Advertising is the driving force behind television because of the revenues it generates for networks. Thus, the job of a television sales executive is among the most important behind-the-scenes jobs in television. In fact, salaries for sales executives in top advertising markets such as New York and Los Angeles can earn top dollars. Regardless of market, salaries for television sales executives depend greatly on bonuses and commissions.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics lists the average salary for advertising agents overall, including commissions, at $43,480 annually as of 2008. In comparison, the bureau lists the average salary for advertising agents in television at $41,750 annually as of 2008. Dick O' Brien, in his 2006 salary report for Biz Plus, reports the average salary for television sales executives between $28,000 and $32,000 with the potential to earn as much as $45,000 annually.
In top television markets such as New York, Los Angeles and Chicago, television sales executives may earn six-figure salaries. Filcro.com lists the salary ranges for sales executives for a number of television networks in these markets. A junior account executive for a cable television network in Chicago may earn between $100,000 and $175,000 annually as of 2009. In Los Angeles, a new business account executive for a cable television network earns between $100,000 and $250,000 annually as of 2009. In New York, an online advertising account executive for a cable television network can earn between $210,000 and $250,000 annually as of 2009.
While television sales executives may earn six-figure salaries in larger markets, their salaries in smaller markets are drastically lower. In Alabama, an account manager may earn between $24,960 and $30,000 as of 2010 compared to a yearly salary between $16,640 and $20, 800 in Colorado as off 2010 according to Ihirebroadcasting.com. More experienced sales executives earn the higher end of these salary ranges. Television account executives in New Jersey earn an average between $15,000 and $20,000 annually as of 2010 according to the Ihirebroadcasting.com. In comparison, those in Louisiana earn between $20,000 and $25,000 annually as of 2010.
Entertainmentcareers.net lists job postings by several reputable television and film companies. A large number of these companies hire those with bachelor's degree's and offer salaries commensurate with experience. Generally, account executives and other television sales executives must have a minimum bachelor's degree. Even with a degree salary levels are based on entry-level status.