Social Media Manager Salary Guide: How Much Can You Make?

Maria MunteanMaria Muntean | 7 minute read | July 27, 2022
Social Media Manager Salary Guide: How Much Can You Make?

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If you’re considering a career in social media marketing, then you may wonder how much you can expect to earn. And it’s a trickier question than you might think. With so many social media specializations and so many different positions, it can be difficult to know what to expect. 

That’s why we’ve created this guide. In this article, we’ll examine the various factors that affect a social media manager’s salary, including experience, industry, and education. Ready to learn more? Then read on!

What Is the Average Salary of a Social Media Manager

According to Payscale, the average social media manager’s salary is $53,049. But this can vary greatly depending on location, company size, and employee experience level. The top 10% of social media managers earn more than $81,000, and the bottom 10% earn less than $36,000.

Average Salary of a Social Media Manager

Factors Affecting Social Media Manager Salaries

Salaries for social media managers vary greatly. That’s why it’s vital to investigate the factors influencing how much you earn when choosing this career path. Let’s break it down. 

Your Educational Background

Your educational background will influence how much you can earn as a social media manager, but the degree you choose isn’t necessarily the most important factor. A social media certificate could be just as vital to determining your salary.

For example, if you have a master’s degree in digital marketing, you could start with a higher salary than someone with only a bachelor’s degree. However, if you don’t have a bachelor’s degree but have taken social media courses, that can also help set your salary at a higher starting point. 

Experience

As with virtually every job, the more experience you have, the more you can expect to make. If you’ve never worked as a social media manager before, you can always get hands-on experience in the field to see your salary grow. A solid internship allows you to change careers and see what it’s like to manage a social media account for a company.

Skills

As a social media manager, you should possess both interpersonal skills and social media strategy-specific skills. These could include strong communication skills, an understanding of web design and social networks, comprehension of social media metrics, and knowledge of related marketing trends.

Location

Where you live directly impacts what you make, and it’s important to consider your location when comparing different jobs and their salaries. For example, the average social media manager salary in Omaha, NE, is $57,785 per year. In Washington, DC, that same number is $69,499 per year.

The Organization You Work For

The most reputable digital marketing agencies are constantly trying to recruit the best talent around, and they are willing to pay top salaries. They often work with enterprise clients, and their budget allows for more expenses. Bigger agencies and companies in the startup scene generally offer higher salaries than smaller boutique agencies with 1-10 employees because they need to keep top talent and attract new employees to stay on top of the industry.

Social Media Manager Salary by Levels

While many factors determine social media manager salaries, one of the most important is work experience. As you might expect, the more experience a person has in this position, the higher they’re likely to be paid.

Entry-Level Social Media Manager Salary 

A social media manager with no experience might earn $47,668 annually. Including commissions or benefits, the total pay can reach an average of $78,350 per year, according to Glassdoor.

social media manager salary - Entry-Level

According to Payscale, entry-level social media managers can earn an average of $15.21 per hour. 

social media manager salary - Entry

Intermediate-Level Social Media Manager Salary 

An intermediate-level social media manager should have three to five years of experience in managing social media accounts, including but not limited to Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or LinkedIn. They should be confident in managing budgets, meeting business goals, and setting client expectations.

According to Payscale, the annual salary range of an intermediate-level social media manager is $62,495, not including benefits or commissions.

social media manager salary - Intermediate level

Senior-Level Social Media Manager Salary

Senior-level social media managers usually have over five years of hands-on experience. 

They understand customer experience and master copywriting, social media audits, conversion rate optimization, and A/B testing skills.

A senior-level social media manager should expect an average salary of $70,471 annually. According to Glassdoor, for a manager with over 7 years of experience, the average salary is $89,168 per year.

social media manager salary - Senior

Social Media Manager Salaries by Industry

Social media managers can make several different salaries depending on the industry they work in. Let’s have a look at some of these industries.

Tech 

Up to 86% of consumers browse social media when deciding whether or not to buy an IT product. This means tech companies are willing to pay top salaries to their social media managers. On average, a social media manager in the tech industry earns $63,265 per year.

social media manager salary - Tech

Finance 

While they might not be the most entertaining on social media platforms, banks and credit unions are quietly gaining a foothold on social media. In fact, according to a study by the American Bankers Association, 9 out of 10 banks are active on social media.

Social media managers in the finance industry are expected to earn an average of $68,395 per year.

social media manager salary - Finance

Retail

There’s no denying that e-commerce is making a big splash across the retail industry. Given this, retail brands need a new strategy for forging positive relationships with customers: rather than resorting to flyers or traditional marketing to promote their products. They work with social media managers who connect with customers and post genuine content that reflects their personalities.

As such, social media managers in the retail industry earn an average of $68,247 per year.

social media manager salary - Retail

Healthcare

According to Search Engine Watch, 90% of young adults trust social media regarding their health. This reinforces the need for social media managers in the healthcare sector to manage social accounts and highlight the organizations they work for as trusted authorities in the space.

The average salary of a social media manager in the healthcare industry for all experience levels is $79,182 per year.

Government

The average U.S. Government Social Media Specialist earns approximately $93,309 per year. This is 96% above the national average for all Social Media Specialists in the United States. Most high-earning specialists work for the federal government and agencies like the Department of Defense and NASA, although many work for state and local government agencies too.

Social Media Manager Salaries by Education

While factors like location, experience, and skills play a role in determining how much you should earn, your level of education is also essential. Here’s how much you can earn depending on your education level.

No degree

While the average salary of a social media manager is $53,049 per year, a social media manager with no degree or experience can expect an average base pay of $36,000 per year.

Certificate

A social media certificate is always a good idea if you choose not to pursue a degree. For example, if you have a certificate in Business Management, you can expect to earn an average of $57,000 per year.

social media manager salary - Certificate

Bachelors And Masters

If you earned a Bachelor’s degree in a related field such as Communications or Marketing, you could expect an average salary of $57,347 per year. Moreover, if you also underwent a Master’s degree, the average base pay is $67,510 per year.

How Can You Earn More As A Social Media Manager?

There are several opportunities for advancement if you want to earn more as a social media manager, including but not limited to:

  • Change employers. Check out other companies that might be willing to pay you more for your Social Media Manager skills. A quick LinkedIn search can yield results for those who are open to making a change. 
  • Get an advanced degree. Consider getting more education to boost your digital marketing resume and increase your knowledge base.
  • Expand your skills. You must be able to write clear and concise copy that will captivate your audience and encourage them to share your message with others.
  • Earn a social media management certificate. Consider the Professional Social Media Marketing Certificate from Springboard.

Social Media Manager Salary FAQs

We’ve got the answers to your most frequently asked questions. 

What Is the Average Starting Salary for a Social Media Manager?

The average social media manager’s salary is $53,049. But when thinking about that number, remember to consider factors like location and experience when looking for a social media manager job.

What Can a Social Media Manager Earn per Hour?

The average pay range of social media managers is $16.74 per hour.

Can You Make Six Figures as a Social Media Manager?

If you have the necessary skill level and can prove it with experience, you can make six figures as a social media marketer. The best opportunities are in big companies rather than agencies, and the job market offers opportunities for everyone.

Can You Save Money as a Social Media Manager?

Yes, but it’s easier to do so if you’re living in an area with a low cost of living, but a high average salary. Try to hit that sweet spot, and you’ll be saving in no time. 

Since you’re here…
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Maria Muntean

About Maria Muntean

Maria-Cristina is a content marketer with 7 years of experience in SEO and content strategy for SaaS and technology brands. She holds an MA thesis on the effects of emotions in written and video content. She loves to spend time near the ocean and watch horror movies.