Marketing Vice President Careers: Salary & Job Description

About this article
A marketing vice president's median salary is about $139,000. Is it worth the pressures associated with upper-management work? Read real job descriptions and learn more about the job prospects and about whether a career as a marketing vice president is right for you.
View available schools

Pros and Cons of Being a Marketing Vice President

Marketing vice presidents (VPs) come up with strategies to sell goods and services for corporations. Read up about the pros and cons of pursuing an executive-level marketing career.

Pros of Being a Marketing Vice President
Attainable with just a bachelor's degree plus work experience *
High median salary (roughly $139,000 as of 2015)*
Work available in many industries (manufacturing, enterprise management, finance/insurance, and professional/technical services) *
Marketing managers enjoy a higher level of job security than other types of managers *

Cons of Being a Marketing Vice President
Known to be stressful due to strict deadlines *
Long hours (many work 50 or more hours each week) *
Tough decisions (managers may need to choose from several different marketing strategies developed by colleagues) *
Competition for positions is expected to be high *

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Career Information

Job Description and Duties

Marketing vice presidents belong to a classification of jobs that the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) refers to as 'marketing managers'. These individuals conduct market research to determine the level of demand for particular goods or services. They then implement marketing strategies to reach the target demographic and determine the best price for the goods or services to meet the bottom line and to maximize consumer satisfaction. Marketing VPs may also oversee the hiring of new employees.

In this role, you might have a hand in the development stages of a product, ensuring that it's on track to meet the demands of its intended consumer demographic. Marketing VPs who work in high-ranking executive positions have more responsibilities, including contract negotiation and the execution of business goals. Specialization options are available in healthcare, sports, and entertainment marketing, among many others.

Career Prospects and Salary

The BLS reported that the employment of marketing managers is expected to increase 13% percent between 2012-2022, which is right around average growth for all jobs. Because marketing managers are integral to the operations of a corporation, they often are less likely to be let go during corporate down-sizing. Of the 184,490 marketing managers working in 2014, 18% were working in management of companies and enterprises roles.

In May 2014, the BLS reported that marketing managers earned a median annual salary of $127,130. According to that data, the highest paying industry for marketing VPs was security and commodity exchanges (averaging $213,620), while those working for insurance carriers made significantly less ($136,340 annually). In 2015, Payscale.com reported that the 10th-90th percentile of marketing VPs earned between approximately $82,000-$188,000 annually (with bonuses, profit sharing, and other such types of additional income).

Education and Training Requirements

You'll need at least a bachelor's degree in a business-related area before working through the ranks to become a marketing vice president. Expect to spend some time in lower-level positions, since many employers look for around 7-10 years' experience for their VP candidates. You can start building this experience while in school, through internships or by working entry-level jobs as you earn your degree. You should also possess skills in areas like

  • Mathematics
  • Analytical skills
  • Management
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Decision-making skills

Job Postings from Real Employers

Though employers accept people with just bachelor's degrees, many may prefer candidates with advanced degrees, like a Master of Business Administration (MBA). These professionals commonly meet directly with top executives, such as a Chief Marketing Officer or a Senior Vice President. Employers look for candidates who are willing and able to take the initiative with regard to new marketing initiatives and strategies. Here are some actual postings from real employers, as of April 2012:

  • A data protection agency based in Philadelphia is looking for candidates with at least five years of marketing management experience in the software industry. The position would involve managing the company's Internet media, developing lead generation strategies, and designing product launch plans. The ideal candidate will be skilled at budgeting, planning, and communicating.
  • An Illinois-based bowling and billiards company is looking for a Vice President of Retail Marketing who'd be in charge of training new managerial workers, designing national marketing initiatives and recruiting league bowlers at the company's bowling alleys nationwide. The company is looking for individuals with at least a bachelor's degree in marketing plus ten years of business management experience, with at least five of those years being in the retail or hospitality sectors. Those with MBAs are given extra consideration.
  • An academic governing body based in Washington, D.C., seeks someone to be its next senior vice president for marketing and communications. The individual hired would run the entire marketing department, which also entails maintaining membership records and handling communications. Ten years of experience in some type of marketing management role is required; those with that level of experience in an association or a college are preferred.
  • A New York State provider of low-cost healthcare is looking for a marketing VP to put the agencies marketing strategies into action. The candidate should be familiar with government-assisted health care programs, like Family Health Plus, Child Health Plus, Medicare, and Medicaid. Seven years of experience and a bachelor's degree are required; candidates holding master's degrees are preferred.

How to Stand Out in the Field

Rising above the competition for marketing VP jobs can entail extra education and experience in various marketing-related professions. Interning during your undergraduate or graduate years can also help you stand out. Other ways of standing out include developing your organizational, creative, decision-making, and interpersonal skills, which can be built through an internship or related entry-level position, and highlighting these skills on the resume you send out to potential employers.

Market Yourself

Due to the variances in the specializations available, you may want to take inventory of your prior experiences and look for marketing jobs in fields in which you've worked or are otherwise knowledgeable. For example, looking at the job post for the bowling and billiards manufacturer, you could stand out if you have experience with the culture associated in bowling alleys, either through previous work experience in one or simply as a bowling enthusiast. Similarly, if you have a software or information technology (IT) background, consider looking for jobs such as the one posted by the Philadelphia-based data protection agency. You might also wish to look into social marketing workshops, which are offered by various professional organizations and by universities. These programs can get a bit costly, so look at the various options and see what kind of workshops or seminars would be worth your investment.

Get More Education and Credentials

Having a master's degree in a business-related area can also move you past many other people competing for these jobs, based on the job posts above. Many colleges and universities across the nation offer Master of Business Administration degrees with concentration options in marketing. These programs can help you develop well-rounded managerial skills while covering such marketing principles as performance and productivity analysis, marketing research, and marketing strategies. Programs may also include the study of specialized areas, like entertainment marketing and sports marketing. Many schools offer these programs online, allowing you to study remotely and at your own pace.

Once you make your way to a VP position, you can then pursue voluntary certification, which can highlight your professionalism and dedication to the field. One such certification is the Certified Marketing Executive (CME) credential offered by Sales & Marketing Executives International. Earning it requires that you demonstrate proficiency with marketing strategies, marketing management, and the legal and technical aspects of the profession.

Other Careers to Consider

If the above career path doesn't sound like it would fit you, then you could pursue one of a number of related career paths. Public relations managers and sales managers are among the possibilities that might be a better fit for you.

Public Relations Managers

A management career in public relations (PR) can be an option for you if you prefer the communications side of management. Strong communications skills are needed, since public relations managers deal directly with media agencies and the general public. In this role, it would be your job to translate the goals and visions of a business to its target audience. According to the BLS, public relations managers only need a bachelor's degree and a few years of experience to get into entry-level management positions. In time, you could work your way up to a directorial position, which could require 5-10 years of experience. In May 2011, the BLS reported that the median annual salary for public relations and fundraising managers was about $93,000. From 2010-2020, the BLS predicted that public relations managers and specialists would see a 21% employment growth.

Sales Managers

If you see yourself as a persuasive person with a knack for customer service, you may wish to become a sales manager. You can pursue a number of paths to enter this field. For example, you could get a bachelor's degree in a business-related area and then pursue a master's degree, which could get you in the door with minimal work experience. Alternatively, if you build experience in entry-level jobs, such as sales representative, you may not need as much college training. In 2011, the BLS reported that sales managers earned a median annual salary of about $102,000. From 2010-2020, they were expected to see an employment rate increase of about 12%.

Popular Schools

  • Campus and Online Programs
    1. Full Sail University

    Program Options

    Master's
      • Master of Science - Film Production
      • MS - Entertainment Business (Campus)
      • MS - Game Design (Campus)
      • M.S. - Entertainment Business
      • M.S. - New Media Journalism
      • Master of Fine Arts - Creative Writing
    Bachelor's
      • BS - Sportscasting (Campus)
      • Bachelor of Science - Software Development
      • BS - Cloud Technologies (Campus)
      • BS - Creative Writing for Entertainment (Campus)
      • BS - Film (Campus)
      • BS - Media Communications (Campus)
  • Online Programs Available
    2. Purdue University Global

    Program Options

    Doctorate
      • Master of Science - DNP Executive Leader
      • Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)
      • Master of Science - DNP Path (Doctor of Nursing Practice)
    Master's
      • MS in Psychology - Forensic Psychology
      • Master: Legal Studies
      • MS in Psychology
      • Master of Public Health
      • Master - Accounting
      • Master of Health Informatics
    Bachelor's
      • Bachelor: Liberal Studies
      • Bachelor of Business Admin
      • BSBA - Investment
      • BS in Liberal Studies Leadership
      • Bachelor: Nutrition Science
      • Accelerated MS in Finance Option
    Associate's
      • AAS in Legal Support and Services
      • Associate: Criminal Justice
      • AAS in Information Technology - Multiplatform Software Development
      • Associate of Science in Fire Science
      • AAS in Criminal Justice and Criminology
      • AASIT: Network Admin
    Certificate
      • Medical Assisting Certificate
      • Medical Office Administration Certificate
      • Human Services Certificates in Child and Family Services
      • Graduate Certificate in Addictions
      • Graduate Certificate in Industrial/Organizational Psychology
      • Adult Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner Certificate
  • Online Programs Available
    3. Trident University

    Program Options

    Doctorate
      • Business Administration (Ph.D.)
      • Health Sciences (Ph.D.)
      • Doctor of Business Administration
      • Educational Leadership (Ed. D.)
      • Educational Leadership (Ph.D.)
    Master's
      • Master of Arts in Education
    Bachelor's
      • Computer Sciences (BSCS)
      • Business Administration (BSBA)
      • Human Resources Management (BSHRM)
      • Homeland Security (BSHLS)
      • Information Technology Management (BSITM)
      • Leadership (BSL)
    Associate's
      • Professional Studies (ASPS)
    Certificate
      • CMCB - Certificate in Medical Coding and Billing
  • Online Programs Available
    4. Seton Hall University

    Program Options

    Master's
      • Master of Science in Accounting
      • Master of Public Administration in Non-Profit Management
      • Master of Business Administration
      • Master of Business Administration - Accounting
      • Master of Business Administration - Finance
      • Master of Business Administration - Marketing
  • Online Programs Available
    5. Colorado State University Global

    Program Options

    Master's
      • MS - Teaching and Learning
      • Master of Project Management
      • Master of Finance
      • Master of Professional Accounting
      • Master - Information Technology Management
      • Master - Human Resource Management
    Bachelor's
      • BS - Human Services
      • BS - Accounting
      • BS - Project Management
      • BS - Marketing
      • BS - Healthcare Admin and Management
      • BS - Business Management
    Certificate
      • Graduate Certificate - Human Resource Management
      • Undergraduate Certificate - Project Management
      • Graduate Specialization - Accounting
      • Graduate Certificate - Cyber Security
  • Online Programs Available
    6. Grand Canyon University

    Program Options

    Doctorate
      • DBA with an Emphasis in Marketing
      • Doctor of Education in Teaching and Learning with an Emphasis in Adult Learning
      • Doctor of Nursing Practice with an Emphasis in Educational Leadership
      • Doctor of Philosophy in Counselor Education and Supervision
    Master's
      • MA in Curriculum and Instruction
      • M.A. in Reading with an Emphasis in Secondary Education
      • M.Ed. in Early Childhood
      • M.Ed. in Secondary Education
      • MS in Criminal Justice: Law Enforcement
      • MS in Nursing: Public Health
    Bachelor's
      • Bachelor of Science in Business for Secondary Education
      • BS in Early Childhood
      • B.S. in Computer Programming
      • Bachelor of Arts in History for Secondary Education (ITL)
      • Bachelor of Science in Business Information Systems
      • Bachelor of Arts in English for Secondary Education
  • Online Programs Available
    7. Penn Foster High School

    Program Options

    High School Diploma
      • HS Diploma
  • Online Programs Available
    8. Florida Tech

    Program Options

    Bachelor's
      • BA in Applied Psychology
      • BA in Business Administration/Management
      • BA in Criminal Justice
      • BA in Accounting
      • BA in Applied Psychology/Child Advocacy
      • BA in Applied Psychology/Clinical Psychology
    Associate's
      • AA in Applied Psychology
      • AA in Criminal Justice
      • AA in Accounting
      • AA in Business Administration
      • AA in Healthcare Management
      • AA in Management
  • Campus and Online Programs
    9. Pacific Oaks College

    Program Options

    Master's
      • M.A. Education with Prelimary Education Specialist Instruction Credential
      • M.A. Early Childhood Education
      • M.A. Education: Elementary Education
      • M.A. Organizational Leadership and Change
      • M.A. Human Development
      • M.A. in Advocacy and Social Justice
    Bachelor's
      • B.A. Community Psychology
      • B.A. Early Childhood Education
      • B.A. Human Development
      • B.A. in Advocacy and Social Justice
    Certificate
      • Preliminary Multiple Subject Teaching Credential
      • Preliminary Education Specialist Instruction Credential
  • Online Programs Available
    10. Regent University

    Program Options

    Doctorate
      • Doctor of Education - Character Education
      • Doctor of Education - Curriculum & Instruction
      • Doctor of Education - Higher Education
      • Ph.D. in Communication
      • Ph.D. in Education - Character Education
      • Ph.D. in Education - Curriculum & Instruction
    Master's
      • Master of Arts in Communication
      • Master of Arts in Communication - Political Communication
      • Master of Arts in Communication - Strategic Communication
      • Master of Arts in Government - Political Communication
      • Master of Arts in Journalism
      • M.A. in Business & Design Management
    Bachelor's
      • Bachelor of Applied Science in Criminal Justice
      • Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies
      • Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies - Journalism
      • Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies - Organizational Communication
      • Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies - Rhetoric and Public Culture
      • Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies - Strategic Communication
    Certificate
      • M.Ed. - Individualized Degree Program - Autism Certificate
      • M.Ed. in K-12 Special Education - Autism Certificate

Featured Schools

Full Sail University

  • Master of Science - Film Production
  • MS - Entertainment Business (Campus)
  • BS - Sportscasting (Campus)
  • Bachelor of Science - Software Development

What is your highest level of education?

Purdue University Global

  • Master of Science - DNP Executive Leader
  • MS in Psychology - Forensic Psychology
  • Bachelor: Liberal Studies
  • AAS in Legal Support and Services
  • Medical Assisting Certificate

Which subject are you interested in?

Trident University

  • Business Administration (Ph.D.)
  • Master of Arts in Education
  • Computer Sciences (BSCS)
  • Professional Studies (ASPS)
  • CMCB - Certificate in Medical Coding and Billing

What is your highest level of education completed?

Seton Hall University

  • Master of Science in Accounting
  • Master of Public Administration in Non-Profit Management
  • Master of Business Administration

What is your highest level of education?

Colorado State University Global

  • MS - Teaching and Learning
  • BS - Human Services
  • Graduate Certificate - Human Resource Management

What is your highest level of education?

Grand Canyon University

  • DBA with an Emphasis in Marketing
  • MA in Curriculum and Instruction
  • Bachelor of Science in Business for Secondary Education

What is your highest level of education?

Penn Foster High School

  • HS Diploma

What is your age?

Florida Tech

  • BA in Applied Psychology
  • BA in Business Administration/Management
  • AA in Applied Psychology
  • AA in Criminal Justice

What is your highest level of education completed?