Is there a career path in AEC marketing beyond the marketing coordinator role?

Is there a career path in AEC marketing beyond the marketing coordinator role?

If you have been a marketing coordinator for more than 2 to 3 years, you begin to wonder what your next job role should be.

You can become a Senior Marketing Coordinator and then eventually a Proposal or Marketing Manager. Eventually, you may be managing other staff, larger pursuits and/or multiple pursuits.

Can you ever get beyond the proposals? Do you want to? What other career paths are there for AEC marketers?

Linear vs. Scattered Career Movement

Before I share some actual career paths taken by experienced AEC marketers, I would like to challenge your perspective. Your career path doesn’t always need to take a linear direction.

In her book, Lean In, Sheryl Sandberg explains that if you are constantly trying to “climb the corporate ladder” you will be left looking at the backside of the person in front of you.

She suggests that you keep an open mind as your next move might be lateral or diagonal.

We need to ditch the idea that an AEC marketer’s next career move is always up. Your next move might be lateral or diagonal.

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Marketing vs. Client-Project Work

My other suggestion about changing your perspective is in terms of your role within the firm.

I worked in a capacity that was operations side working directly for clients (aka a billable, operations employee). It was a lateral move, but gave me direct experience with the clients’ frustrations and allowed me to empathize with project managers and lead technical staff for time constraints.

I believe working in this role for over two years helped me excel on the marketing side at a much higher rate.


Find Your Specialty

You should make notes of the tasks and assignments that get you really excited and you naturally gravitate. Once you start making these mental notes you quickly realize what you do and do not like.

Marketing specialties may include:

  • Presentation Coaching
  • Graphic Design/Page Layout
  • Renderings/Visualization
  • Communications/Writing
  • Media Relations
  • Conferences/Special Event Management
  • Database/Information Management
  • Strategy/Capture Planning
  • Market/Economic Research

Here are some ways you could contribute to client/project work:

  • Editing
  • Page Layout
  • Public Involvement Coordination/Messaging
  • Document Control
  • Even Schedule Control – I think marketers are the best schedulers out there!

Create Your Own Path

Your future as an AEC marketer is wide open as firms get more and more sophisticated in their marketing efforts. If your path isn’t defined or your defined path doesn’t work for you, create your own!

If you bring value to your firm, they will define the role to keep you.

Your Turn: Share your AEC marketing career path below.

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