2016 salary guide

Each year at Onward Search we put out salary guides to support the clients we serve in their hiring efforts and the candidates we work with during their job searches. These salary guides help both parties understand industry trends and marketplace demands and help assure each end of the hiring spectrum is being satisfied.

This year, rather than put out a salary guide for each of the verticals we work in, we decided to put together one comprehensive, interactive, online resource. But we’re not done yet. To help give clients and candidates an even better understanding of the landscape they’re working in today, we took our research and decided to draw some insights from it.

Here’s what we’ve gathered on some of the top positions, verticals and regions:

Information Architecture Demand High, Won’t Slow

Information architects are demanding the highest salary in the digital marketing and creative design fields, and with good reason. Take a moment and think about your favorite website, mobile app or software; if they’re easy to navigate through and seamless to use, chances are it’s because of the hard work of an information architect (IA). An IA’s chief responsibility is to work with websites, digital products and software to make sure that content, menus and system structures are logically organized and intuitively navigable. Their demand is high and, based on tech trends, will continue to be sought after.

Consider this, the average internet devices owned per person in the United States is about 3, and there are predictions that say this number will rise to about 4 by 2020. Corporations, brands and content producers alike are currently in a scramble to optimize their digital presence and, above all else, ensure their user experience is the same regardless of user device. They’ll need IAs to reorganize and update old websites and apps as well as build new ones. This means you could be seeing the IA demanding these high salaries for years to come.

New York City Becomes a Tech Haven of the East Coast

Along with salary ranges we also compiled, in order, the cities where each position is most in-demand. Almost regardless of position or vertical, New York City has the highest demand in the digital marketing and creative design fields, according to our research. While many normally associate the technology world with Silicon Valley, NYC is making a case for similar standing on the East Coast. But what has tech talent gravitating to Gotham?

For starters, 2015 was the first year the city has had a Chief Technology Officer. As the inaugural CTO, Minerva Tantoco, has implemented education initiatives that will set the city up for success in the tech sector for years to come–such as providing computer science education for all public schools. This is a testament to the City’s efforts over recent years to create a deeply-engrained, thriving tech-start-up ecosystem. Combine that with the pressure tech companies are putting on many established brands that call Manhattan home, and you’ve essentially create an arms race for top talent from the digital marketing and creative design fields.

Digital Content is King

Jobs in digital marketing continue to trend up as companies begin to invest more heavily in this vertical, especially for content. One key indicator we’ve seen for this is in the web copywriter’s salary demand—or individuals who are responsible for writing website copy, blogs and other content for the digital space. In our last digital marketing salary guide, for instance, a web copywriter in New York City could expect to make anywhere between $22,000 and $60,000/year. Today, web copywriters in the same city could expect to make between about $61,000 and $90,000/year.

The reason for the continued upward tick in demand? A 2015 Statista report found that American adults spend on average 11 or more hours a day interacting with electronic media, and nearly a quarter of that time is spent on mobile devices or computers. Given that consumption of digital media doesn’t look to be slowing any time soon, especially when considering the trend of devices per person, digital marketing will continue to grow and become a bigger piece of employer’s marketing budgets.

In an economy that is increasingly driven by the consumption of digital content, products and services, now is as good a time as ever to get involved in the digital marketing and creative design fields. To learn more about the demand and salary ranges for your profession, click here to view our interactive salary guide.

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