The Ultimate Digital Marketing Salary Guide for 2021

Marissa Sapega, contributor to the CareerFoundry blog

If you’re pursuing a career in digital marketing, you’ll want to know what kind of salary you can earn. To help you, we’ve put together the ultimate digital marketing salary guide. Here, you’ll find all the latest salary data based on years of experience, geographical location, and a range of job titles within the digital marketing field. 

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  1. What is digital marketing?
  2. Digital marketing salaries based on years of experience
  3. What is the average digital marketing salary? 
  4. Digital marketing salaries around the world
  5. What is the average salary for different digital marketing job titles?
  6. Key takeaways and further reading

So: What kind of salary can you expect if you work in digital marketing? Let’s take a look.

1. What is digital marketing?

Digital marketing involves promoting your business’s products or services through online channels, such as social media, paid search, organic search, email, and others. It’s a constantly evolving field—especially when it comes to social media, where new platforms seem to crop up like mushrooms after a rainstorm with surprising regularity—and digital marketers need to keep their finger on the pulse of the latest trends to be successful. 

If you are looking into a career in digital marketing, you will most likely end up on one of two paths. Most digital marketers are either specialists (highly experienced in one or two channels) or generalists who are skillful and knowledgeable about most or all mediums. The most highly sought-after digital marketers are those with a “t-shaped” skill set, meaning they are highly competent in one particular channel but have reasonable experience with the others. 

Many digital marketers break into the field by working for a digital marketing agency, where they’ll get to work on different projects involving multiple channels. Working for an agency is also an incredible learning experience because clients expect agencies to know the trends for all mediums and platforms (talk about drinking from a fire hose!) You’ll also be surrounded by others with different knowledge sets than yours from whom you can learn. 

While a little more challenging in some ways, others start out as in-house digital marketing specialists. If you go this route, you may need to rely more on self-taught knowledge, as you may be part of a smaller team that cannot afford to hire a vendor and needs to manage all digital marketing activities internally. 

Whether you’re an in-house digital marketer or you work for an agency, you can certainly be sure of one thing: you’ll always be learning if you join the ranks of this constantly changing field. 

So how much can you expect to earn as a digital marketer? Read on to find out.

An employee sitting at a desk, taking a call on headphones to negotiate their digital marketing salary

2. Digital marketing salary based on years of experience

Digital marketers are in high demand, and their wages often reflect this. As with any job, several factors influence the amount you can expect to earn, regardless of how much experience you have. Company size, geographic location, and industry all play into your total take.

That said, we’ve compiled salary data for several roles, from entry-level to director, that you can use as benchmarks for what to expect.

Entry-level digital marketing salaries in the U.S.

Digital marketing newbies are best qualified for roles like digital marketing specialists or digital marketing analysts. Here’s what the experts say these professionals will earn per year:

  • Payscale: $50,414 USD base salary for a digital marketing specialist
  • Zippia: $55,000 USD base salary for a digital marketing specialist
  • CareerExplorer: $39,281 USD base salary for a digital marketing specialist
  • ZipRecruiter: $45,600 USD base salary for a digital marketing analyst

Entry-level digital marketing salary range based on all data: $39,281 – $55,000

Mid-level digital marketing salaries in the U.S.

Once you have a few years of experience under your belt, you’ll be better positioned for mid-level marketing positions like a digital marketing manager. Here’s what you can expect to earn, on average:

  • Talent.com: $65,122 USD base salary for mid-level digital marketers
  • Salary.com: $108,788 USD base salary for a digital marketing manager
  • Glassdoor: $121,676 USD base salary for a digital marketing manager
  • Payscale: $68,036 USD base salary for a digital marketing manager

Range: $65,000 – $121,676

Senior-level digital marketing salaries in the U.S.

If you’ve been in the field for several years but don’t yet qualify for director status, you’ll have the opportunity to snag a senior-level position. Depending on the company, a senior-level post may or may not include the word “senior” in the title, but your salary should reflect it!

  • Glassdoor: $133,248 USD base salary for a senior digital marketing manager
  • ZipRecruiter: $92,731 USD base salary for a senior digital marketing manager
  • Comparably: $129,824 USD base salary for a senior digital marketing manager
  • Zippia: $114,000 USD base salary for a senior digital marketing manager

Range: $92,731 – $133,248

Director of digital marketing salaries in the U.S.

Congratulations! If you’ve worked steadily in the field of digital marketing for several years, you’ll be eligible to snag one of the top jobs in digital marketing: a director. Here’s what you can expect in terms of compensation:

  • Glassdoor: $116,808 USD base salary for a director of digital marketing
  • Salary.com: $163,949 USD base salary for a director of digital marketing
  • ZipRecruiter: $104,259 USD base salary for a director of digital marketing
  • Payscale: $103,498 USD base salary for a director of digital marketing

Range: $103,498 – $163,949

VP of digital marketing salaries in the U.S.

If you’re in the running for VP of digital marketing roles, you’ve reached the acme of your career. Salaries for this C-Suite position are in the mid-to-top six-figures, but they’re commensurate with your level of responsibility: 

  • Glassdoor: $179,669 USD base salary for a VP of digital marketing role
  • ZipRecruiter: $143,863 USD base salary for a VP of digital marketing role

Range: $143,863 – $179,669

A digital marketing manager on the phone, smiling

3. What is the average digital marketing salary?

As you’ve seen, salaries for digital marketing roles vary greatly depending on seniority. In addition, company size, industry, geographic location, and other factors also heavily influence the compensation. 

However, if you look at average digital marketing salaries that take all these factors into account, you can still expect to earn a decent paycheck, no matter what level you’re at. Here is the experts’ take on the “average” digital marketing salary in the United States. 

Overall U.S. average salaries for digital marketers

  • Indeed: $57,596 USD base salary for digital marketers
  • ZipRecruiter: $54,672 USD base salary for digital marketers
  • Talent.com: $65,122 USD base salary for digital marketers

These numbers are for the United States as a whole. But cost of living and concentration of talent in particular geographies also impact digital marketing salaries. Let’s look at a few different regions in the U.S. to see how location influences compensation.

Digital marketing salaries in Los Angeles, California

Digital marketing salaries in New York City, New York

  • Digital marketer: $68,999 (Indeed)
  • Digital marketing specialist: $65,982 (Glassdoor)
  • Digital marketing manager: $101,307 (Glassdoor)
  • Director of digital marketing: $152,878 (Built in NYC)

Digital marketing salaries in Austin, Texas

  • Digital marketer: $59,071 (Indeed)
  • Digital marketing specialist: $78,840 (Glassdoor)
  • Digital marketing manager: $106,993 (Salary.com)
  • Director of digital marketing: $161,244 (Salary.com)

Though the numbers do vary, if you’re looking for a career in digital marketing, make sure that you do your research before discussing salaries. This way, you’ll be well-equipped to ask for compensation that’s commensurate with your experience and geographic location.

4. Digital marketing salaries around the world

Perhaps you’re not limiting your job search to the United States. And why should you? Digital marketers are highly sought after all over the world. Here’s what you can expect to make in several different countries worldwide:

Two digital marketing employees sitting at a desk, talking

5. Different digital marketing job titles and their salaries

Digital marketers utilize a range of marketing channels as part of their daily activities. But what if you’d like to specialize in one? Whether you work for an agency or have an in-house position, being highly skilled in one particular medium can be very fulfilling and lucrative. Here’s what channel-specific roles offer in terms of a salary:

As with the digital marketing salaries, individual compensation depends on a multitude of factors. But these numbers will at least give you an idea of what to expect if you decide to pursue a career in a specialized digital marketing category.

6. Key takeaways and further reading

If you’re looking for an in-demand job that offers a highly liveable range of salaries, digital marketing is a terrific career path. It’s an ever-changing role that requires both an analytical and creative mindset. For more digital marketing career insights and salary guides, check out the following:

What You Should Do Now

  1. Get a hands-on introduction to digital marketing with a free, 5-day short course.

  2. Take part in one of our live online events about career change into tech.

  3. Talk to a program advisor to discuss career change and if digital marketing is right for you.

  4. Explore all our career-change programs and become an in-demand tech professional.