How Much SEO Pros Get Paid

Have you ever came upon that somebody doing the identical SEO job has a greater wage?

And how are you aware what wage to request in an SEO-related job interview, anyway?

Search Engine Journal has simply carried out our first State of SEO survey with over 2,643 respondents largely consisting of seasoned SEO professionals, with 76% having over 2 years of expertise.

We’re excited to assist inform your understanding of SEO salaries with a sneak peek at our early findings.

We’ll publish the total ends in the primary week of September. For now, learn on to find:

  • Average SEO wage brackets.
  • SEO salaries by job title.
  • SEO wage by years of expertise.

SEO Average Salary Brackets

Benchmarking is a part of human nature. Social comparison theory was first developed in 1954 by psychologist Leon Festinger to elucidate how people measure themselves towards others to find out their social and private price.


Continue Reading Below

In actuality, evaluating ourselves to others has been occurring since people first grew to become conscious of one another — and SEO professionals aren’t any exception.

Comparing SEO salaries for various positions, ranges of expertise, and specializations might be tough as many corporations are coy and have restrictions about sharing remuneration.

Out of the two,643 folks, 2,393 instructed us how a lot wage they earn (250 most well-liked to not say). So, as a primary glimpse at this information, we’re sharing our findings of SEO salaries and the way that pertains to expertise and job titles.

The majority of our demographic vary was within the U.S. (61%) and India (12%). The UK contributed 3.8% and Canada made up 2.4%. The remaining respondents (20%) had been unfold throughout 88 different international locations.

As far as SEO salaries go, we discovered that:

  • 60% of SEO professionals earn the identical or greater than the U.S. median.
  • 40% of SEO professionals earn lower than the U.S. median.
  • 19% earn over $100,000 per 12 months.
  • 3.38% earn over $200,000 per 12 months.

The last reported data from the U.S. Census Bureau confirmed median earnings of $57,456 for males and $47,299 for girls who labored full-time within the U.S.


Continue Reading Below

The majority of those that work in SEO earn not less than the identical or properly over the median U.S. earnings.

In SEO, it’s achievable to succeed in an above-average wage of as much as $149,000, however there’s solely a small proportion who can obtain $200,000 and over. That’s almost definitely to be after 20 years of expertise.

The most typical wage bracket is $50,000 to $75,000, in line with 24% of respondents.

The proven fact that the SEO trade remains to be comparatively younger and SEO began out with a small group of specialists helps this. Out of our respondents, solely 4.17% had over 20 years of expertise.

On the opposite facet, simply over 20% earn lower than $35,000 a 12 months, which is approach beneath the U.S. median.

However, we have to take into account that our information contains respondents from India and different lower-income international locations. Some of the lower-earning respondents could also be from growing international locations.

SEO Salary by Job Title

Wondering what your SEO friends are paid for numerous job titles?

  • 30% of junior roles begin between $35,000 and $49,000.
  • 32% of managers earn between $50,000 and $74,000.
  • The majority of C-level and Directors can anticipate a wage higher than $100,000.
  • 44% of freelancers earn lower than $34,000.

SEO Salary by Job Title

By evaluating SEO wage and position, we begin to see a transparent sample of wage improve in relation to job title (you may see the identical pattern beneath for degree of expertise).

Junior SEO roles start at $35,000, and rise to between $100,000 and $149,000 per 12 months for an SEO director.

If we examine our information to different recruitment web sites, we are able to see that there’s a clear alignment in SEO wage by job title.


Continue Reading Below

SEO Average Salary Guide By Job Title

Role SEJ survey Glassdoor Indeed LinkedIn
Junior (SEO Specialist) $35,000-49,000 $46,646 $52,780 $48,000
SEO supervisor wage $50,000-74,000 $71,085 $78,413 $70,000
SEO director wage $100,000-149,000 $94,451 $105,353 $102,000
SEO freelancer wage <$34,000 n/a n/a n/a

Data from June 2021. It is necessary to notice that whereas recruitment websites can promote the remuneration for a job, there isn’t a assure that the profitable job applicant is paid the marketed quantity.

There had been two fascinating contrasts on this clear linear improve:

First, SEO freelancers had a significantly decrease wage than all the different cohorts.

You would anticipate {that a} freelancer would require a sure degree of expertise. However, we discovered {that a} significantly excessive 14.06% of freelancers had beneath 2 years of expertise in SEO.

The estimated assumption is that the 12% of respondents from India could have contributed to this excessive degree of freelancers with lesser expertise.

SEO as an trade has a low barrier to entry with web entry and an inexpensive pc being the one necessities.


Continue Reading Below

Portal platforms equivalent to Upwork have made it straightforward for growing international locations equivalent to India to be aggressive on a world scale by providing decrease hourly charges.

In reality, digital staff from India are actually the most important provider of world labor with 20% of the full share.

The different stand-out consequence, out of all cohorts, is that founders had one of the best likelihood to earn greater than $200,000.

There is a 104% improve in wage from C-level and administrators to founders.

Want to earn greater than $200,000 in SEO?

Start your individual enterprise.

Many of one of the best SEO execs will discover alternatives and begin their very own web sites and companies.

In the early days, these on the high of their recreation had been actually making tens of millions (normally with spam strategies) however this stalled on the finish of the ‘00s as Google managed to curtail many of the well-liked spam strategies.

As on-line visitors elevated, competitors elevated and alternatives lowered. And then it began to be all about model constructing.


Continue Reading Below

There remains to be loads of room for good concepts and SEO professionals. As talked about above, working in SEO has a low barrier to entry, so it’s comparatively straightforward to begin a enterprise with little capital and scale rapidly to make a substantial revenue.

There are some tremendous good folks on the market nonetheless making a lot of cash out of SEO with their very own web sites.

SEO Salary Compared to Years of Experience

We additionally discovered that salaries do improve consistent with years of expertise:

  • 27% of SEO professionals earn between $35,000 to $49,000 after 2-4 years of expertise.
  • 32% of SEO execs can earn a wage of $50,000 to $74,000 with 5-10 years of expertise.
  • After 11-20 years of expertise, 25% of SEO execs earn $75,000 to $99,000.
  • 17% of SEO professionals incomes over $200,000 have m0re than 20 years of expertise.


Average SEO salary by years of experience

Showing the identical sample we see in wage in comparison with job title information, there’s a transparent pattern for wage improve in relation to years of expertise. SEO execs ought to discover it encouraging and reassuring that:


Continue Reading Below

  • You can earn more cash as you achieve extra expertise.
  • You do want years of expertise to earn the highest wage.

In the previous, SEO has appeared to some a simple recreation the place you can also make massive features for little effort.

In the early days, this may need been extra related however right this moment, it takes real data and intelligence to make respectable returns.

SEO is loads more durable than it was.

To be a superb search specialist requires deep data of not less than one if not a number of specialties. The fixed evolution and growth require fixed studying and enchancment, which I liken to the medical trade for dedication.

It can be disappointing to see a medical pupil on the identical wage as a neurosurgeon.

Is SEO a Good Career?

Based on the median ranges of wage achievable within the trade and the extent of development accessible, SEO is an excellent profession selection.


Continue Reading Below

We might be launching extra insights and the total State of SEO report originally of September.

Don’t miss out, sign up for our email list to get first entry to the report!

More Resources:

In-article photographs created by creator, July 2021.

Recommended For You

Leave a Reply