How to Become an Account Manager?

Are you thinking of becoming an Account Manager or already started your career and planning the next step? Learn how to become an Account Manager, what skills you need to succeed, how to advance your career and get promoted, and what levels of pay to expect at each step on your career path. Explore new Account Manager job openings and options for career transitions into related roles.

Steps to Become an Account Manager

If you're a people person who enjoys solving problems, a career as an account manager may be a good fit for you. Become a helpful liaison between your company and its customers with these five steps:

Conduct research on account management.

Whether you have experience in the business world or not, the first step to becoming an account manager is to do your research. There are many different avenues to choose from; you can pursue a position as a global telephone operator from your home office or as a local representative working out in the field. These positions are also available in nearly every industry, including marketing agencies, pharmaceutical companies, and even tech giants like Google.

Start with a search for account management jobs on Glassdoor and pick out a few that sound interesting. Next, make a note of each employer's requirements. This step will help you identify what you already understand about this role and what you need to learn.


Gain soft skills that can help you as an account manager.

As you research job openings, ask yourself what soft skills you bring to the table. You'll have a better chance of thriving in this position if you're:

  • A hard worker.
  • Determined.
  • Sales oriented.
  • Self-motivated.
  • Energetic.
  • A great negotiator.
  • An excellent communicator.
  • Flexible and adaptable.

Earn a degree in business management or a related field.

Most seasoned account managers start with a bachelor's degree. The standard fields of study include either business administration, marketing, or sales management. However, if you want to secure an advanced position and increase your earning potential, consider pursuing a master's degree to improve your chances. This experience adds a fresh new line item to your resume and may substitute for on-the-job experience at some firms.

What type of degree should you pursue to become an Account Manager?

98% of people working as an Account Manager earned a Bachelor's Degree

What skills do you need to be an Account Manager?

  • Peripherals
  • Value Proposition
  • Negotiation
  • Time Management
  • Powerpoint
  • Cloud
  • Microsoft Word
  • AdvancED EXCEL
Based on resume data from Glassdoor users who reported working as an Account Manager in the United States.

Earn experience in account management roles.

Despite a high college GPA, many companies prefer to hire candidates with some relevant, hands-on experience. Learn the ins and outs of this service-oriented position through an internship or entry-level role. Start your job search with keywords such as 'assistant account manager' or 'junior account executive.'

You will not only gain specific training in the industry, but also discover how your company operates, what kind of value its trying to create and the tools that can help you succeed in the industry. In addition, these invaluable training opportunities may offer direct customer interactions that will help prepare you for your new career and will teach you to flex your soft skills, like communication and multitasking.


Get account management certifications.

Professional certifications help you stand out from other applicants and are often a logical next step in an account manager's career development path. These qualifications prove to potential employers that you bring improved business skills to the table and theoretical insights into the main elements of account management.

Administrators may be more likely to award key accounts to certified account managers. Organizations such as The Strategic Account Management Association offer specialized training for anyone looking to develop their skills through certification.

Account Manager Career Path

Account Manager

2 - 4Years of Experience
$72K - $127K /yrMost Likely Range
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48% advanced to

Senior Account Manager

2 - 4Years of Experience
$98K - $173K /yrMost Likely Range
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Account Manager IV

5 - 7Years of Experience
$80K - $138K /yrMost Likely Range
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Total Pay Trajectory

Account Manager Career Path

Account Manager I
Account Manager
Senior Account Manager
Account Manager Manager
Account Manager IV
Senior Manager of Accounts
Principal Account Manager
Assistant Director of Accounts
Associate Director of Accounts
Director of Accounts
Senior Director of Accounts
Vice President of Accounts
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Related Careers in the Sales Industry

Interested in other Sales careers? Below are occupations that have high affinity with Account Manager skills. Discover some of the most common Account Manager career transitions, along with skills overlap.

Regional Account Manager
No skills overlap
9% transitioned to Regional Account Manager