F / AE / 4yrs / ATL: $65K

Is it too much to ask for $87 - $97K for San Francisco??

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^*golden gatekeeping


Guys, if you don’t work in our department, it doesn’t make sense to comment on salary.

I think that’s high for an AE, even in SF. I’m in NYC and make less than your desired range as an AS. AEs in NYC make $50-65k typically. You’re getting paid at the top end as an AE. Are you staying in an AE position? Getting a promotion? I’d shoot for a 10-15% bump. A 30% to 50% bump is not realistic at all.

That said, you can absolutely ask for your range. Just be prepared to get a no.


Telling someone that asking for $97k as an AE is not gatekeeping 🙄 I wish the salary bands were that generous but they’re not until you get to the AD level.

@OP It’ll take you time to get to an AS level, but that doesn’t mean people don’t find value in your work as an AE. You have 4 years experience, there’s no SAE roles, you can easily ask for $70-75k in that circumstance. That will be more comparable to an SAE role, since it seems that’s what you’re interested in finding. Based on SF costs of living, you can probably get a small bump there too, or even request relocation. I’m just saying be realistic, you’re not likely to find an agency paying $87-97k for an AE. Good luck!


For a junior position like an AE? You creatives must have it good.


Just interviewed in SF at a few places, and they all maxed out at $80k


Wow! Where do you work? I don’t even make that as an SAE in ATL! Keep riding that train and no harm in asking


No I don’t think so?


Nope, that should be good


A 50% jump is always realistic. Wake up and ask for it.


If you are a more green AE, meaning you don’t think you’d get promoted to AS in a year, you’ll probably be more around the 70k-75k arena. Depends on how senior the company thinks you’re coming in at, and if they’ll be giving you the responsibilities of what an SAE is. The $80k I was given was for a SAE role.


I moved from NY to the south and all my increases have been 40%+. It’s not unrealistic at all


Yes, staying AE. The new agency doesn’t have the SAEs role, so next step would be AS. Which could take a while...going from AE to AS.

Depends on how much I bust my ass, I’m pretty good, but again going from AE to AS, seems like it’d take a while.

Yes, it's too much, even for SF. Sounds like you have it pretty good at $65k.

Thanks everyone for the input! Definitely don’t want to blow my chances by being unrealistic, this helps a lot.

When I was in Account I got 90 as an AE in Boston, 4 years experience. Female.

That’s a very high salary for an AE. And an absolutely unrealistic range for that level.

If you’re applying for AS (which at 4 years isn’t out of the question) then your stated salary band isn’t out of the realm of possibility

If you don’t live in SF you shouldn’t comment on it. I made $84 as a designer. You can’t survive in that city on less.

AS1 that wasn’t the gatekeeping part. It’s when you told people they shouldn’t comment unless they’re in your department. That is literally gate keeping.

@AD1 Maybe because our salary structures among departments are very different? I wouldn’t comment on an AD or Copywriter asking for salary advice. First 3 people posting were Creatives and each said that was a good salary to ask for a junior Account position. It’s not.

Account salaries are usually low until you get to the AD level, whereas Creative salaries typically start and stay comparably higher.

I can’t speak to the other cities, but I’m in ATL and consider that high for 4 years in ATL.

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