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How Much Does Advertising School Cost?

Advertising School Prices

Breaking into the advertising world as a sales agent doesn't always require a bachelor's degree (although some employers prefer one). Even if you're interested in working for an advertising agency, a degree in advertising isn't required, as many skills are learned on the job. An education in advertising, however, can teach students key skills and help to set them apart from other applicants. When considering advertising schools look for institutions that offer courses in your specific area of interest. Advertising programs can be completed in a traditional on-campus setting or online.

Advertising School Considerations

Salary and Job Prospects

It's difficult to generalize about the income of advertisers due to the diversity of positions within the advertising agency. Advertising sales agents, for example, earn a median annual income of $46,290 (source: Bureau of Labor Statistics). For those that work their way up to managerial positions, the BLS reports a median income of $89,000.

Advertising also offers opportunities in copywriting and graphic design. The writing professional as a whole, which includes advertising copywriters, fetches a median annual income of close to $56,000. Graphic designers earn approximately $44,000 per year. Art directors—those who oversee writers and designers—earn much more (over $80,000 according to the BLS).

As for employment opportunities in the various arms of advertising, it depends on one's particular career path. While sales agents, sales managers, and graphic designers can expect job growth that's about average compared to all other occupations, the outlook for writers and art directors is somewhat below average.

Types of Training

A bachelor's degree in advertising or a related field (in the case of a copywriter, for example, communications or journalism) is often sufficient for entry-level positions in advertising. To become an advertising manager or creative director, a bachelor's degree as well as several years of experience in the field are typically required.

Other options include earning an associate's or a master's degree in advertising. There are also online advertising certificate and diploma programs. Check with individual schools to find out what is required for admission to an advertising program.

Advertising School Average Costs

  • The cost of advertising school depends on the length of the program and whether it is a public or private institution. According to College Board, the average cost of a public four year college is around $8,500 per year/$22,000 per year (for in-state and out of state students, respectively). This would put the typical cost for earning a bachelor's degree in advertising at approximately $34,000-$88,000. Private institutions have average annual tuition costs of roughly $29,000 ($116,000 over 4 years). College Board puts the average cost of earning an associate's degree (i.e. attending a 2-year community college) at around $3,000 per year (read about community college vs. a 4-year institution at The Huffington Post).
  • US News offers this breakdown (tuition plus other expenses) of the average cost of 2 and 4 year schools.
  • The cost of a master's degree varies widely. Some schools charge as little as $5,000 to $10,000 per year, while others charge up to $45,000 per year.
  • Earning a graduate certificate typically takes less time (one year or less) and costs less ($5,000 to $6,000 or more per year) than earning a master's degree (learn more about the differences between these distinctions here).

Author: Brian Eckert

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