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Marketing and Advertising Specialists

Note: Completion of a TAFE SA course does not guarantee an employment outcome. Formal requirements other than educational qualifications (eg licensing, professional registration), may apply to some occupations.

Job Prospects Openings 5 years to November 2019: > 50,000
Salary Range Median weekly earnings: $1051 to $1300 to Source: Australian Government Department of Employment 2015
Brief They're catchy, clever and sometimes hard to get out of our heads! Jingles are one of the strategies devised by marketing and advertising specialists to sell anything from toothpaste to burgers.

There are approximately 1,900 marketing specialists in South Australia. Employment is largely full-time and most work in the Professional, Scientific & Technical industry. Over half of persons in this occupation are males and most are employed in the Adelaide metropolitan area. This occupation has a younger age profile with less than a third of those employed aged 45 years or older.

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TAFE SA courses that may be relevant for: Marketing and Advertising Specialists

Accredited (Award)


If you are going to succeed in the highly competitive marketing and advertising world, you need to think advertising, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, according to an Industry professional in advertising and marketing. 'It's that sort of business and surprisingly, we enjoy it.' Developing communication strategies that attract new business, or enable companies to hold on to existing business, is what it's all about. And, if you've got the key ingredient, creative genius, then you too, could become a marketing and advertising specialist.

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Education Requirements

Of those currently employed 41% have Bachelor Degrees or higher qualifications; 15% have either an Advanced Diploma or Diploma; and 27% have no post school qualification. In order for you to have the best possible chance of finding employment it is recommended that you gain the available qualifications.

TAFE SA offers courses relevant to this occupation including the Diploma and Advanced Diploma of Marketing and Diploma and Advanced Diploma of Advertising. Pathways include the Certificate IV in Marketing and Certificate IV in Advertising.

Studying at TAFE SA is one of the easiest and most successful pathways towards a University Degree. Dual offer courses are available to TAFE SA and Flinders University in the Diploma of Advertising/Bachelor of Business (Marketing) and the Advanced Diploma of Marketing/Bachelor of Business (Marketing). Dual offer courses are available to TAFE SA and Adelaide University in the Advanced Diploma of Marketing/Bachelor of Commerce.

Still unsure? Then try a short course also offered through TAFE SA such as Marketing Essentials Workshop. Check the website for the full list of short courses.

SA Apprenticeships are available in this occupation for further information go to the Traineeship & Apprenticeship Services Website at or phone the Freecall number 1800 673 097.

Career Path

'Excellent!' is how one marketing manager describes employment prospects for marketing and advertising specialists. These specialists are needed in almost every type of business. Employment forecasts also suggest above average employment growth. For those with real talent, it is possible to become an advertising account director in as few as eight to ten years. From an advertising account executive, you can progress to an account manager and then to an account director. In marketing, you can progress from a marketing officer to a marketing coordinator and then to a marketing manager. Some related careers are market research analyst and public relations officer.


Property and Business Services,  Retail Trade


Nola Ellis – Visual Merchandising
'My previous experience with the TAFE system was so positive that I naturally returned to TAFE to help me obtain what I required to break into this new realm.'
Nola had worked in her previous career in Horticulture for approximately eight years before deciding to study Visual Merchandising at TAFE, when her family was transferred from Western Australia to South Australia.

After assessing what she really enjoyed in her previous job, Nola felt that Display or Visual Merchandising would possibly 'satisfy her yen for a creative career,' she said, 'With a new life ahead of me it was time for a new me.'

Nola had previously studied and obtained her credentials in Horticulture through TAFE. Nola recalls that her latest experience studying at TAFE was again well run, informative and proactive. 'I met many other like-minded students who now act as a basic network for each other in this field.'

As Nola recalls, the Visual Merchandising course at TAFE is well regarded within the industry and it wasn't long before job opportunities began to trickle in from many different sources. As well as these opportunities, her class was able to participate in two public exhibits which broadened their flexibility and knowledge.

'The size of the classes were great and the number of classmates was well balanced, enough to share the equipment and facilities and also gain access to the lecturer when required.' she said. Nola recalls that this is possibly why so many stuck to the course in her year. 'A healthy competition between the students spurred us on to achieve better results as well as a high level of expectation and standards from our lecturers. It’s great to see people blossom and evolve with support from both fellow students and staff!'

Nola went on to gain part-time employment as a Visual Merchandiser with Harris Scarfe before her course had ended. Beginning work at a suburban store, Nola is now the Supervisor of Visual Merchandising at the flagship city store. 'TAFE allowed me to continue my studies whilst working which made for a very busy few months but ultimately the outcome was achieved thanks to the flexibility of my lecturers,' she said.

Nola’s new career has rapidly led her into another phase of her life and a high percentage of her fellow students have also gained employment. 'We have been well-prepared by the TAFE staff as they too have been a part of this industry for many years and the library and IT staff were also of great help when we needed them.'

Nature of the Job

Imagine you're the owner of an Information Technology company, which is trailblazing its way through the consumer market. If it's a small firm, you will probably deal with the marketing yourself. If it's a larger company, you will employ the services of marketing and advertising specialists to come up with creative ways to develop and promote your products and services.

An advertising and marketing specialist identifies marketing opportunities and advises on the development, coordination and implementation of plans for the pricing and promotion of an organisation's products or services. Strategies depend on factors such as the product or service promoted (quit smoking campaign, selling cars), the market audience (Baby Boomers, Generation X's) and the resources available (finance and skills). Once this is worked out, communication strategies are developed. These can include any type of advertising such as billboards, bus backs, print media, television and even sky writing. Public relations and special promotions are also great marketing tools as well as direct marketing, mail and telemarketing. And of course there is always the Internet.

Typical Physical Working Environment

One local marketing manager described a marketing exercise he recently undertook in the educational institution that employs him, 'After coming to an agreement with each division to upgrade our publicity brochures and deciding on a budget, I spoke to a graphic designer and briefed them on what we wanted. From there, it was a matter of modification and confirmation that the designs were appropriate. Sourcing photos, writing copy, getting the graphic designer to develop the artwork to the final stage, then negotiating the best printing price, were all part of the process.' He also says, 'You need an understanding of a broad range of marketing strategies as well as good writing skills. An understanding of how the Internet can be used to enhance communication and business strategies is also important. Confidence and great communication skills are certainly an asset, as is the ability to work under pressure and meet tight deadlines and work schedules.'

Typical Occupational Example

Marketing specialists often work with, or use the services of advertising specialists. One industry professional says that before any advertising campaign gets underway, the client's overall business strategy and marketing plan must be looked at. Developing the details of an advertising campaign involves working with other specialists such as the creative director, the creative writer and the art director. Once a number of possible approaches have been devised, the account director meets with the client who selects the most effective one. Then it's off to the media department to ensure that the appropriate audience sees or hears the advertisement.

For further information, contact:

The Communications Council(Head Office)
Phone: (02) 8297 3800

Australian Marketing Institute
Phone: 1300 737 445

Earning Potential

The starting salary for an advertising specialist is about $35,000 per year and those with years of experience may earn up to $65,000 plus. The starting salary for a marketing specialist is about $30,000 and may go as high as $100,000 for those in very senior positions.

Further Information

For further information about all TAFE SA Courses, phone 1800 882 661 or enquire online