Many advertising sales jobs are not salaried positions. You might receive a small base salary plus a pre-determined commission for each sale. The base salary is usually pretty abysmal, which means you'll have to bring in some commission to pay your rent. Depending on your employer's compensation structure, you might also receive a bonus if you exceed your assigned sales goals.
Do you really like to live on the edge? Then consider an ad sales position with a commission-only pay structure. While you might enjoy some lucrative commissions if you land a few good clients, you don't have a safety net if you have a bad month. Keep a backup plan in mind if you're considering one of these positions.
Regardless of how you get paid, remember that many ad sales reps enjoy some nice company benefits and perks. A cash-heavy business may provide health insurance, vacation, and savings plans to all its employees. This might soften the blow of your less-than-adequate take-home pay. On the other hand, a start-up operation may offer few bennies (while paying you pennies) but provide you with a chance to grow with the company. Be sure to start marking your respective heights on the door, so you’ll know when you’ve finally outgrown it.
Let's get to the bottom line: How much can you make, on average? All things being equal, you can expect to make around $50k annually if working at a dinky regional newspaper, all the way up to $150k or more (plus stock options and commission) if you’re one of the big boys in one of the big towns. All things being unequal, some of those ad reps are enjoying caviar, nice vacations and high-end SUV's, while others might be living on happy hour food. You can probably find a spot in either group – it just depends how hard you want to work. And how long you think you can subsist on hot wings.
Looks like it covers all the major food groups to us…