Marketing Career Paths: A Guide For Beginners

Reach the top of the marketing ladder!

Your career does not only help you to succeed in life, but it is also a source of happiness. However, it will take years to forge a path that fulfills your dream goal. This is why it is crucial to consider that this is what you want to do within the coming years before you commit to putting all your energy and time into it. Before we consort to getting into the details of landing your first marketing job to reach the top, we must start with the most basic questions about marketing career paths.

What is Marketing?

An organization’s use of high-quality messaging to entice customers to buy its goods or services is known as marketing. Marketing aims to provide customers with independent value, with the long-term objective of demonstrating the product value, building brand loyalty, and increasing sales.

In broader terms, marketing is the process of generating interest in your product or service. You can accomplish it through market research, analysis, and comprehension of the interests of your ideal customer. Product development, distribution strategies, sales, and advertising are all examples of marketing. 

Why Choose a Career in Marketing?

The above question is answered by the diversity of career opportunities you can avail in marketing. There are different types of fields in marketing, and everyone can find something for themselves. 

It doesn’t matter if you are introverted or extroverted, organized or spontaneous, analytical or creative. You will find something for yourself while creating your marketing career path.

Everything is covered under the umbrella of marketing. It stretches from writing press releases and creating advertising campaigns to devising social media campaigns and designing packaging.

It means that once you step into the marketing world, there is no limit to what you can achieve and where you can go.

Now, we will move on to helping you climb the career ladder by laying a rough outline of the path you need to take.

Marketing Areas You Could Specialize In (Source: Praxis)

Marketing Career Paths


The first step in the career path for marketing is as an intern. It is how you will enter the ultra-competitive world of marketing. Your tasks will involve doing simple daily tasks to provide support for a marketing department. 

The most common internships can be divided into four types:

  1. Branding
  2. Social Media
  3. Product Marketing 
  4. Digital Marketing

Each of the above-mentioned can help you derive a different marketing passion.

However, you should acknowledge that it’s not necessary to start as an intern to succeed in this field. Professionals come from fields of engineering, operations, finance, etc. 

Marketing internships are usually free, while some might be offered a stipend of $1000 to $2000 per month. 

Entry-Level Job

An entry-level marketing position is the best way to break into the industry for recent college graduates or those without prior marketing experience. Typically, you will see job titles like brand associate, social media assistant, digital media specialist, product marketing specialist, etc.

Entry-level jobs typically require assistance with research, customer service, administrative tasks, and reporting to account executives, media planners, or client services managers. Other duties may also be required.

More opportunities to advance usually arise once an entry-level employee demonstrates competence in their role. Assisting with the creative process, presenting reports and forecasts to company leadership and potential customers, or coordinating a special event or project are all possible next steps.

Although entry-level marketing positions may not be glamorous, they provide a foundation for the soft skills that will be essential for long-term career development and a fundamental understanding of the inner workings of the business.

Becoming an associate, assistant, or specialist in marketing can help you earn handsome pay, ranging from $45k to $55K every year.

Coordinator and Supervisor

A coordinator or supervisor has to work with the marketing team to understand the strategies implemented by the upper-level hierarchy for the best of the company. Furthermore, they add these priorities to their daily marketing tasks.

Their job titles might sound like social media coordinator, event marketing coordinator, product market supervisor, project coordinator, etc.

This level of marketers does not have access to direct reports. They only have to coordinate tasks and processes. 


The next step in the progression of a marketing career is to become a manager. They are the ones who ensure that the KPIs are in check and that the marketing team is doing their work correctly. 

If they are employed by a large corporation, the manager might be tasked with taking care of a small subdivision, like business intelligence, email marketing, SEO, or product marketing. On the other hand, if it’s a smaller company, they may be put in charge of many marketing subchannels at the same time.

However, in the case of a marketing agency, account managers will have to cater to the needs of a specific client. Whichever marketing management role you have been given, you will need to acquire the skill of leadership, as you will need to orchestrate the execution of strategies, establish processes, and nurture new hires.

Typically, marketing managers are offered a starting salary of $60k per year, which can increase to $75k over the years based on their performance. However, a minimum experience of 3 to 4 years is required to reach the management level in marketing.


The next logical step in the marketing career path is to become a director of marketing. They oversee the implementation of a company’s marketing strategy. 

Marketing directors adjust the overall strategy to achieve business objectives after receiving research and reports from marketing managers that detail market conditions, customer data, and competitor activities. Their objective is to get prospective customers more excited about the brand and more likely to make a purchase. 

The salary for the director of marketing ranges from $80k to $110k per year, for which they will have to gain experience of 6 to 7 years.

Vice President of Marketing

After being a director, and gaining an experience of more than 12 years in the field of marketing, becoming the Vice President is your next step. It is the second-highest marketing position in a company. However, you must remember that small companies do not offer this role. Even if they do, their responsibilities will be closer to the job of a marketing director. 

A VP of marketing is supposed to be a great leader who can represent the company in the eye of the public. They have to resolve conflicts between different sectors of the company and sustain their ability to achieve company goals. Furthermore, they are also responsible for the hiring of senior marketing positions.

VPs of marketing get paid a sizable compensation for their capabilities and longevity. They can make up to $250k per year.

Chief Marketing Officer (CMO)

Becoming the chief marketing officer is the pinnacle of a marketer’s career. If you reach this point, it means that you have done it! Congratulations!

The most senior marketing position is the Chief Marketing Officer or CMO. There is no one-size-fits-all background for the modern CMO. They are in charge of all aspects of marketing, including the creation, planning, and management of all marketing initiatives. The Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) oversees the company’s marketing initiatives and return on investment and reports directly to the CEO.

The hard part of becoming a CMO is the expansive experience required to get there. You will need to work in marketing for more than 20 years to achieve this position, which will reap its rewards. It is because an average CMO gets paid a salary of more than $300k per year.

Although it is a useful outline of a conventional career path in marketing, it is not comprehensive. There are numerous varieties of marketers: brand marketers, cultural anthropologists, marketing technologists, agency marketers, marketing consultants, and a plethora of other job roles and responsibilities that fall under each of these categories.

Now, to reach your ultimate goal in marketing, all you need to do is start a career in marketing.

How to Get Started in Marketing?

First of all, keep in mind that marketing is not just about selling or advertising a product. There is much more to this field than that. Marketing increases the volume of sales and provides new product ideas and revenue streams to generate a greater income.

You will need passion, respective skillset, education, and experience to thrive in the world of marketing. Otherwise, you will be left behind.

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