what is an account manager?

As an account manager, you contact the company's customers and make sure they are happy. A good account manager has a heart for the customer and business. Your job is to take care of the needs and concerns of customers.

This role of an account manager requires you to wear several hats. The job requirements vary based on the client's needs at that time. You may be a salesperson, offer technical support, provide financial advice or take on a customer service representative role. You also act as a link between the customer, sales department and other departments or teams that impact the client's account. It is your job to ensure the client remains satisfied and that your employer gets a sizable return on investment (ROI).

what does an account manager do?

A good account manager is not focused on selling a product or service. Instead, your focus is on helping customers solve their problems or achieve specific goals. You also prioritize relationships over sales and forgo short-term wins to foster long-term relationships.

Would working as an account manager suit your people skills? Then read on to find out what competencies and qualifications you need to thrive in an account manager role.

account manager jobs

average account manager salary

According to Job Bank, the average salary of an account manager is $120,024 per year, which translates to $61.55 per hour. In an entry-level position, you start with a salary of $60,000 yearly. With experience, account managers take home over $184,722 annually.

what factors affect the salary of an account manager?

As an account manager, your earnings fluctuate based on various factors. Your education and skills affect your earnings. When you have minimal education, you are likely to earn a lower salary than someone with better qualifications. When you are new in the role, you have minimal experience, which influences your salary. As you grow your expertise, your earnings increase.

Salaries also fluctuate per region, with some locations paying higher average salaries than others. For instance, when you work in Quebec, your average salary is $178,966 per year. In Nova Scotia, you earn $154,625 annually. Ontario pays lower salaries of $109,229 yearly, while British Columbia pays $101,449 yearly. The demand for account managers and the cost of living influence earnings from region to region.

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types of account managers

Account managers typically fall into two primary categories:

  • national account managers: as a national account manager, you are responsible for coordinating internal and external stakeholders and cross-functional parties. Depending on your employer, you take on quasi-general manager roles.
  • regional account managers: as a regional account manager, your main focus is on maintaining quality relationships with distributors and seeking new sales opportunities. You are the relay point between your company and independent stores or distributors. You also gather sales data, analyze trends and provide feedback to the sales team.
Female worker laughing. African-American woman. Hair up. Striped T-shirt. Primary color yellow. Secondary color blue.
Female worker laughing. African-American woman. Hair up. Striped T-shirt. Primary color yellow. Secondary color blue.

working as an account manager

Becoming an account manager is a good career if you enjoy working with people. Check out the tasks, responsibilities and career opportunities for account managers in Canada.


account manager skills and education

The educational requirements for becoming an account manager include:

  • post-secondary education: pursue a bachelor's degree in commerce, economics or business administration. Other courses relevant to the role include marketing and sales. If you are an account manager handling financial products, you may require certification as a Certified Financial Planner by completing the requirements of the Financial Planners Standards Council of Canada. If you work for an investment or financial institution that sells financial and investment products, you require a licence from the appropriate governing body.
  • work experience: if you want to become an account manager, it is important to gain work experience through sales or marketing positions. Entry-level jobs prepare you for the role, helping you to develop the necessary customer service skills of an account manager.

competencies and characteristics of account managers

The qualities of successful account managers include:

  • communication skills: as an account manager, you should communicate well over the phone, via email and across departments or teams. Being comfortable addressing C-level executives, managers, and sales representatives is crucial. You also address clients professionally and maintain good working relationships.
  • knowledge of the field: knowledge about the company and customer expertise is required. Since you nurture relationships, you need in-depth knowledge of the company and its customers. It also allows you to identify growth opportunities that match the client's needs with the company's services.
  • ability to look ahead: a strategic perspective beyond short-term goals allows you to orchestrate long-term deals and relationships to create a mutually beneficial strategy. Prioritizing long-term relationships over short-term rewards requires forward-thinking skills.
  • leadership skills: leadership is necessary for account managers because they interact with many parts of the business. It is important to show confidence and command respect from clients and co-workers. You also inspire sales representatives to improve lead generation.
  • negotiation skills: negotiation skills help account managers sell products to customers. You need a sense of timing, good presentation skills and the confidence to know when to push and when to pull back.


Here, you will find the answers to the most frequently asked questions about the profession of an account manager.


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