As a marketer, there are many things to consider as you plan your career in this exciting yet sometimes challenging industry. You know it’s important to keep up to date with new technologies and industry trends that can impact your career. It’s also second nature for you to consistently analyze and monitor industry fluctuations. This, of course, includes keeping a close eye on the latest details of new job titles, salary increases and benefit expectations. But have you closely considered how location affects your marketing career and salary?
It is no secret that cities like New York, San Francisco, Chicago, Boston and Los Angeles offer an abundance of marketing opportunities. Working in these locations means marketing professionals have a greater chance of gaining experience working at a big brand, using the latest marketing tools and rubbing elbows with the industry’s most innovative professionals.
While larger markets may offer more opportunities, there are other aspects of life in the big city that marketers should consider. Our recent survey of more than 2,600 marketing professionals revealed that the highest salaries in marketing jobs do not come from these top markets. The results showed that an average annual salary felt like a lot less in these larger markets once you consider adjustments for the cost of living. For example, while Silicon Valley tops the list with the highest average marketing salary of $107,802, when adjusted for cost of living, it adds up to $48,034.
So what is a marketer to do if they don’t want to deal with a high cost of living? Try a smaller market.
You may be surprised to hear that advice, but our survey indicated that there is a growing market for marketers to make a living in cities like Indianapolis, St. Louis, Dallas and even Austin. These cities have a lower cost of living and therefore can make a paycheck feel like it stretches a lot further. Consider this: the survey found that Dallas marketing professionals take home the biggest paycheck at $82,418, which really is more like $89,707 when adjusted for cost of living.
In addition to a lower cost of living, smaller markets have other advantages to offer marketers looking to gain substantial industry experience. For example, marketing professionals in these areas may have the opportunity to start on the ground level of an employer’s mobile and social media marketing initiatives. By doing so, marketers can develop skills and gain experience while supporting the campaign’s successes. These cities are also seeing an uptick in marketing positions, as reported in a recent Forbes article.
Whether you decide that you want to make it in the big city and deal with a higher cost of living or try your hand in a smaller market, location should be at the top of your list of considerations when it comes to planning your marketing career.