The Ultimate Digital Marketing Specialist Salary Guide for 2021

What’s the average digital marketing specialist salary? Which factors impact how much they can earn? Find out in this guide.

Social media, remote working, smart devices…There’s no escaping that they are playing an increasingly important role in our lives. And as we’ve moved our daily activities online, it’s not surprising that marketing has followed into these digital spaces. 

A digital marketing specialist’s role is to find novel and impactful ways of promoting a company’s brand, products, or services in the digital sphere. That this sphere is constantly growing and evolving makes digital marketing an exciting area to be working in. 

But how much can digital marketing specialists earn? The answer depends on everything from where you’re based to your skillset or area of digital expertise. And while entry-level digital marketing specialists won’t earn as much as their more senior peers, the salary quickly becomes very competitive once you specialize in the right areas.

To save you doing the trawling, we’ve pulled together statistics from several salary comparison websites. We aim to offer an introductory taste of digital marketing specialist salaries in the US and around the globe. We’ll answer:

  1. What’s the average digital marketing specialist salary?
  2. How does experience-level impact a digital marketing specialist’s salary?
  3. How does geographical location impact the digital marketing specialist salary?
  4. How much can digital marketing specialists earn based on job title or specialism?
  5. Wrap up and further reading

Before we get going, there are a couple of things to note:

  • To make like-for-like comparisons easier, we’ve used US dollars throughout.
  • The comparison sites we’ve used update their metrics using real-time data. To help you grab a more up-to-date figure at the click of a button, we’ve linked each salary to its corresponding page. 

With these caveats covered, let’s dive in and explore all things related to the digital marketing specialist salary.

1. What’s the average digital marketing specialist salary?

Since every job and salary comparison website provides different averages, this section offers a broad estimate of how much digital marketing specialists can potentially earn. Here are the average salaries for digital marketing specialists in the United States, according to several reputable job sites: 

As we can see, there’s quite a lot of variability here. However, this is to be expected because we’ve based our search on job title alone. Since ‘digital marketing specialist’ encapsulates many job roles and experience levels, this explains the variability.

Nevertheless, taking an average of these estimates helps us get a rough figure to work with. We can deduce that digital marketing specialists in the United States can potentially earn a salary somewhere in the region of $63,000.

While this provides an average, it’s not a hard and fast rule. At entry-level, for example, you might earn much less than this, whereas experts can expect to earn more. We’ll explore this factor in more detail in the following section.

A digital marketing specialist sitting at a desk, speaking on the phone and holding a cup of coffee

2. How does experience-level impact the digital marketing specialist salary?

One of the most apparent variables impacting a digital marketing specialist’s salary is their experience level. 

Seasoned marketing professionals with years of expertise in both traditional and digital marketing will command a much higher salary than, say, a digital marketing graduate with limited work experience. Likewise, a specialist in social media strategy will likely earn more in this area than a digital marketer with a broader focus. 

Using data from Payscale, this section explores how much digital marketing specialists can earn at entry, mid, and senior levels. Payscale offers the lowest salary estimates from our selection of comparison sites, providing a realistic baseline if you’re entering into pay negotiations and are looking for a guide.

Entry-level digital marketing specialist salary

To land your first digital marketing specialist role, you’ll usually need an undergraduate degree, ideally in an area related to marketing or digital, or a digital marketing qualification obtained through a course or bootcamp. You might also have some experience working in a related role, such as advertising or data analytics. 

Payscale suggests that an entry-level digital marketing specialist in the US can earn from about $33,000 to an average of $41,000. For an entry-level role, this sounds about right. To contextualize this, the US real median personal income is currently around $36,000. So it’s not too bad!

At this point in your career, you should be cultivating basic knowledge and skills in digital marketing strategy, search engine optimization (SEO), search engine marketing (SEM), and email marketing, to name a few. You’ll also need a solid grasp of social media marketing and popular data analytics tools like Google Analytics. Beyond this, you’ll probably learn many of the skills you need on the job.

Mid-career digital marketing specialist salary

According to Payscale, mid-career digital marketing specialists in the United States can earn from around $44,000 up to an average salary of about $57,000. Depending on the company you work for and bonuses, this could go as high as $75,000. Not too shabby, eh? 

As a mid-career digital marketing specialist, you’ll have to specialize your skills beyond the basics. How this looks in practice will depend largely on the demands of your particular job. However, to give you an idea (in addition to the entry-level skills already described) you might be expected to become an expert using customer relationship management (CRM) systems like Salesforce, SAP, or SugarCRM, and to develop your understanding of tools like e-commerce, campaign planning, and other marketing-related skills. You’ll likely also have (or be working towards) some additional qualifications to enhance your skills, for example, a PRINCE2 project management qualification.

Late career digital marketing specialist salary

Last but not least, Payscale suggests that the average late-career digital marketing specialist salary in the United States comes in at $63,000. This figure may go up to about $82,000 depending on performance bonuses and other financial incentives. 

In all likelihood, if you’ve stuck with digital marketing to this stage in your career, you’ll have moved into a more senior role by this point. This might be a senior digital marketing manager position or even a digital marketing director role. Both are likely to pay more than the estimates outlined here.

Either way, you’ll have certainly broadened your skills much further. You’ll be comfortable with complex content marketing strategies and will probably be managing a team. You’ll also be an accomplished digital marketing analyst. All your decisions will be data-driven. You’ll have a hand in producing (or overseeing the production of) bespoke marketing tools to help you and the rest of the organization leverage the latest insights to inform your work.

Next up, let’s find out how your location impacts what you can earn.

3. How does geographical location impact the average digital marketing specialist salary?

In today’s remote working world, the idea that location impacts salary might seem outdated. But while most digital roles now allow you to work from anywhere, job salaries haven’t caught up with this trend. Even with increased home working, companies still have real-world running costs, which affect salaries, too.

In this section, we’ve listed the average entry-level digital marketing specialist salary for several countries around the world. We’ve drawn data from Salary Expert, which offers the best global comparisons, and we’ve converted all figures into US dollars: 

As you can see, location matters. Even within Europe, how much you can earn as a digital marketing specialist varies greatly. So if you’re considering relocating overseas, be sure to run a search for some different jobs in the location of your choice before applying. This takes us to the final factor that commonly impacts digital marketing specialist salaries…

An aspiring marketer sitting at a kitchen table, holding an iPad, researching the average digital marketing specialist salary

4. How much can digital marketing specialists earn based on job title or specialism?

As the digital economy expands, so does the variety of digital marketing jobs. Back in the early days of the Internet, email marketing was all the rage in digital circles because that was the only way of communicating with people online. That’s no longer the case. Content is playing a growing role. Social media and search are also indispensable marketing tools. As a result, tonnes of different digital marketing specialisms have emerged. Each requires different skills. All this affects how much you can earn.

To illustrate, in this section, we’ve compared entry-level salaries for several different digital marketing specialist roles based on job title. Once again, as rough estimates, these don’t consider factors like location and experience level. However, they do offer a good taste of the spread of jobs and salaries you can expect to find as you commence your job hunt. 

The following entry-level salary data has been collected from Salary Expert:

These are just a few of the digital marketing specialisms you might come across. And as innovations emerge, so do new roles. So be sure to keep your eyes open and cast the net wide when you’re searching for your first specialist digital marketing role.

5. Wrap-up and further reading

While the digital marketing specialist job market is highly varied, this post illustrates just how well it can pay. Many different factors impact the kind of digital marketing specialist salary you can earn, though. This includes what stage you are at in your career, as well as things like geographic location and your particular area of expertise. 

Although it’s hard to pin down a single salary, one thing’s for certain—digital marketing can be a well-paid career, with new pathways and opportunities constantly emerging as crucial aspects of our lives, from healthcare to finance, move increasingly online. We show you how to become a digital marketing specialist in this comprehensive career guide.

For more digital marketing salary guides, check out the following:

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