What Salaries Can You Earn with a Marketing Degree?

Written by Coursera • Updated on Nov 11, 2021

The amount you can earn with a marketing degree depends on a few factors, including your experience, industry, and location. Learn more about how a marketing degree can improve your earning potential.

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A marketing degree can sometimes make a big difference in your earning potential. Salaries differ by role, but US graduates with a bachelor’s degree in marketing earned a median annual salary of $54,500 in 2020 [1]. Compare that to $40,000 for those with an associate’s degree in marketing. 

Considering that most marketing jobs require a bachelor’s degree, earning your bachelor’s in marketing has the potential to open new career paths in this popular field. By taking courses in foundational marketing subjects, such as business, economics and finance, communications, media, and advertising, you can build a rich foundation for your marketing career. You can also develop a more resourceful—and transferable—skill set. 

Marketing salary overview 

The amount you can earn with a marketing degree depends on a few factors, including your experience, industry, and location. Let’s look at how salaries vary across each of these categories. 

Marketing salaries by experience

Entry-level marketing jobs typically require a bachelor’s degree in a related subject, like marketing, communications, or business, and one to three years of experience. Any internships or part-time roles you’ve held may count toward experience. 

Typical salaries for entry-level marketing jobs:

  • Event marketing assistant: $37,225

  • Marketing assistant: $43,817

  • Social media coordinator: $43,749

  • Product marketing assistant: $43,817

All salary data from Glassdoor (November 2021)

Mid-level marketing jobs tend to require at least three years of experience. By this point in your career, you’ll also likely need a portfolio (for more creative roles) or some evidence of the positive effect you’ve had in your previous positions.   

Typical salaries for mid-level marketing jobs:

  • Social media manager: $55,117

  • Copywriter: $58,658

  • Market research analyst: $60,280

  • Senior SEO manager: $93,523

All salary data from Glassdoor (November 2021)

Measure your impact

In order to quantify your impact, use numbers to illustrate what you’ve done successfully in your past work. For example, perhaps you increased engagement on your company’s social media platforms, or you helped improve page views on your company’s blog, or the campaigns you oversaw led to higher sales rates. Whatever the case may be, metrics that show your value help tell a bigger story.

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Executive-level marketing jobs can take more time to reach. Generally, roles at this level require significant experience—anywhere from eight to 12 years minimum. As with a mid-level marketing career, you’ll also likely need to show your impact alongside any higher-level responsibilities, like management or leadership. 

Typical salaries for executive-level marketing jobs:

  • Chief marketing officer: $176,984

  • Creative director: $126,082

  • Market research director: $125,750

  • Communications director: $155,757

All salary data from Glassdoor (November 2021)

Marketing salaries by industry  

One of the biggest upsides to marketing is the fact that it isn’t restricted to any particular industry. Companies everywhere need effective marketers who can generate interest and enthusiasm for their products and services. 

Thanks to this versatility, marketers may be able to increase their salary if they move into higher-paying industries. For example, the median salary for a marketing manager in the US was $141,490 in 2020 [2], but a marketing manager in tech made, on average, $171,020 [3]. Marketing managers also tend to make more in advertising and public relations, scientific research and development, and cable and subscription services, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics [3].

Marketing salaries by location 

As you might expect, marketing salaries tend to be higher where the cost of living is more expensive. The cities where marketing managers earn the most include [4]: 

  • San Jose, CA

  • New York, NY

  • Boulder, CO

  • Bridgeport, CT

  • San Francisco, CA

But you don't necessarily need to live in a big city to earn a bigger salary. If you’re interested in learning more about specific marketing salaries for your area, you can use job search sites, like Indeed and Glassdoor, or salary sites, like Payscale and Salary.com, to find out what your state and perhaps even your city pays by job title.  

Read more: What Does a Marketing Manager Do? A Guide

Job outlook for marketing

Marketing is in high demand, but some sectors may be more lucrative than others. Thanks to the rise in e-commerce and digital marketing, there’s a growing demand for digital skills [5]. Some of the highest-paying, entry-level digital marketing jobs include [6]:

  • Email marketing specialist: $54,456

  • Digital marketing specialist: $50,284

  • Digital graphic designer: $49,065

  • Content specialist: $48,975

  • SEO specialist: $46,330

  • Social media specialist: $45,274

For mid-level marketing careers, advertising, promotions, and marketing managers are poised to grow by 9 percent over the next decade [2], but market research analysts are on pace to grow by 22 percent [7], which may translate to more opportunities and in turn more competitive salaries.  

As you work on your marketing degree, taking specialized marketing courses or electives focused on newer sectors of marketing may help prepare you to pursue more in-demand marketing careers and increase your earning potential over time. 

Read more: What Can You Do with a Marketing Degree? 11 Job Paths

How to increase your marketing salary 

If you’re wondering how to leverage your marketing degree to earn a higher salary, there are a number of options to explore. 

Strengthen your tech skills.  

Thanks to emerging markets, new technologies, and changing customer needs, marketing is a dynamic landscape that’s constantly evolving. You can stay on top of trends by learning new tech skills related to your current or future career goals. Marketing managers, for example, may want to brush up on customer relations management (CRM) programs, while email marketing managers can stay informed about the latest email marketing services beyond popular platforms like Mailchimp and Constant Contact.

If you’re not sure where to start, looking over the “required” section of job postings can help indicate any areas you need to learn—or strengthen. 

Grow your network. 

Communication is a key skill in marketing, and you should think about putting that to work for your own benefit. Networking with more senior members of your team, or reaching out to marketers at other companies for informational interviews can help create connections that may one day come in handy when a more advanced role opens.  

Earn certificates or take additional courses. 

If you’d like to move into a new marketing sector, taking courses or earning a professional certificate can provide you with the knowledge base you’ll need to make that transition. Those same resources can also help you advance in your current career, strengthening skills you’ll need to take on more responsibility. 

Learn practical skills from top industry experts through the Facebook Social Media Marketing or Marketing Analytics Professional Certificates on Coursera.

Pursue an advanced degree

Some mid-level and many executive-level marketing jobs require—or recommend—an advanced degree, like a master’s. The earning difference can be significant. While US graduates with a bachelor’s in marketing made $54,500 on average, graduates with a master’s in marketing made $71,000 [1]. That number increases significantly with an advanced business degree, such as the MBA, which often includes marketing as a specialization. MBA graduates in the US made a median salary of $115,000 in 2021 [8]. 

Other marketing degree career options

Earning your marketing degree doesn’t limit you to a career in marketing. Thanks to the foundational courses in business, sales, advertising, communications, and even customer behavior you should be exposed to, you can apply that education to other fields. With a marketing degree, you can explore becoming a business analyst, sales representative, or internal communications specialist—to name just a few possibilities.  

Also, thanks to the transferable skills a marketing degree conveys, you can apply what you’ve learned—how to communicate, how to plan, how to stay organized—to other career pathways.  

Next steps 

Explore University of London’s Bsc in Marketing, which combines a foundational marketing education with practical skills development. Or if a bachelor’s degree doesn’t fit your career plans, explore specialized marketing areas with courses like the Digital Marketing Specialization from the University of Illinois or the Strategy of Content Marketing from UC Davis. 

Article sources

1. National Association of Colleges and Employers. "NACE Salary Survey, https://www.wpi.edu/sites/default/files/inline-image/Offices/Career-Development-Center/2020-nace-salary-survey-winter.pdf." Accessed November 5, 2021.

2. US Bureau of Labor Statistics. "Advertising, Promotions, and Marketing Managers, https://www.bls.gov/ooh/management/advertising-promotions-and-marketing-managers.htm#tab-1." Accessed November 5, 2021.

3. US Bureau of Labor Statistics. "Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2020, https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes112021.htm." Accessed November 5, 2021.

4. US News. "How Much Does a Marketing Manager Make?, https://money.usnews.com/careers/best-jobs/marketing-manager/salary." Accessed November 4, 2021.

5. Marketing Week. "Steep rise in demand for marketers with digital skills, https://www.marketingweek.com/steep-rise-demand-marketers-digital/." Accessed November 4, 2021.

6. LinkedIn. "Top Marketing Skills in Demand, https://business.linkedin.com/content/dam/me/business/en-us/marketing-solutions/cx/2021/images/pdfs/LinkedIn_TopMarketingSkills_Infographic.pdf." Accessed November 5, 2021.

7. Columbia University Engineer. "Top 6 Entry-Level Digital Marketing Jobs, https://bootcamp.cvn.columbia.edu/blog/entry-level-digital-marketing-jobs-highest-paying-nyc/." Accessed November 10, 2021.

8. Graduate Management Admission Council. "Demand of Graduate Management Talent, https://www.gmac.com/-/media/files/gmac/research/employment-outlook/2021_crs-demand-of-gm-talent.pdf." Accessed November 9, 2021.

Written by Coursera • Updated on Nov 11, 2021

This content has been made available for informational purposes only. Learners are advised to conduct additional research to ensure that courses and other credentials pursued meet their personal, professional, and financial goals.

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