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

  • Online Programs Available
    1. Kaplan University

    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
      • Master: Legal Studies
      • MS in Psychology
      • Master : Business Admin
      • Master: Psychology/General Psychology
      • MSPY - Industrial/Organizational Psychology Specialization
      • Master of Public Health
    Bachelor's
      • Undergraduate in Legal Studies
      • Bachelor: Liberal Studies
      • Bachelor of Business Admin
      • BSBA - Investment
      • BS in Liberal Studies Leadership
      • Bachelor: Nutrition Science
    Associate's
      • AASBA in Business
      • AAS in Legal Support and Services
      • Associate: Business Admin.
      • Associate: Business Admin. - Office Mgmt
      • Associate: Criminal Justice
      • Associate: Accounting
    Certificate
      • Psychology
      • Certificate in Human Services
      • Medical Office Administration Certificate
      • Human Services Certificates in Child and Family Services
      • Postbaccalaureate Certificate - Pathway to Paralegal
      • Medical Billing and Coding Certificate
  • Online Programs Available
    2. George Mason University

    Program Options

    Master's
      • Master of Education in Special Education, specializing in Applied Behavior Analysis
      • Master of Health Administration in Health Systems Management
      • Master of Science in Health Informatics
      • Master of Business Administration
      • Master of Education in Special Education, specializing in Autism Spectrum Disorder
  • Online Programs Available
    3. Georgetown University

    Program Options

    Master's
      • Master of Professional Studies in Sports Industry Management
      • Master of Science in Finance
      • Masters of Professional Studies in Technology Management
      • Master of Professional Studies in Real Estate
  • Online Programs Available
    4. Purdue University

    Program Options

    Master's
      • Master of Science in Communication
      • Master of Science in Education in Special Education
      • Master of Science in Engineering Technology
      • Master of Science in Hospitality and Tourism Management
      • Master of Public Health
      • Master of Science in Education in Learning Design and Technology
  • Online Programs Available
    5. The George Washington University

    Program Options

    Master's
      • MSHS Medical Laboratory Sciences
      • MSHS in Immunohematology and Biotechnology
      • MSHS in Molecular Diagnostic Sciences
      • MSHS in Translational Microbiology
      • Masters in Interdisciplinary Secondary Transition Services
      • Master of Arts in Education and Human Development in Special Education for Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Learners
  • Online Programs Available
    6. Grand Canyon University

    Program Options

    Doctorate
      • DBA - Management
      • Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)
      • EdD in Organizational Leadership - Health Care Administration
      • EdD in Organizational Leadership - Special Education
      • Ph.D. in General Psychology - Cognition and Instruction
      • Ph.D. in General Psychology - Industrial and Organizational Psychology
    Master's
      • M.S. Psychology with an Emphasis in Gerontology
      • M.S. in Psychology with an Emphasis in Human Factors
      • MA in Curriculum and Instruction
      • MS in Criminal Justice: Legal Studies
      • MS in Psychology: General Psychology
      • M.A. in Communication with an Emphasis in Education
    Bachelor's
      • Bachelor of Science in Business for Secondary Education
      • BS in Psychology
      • B.S. in Psychology with an Emphasis in Performance and Sports Psychology
      • Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education
      • BS in Early Childhood
      • BS in Elementary Education / Special Education (Dual Major)
  • Online Programs Available
    7. Colorado Technical University

    Program Options

    Doctorate
      • Doctor - Management - Criminal Justice
      • Doctorate: Computer Science
      • Doctorate - Computer Science: Information Assurance (Executive Format)
      • Doctor of Management - Graduate Level Instructional Practices
      • Doctorate: C.S. - Enterprise Information Systems
      • Doctorate: Management - Organizational Development and Change
    Master's
      • Master of Science in Computer Science
      • Master: Computer Science - Database Systems
      • Master of Business Admin
      • Master of Business Admin - Entrepreneurship
      • MS - Computer Science - Computer Systems Security
      • M.S. - Information Technology
    Bachelor's
      • B.S. - Psychology
      • BS - Criminal Justice
      • B.S. - Psychology - Organizational Behavior
      • B.S. - Psychology - Consumer Behavior
      • BS - Nursing (RN to BSN completion)
      • BS - IT - Web Development
    Associate's
      • Associate of Science in Business Administration
  • Online Programs Available
    8. American InterContinental University

    Program Options

    Master's
      • Master of Business Admin: Management
      • Master of Business Admin: Operations Management
      • Master: Education - Curriculum and Instruction
      • Master of Business Administration - Accounting
      • Master of Information Technology - Information Assurance and Security
      • Master of Business Admin: Project Management
    Bachelor's
      • Bachelor of Business Administration - Generalist
      • Bachelor or Science - Criminal Justice: Law Enforcement
      • Bachelor of Business Admin: Marketing
      • Bachelor of Business Admin - Accounting
      • Bachelor of Business Administration - Finance
      • Bachelor of Technology: Information Assurance and Security
    Associate's
      • Associate of Arts in Business Administration
      • Associate of Science in Criminal Justice
  • Online Programs Available
    9. Widener University

    Program Options

    Master's
      • Dual Master of Jurisprudence in Corporate and Business Law / Master of Business Administration
      • Master of Business Administration
      • Master of Business Administration - Business Process Innovation
      • Master of Business Administration - Healthcare Management
      • Hybrid Dual Master of Social Work/Master of Education, Human Sexuality Studies
      • Master of Social Work
    Bachelor's
      • RN to Bachelor of Science in Nursing
  • Online Programs Available
    10. Saint John's University

    Program Options

    Doctorate
      • Ph.D. in Literacy
      • Ph.D. in Literacy: Educational Leadership
      • Ph.D. in Literacy: Special Education
      • Ph.D. in Literacy: Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL)
      • Ph.D in Literacy: Literacy
    Master's
      • Master of Business Administration: Interdisciplinary Business
      • Master of Business Administration: Taxation
      • Master of Science in Accounting
      • Master of Science in Taxation
      • Master of Science in Library and Information Science
      • Master of Science in Library and Information Science: Academic Librarianship

Featured Schools

Kaplan University

  • Master of Science - DNP Executive Leader
  • Master: Legal Studies
  • Undergraduate in Legal Studies
  • AASBA in Business
  • Psychology

Which subject are you interested in?

George Mason University

  • Master of Education in Special Education, specializing in Applied Behavior Analysis
  • Master of Health Administration in Health Systems Management
  • Master of Science in Health Informatics

What is your highest level of education?

Georgetown University

  • Master of Professional Studies in Sports Industry Management
  • Master of Science in Finance
  • Masters of Professional Studies in Technology Management

What is your highest level of education completed?

Purdue University

  • Master of Science in Communication
  • Master of Science in Education in Special Education
  • Master of Science in Engineering Technology

What is your highest level of education?

The George Washington University

  • MSHS Medical Laboratory Sciences
  • MSHS in Immunohematology and Biotechnology
  • MSHS in Molecular Diagnostic Sciences

What is your highest level of education?

Grand Canyon University

  • DBA - Management
  • M.S. Psychology with an Emphasis in Gerontology
  • Bachelor of Science in Business for Secondary Education

What is your highest level of education?

Colorado Technical University

  • Doctor - Management - Criminal Justice
  • Master of Science in Computer Science
  • B.S. - Psychology
  • Associate of Science in Business Administration

Are you a US citizen?

American InterContinental University

  • Master of Business Admin: Management
  • Bachelor of Business Administration - Generalist
  • Associate of Arts in Business Administration

Are you a US citizen?