A new study of the US SEO market has provided an interesting overview of typical earnings in the sector, as well as outlining what people working in this field can expect to increase their pay by over the coming year.

The report was published by Conductor and accompanied by an infographic, which shows that those working in the sector for a limited time can still expect a decent wage.

Although the figures are given in US dollars, for convenience we have converted each to the equivalent value in pound sterling, which is accurate at the time of writing.

On average, a search marketer in the US can expect to earn  47,000 a year. In the first three years of working in the industry, average wages sit somewhere between  19,000 and  37,000.

About a fifth of those who have worked in SEO for less than three years can claim to be earning at the top end of that average.

Meanwhile 50% of those who have three to five years of search marketing experience will be earning  37,000 annually, or more.

The most experienced employees understandably have the greatest value and 78% of those with five or more years on the job pocket at least  37,000.

The east and west coasts of the US are the best places to find employment in the SEO industry, which is unsurprising, given the tech hubs that exist in New York and California.

Indeed, those with experience in the industry will find that they may get multiple job offers and end up courted by a number of different companies, which can help when it comes to hammering out a remuneration deal.

Analysts believe that those who want to earn more in 2013 should look to expand upon their existing set of skills and broaden their horizons, thus making themselves more valuable to the companies that employ them.

The SEO expert’s CV can also be a powerful bargaining chip when it comes to securing a new job and ensuring that your wage reflects your capabilities. It should demonstrate what you can do and specify your specialist skills, whatever they happen to be.

The role of the SEO expert is becoming increasingly important in modern businesses, with a recent study from Search Engine Watch finding that 70% of those in the industry now report that they are being engaged at the boardroom level.

Companies are waking up to the idea that SEO can significantly enhance their chances of competing in the contemporary market, where success on the web translates into tangible prosperity.

One final piece of data collected in the Conductor study relates to the job titles that those working in SEO are typically given. The most common is SEO/Marketing Manager, while the least is SEO Coordinator/Associate.

The changing position of SEO is being reflected by pay rises and a very competitive job market, both in the US and the UK. This is something that those who work in the field should not ignore.