Careers in SEM


Looking for an entry level job or internship in SEM? Here's an overview of how to approach the search and a list of companies that might have entry level and internship opportunities that will interest you.

See companies with SEM careers or search the latest SEM jobs and internships.

I’m in the market for a teal desk for my office. I know what you’re thinking. “Aren’t we all?” But don’t worry, I discovered that there are plenty available for everyone. I know this because I searched for a desk online using Google and saw thousands of results. Companies like Crate and Barrel had paid to have ads with their information show up as an answer to my search. Had I clicked on the ad and made a purchase, Crate and Barrel would have had their Search Engine Marketer to thank. Search Engine Marketing Specialists place the most effective advertising they can to help companies achieve maximum exposure on search engines so that they can attract more customers and purchases.

SEM Careers

Photo Credit: Flickr user Mr. Imperial

Search Engine Marketing Career Guide Overview

  1. What a Search Engine Marketing Specialist Does
  2. A Typical Day for a Search Engine Marketing Specialist
  3. Salary and Career Progression for a Search Engine Marketing Specialist
  4. Best Locations for Search Engine Marketing
  5. Pros and Cons of Being a Search Engine Marketing Specialist
  6. What You Need to Know for a Career in Search Engine Marketing
  7. Search Engine Marketing Resources
  8. Careers Related to Search Engine Marketing
  9. Companies with Jobs and Internships in Search Engine Marketing

What a Search Engine Marketing Specialist Does

Search Engine Marketing (SEM) is a type of Internet marketing that involves promoting websites by increasing their visibility in search engine results pages. To do this an SEM specialist uses paid search engine placements and contextual advertising. In a way, SEM also includes marketing a website using search engine optimization (SEO), which involves rewriting website content to achieve a higher ranking in search engine results pages. Generally an SEM Specialist is solely responsible for marketing campaign management across various channels including adjusting bidding, making ads creative, and changing keywords.

A Typical Day for a Search Engine Marketing Specialist

While a typical day for a Search Engine Marketing Specialist may vary, it generally includes these tasks:

Salary and Career Progression for a Search Engine Marketing Specialist

An SEM Specialist makes about $30,471 – $63,242 per year. From there you can go on to become a Senior SEM Specialist ($84,000 per year on average) or a Digital Marketing Specialist ($71,000 per year on average).

Best Locations for Search Engine Marketing Specialists

Here are some hot spots for SEM specialists:

Pros and Cons of Being a Search Engine Marketing Specialist


What You Need to Know for a Career in Search Engine Marketing

To be an SEM Specialist you’ll need a bachelor’s degree, preferably in Marketing or Advertising. You’ll also need to be familiar with search engines and their algorithms, and you’ll need the ability to analyze and interpret complex data in Excel. You should familiarize yourself with programs like Marin, Omniture, Google Analytics, Google Adwords, and other search engine related tools and vendors. You’ll also need to have strong written and verbal communication skills, attention to detail, and the ability to thrive in a fluid and demanding environment, juggle multiple projects, and interpret data to make business recommendations.

Search Engine Marketing Resources

If search engine marketing still sounds like your cup of tea, here are a few things you should do to get started.

Required Reading

Key Folks to Follow on Twitter

Blogs and Websites

Networking Opportunities

Careers Related to Search Engine Marketing

Companies with Entry Level Jobs and Internships in SEM

WPromote Logo

WPromote - WPromote is an El Segundo, CA based company that calls itself “the country’s leading Online Marketing firm." They help clients with SEO, PPC, and Social Media.

See the complete WPromote profile

OneIMS Logo

OneIMS - OneIMS is a Skokie, IL based company that offers “everything from services like branding and web design to online marketing strategies like SEO and PPC.”

See the complete OneIMS profile

Job TitleLocation
SEO CopywriterSkokie, IL
Development SupportSkokie, IL
Jr Account ManagerSkokie, IL
See all 3 job postings Logo - is based in Emeryville, CA, and it “is a leading authority in wall décor and the world’s largest online retailer of posters, prints, and framed art.”

See the complete profile

Jockey Logo

Jockey International - Jockey International is a Kenosha, WI based company that aims “to satisfy the human need for comfort” by offering more than 600 styles of underwear and t-shirts.

See the complete Jockey International profile

Job TitleLocation
Assistant MerchandiserKenosha, WI
Disc Jockey (CEL01514DJC)United States
Creative InquiryNew York, NY
Sales AssociateDelaware
RecruiterKenosha, WI
See all 114 job postings

TextLinkBrokers Logo

TextLinkBrokers - TextLinkBrokers is a Mesa, AZ based company that services the “needs of professional SEM agencies and individuals looking for high quality link development.”

See the complete TextLinkBrokers profile

No current job openings.

Zurple Logo

Zurple - Zurple is a Carlsbad, CA based company that builds software that starts "conversations between Realtors and leads that culminate in closed transactions.”

See the complete Zurple profile

No current job openings.

Adpearance Logo

Adpearance - Adpearance is a Portland, OR based digital marketing agency that crafts campaigns that bring traditional marketing principles together with new tactics.

See the complete Adpearance profile

Vibrant Media Logo

Vibrant Media - Vibrant Media is the NYC based world "leading provider of in-content contextual technology that gets brand content and advertising discovered across platforms."

See the complete Vibrant Media profile

90octane Logo

90octane - 90octane is a Denver, CO based online marketing agency that does online advertising, email marketing, microsite and landing page development, SEO, and PPC.

See the complete 90octane profile


LION - LION is a Dayton, OH based company that designs, manufactures, and markets products “to ensure the health, safety and performance of first responders."

See the complete LION profile

Sentient Jet Logo

Sentient Jet - Sentient Jet is a Cleveland, OH based company that “arranges more air charter flights than any other jet charter procurement business in the country.”

See the complete Sentient Jet profile

SEER Interactive Logo

SEER Interactive - SEER Interactive is a Philadelphia, PA based online marketing agency that specializes in SEO, SEM, Analytics, and Conversion Optimization.

See the complete SEER Interactive profile

MeUndies Logo

MeUndies - Me Undies is a Beverly Hills, CA based company that offers “the world’s most comfortable underwear in all your favorite colors and styles.”

See the complete MeUndies profile

Job TitleLocation
Head of MarketingLos Angeles, CA
UI/UX DesignerLos Angeles, CA
Fulfillment Operations ManagerLos Angeles, CA
Marketing Analytics LeadLos Angeles, CA
See all 4 job postings

adMarketplace Logo

adMarketplace - adMarketplace is a New York, NY based company that “delivers data-driven performance to the Internet’s leading marketers through" their search syndication platform.

See the complete adMarketplace profile

Job TitleLocation
Account ExecutiveNew York, NY
Account ExecutiveSan Francisco, CA
Data AnalystNew York, NY
Account ManagerNew York, NY
Account SpecialistNew York, NY
See all 15 job postings

BlueGlass Interactive Logo

BlueGlass - BlueGlass is a Tampa, FL based company aiming to “change the way companies market themselves online with extraordinary strategies, service and software."

See the complete BlueGlass profile

No current job openings.

LeagueApps Logo

LeagueApps - LeagueApps is an NYC and DC based company that offers “digital management and marketing solution for local sports leagues, tournaments and events.”

See the complete LeagueApps profile

Slingshot SEO Logo

Slingshot SEO - Slingshot SEO helps clients reach customers through search, and they have achieved a three-year growth rate of 2,391%–putting them at #136 on the Inc. 500.

See the complete Slingshot SEO profile

Job TitleLocation
Social Media SpecialistPeachtree Corners, GA
Data ScientistMinneapolis, MN
Content Marketing and PR ManagerMonterey, CA
See all 3 job postings

Doner Logo

Doner - Doner is a Southfield, MI based ad agency that provides brands with “constant energy, unwavering vigilance and a devoted belief in staying fresh.”

See the complete Doner profile

Job TitleLocation
Research AssistantDetroit, MI
Finance InternSouthfield, MI
CopywriterSouthfield, MI
Assistant Account ExecutiveCleveland, OH
HR GeneralistSouthfield, MI
See all 18 job postings

42Floors Logo

42Floors - 42Floors is a San Francisco, CA based company that wants to finally bring the $25 billion office space/commercial real estate market online in a proper way.

See the complete 42Floors profile

No current job openings.

WeddingWire Logo

WeddingWire - WeddingWire is“the category leader in local business reviews (think “Yelp of Weddings”)," and they're hiring at their Bethesda, MD office.

See the complete WeddingWire profile

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