Healthcare organizations, including pharma and medical device firms, have been clamoring to hire marketers.

Despite the clamour, salaries for healthcare marketers dipped in the past year according to Medical Marketing & Media's (MM&M) 2016 Career and Salary Survey, which polled 953 individuals employed in this role.

The average salary dropped from $142,900 in 2015 to $139,200, a dip of 2.6%.

The highest average in the past six years came in 2013, when the average salary hit $143,600. Even so, MM&M noted...

It's worth considering, for example, whether the big jumps in average salary in 2013 (when it rose from $132,600 to $143,600) and 2015 (from $135,700 to $142,900) might have been statistical hiccups.

Otherwise...there's a consistent upward salary trajectory starting in 2011 ($129,000) and continuing through 2016. Are there consistent double-digit percentage leaps of the sort seen in, say, the tech industry? No, but neither is there the depressing downward grind seen within any number of other businesses.

At $152,000, $137,300 and $129,800, respectively, average salaries were highest at manufacturers, agencies and suppliers, and lowest in media for healthcare professionals ($105,700).

Healthcare marketers in media for consumers and professionals did, however, see the biggest jumps in average salary last year.

On a market sector basis, no sector has registered an increase in average salary this year, and the only increase in average salary by company revenue was seen at companies with less than $5m in revenue. 

Money isn't everything

Despite the fact that salaries aren't rising at a clip seen in other industries, healthcare marketers generally seem content.

Across all kinds of employers, nearly 81% of employees felt their advance prospects were "excellent or good," and only 31% planned to seek a new job in the next year.

But companies in some parts of the market probably shouldn't get complacent.

Despite the fact that they still offer the highest average salaries, an almost equal number of healthcare marketers at manufacturers indicate they'll be looking for a new job in the coming year as those say they won't be.

And a much higher percentage of marketers in media for healthcare professionals and consumer (70%) believe they have better advancement prospects than their counterparts in manufacturing, agencies and suppliers do.

There's also the challenge of convincing marketers outside of healthcare to join the field, particularly at the entry-level.

Lisa DuJat, chief talent officer at FCB Health, told MM&M, "College grads who want to go into advertising will say that they're not interested in healthcare, that they don't find it sexy enough. [The industry] can't do enough to address that."

According to John Marchese of healthcare communications firm Sudler & Hennessey, part of the solution is to think outside of the box. "In terms of finding talent, the tough decision is not to look in the same places where you've always looked."

That could be increasingly crucial as many companies, particularly in the pharma and medical device markets, face reputational threats and need to bulk up their digital efforts before they lose the ability to reach consumers and healthcare professionals through online and mobile channels.

For more detail on marketing salaries:

Patricio Robles

Published 16 September, 2016 by Patricio Robles

Patricio Robles is a tech reporter at Econsultancy. Follow him on Twitter.

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