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Content Manager

Education and Training: Bachelor’s degree
Average Salary: $78,700 per year
Job Outlook: Excellent

Content managers take on a wide variety of specific tasks related to website and blog content management for companies and individual websites. Many have salaried positions in companies, but more companies are outsourcing these jobs to self-employed freelancers.

Content management positions often involve directly writing and editing web content, as well as developing a comprehensive plan to boost a company’s web presence through online content. Many managers work with a team of writers and do only a small portion of the writing required to keep a website up and running. Work-from-home content managers may be responsible for updating blogs or websites on a regular basis from virtual locations. On-site content managers often work with the company’s web development department to ensure that a website is running smoothly and is search engine optimized on all levels.

Education and Training Requirements

Most companies require that content managers have a bachelor’s degree in English, advertising, communications, or a related field, and these positions also require on-the-job experience, particularly with web writing and editing. Individuals who wish to freelance may be able to get by on experience alone.

Content managers seeking positions in which they’ll manage a team of writers should consider getting further certification or taking courses in project management. Recommended college courses include web writing, editing, mass communications, management-related courses, and journalism courses. Knowledge of HTML and search engine optimization is also key for many of these jobs.

Getting the Job

Typically, content managers start out as web content writers, either for a company or as freelance writers. Three to five years of work experience and experience managing other writers or editing work is a necessity for content managers. Internships or apprenticeships at newspapers, magazines, publishing firms, or web development companies may also be helpful. Though some companies will hire content managers from within an existing team of web writers, jobs are often available to outsiders with the necessary experience and education.

Job Prospects, Employment Outlook and Career Development

Job prospects for content managers are excellent as more companies begin to discover the power of websites, blogging, and social networking. Larger companies are quickly developing a wide variety of web-related content and are looking for new content managers. Smaller companies are more likely to outsource the work, so freelance opportunities are also excellent in this field.
Content managers may move on to higher level management positions within a company, or they may remain in their own position for the remainder of their career. Advancement opportunities will typically depend on the type and size of company one works for.

Working Conditions and Environment

The working environment and conditions for content managers can vary greatly, depending on the company and type of work required. Companies who are telecommuting-friendly are likely to offer at least part-time telecommuting opportunities. Content managers who largely work alone as opposed to managing a team of writers can have very flexible schedules. Those who work with a team will probably need to put in some regular office hours. This is not typically considered a stressful position, and it doesn’t normally require more than a normal work-week.

Salary and Benefits

Starting salaries for content managers are normally around $53,000 per year, but they can make all the way up to $111,000 per year. The average salary for a content manager is $78,700 per year.

Salaried content managers typically get health benefits and paid vacation and personal time, but those who freelance will not get such benefits, though they will typically have more flexible schedules. Content managers may get bonuses based on performance on the job or performance of the websites they are managing, as well.

Where to Go for More Information
To find out more about content manager jobs and job descriptions, check out the following organizations:

Association for Information and Image Management
1110 Wayne Ave., Ste. 1100
Silver Spring, MD 20910
(301) 587-8202

Content Management Professionals, Inc.
9125 Goshen Valley Dr.
Laytonsville, MD 20882

Additional topics

Job Descriptions and Careers, Career and Job Opportunities, Career Search, and Career Choices and ProfilesCommunication and the Arts