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Is the Money in Advertising?


When adults ask what you want to be when you’re older as a kid, it is always the same couple of answers. Kids want to be doctors, teachers, veterinarians, lawyers, firefighters, and police officers, but you never hear a kid say they want to be in advertising. The reason they lean towards these jobs is that they admire the work of these professionals. They can see the hard work and dedication to helping others.


One of the most grandiose changes we see is high morally driven jobs not receiving the compensation they were before the pandemic. To kids, this isn’t a concern, but professionals in the industry are experiencing a shockwave.


Starting with the obvious, it is common knowledge that teachers do not make a luxurious living, and most of the work and supplies they do are on their dollar. You would probably think that professionals trained to teach the future of America would be given a high compensation. Instead, we see that those in advertising, even entry-level juniors, receive higher salaries than mid-level and senior teachers. Other front-line workers such as nurses and doctors are starting to see professionals in the advertising industry beat out their compensation.


Now, this is not entirely true for every nurse/doctor with every professional in advertising. With every career, there are high levels of concentration, and each receives compensations differently. One of the most up-and-coming professional jobs that are high paying and popular in advertising are UX and UI designers. 


The amount of time, energy, school, and years of paying off loans does not equate from those in the medical field to those in advertising. Advertisers normally require a bachelor’s degree, while those in the medical field can face up to six years of school and close to $200,000 in debt.


In the advertising field overall, the highest paid jobs are going to be in pharmaceutical. If you were to compare a doctor to a medical writer in pharma, there is a good chance the medical writer will receive higher compensation for the same number of years in the field. Many individuals wish they could have saved years on loans and school and trade it for medical writing because it is in the same career of interest, and they could be better off. When you compare doctors to medical writers, there is a difference in a moral high ground that may be a deciding factor.


With all advertising, there are negative connotations of manipulation, whereas doctors are seen as saviors. Another gigantic difference between these two is the number of hours worked for compensation. During the pandemic, nurses and doctors have worked more than ever, and most were underpaid. Instead, those in advertising are similarly high-in-demand but have the luxury of relaxed company culture and working remotely.


We are not indicating that one occupation is better than the other. Since the pandemic hit, front-line workers may start questioning their careers and consider roles in pharmaceutical advertising. It is unfortunate to see, but those in these careers have endured more years of school, more debt, overworked, underpaid, and overall exhausted. Do you think advertising will lead future careers?