000 more than female GADs (a 14% difference) and male heads of strategy earn on average $40,000 more than females with the same job title, (a 29% difference). Strategists are the only job role in which females earn more than their male counterparts.

Employee Mobility

Only 17% of account management and strategy professionals are actively looking for work.

However, a further 60% are not actively looking, but if approached about the right role at the right time, would consider a move.

"This means that employers who want to hire the best talent need to shift their thinking to sourcing from everyone working in account management and strategy, not just those who are actively looking," says Kenning.

"When looking for a new role, those working in account management and strategy rank cultural fit and an interesting and varied workload higher than salary as their most important factors.

Soft Skills in Demand
Problem Solving, Adaptability, Collaboration and Emotional Intelligence are currently the most in-demand soft skills, and it’s anticipated that they will remain so over the next three to five years, according to the 2020 Salary Guide which analysed 9,684 salaries.

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