It can be difficult to find career opportunities that accommodate the unique responsibilities and challenges inherent to life as a military spouse, including for those individuals who themselves were previously servicemembers. Employers may disregard resumes that present nomadic, varied or sporadic work histories. Military spouses, who cope with the responsibilities of household management under extraordinary amounts of stress, can’t always present the stable work history many employers find attractive.
As information technology and digital media continue to flourish, however, the national economy—and the American workplace—are changing dramatically. With more businesses, institutions and government entities realizing the power of online marketing, military spouses who have had trouble finding a position that suits their schedules and responsibilities may want to consider becoming an Internet marketing agent.
Internet marketing agents, also called online advertising sales agents, sell online advertising space and opportunities to businesses, organizations and individual clients. On a daily basis, their duties and responsibilities may include the following:
- Identify, contact and recruit potential clients
- Prepare sales presentations
- Modify sales materials and strategies to suit each client’s needs
- Promote advertising and marketing materials and strategies
- Create and maintain client accounts
- Research and analyze Internet sales and advertising trends
Strong interpersonal communication, persistence and creativity are essential skills for online advertising sales agents. Successful agents are not dissuaded by rejection and know how to tailor a message to a particular audience.
While traditional advertising sales agents often meet with clients in person to discuss options, online advertising sales agents communicate primarily over the Internet or the phone. The digital landscape is not constrained by geography, thus eliminating some of the challenges military spouses may encounter when seeking employment.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), 141,100 jobs were recorded in 2016 for all advertising sales agents.
The BLS reports that employment opportunities in Internet marketing will be fueled by rising spending on digital media advertising. Smartphones, tablets and online radios have made advertising opportunities in digital media more prevalent, and more industries and employment sectors are likely to pursue online advertising and marketing opportunities.
Salary Ranges and Considerations
The median annual wage for advertising sales agents nationally was just more than $50,000 in May 2016, according to the BLS. Pay is often based on performance, with commissions, bonuses and other financial incentives comprising a significant portion of an agent’s total earnings.
As with any occupation, local and regional factors mean that salaries can vary significantly from the national average. As a result, it’s important to research local market conditions and opportunities in order to draw a more accurate picture of job opportunities and potential earnings.
Education and Training
Formal training typically is not required to become an Internet marketing agent, although employers may prefer applicants with an associate’s or bachelor’s degree, particularly in a related field such as marketing or business.
Sales experience is also a plus when pursuing a career as an Internet marketing agent.
An associate’s degree in business administration can be a first step toward becoming an Internet marketing agent. Coursework typically includes principles of marketing, and financial and management accounting.
Coursework in the liberal arts may also be beneficial, as core competencies such as critical thinking, quantitative reasoning and strong communication skills are pertinent to online advertising sales.
Military Occupational Specializations
Military spouses who previously were servicemembers may find that the job of an Internet marketing agent shares a number of professional duties with certain military occupational specialties across various branches. Those might include:
- Psychological Operations Specialist: Assess, create and distribute media and information to a target population
- Public Affairs Specialist: Create and produce a variety of news and entertainment media
U.S. Coast Guard
- Public Affairs Specialist: Coordinate and implement public relations, news media and internal communications
- Mass Communication Specialist: Design, create and disseminate strategic visual media and information
Programs for Military Members and Families
Flexibility and financial benefits are important considerations for military members and their families in choosing an educational or career path. Scholarships, tuition discounts and other assistance may be available through various programs such as the GI Bill® and the Military Spouse Career Advancement Accounts Program (MyCAA).
GI Bill® is a registered trademark of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). More information about education benefits offered by VA is available at the official U.S. government web site at www.benefits.va.gov/gibill.