You might think that you have to make big trade-offs when choosing a career. For example, school may have made you think you need to choose between STEM and the humanities. And pop culture might’ve led you to believe that you need to pick between a career that’s creative and one that pays the rent. But a career in marketing can cover all your bases. Marketing is one of the most diverse career paths you can pursue. No matter what kind of background, skills, or strengths you bring to the table, chances are there’s a marketing role out there that would be the right fit.
“Today there are so many disciplines that fall under the general umbrella of marketing, and it’s only getting more and more diverse,” says Itai Elizur, growth marketer and COO of content marketing agency InboundJunction. Some lean toward the technical side, such as on-site SEO, conversion rate optimization, and paid campaign management. Others are very creative in nature, such as copywriting, community management, and video ideation, he says. “But I think the best marketers are those who know how to balance the science with the art. And there might not be any disciplines that don’t require at least some aspect of both approaches.”
Not only does marketing offer a huge variety of opportunities, but if you’re willing to put in the work and make your way into senior positions, there are also a lot of high-paying opportunities. Let’s take a look at eight high-paying roles in marketing that can help you build a successful (and lucrative!) career.
What we consider “high-paying”
We used data from salary and compensation resource Payscale to evaluate the income potential of a variety of roles that fall under the marketing umbrella. Each role included on this list has an average salary that’s higher than the median household income in the United States (which was $70,784 in 2021, the last year with available data).
1. Corporate communications director
Average salary: $129,161
Salary range: $88,000 - $174,000
Corporate communications directors are in charge of crafting a company’s messaging and overseeing delivery of that messaging via press releases, corporate speeches and presentations, internal communications, media responses, and more. They often oversee a team that writes, develops, and implements the communications strategy they’ve created (for example, they might manage PR or communications managers).
Generally, corporate communications directors have at least a bachelor’s degree (although many have MBAs or advanced business degrees) and extensive experience in public relations, media, and/or communications.
2. Marketing research director
Average salary: $124,736
Salary range: $84,000 - $183,000
In order to develop a sound marketing strategy, marketers need to have a clear understanding of their market and customers. Marketing research directors typically oversee a market research team in its efforts to analyze the company’s industry, competitors, and customers.
Marketing research directors typically work with a number of different teams and departments across the organization and are continually sharing insights, making recommendations, and developing guidelines to optimize marketing efforts and ensure the overall marketing strategy is headed in the right direction. Market research is an extremely quantitative and analytical role, and most directors have a bachelor’s degree (or higher) in marketing or a related field with a strong background in marketing analytics and research.
3. Director of email marketing
Average salary: $107,963
Salary range: $86,000 - $147,000
One of the cardinal rules of marketing is to “get people where they are”—and for many people, “where they are” is in their inboxes. Email marketing directors are responsible for developing and implementing an email marketing strategy to connect with customers, increase brand awareness, and drive traffic, engagement, and/or sales. They often manage a creative team (which can include copywriters, designers, and web developers) to craft the emails—and an analytics team to continually optimize the email campaigns for better results.
Email marketing directors generally have significant experience in email marketing (seven to 10 years) and additional experience in design, marketing analytics, and/or content development.
4. Director of digital marketing
Average salary: $108,679
Salary range: $65,000 - $161,000
Directors of digital marketing are responsible for spearheading a company’s digital marketing strategy, increasing a brand’s visibility online, and driving conversions and revenue from their digital campaigns. Typically, the director of digital marketing creates the overarching digital marketing strategy—which can include digital advertising campaigns, social media marketing, email marketing, search engine optimization (SEO), and more—and then oversees a team of marketing managers to implement that strategy. The director of digital marketing also tracks the analytics of the campaigns and adjusts the strategy as necessary to drive the best results for the brand.
Generally, directors of digital marketing have extensive experience (10 or more years) in a variety of digital marketing modalities and, because digital marketing is constantly changing, are expected to stay up-to-date on the latest trends, tools, and best practices.
5. Content marketing director
Average salary: $102,374
Salary range: $60,000 - $156,000
As the name suggests, content marketing directors are responsible for all things content: heading up content strategy, content development, content scheduling, and content marketing, as well as managing content creators. Depending on the business and content strategy, they can oversee a variety of content mediums, including written content (like blog posts and ebooks), video content, and social media content. Most content marketing directors have a bachelor’s degree or higher and start off as some sort of content creators themselves (for example, a content marketing director for a business with an editorial content strategy may have started off as a writer or editor). As they get experience managing direct reports, teams, and strategies, they rise through the ranks to the director level.
6. Product marketing manager
Average salary: $95,940
Salary range: $65,000 - $135,000
When a company releases a new product, they want their customers not only to be excited about it, but also to fully understand how it works, what features it offers, and what benefits they’ll get from using it. Product marketing managers work on researching, positioning, messaging, and launching new products as well as on continuing marketing efforts. They are responsible for developing and implementing the marketing strategies that generate excitement and communicate the functionality, features, and benefits of a new product to customers in a digestible, easy-to-understand way (and to help salespeople do the same).
Generally, product marketing managers work for tech or software companies (where the features of a product are typically more complex) and often have at least a bachelor’s degree in marketing or a related field.
7. Demand generation manager
Average salary: $86,624
Salary range: $64,000 - $119,000
This is a multifaceted role that covers any marketing initiative or effort that could fall under the umbrella of “generating demand” for an organization’s product or service—whether those efforts are B2C (geared toward individual people) or B2B (geared toward other businesses). Their responsibilities can include everything from driving new leads through a content campaign to building buzz around a new product launch through influencer marketing partnerships to developing loyalty programs to transform first-time customers into repeat business.
Generally, demand generation managers have significant experience in a variety of marketing roles and feel comfortable wearing different hats and moving between platforms and strategies. While a bachelor’s degree is helpful to get your foot in the door, if you can show that you’re able to produce results, it’s not required.
8. Brand marketing manager
Average salary: $78,714
Salary range: $54,000 - $116,000
A company’s “brand” is the way it’s perceived in the market. Brand marketing managers are basically the “keepers” of any organization’s brand. They oversee the brand strategy, ensuring that the products, marketing campaigns, events, and any other initiatives that they manage are in line with the way the business wants to be perceived—and received—by their target demographic.
While much of the role is creative, brand marketing managers also analyze the success of different initiatives and look for ways to optimize future efforts, so analytical skills are a must as well. Typically, brand marketing managers have a bachelor’s degree in marketing and three to five years of experience working in a more junior brand marketing role.
Clearly, there are a lot of high-paying opportunities in marketing. The key to landing (and keeping) one of these lucrative roles is to maintain a student mentality and commit to learning and professional growth—no matter how long you’ve been in the marketing game.
“Always be reading, and make sure to educate yourself about things happening outside of your immediate social circles and circles of influence,” Elizur says. “It’s all too easy in marketing to become a one-trick pony, forgetting that everything changes rapidly and dramatically.” But if you can learn and adapt, you’ll have a long, successful marketing career ahead of you.