The Community Roundtable has released some preliminary results from their survey. It boils down to an average of $70,000 for community managers, $90,000 for community strategists and $110,000 for directors of community. The infographic they released has some really interesting info in it, so it’s worth a look. They’ll be releasing the full results later this year.
I think the key thing to remember is that this is an average. Above average professionals should earn more. There are plenty of community managers earning six figures. If you look at the U.S. Census cost of living data, Akron, Ohio is a good “average” city as far as cost is concerned. The average scales with cost of living. A community manager making $70,000 in Akron is essentially the super average. But if you push that to San Francisco, the average should be $114,000. Manhattan would be over $150,000. Cookeville, TN? $60,000.
I believe that the short term (next year) impact of this survey is that, hopefully, the bottom will be raised. Underpaid community managers can use this information to get raises, which pushes the bottom up, which pushes the average up. A rising average helps everyone earn more - even those who are very well paid. If you are worth paying $40,000 above average, your salary will be more likely to shift higher as the average grows closer to you, as opposed to it dropping away.
Hope this helps.