Salary Series Part Two: The Impact of Education on Marketing Salaries

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

In marketing, a highly practical and skills-based field, one might think that a master’s degree has no impact on earning potential.

One would be wrong.

Marketers who hold a master’s degree on average earn $30,000 more annually than their counterparts with a bachelor’s alone.

Of those marketers with a master’s degree, 55 percent earn over $105,000 annually, while only 39 percent of those with only a bachelor’s degree earn the same.

When considering the impact of education and location, we find that marketers with a master’s degree out earn their peers with only a Bachelor’s in all but one location, New York (See Figure 8).


Figure 4 Average Marketing Salaries by College Degree in Each Metro Area*

  • Washington DC: master’s outearned bachelor’s $121,956 to $95,212– a 22 percent difference.
  • Texas: master’s outearned bachelor’s $135,909 to $99,926– a 27 percent difference.
  • Other: master’s outearned bachelor’s $124,718 to $93,811– a 25 percent difference.
  • New York: bachelor’s outearned master’s $134,522 to $124,286, a 7 percent difference.

* McKinley Marketing Partners supports the marketing and creative staffing needs of organizations in New York, DC, Dallas, and Houston, as such those regions were spotlighted for the purposes of our salary report.  

Across the country in various cities, marketers with masters degrees or higher completed education outearn their counterparts who have a bachelor’s degree or less. For current college students studying marketing it may be worth the time and financial investment to get more education either before entering the job market or later after launching their careers.

In our final installment of the salary investigative research series, we will unpack the impact of location on salary and cost of living across several major cities in the United States.



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