What is an Account Executive

In a word, an account executive is a salesperson. Their day-to-day roles include finding new clients, serving existing customers and nailing the sale deal on the head. Essentially, it's safe to say that your communication skills have to be off the chart. Especially since most account executives work on commission.

In general, you'll probably want to secure a bachelor's degree before pursing this career. Even after you graduate, you'll probably have some more to learn. But no worries because your employer will probably supply that.

There is more than meets the eye when it comes to being an Account Executive. For example, did you know that they make an average of $32.02 an hour? That's $66,604 a year!

Between 2018 and 2028, the career is expected to grow 5% and produce 20,600 job opportunities across the U.S.

What Does an Account Executive Do

There are certain skills that many Account Executives have in order to accomplish their responsibilities. By taking a look through resumes, we were able to narrow down the most common skills for a person in this position. We discovered that a lot of resumes listed Analytical skills, Communication skills and Leadership skills.

Learn more about what an Account Executive does

How To Become an Account Executive

If you're interested in becoming an Account Executive, one of the first things to consider is how much education you need. We've determined that 78.0% of Account Executives have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 6.5% of Account Executives have master's degrees. Even though most Account Executives have a college degree, it's possible to become one with only a high school degree or GED.

Choosing the right major is always an important step when researching how to become an Account Executive. When we researched the most common majors for an Account Executive, we found that they most commonly earn Bachelor's Degree degrees or Associate Degree degrees. Other degrees that we often see on Account Executive resumes include Master's Degree degrees or High School Diploma degrees.

You may find that experience in other jobs will help you become an Account Executive. In fact, many Account Executive jobs require experience in a role such as Sales Representative. Meanwhile, many Account Executives also have previous career experience in roles such as Account Manager or Sales Associate.

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  1. IBM Jobs (445)
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  5. Aramark Jobs (404)
Average Salary
$66,604
Average Salary
Job Growth Rate
5%
Job Growth Rate
Job Openings
236,223
Job Openings
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Average Salary for an Account Executive

Account Executives in America make an average salary of $66,604 per year or $32 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $103,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $42,000 per year.
Average Salary
$66,604
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12 Account Executive Resume Examples

Learn How To Write an Account Executive Resume

At Zippia, we went through countless Account Executive resumes and compiled some information about how to optimize them. Here are some suggestions based on what we found, divided by the individual sections of the resume itself.

View Account Executive Resume Examples And Templates

And if you’re looking for a job, here are the five top employers hiring now:

  1. IBM Jobs (445)
  2. Yelp Jobs (1,031)
  3. Cbs Jobs (527)
  4. Comcast Jobs (2,861)
  5. Aramark Jobs (404)

Choose From 10+ Customizable Account Executive Resume templates

Zippia allows you to choose from different easy-to-use Account Executive templates, and provides you with expert advice. Using the templates, you can rest assured that the structure and format of your Account Executive resume is top notch. Choose a template with the colors, fonts & text sizes that are appropriate for your industry.

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Account Executive Resume
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Account Executive Resume

Account Executive Demographics

Account Executive Gender Statistics

male

57.2 %

female

42.8 %

Account Executive Ethnicity Statistics

White

71.6 %

Hispanic or Latino

15.1 %

Black or African American

6.5 %

Account Executive Foreign Languages Spoken Statistics

Spanish

53.6 %

French

10.3 %

Portuguese

4.6 %
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Account Executive Education

Account Executive Majors

30.7 %
12.7 %

Account Executive Degrees

Bachelors

78.0 %

Associate

9.7 %

Masters

6.5 %

Top Colleges for Account Executives

1. University of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, PA • Private

In-State Tuition
$55,584
Enrollment
10,764

2. Northwestern University

Evanston, IL • Private

In-State Tuition
$54,568
Enrollment
8,451

3. University of Southern California

Los Angeles, CA • Private

In-State Tuition
$56,225
Enrollment
19,548

4. SUNY at Binghamton

Vestal, NY • Private

In-State Tuition
$9,808
Enrollment
13,990

5. Villanova University

Villanova, PA • Private

In-State Tuition
$53,308
Enrollment
6,819

6. San Diego State University

San Diego, CA • Private

In-State Tuition
$7,488
Enrollment
30,018

7. Bentley University

Waltham, MA • Private

In-State Tuition
$49,880
Enrollment
4,177

8. Boston University

Boston, MA • Private

In-State Tuition
$53,948
Enrollment
17,238

9. SUNY Stony Brook

Stony Brook, NY • Private

In-State Tuition
$9,625
Enrollment
17,407

10. Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Worcester, MA • Private

In-State Tuition
$50,530
Enrollment
4,571
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The Complete Startup Playbook for Business Development & B2B Sales to learn Lead Generation, Pitching, & Closing Deals...

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Top Skills For an Account Executive

The skills section on your resume can be almost as important as the experience section, so you want it to be an accurate portrayal of what you can do. Luckily, we've found all of the skills you'll need so even if you don't have these skills yet, you know what you need to work on. Out of all the resumes we looked through, 10.2% of Account Executives listed Customer Service on their resume, but soft skills such as Analytical skills and Communication skills are important as well.

Best States For an Account Executive

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as an Account Executive. The best states for people in this position are Connecticut, Rhode Island, Oregon, and Washington. Account Executives make the most in Connecticut with an average salary of $78,785. Whereas in Rhode Island and Oregon, they would average $78,428 and $77,441, respectively. While Account Executives would only make an average of $74,865 in Washington, you would still make more there than in the rest of the country. We determined these as the best states based on job availability and pay. By finding the median salary, cost of living, and using the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Location Quotient, we narrowed down our list of states to these four.

1. Oregon

Total Account Executive Jobs:
1,292
Highest 10% Earn:
$123,000
Location Quotient:
1.23
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

2. Connecticut

Total Account Executive Jobs:
879
Highest 10% Earn:
$124,000
Location Quotient:
1.05
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

3. Idaho

Total Account Executive Jobs:
467
Highest 10% Earn:
$111,000
Location Quotient:
1.12
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here
Full List Of Best States For Account Executives

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Top Account Executive Employers

We've made finding a great employer to work for easy by doing the hard work for you. We looked into employers that employ Account Executives and discovered their number of Account Executive opportunities and average salary. Through our research, we concluded that Comcast was the best, especially with an average salary of $76,534. AT&T; follows up with an average salary of $52,440, and then comes Ricoh Company with an average of $62,090. In addition, we know most people would rather work from home. So instead of having to change careers, we identified the best employers for remote work as an Account Executive. The employers include Dell, Salesforce, and FIS

Most Common Employers For Account Executive

RankCompanyZippia ScoreAverage Account Executive SalaryAverage Salary
1$130,919
2$128,616
3$128,208
4$105,744
5$76,534
6$72,459

Account Executive Videos

Becoming an Account Executive FAQs

How long does it take to become an Account Executive?

It takes 5 years of professional experience to become an account executive. That is the time it takes to learn specific account executive skills, but does not account for time spent in formal education. If you include the normal education requirements to complete a college degree, then it takes 8 to 10 years years to become an account executive.

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Do you need a degree to be an account executive?

No, you do not need a college degree to become an account executive. To become an account executive requires, at minimum, a high school diploma.

Over 70% of account executives have a bachelor's degree, and most have their bachelor's degrees in business administration, finance, business management, and marketing.

Only 7.3% of account executives have a master's degree. However, those account executives with a master's degree earn more money ($73,000) compared to those with just a bachelor's degree ($65,000).

While a college degree helps to get a foot in the door, an account executive is weighted more on their communication skills, social networking abilities, and their ability to get new clients. On-the-job experience is also very important. For example, over 90% of recently hired account executives have had at least several years of work experience in their industry.

Most account executives have worked in sales, which gives them the opportunity to on-the-job training and master sales and persuasion techniques. Starting out as a sales representative is recommended since it provides one-on-one experience working with an account executive.

Since most account executive roles require at least three years of experience in sales, you should plan to work for at least that long in an entry-level sales role before seeking a promotion.

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How much does an account executive get paid?

An account executive gets paid around $97,000 annually. The national average starting salary is $65,000, plus a commission or bonus around $20,000 to $40,000 annually.

The average entry-level position for an account executive is $43,000 plus commission. An account executive with a master's degree earns more money ($73.000) compared to someone with just a bachelor's degree ($65,000). Only 7.3% of account executives, however, have a master's degree.

Most account executives work their way up through the company rather than getting hired right outside of college. More than 90% of account executives have had at least several years of work experience in their industry before being hired.

Factors such as educational credentials, experience, and location have an effect on salary range. It's also impacted by the size of the company - ranging from $350,000 at a large company and $80,000 at a small company.

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How much money does an account executive make?

An account executive makes approximately $65,000 a year. Many factors can impact what an account executive earns annually, as this number only includes base salary.

Entry-level account executive positions earn an average of $44,000 per year. This salary reflects the education and experience of the candidate as well as the size of the company and city of employment.

Most account executive positions require a minimum of a bachelor's degree, but someone with enough experience can be offered a position at a higher level of compensation.

Account executives salaries often include sales commission and annual bonuses that can put that $65,000 well over $100,000 in annual compensation. Some account executives working for major companies in large markets can earn $250,000 a year or more.

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Is an account executive a good job?

Yes, being an account executive is a good job. High-energy individuals with natural social skills will find the career both exciting and fulfilling. Plus, a strong job outlook indicates a positive future for account excutives.

An account executive works mostly in sales but can cover a wide range of roles, including; sales, advertising, marketing, and finance. An account executive is a good job for individuals who are naturally "social butterflies" with high energy and excellent people skills.

Account executives usually must meet revenue targets via commission for selling the company's products and services. An account executive makes, on average, $97,000 a year with commissions/bonuses. The range in earnings, however, can be anywhere, from $350,000 for working at a large company to $80,000 at a smaller company.

An account executive is typically responsible for bringing in new clients and servicing existing clients. This role is also known as a "full-cycle" role because it usually requires working as both the sales development representative and the customer service team.

The day-to-day work life of an account executive is often fast-paced and competitive. An account manager must use their business acumen to create solutions while still meeting revenue and development goals.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects average growth of 5% for account executives in the next two years. Most account executives are promoted internally, but some are hired from external companies as well. An account executive can be promoted to senior positions (e.g., Vice President of Business Development, Chief Operations Officer).

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Is an account executive a manager?

No, an account executive is not a manager. While account executives oversee team members tasked with acquiring new clients, they are not considered part of the management team.

An account executive is responsible for recruiting new customers and following up on leads for potential new business. This often results in account managers working with others in the sales department to present a proposal to a potential client.

The roles of account executives and account managers are often confused. Account managers deal with existing clients. They ensure that the client's changing needs are met. Account managers work with a team tasked with meeting their client's budget, creative and time-sensitive needs.

The two positions are of equal importance in most companies. However, someone in the account executive role can be promoted to an account manager to oversee some of the clients they have brought to the company.

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Is it hard to be an account executive?

Yes, it is hard to be an account executive. To become an account executive requires some educational credentials and work experience. More importantly, an account executive is expected to have exceptional communication skills, a large social network, and a drive to stay relevant and up-to-date on the latest trends.

To become an account executive requires nothing more than a high school diploma and a willingness to learn. However, over 70% of account executives do have a bachelor's degree. Interestingly, only 7% of account executives have a master's degree.

Overall, on-the-job experience and good sales abilities hold more weight relative to having a graduate degree or MBA. Consistent with this, over 90% of recently hired account executives already had several years of work experience in their industry.

Most account executive roles require at least three years of experience in sales before being eligible for a position as an account executive.

Account executives come from a wide range of backgrounds (e.g., sales, advertising, marketing, finance) but at the end of the day, they are really just glorified salespeople -- A salesperson who spends a great deal of time building and maintaining client relationships (e.g., branding) in order to sell their company product or services.

Account executives usually work outside of the standard 9-to-5 hours; they often start work early and are "on-call" until late / weekends. There is a lot of variety in the day-to-day activities of an account executive relative to their client's needs at that particular moment.

Many account executives develop intimate relationships with their clients (e.g., calls after business hours and on weekends). The time and nature of client demand only increase as account executives progress in their roles and gain more prestigious clients.

It is typical for account executives to routinely attend management training courses and sit in on sales calls to better understand the business. Account executives also are expected to understand sales, social networking, project management, negotiations, and cold calls.

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What level is an account executive?

An account executive is considered a lower-level position in the business sales profession. Although very important, the position of account executive ranks near the bottom of the business sales hierarchy.

Account executives land just above sales development representatives representing the early stages of a business/customer relationship. These representatives find leads that the account executive then cultivates into a sales contract.

Above the account executive are positions that represent both the ongoing relationship with the client and the large scope of overseeing multiple clients and their needs. Account managers, regional sales managers, and directors of sales represent the ascending scope and responsibility of the sales branch of a business.

These roles within the sales branch of a business are where account executives may be promoted. Account executives are often promoted to account managers to continue to manage the accounts that they have acquired. Here they would work with multiple account executives and their clients.

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What qualifications do I need to be an account executive?

Account executives must meet certain education and job-specific qualifications, including a bachelor's degree, business or sales experience, and strong communication skills.

A four-year degree in business administration, accounting, or marketing is typical of someone pursuing this career path. Some candidates earn an MBA, and all coursework should focus on consumer research, marketing, and communication methods.

Other skills necessary to be a successful account executive range from creativity to leadership skills. Account executives also rely on various forms of effective communication to present their concepts to clients. Leadership skills are important as you may be leading a team to fulfill a client's vision for their company.

There are no certifications or licensures connected to becoming an account executive. Candidates need only a relevant degree, good leadership skills, and the ability to effectively communicate their vision to potential clients.

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What's the difference between an account executive and an account manager?

The difference between an account executive and an account manager is their involvement with the client. Account managers are responsible for ensuring client satisfaction once the client is already on board with the company. An account executive is tasked with finding and signing new clients to the company.

An account manager will usually handle multiple clients at a time, unlike an account executive, who is usually focused on one client at a time.

The main job duties of an account manager include:

  • Serving as a communication hub between existing clients.

  • Maintaining a positive relationship with existing clients and their company.

  • Offering new services or products to existing clients as relevant and necessary.

  • Managing and solving customer issues.

The main job duties of an account executive include:

  • Networking to identify potential clients. Representing the company on sales calls.

  • Creating and fostering positive customer relationships.

  • Presenting effective sales pitches.

  • Meeting sales quotas.

  • Resolving any client issues that arise before signing the sales contract.

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