Senior digital and social media specialists have seen their pay rise by almost 70 per cent over the past three years, according to a new study.
"Head of Search" jobs – roles which involve managing a company's search engine optimisation (SEO) and pay-per-click strategies – are now offering average base salaries of about £75,000 per year, up from an average of £45,000 three years ago, said IT recruitment consultancy ReThink Recruitment.
The company added that digital and social media specialists have enjoyed pay rises at every level, but that percentage increases at the more senior level have been steepest.
"As businesses put ever bigger budgets into their online marketing efforts this role has gone from being a relatively junior to a high status role - in some web and digital media companies this is a director's job," said Mark Geraghty, head of ReThink Executive.
"If you are spending several million pounds a year just on pay per click then it makes perfect sense to invest in someone senior to manage that process and ensure you are getting the best return on investment."
He added that web-based companies are competing for the talent with the digital marketing agencies, who also want to hire those individuals as consultants.
"That is all driving up their price. But when you consider the amount they can earn in consultancy fees and the budgets that they are now dealing with the increase in basic pay over the past few years is not unreasonable."