Payscales for Community Managers – how much should you be making?

This article is prompted by a good piece at SEMPO on SEM Salary levels.

If you are a community professional (Community Manager, Evangelist, etc.) there are several skills you need to be good at. Some (but not a comprehensive list) of related disciplines you need to be aware (In my experience you dont have to be an expert at these things) of include (not in any particular order, but bold indicates more important):

1. Technology: Web Design, Usability, etc.
2. Librarian: Content Architecture, Taxonomy, etc.
3. Social Media: Digg, Blogs, etc.
4. Social Networking: Facebook, Bebo, etc.
5. Customer service: Support, Issue resolution, etc.
6. Marketing: Web Marketing, SEO, etc.
7. Business: Your company, its products, its customers, competition etc.

So how much do Community Managers make? My (not formal or comprehensive, but good sample size) analysis of talking to about 33 individuals with those titles, indicates, your range is from $90,000 to $150,000. Why the wide range and what gets someone more than less?

1. How critical is the your community to the business? If you
are a ‘community driven” provider such as many Web2.0 companies, you
get paid better.
2. Experience on the job: How long have you been at it? Longer, means more money is what I gathered.
3. How big (# of participants) your community is: Not an obvious one, but larger is has not always been paying more.
4. Location: Its pretty clear that the coasts (SF, NY, specifically) pay MUCH better than middle America
5. Justification: How well are you and the team able to justify your position / value the community is providing back in real ROI terms to the company.

Please let me know if I am in the ball park. I got my research based on email discussions alone so I cannot attribute names.

Hat tip.

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