Tap to Read ➤

How to Become an Account Manager

Kundan Pandey
If you are eying for a career in account management, being an account manager will give you tremendous exposure and job satisfaction in several industries.
In almost all companies that you can think of, account managers play a crucial role in maintaining client relationship and ensuring that clients are satisfied with the end product. Be it a telecom service provider, IT company, manufacturing firm, public relations agency, marketing or advertising firm;
Account Managers (AMs) are recruited in all, to establish lucid communication between the firm and its clients. Even sales, marketing and customer support services come under the purview of account manager works.
Managing all aspects of the client relationship forms the core task of an account manager job description. Depending on the field he is employed in, his tasks and daily duties may vary significantly. But the essence of his work in all fields is to monitor and fulfill the client's needs.

General Job Duties of an Account Manager

If you are an AM in a manufacturing factory, you will be actively involved in scheduling budgets as per the needs of clients. You will inform your staff, employees and management about the deadlines of the product development. After the products are manufactured as per specifications, you will monitor that the delivery is on time to its destination.
If on the other hand, you work in an advertising agency at the same designation, you will be expected to display excellent creative and interpersonal skills.
You will be actively involved in marketing, spotting future opportunities, growing businesses with clients, scheduling press releases and conducting events for sponsoring products through advertisements created by your firm.
If you are a sales account manager, your work responsibilities will include coordination of sales division's work. You will supervise the complete sales department, assign sales goals to individual sales persons, respective teams and you will be the face representing your firm during national and international trade conventions. 
It will be you who will plan how much money is put in the product research and its development. Further, if you are working as an IT account manager, your work assignments will include planning, coordinating, directing and implementing numerous activities related to the Information Technology (IT) field.
This is just a glimpse of varied roles that an account manager plays in a variety of job settings.

Becoming an Account Manager

There is no one fixed path to become an account manager. It all depends on the industry you are willing to join. If you want to work in an advertising, you will have to obtain a bachelor's/master's degree in subjects like advertising, marketing, PR, customer management, communication strategy, media relations, media planning and ethics, to name just a few.
In case you aspire to be an IT account manager, you will require a technical background and IT knowledge. Engineering degree in electronics or IT would be the most profitable. While educational degree, depending on the respective field is valuable, employers prefer candidates who have some work experience, no matter, even as interns.
So irrespective of the industry in which you are working, as an account manager, you must try to work as an intern to know the practical working of your chosen area. Work experience is always a great career enhancement in this field.
If you have higher aspirations in this field, you need to have patience and strong dedication. It won't happen overnight and you will have to prove your account management skills at every stage of the career.
In this era of technology, advertising and media, it can be said that account manager jobs in these fields have evergreen opportunities. In industries where the boom has already passed several decades ago, job openings won't be very handy.
If you're ready to jump into this field, do research a little about prospects of the industry you are planning to enter. As an AM, you can expect to earn anywhere between US$100,000 - US$140,000 or more, depending on the industry you are employed in.
Your earnings will also depend on your work experience and area of employment. Higher levels of oral and written communication skills are a major requirement in this field, especially if you are into advertising, marketing or PR, so ensure that you master the English language, pretty well.
Now that you're aware of the steps you must take to be an account manager, you must be willing take a decision, if you want to join this industry. Making efforts in the right direction, with a positive attitude and hard work will ease your journey to success.