Salaries & Pay for Agency Staff - What Should You Be Paying?

Salaries for digital agency staff depend on various factors including experience and skill level. The pay can sometimes match the pay of an in house employee but in certain roles, the salary can differ entirely. This part of our Digital Marketing Recruitment Guide looks at the different job roles and the average pay.

In this section Brian Matthews, Managing Partner here at The Candidate, explores the salaries and pay for agency staff and how they differ from in-house employees. Brian has many years of experience in the recruitment and marketing field. As Managing Director of The Candidate, Brian has a great understanding of the salaries and pay for digital agency staff, what others are paying and what your company should be paying too.

Salaries & Pay for Agency Staff - What Should You Be Paying?

The average salary of in-house professionals has overtaken that of agency workers for the first time with an increase of 14% year on year. The average increase of a salary for an Account Director in an agency environment was 5.95% which seemed to highlight the fact that agencies need to retain their top Account Directors in order to maintain strong relationships with their clients and to win new business. Salaries for Digital Account Managers are beginning to level out after year on year increases due to companies becoming increasingly confident in their own ability to carry out the tasks of a Digital Account Manager such as online community outreach and social media strategy with the in-house team.

Focusing on six common positions within a digital marketing agency, we identify the caliber of candidate for each role and the salary range depending on experience and job role. Account Managers have a higher variety of salary than more entry-level roles such as Executives or Link Builders and this is directly related to how the business uses the employee. As Account Managers are vital for communicating with clients and retaining existing business, alongside recruiting new business, the salary can range from around £25k all the way up to £32k.


Executives - These roles are usually entry-level, post-graduate or for candidates with around 1 years' experience in a similar role. Salaries are in the region of £18k - £20k for these positions.

PPC Experts - PPC Expert roles are usually split into Senior Executives and then PPC Managers. The Senior Executives salaries are usually £21k - £24k while the salary for a PPC Manager at an agency will be more in the region of £25k - £28k.

Link Builders - For the lower level link builders, those with experience ranging from 6 months to one year, the salary is likely to be around £16k - £18k, the salary will rise slightly in line with direct experience.

SEO Executives - SEO Executives with 1-2 years' experience can expect a salary of around £18k - £20k. Senior Executives with 2+ years' experience are in line for a slightly higher salary of £21k - £25k.

SEO Managers - Usually a promotion from an SEO Executive role, SEO Managers starting salary will be in the region of £25k - £30k depending on experience and previous track record.

Account Managers - The pay for an Account Manager role can vary as the responsibilities on some accounts can be very different to others. Account Managers are the client's first point of contact and the relationship between client and manager is vital for the business. Because of the importance of this role, salaries can go as a high as £32k


Job Title

salary average

salary min-max



£18,000 - £20,000

PPC Senior Executives


£21,000 - £24,000

PPC Manager


£25,000 - £28,000

Link Builders


£16,000 - £18,000

SEO Executives


£18,000 - £20,000

SEO Senior Executives


£21,000 - £25,000

SEO Managers


£25,000 - £30,000

Account Managers


£25,000 - £32,000