Your Ultimate Guide to a Career in Marketing and Sales

Do you know how to present a product in its best light? Want to learn how to increase an audience and get the message out? You could shine bright in marketing and sales.

Just about every business in the world will have a marketing team, whether in-house or an agency they employ.

Search Marketing & Sales Apprenticeships
Marketing Apprenticeships

The basics

Marketers help to spread the desired message from a company about their product or services. They are integral to not just the sales but the product development and distribution.

Marketing is a mixture of sales, advertising, PR, and communications. It encompasses several disciplines from crisis communications and event planning to social media management, per-pay-click advertising and web design and development.

There are many different types of marketing and sales apprenticeships, designed to give candidates the knowledge and abilities necessary to transfer to real-world marketing.

If you are interested in a career in marketing, sales, or recruitment a marketing and sales apprenticeship could be a great fit.

Types of Marketing & Sales Apprenticeships

Content Marketing Apprenticeships

Not afraid to get stuck in? You can pursue careers like farm manager and herd manager.

This is a more general marketing apprenticeship that encompasses print, digital, and email marketing. Apprentices will learn blog writing, social media management, brand promotions and more.

Social Media Apprenticeships

Social media marketing apprenticeships involve learning how to build a brand through social media, content creation and curation, and engaging with customers.

Data Analytics Apprenticeship

Much of marketing is based on data analytics. This type of apprenticeship teaches apprentices how to gather, process, and analyse data to make projections and influence marketing campaigns.

Multi Channel Marketing Apprenticeships

This type of apprenticeship covers creating and maintaining an online presence via web design, content creation and uploading and working with content management systems and e-commerce platforms.

Digital Marketing Apprenticeships

These programmes focus on different aspects of digital marketing, including Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising and social media management.

Entry requirements?

All UK apprenticeships require that you are:

  • 16 or older
  • A UK resident or has the right to work in the UK
  • Not in full-time education

Most marketing apprenticeships will require you to have good GCSE grades (4-9) or equivalent in maths and English. However, some level 2 apprenticeships will allow you to complete these qualifications as part of the programme, so it is not necessarily a deal breaker. Some higher-level apprenticeships will require more GCSEs or A-levels in relevant subjects. 

You will need to be a natural collaborator, as marketers often work with several different departments in an agency. 

Confidence and an outgoing personality are key for client-facing roles but not mandatory for web designers, SEO experts and data analytics. You should be passionate and enthusiastic about marketing, as insincerity can show through and reflect badly on the brand you are representing.

Apprenticeship Levels

UK apprenticeships are categorised as levels (2-7) based on the experience and qualifications required to apply and those you will earn at the end of the programme. The levels are as follows:

Level 2 (intermediate) – equivalent to 5 GCSEs (grades 9 to 4)

Cancer Research provides a 19-month marketing, fundraising, and engagement accelerate scheme and other marketing apprenticeships ranging from levels 2-7. 

Level 3 (advanced) – equivalent to 2 A-levels

Virgin Media offers a level 3 marketing apprenticeship that lasts 16 months and includes three rotations of different marketing departments. Amazon provides two marketing apprenticeships – A level 3 Apprenticeship Marketing Executive and a Level 3 Diploma in Digital Marketing. Sky also offers a two-year level 3 digital marketing apprenticeship. 

Levels 4 and 5 (higher) – equivalent to a foundation degree 

BBC runs a 12-month level 4 Marketing Executive Apprenticeship, with places offered in Salford and London.

Levels 6 and 7 (degree)

Where once you had to go to university full time to earn a bachelor’s and/or master’s degree, now you can undertake a level 6 or 7 apprenticeship and earn as you learn. Completing a level 6 or 7 apprenticeship will see you earn a full degree, often in less time than a university course requires. 

The NHS offers digital marketing apprenticeships at every level, including degree apprenticeships. 

Marketing and sales degree apprenticeships

Companies such as American Express and Samsung Electronics offer undergraduates a marketing degree apprenticeship, lasting up to four years.

You will learn to liaise with different teams, confidently present your ideas, create on-brand content and more. These apprenticeships typically involve multiple placements with different departments, helping you to gain a more holistic view of the business.

Sector spotlight

Since every company needs some form of marketing, you aren’t limited by what industry you choose to enter. If you’re passionate about a particular charity, contact them and see if they are offering a marketing apprenticeship. Likewise, qualified marketers can find work in food and drink, hospitality, science or financial services. 

You can be a marketing manager, a PR consultant, a charity fundraiser, a sales manager or even an estate agent. Some of these roles will require further training and specific licences. 

Marketing skills are largely transferable to any product or service, so you can choose to specialise or even freelance, choosing your own clients.