Home page


Careers in this cluster

Cluster definition

Do you sell advertising space for the school yearbook or newspaper?
Do you like to do public speaking or debating?
Are you good at organizing your own time?
Have you helped convince people to participate in an activity?
Are you friendly and outgoing?

If you answered yes to two or more of the questions above, you might be interested in considering a career in marketing, sales, and service.

If you are interested in working in the Marketing cluster, you would help businesses sell products. You might advertise and promote products so customers would want to buy them. Or you might sell products and services directly to customers. Or you might use the Internet to reach customers.


Marketing communications

Marketing Communications employees design and implement marketing plans. You might create ads for television or magazines. Or you might develop spot ads for radios so an organization becomes better know by the public.

Public Relations Specialists

Marketing management

In the Marketing Management pathway, employees direct the marketing operations. The responsibilities include advertising, marketing, sales, and public relations. You might work in a large corporation and direct the activities of several employees. Or you might work for a small company and do all the activities yourself.

Marketing research

Employees in Marketing Research collect and analyze many different types of information. The information is used to design new products and to predict future sales. Or you might get information to compare your company against a competitor.

Market Research Analysts


Employees in the Merchandising pathway get the product into the hands of the customer. You might buy the products that the businesses sell. Or you may design the display and packaging for the product. Or you might assist the customers with making decisions about which products best meets their needs.

Professional sales

Employees in the Professional Sales pathway make sure that goods and services are sold to consumers. The consumers may be other businesses or individuals.

Level of education and earnings

The training and education requirements to work in the occupations included in the Marketing cluster depend on the specialty and the type of work performed. Some occupations require on-the-job training. In contrast, some occupations, such as managers need a bachelor's degree.

The information provided in the table below, presents the level of education or training required to work in the occupations related to this cluster and the median wages for those occupations. Note that some occupations may have more than one required level because the type of work performed may vary in specific jobs.

Sales representatives and retail and route salespeople are often paid a wage plus commission. A commission is a percent of the price of each product that is sold. The more products that are sold means the higher the salary.

Also, keep in mind that there are non-wage benefits that workers receive. For example, these types of benefits are health insurance, paid vacation, sick leave, and retirement plans. It is important to consider these benefits when you are looking at pay. Some benefits, such as health care, are worth a lot of money. You should carefully weigh a job that pays well but does not have many benefits against one that has good benefits and lower pay. Remember, how much an occupation pays is only one factor to consider when making career choices.

  National Annual
Median Wage
Washington Annual
Median Wage
Short-Term, On-the-Job Training (Less than One Month)
Cashiers$22,430 $26,550
Counter and Rental Clerks$27,290 $31,930
Demonstrators and Promoters$28,960 $29,900
Models$23,770 not available
Retail Salespeople$24,200 $29,040
Route Salespeople$24,700 $26,410
Telemarketers$25,250 $33,560
Moderate-Term, On-the-Job Training (One to Twelve Months)
Advertising Salespeople$51,740 $51,600
Merchandise Displayers$28,450 $35,550
Parts Salespeople$30,430 $33,980
Work Experience in a Related Occupation
Property and Real Estate Managers$58,340 $78,210
Sales Worker Supervisors$39,630 - $73,390 $44,790 - $75,620
Postsecondary Vocational Training (Certificate or Diploma)
Real Estate Agents$48,690 $54,630
Bachelor's Degree
Buyers and Purchasing Agents$62,750 $68,100
Fundraisers$56,950 $56,670
Market Research Analysts$63,120 $70,890
Public Relations Specialists$60,000 $67,170
Sales Representatives$58,510 - $101,420 $62,250 - $122,540
Work Experience Plus a Bachelor's or Higher Degree
Advertising Managers$117,130 $142,620
Marketing Managers$134,290 $147,520
Public Relations and Fundraising Managers$114,800 $119,590
Sales Managers$124,220 $128,490

Employment & outlook

In the future, there will be many job opportunities in the Marketing cluster. The number of people employed in sales and marketing is very large. Numerous job openings will result from turnover. Many people leave for higher paying jobs or for the opportunity to work regular hours. E-commerce has affected the number of sales persons who are needed because companies and individuals place orders directly.

The glamour of advertising attracts many jobseekers. As a result there are many more jobseekers than there are job openings. New jobs will be created because of an increased demand for advertising services. However, the increased use of technology could replace some workers.