Salary Series Part Three: The Impact of Location

This is the third in a three-part investigative research series on marketing salaries. Catch up on part 1 here and part 2 here.

When comparing salaries in different parts of the country, cost of living has to be considered. $100,000 in New York and $100,000 in Dallas are truly two very different salaries. In this article we are unpacking the implications of what marketers are earning in several different regions.  


Figure 5 Average Income by Metro Area

New York Metro Area $129,447  
Houston/Dallas-Fort Worth Metro Areas $115, 843
Washington D.C. Metro Area $110,641  
Other $99,376  

While New Yorkers outearn Texans, it’s important to note that the cost of living is much higher in New York and Washington than it is in Houston and Dallas. To put it in perspective, if a marketer earns $129,447 in New York and moves to Houston, they can earn just $56,418–yes, taking a 56 percent pay cut–and maintain the same standard of living in the Lone Star State. So, one could argue that the Texans are the real winners here.


Top 10 Income by Functional Areas and Metro Areas

The following are the top ten salaries factoring in location and specialty.

  1. Product Marketing in New York: $158,462
  2. Relationship Management in New York: $142,500
  3. Research and Analysis in New York: $140,000
  4. Communications in New York: $137,143
  5. Traditional Marketing in New York: $135,263
  6. Traditional Marketing in Texas: $135,222
  7. Marketing Operations in Texas: $133,750
  8. Research and Analysis in Texas: $130,556
  9. Marketing Operations in New York: $126,471
  10. Creative Services in New York: $124,286

Product marketers in New York top the list in terms of earning, followed by other specialties in New York and Texas. Washington DC does not make the top ten in any discipline. Considering that Washington DC also had a lower average salary than New York and Texas, but a higher cost of living, it’s safe to say that Washingtonians are earning less than their counterparts in other locations, even with a higher cost of living than Dallas and Houston.  

When considering making a move from one city to another, consider that taking a pay cut may, in fact, work as a pay increase if you are moving to a city that has a lower cost of living.



McKinley Marketing Partners collaborated with a national market research agency to conduct a survey on marketing salaries.

The survey was open to marketing professionals across all industries throughout the U.S. from October 6 – October 30, 2017. Qualifying criteria for respondents included either working in a marketing role or experience working in a marketing function. A total of 329 marketing professionals completed the survey.  

by McKinley Marketing Partners