March 25, 2008, 12:00 AM

What’s a search engine optimization specialist worth?

$74,900 a year is the average salary for that position, says Crandall Associates, an executive search firm that has issued its first guide to online marketing salaries. For a vice president of e-commerce, the average salary is $155,700 a year.

The average salary for a vice president with overall e-commerce responsibility is $155,700 a year, with some earning as much as $203,400 and others as little as $110,200, according to the first guide to online marketing salaries issued by executive search firm Crandall Associates Inc.

The guide includes salary ranges for 21 positions. For a director of e-commerce responsible for site design, content management and technical operations the salary range is $85,700 to $142,300 with an average of $105,900; for a search engine optimization specialist the range is $50,300 to $80,300 with an average of $74,900, the report says.

Crandall, which for several years has published an annual guide to salaries in direct marketing, has in recent years “been asked to conduct an increasing number of search assignments for talent in e-commerce, web marketing e-mail marketing and all facets of interactive marketing,” says Wendy Weber, president. She says the salary ranges in the report are based on discussions with employers, human resources managers and others in online marketing.

The report notes considerable regional variations in salaries based on location. In general, Crandall says employers should expect to pay 5% more than the ranges listed in cities of more than 1 million.

And employees in certain cities can expect to pay even higher premiums, Crandall says. Employers can expect to add another 20% to the salary ranges for jobs in New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles, and an additional 15% in Washington, D.C., Philadelphia, Chicago and Boston. Salaries will average 5% less than the typical range in such states as North and South Dakota, North and South Carolina, Kansas, Iowa and Montana, Crandall says.

The report is available for $50 at www.crandallassociates.com.

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