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Emerging Occupations

Search Engine Optimization Specialist

Search engine optimization (SEO) specialists study, review, and implement website changes. They strive to make websites rank high in search engines’ organic (natural, unpaid) search results.

This is an emerging occupation. It may have evolved from an existing occupation or emerged in response to consumer needs or technological advances.

Also Known As

Digital Marketing Specialist, Online Marketing Specialist, Search Engine Marketing Specialist

NOC Codes

In Canada, the federal government groups and organizes occupations based on a National Occupational Classification (NOC) system. This alis occupation may not reflect the entire NOC group it is part of. Data for the NOC group can apply across multiple occupations.

The NOC system is updated every 5 years to reflect changes in the labour market. Government forms and labour market data may group and refer to an occupation differently, depending on the system used.

This occupation has not yet received an official NOC code. However, it is considered similar to the following historical NOC codes. CAUTION—As this occupation is only similar to these NOC codes, related details and labour market information may not be accurate:

  • 2006 NOC: Web Designers and Developers (2175) 
  • 2006 NOC-S: Web Designers and Developers (C075) 
  • 2011 NOC: Web designers and developers (2175) 
  • 2016 NOC: Web designers and developers (2175) 
Interests & Abilities

In Alberta, this occupation is part of 1 or more 2006 National Occupational Classification (NOC) groups. If there are multiple related NOC groups, select a NOC heading to learn about each one.

Web Designers and Developers*

2006 NOC: 2175

*This data is for a NOC group that is similar to the Search Engine Optimization Specialist occupation.

Interest Codes

Interest Codes for This NOC Group
INNOVATIVE

Interest in analyzing information to prepare mock-ups and storyboards, to develop Web site architecture, and to design the appearance, layout and flow of Web sites

METHODICAL

Interest in precision working to test and modify Web pages and applications

DIRECTIVE

Interest in consulting with clients to develop and document Web site requirements; and in determining hardware and software requirements; may lead and co-ordinate multidisciplinary teams to develop Web site graphics, content, capacity and interactivity

Your Interest Codes

To identify or change your interest codes, complete the Interests Exercise in CAREERinsite.

Reading Interest Codes
A Quick Guide

The interest code helps you figure out if you’d like to work in a particular occupation. 

It’s based on the Canadian Work Preference Inventory (CWPI), which measures 5 occupational interests: Directive, Innovative, Methodical, Objective, and Social.

Each set of 3 interest codes for this NOC group is listed in order of importance.

A code in capital letters means it’s a strong fit for the occupation.

A code in all lowercase letters means the fit is weaker.

Learn About Interests

Abilities

Typical ability expectations for this NOC group
Your abilities

To fill in or change the values for your abilities, complete the Abilities Exercise in CAREERinsite.

Mental Abilities

General Learning Ability

Verbal Ability

Numerical Ability

Visual Abilities

Spatial Perception

Form Perception

Clerical Perception

Physical Abilities

Motor Coordination

Finger Dexterity

Manual Dexterity

Understanding Abilities

A Quick Guide

You are born with abilities that help you process certain types of information and turn it into action. These abilities influence which skills you can learn more easily.

The abilities or aptitudes shown for this NOC group come from the General Aptitude Test Battery (GATB). The GATB measures 9 aptitudes. It groups them into 3 categories: mental, visual, and physical.

The abilities scores range from 1 to 5, with 5 being stronger.

Learn About Abilities

Duties
Updated Mar 31, 2022

Search engine optimization (SEO) is part of an internet marketing strategy. SEO specialists must know:

  • How search engines work
  • What people search for
  • What search terms or keywords people most often use in search engines
  • Which search engines their target audience prefers

In general, SEO specialists:

  • Research keywords to optimize existing content
  • Study, review, suggest, or implement changes to website architecture, content, links, and other factors to improve SEO
  • Consult with web designers to improve site navigation and enhance search engine ranking
  • Use SEO tools to monitor, analyze, and review websites
  • Help create and support marketing content for social media purposes
  • Come up with new ways to improve and track site performance
  • Research and analyze competitor advertising links
  • Develop and implement link-building strategy

SEO specialists need to know how to:

  • Create and manage content to optimize website, advertising, and social media content
  • Build internal and external links for SEO
  • Use page and site architecture for SEO
  • Manage a company’s online reputation through reviews and social media
  • Use online and social media advertising

SEO specialists have intimate knowledge of:

  • Computer and web programming
  • Web development and design, also called content management systems (CMS)
  • Graphic design
  • Internet marketing, including online advertising, email marketing, social media marketing
Working Conditions
Updated Mar 31, 2022
  • Strength Required Strength requirements vary

Search engine optimization (SEO) specialists can work in an office setting. They can also work from remote locations, including home. They may work shifts and may work overtime to meet deadlines or resolve program issues. SEO specialists may need to sit at a computer for long periods.

Traits & Skills
Updated Mar 31, 2022

Search engine optimization (SEO) specialists need:

  • Logical thinking
  • Attention to detail
  • Communication and interpersonal skills
  • The ability to study complex problems
  • The ability to concentrate for long periods of time
  • The ability to prioritize work and complete multiple tasks

In Alberta, this occupation is part of 1 or more 2011 National Occupational Classification (NOC) groups. If there are multiple related NOC groups, select a NOC heading to learn about each one.

Top 10 Skills Employers Are Looking For

Web designers and developers*

2011 NOC: 2175

*This data is for a NOC group that is similar to the Search Engine Optimization Specialist occupation.

This chart shows which job skills are currently in highest demand for this occupational group. It was created using this occupation's 100 most recent Alberta job postings, collected between Jul 08, 2022 and Oct 04, 2022.

Review these skills to learn:

  • Whether or not this occupation matches your skill set
  • What training you may need to get these skills
  • What skills to highlight in your resumé, cover letter, and interview.
Tasks: Source, select and organize information for inclusion and design the appearance, layout and flow of the Website
Tasks: Plan, design, write, modify, integrate and test Web-site related code
Tasks: Develop Website architecture and determine hardware and software requirements
Tasks: Create and optimize content for Website using a variety of graphics, database, animation and other software
Tasks: Consult with clients to develop and document Website requirements
Tasks: Research and evaluate a variety of interactive media software products
Tasks: Conduct tests and perform security and quality controls
Tasks: Lead and co-ordinate multidisciplinary teams to develop Website graphics, content, capacity and interactivity
Construction Specialization: Organized
Construction Specialization: Team player
Educational Requirements
Updated Mar 31, 2022
  • Minimum Education 4 years post-secondary

Most emerging occupations develop from more than one occupation. People working in this occupation may come from a variety of education and training backgrounds. Before enrolling in an education program, prospective students should contact associations and employers in this field to investigate education options and employment possibilities.

Search engine optimization (SEO) specialists often have education and training in computer science, marketing, communications, or a related discipline. Their background often has a significant programming component. Most have completed post-secondary education. Some have also taken programs and courses through other training options, such as continuing education.


Related Education

The following schools offer programs or courses that are related to this occupation but are not required to enter the field.

ABM College
Bredin College of Business and Health Care - Edmonton
Bredin College of Business and Health Care - Red Deer
Grant MacEwan University
NIWE Academy Inc.
Northern Alberta Institute of Technology
Nova Career College
QCom College of Technology (QCT)
Robertson College - Calgary
Robertson College - Edmonton
Southern Alberta Institute of Technology
University of Lethbridge

To expand or narrow your search for programs related to this occupation, visit Post-Secondary Programs.

Completing a program does not guarantee entrance into an occupation. Before enrolling in an education program, prospective students should look into various sources for education options and employment possibilities. For example, contact associations and employers in this field.

Certification Requirements
Updated Mar 31, 2022
  • Certification Provincially Regulated

Certain professional titles or duties within this occupation are protected by provincial legislation. Requirements vary if you use these titles or perform these duties.

The related legislation is shown below. If there are multiple related legislations, select a certification heading to learn about each one.

Information Systems Professional

Information systems professionals investigate, analyze, design, develop, or manage information systems based on computer and related technologies. They do so objectively applying specialized knowledge and professional judgement.

Legislation

Information Systems Professional is a protected title under Alberta’s Professional and Occupational Associations Registration Act [pdf].

To call yourself an Information Systems Professional or use the ISP designation, you must register as a member of the Canadian Information Processing Society of Alberta (CIPS Alberta).

You do not have to register if you do not call yourself an Information Systems Professional.

For information on what you need and other details, visit the certification profile Information Systems Professional.

Employment & Advancement
Updated Mar 31, 2022

Emerging occupations typically are the result of:

  • An increased human need
  • Technological advances
  • Greater specialization within an occupation

Often there are too few people working in an emerging occupation to gather survey information. Therefore, it can be difficult to define advancement opportunities or employment outlook. Some Albertans already are working in this emerging occupation, but future demand for it is unknown.

SEO specialists work for large software companies and consulting firms. Many of these are based outside Alberta. Most programmers in Alberta work in specialized software development firms. They may work in the information systems departments of large companies. These may include:

  • Software developers
  • Consulting firms
  • Marketing, insurance, oil, transportation, and utility firms
  • Municipal, provincial, and federal governments
  • Online retailers
  • Educational institutions
  • Financial companies

They may work in the IT units of large private- or public-sector organizations. They may be self-employed. Most jobs are located in major urban areas. Outstanding individuals who have graduate degrees and many years on the job may become managers or private consultants.

Industry Concentration

This section shows the industries where the majority of people in this occupation work. The data is based on the 2016 Census.

In Alberta, this occupation is part of 1 or more 2016 National Occupational Classification (NOC) groups.

In the 2175: Web designers and developers* occupational group, 78.8% of people work in:

*This data is for a NOC group that is similar to the Search Engine Optimization Specialist occupation.

Employment Outlook

Employment outlook is influenced by a wide variety of factors including:

  • Time of year (for seasonal jobs)
  • Location in Alberta
  • Employment turnover (when people leave existing positions)
  • Occupational growth (when new positions are created)
  • Size of the occupation
  • Trends and events that affect overall employment

Explore emerging workplace trends in Alberta that could affect this occupation.

In Alberta, the 2175: Web designers and developers* occupational group is expected to have a below-average annual growth of 1.7% from 2019 to 2023. In addition to job openings created by employment turnover, 58 new positions are forecasted to be created within this occupational group each year.

*This data is for a NOC group that is similar to the Search Engine Optimization Specialist occupation.

Note
NOC groups often include several related occupations. Although there is labour market data for the larger NOC group, this occupation makes up only a part of that group. It means data for this occupation may be different than the data shown. For example, only some of the new positions to be created will be for this occupation. It also applies to other data for the NOC group such as number of people employed.

Source: Alberta Regional Occupational Demand Outlook

Related Alberta Job Postings
Wage & Salary
Updated Mar 31, 2022

Often there are too few people working in an emerging occupation to gather survey information. Therefore, no current provincial salary data is available for this occupation.

In Alberta, this occupation is part of 1 or more 2016 National Occupational Classification (NOC) groups. If there are multiple related NOC groups, select a NOC heading to learn about each one.

Web designers and developers*

2016 NOC: 2175

*This data is for a NOC group that is similar to the Search Engine Optimization Specialist occupation.

Average Wage
$32.32
Per Hour
Average Salary
$62,615.00
Per Year
Average Hours
36.9
Per Week
Average Months on Payroll
12
Survey Methodology Survey Analysis

Source
2021 Alberta Wage and Salary Survey

NOC 2175 Wage Profile

Unless otherwise noted, the data shown here is for all industries and all regions in Alberta.

All wage estimates are hourly except where otherwise indicated. Wages and salaries do not include overtime hours, tips, benefits, profit shares, bonuses (unrelated to production), and other forms of compensation.

To see the full survey data for this NOC group, visit the wage profile.

Other wage sources
To make an informed wage and salary decision, research other wage sources [pdf] to supplement this data.

B: Good Reliability
Data Reliability Code Definition

Good Reliability, represents a CV of between 6.01% and 15.00% and/or fewer than 30 survey observations and/or if survey observations represent less than 50% of all estimated employment for the occupation.


Hourly Wage

For full-time and part-time employees
  • Low
  • High
  • Average
  • Median
Starting
Overall
Top

Hourly Wage

For full-time and part-time employees
Wages* Low (5th percentile) High (95th percentile) Average Median
Starting $16.83 $40.00 $27.21 $28.85
Overall $19.87 $46.14 $32.32 $33.65
Top $24.00 $61.54 $41.88 $39.31

Swipe left and right to view all data. Scroll left and right to view all data.

* All wage estimates are hourly except where otherwise indicated. Wages and salaries do not include overtime hours, tips, benefits, profit shares, bonuses (unrelated to production) and other forms of compensation.

Pay brackets for hourly wages

  • Starting pay: average pay offered for entry-level positions
  • Overall pay: average pay across all employees in this occupation
  • Top pay: average pay offered to top-paid employees

Industry Information

Public Administration
Educational Services
ALL INDUSTRIES
Information, Culture, Recreation
Professional, Scientific & Technical Services

Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years
35%
35%)
Recruiting Employers that Experienced Hiring Difficulties
30%
30%
Employers with Unfilled Vacancies of over 4 Months
12%
12%
Vacancy Rate
4%
Related Post-Secondary Field of Study
  • Communications
  • Computer and Information Technology
Other Sources of Information
Updated Mar 31, 2022

Search Engine Marketing Professional Organization (SEMPO) Canada website: www.sempo.ca

Get information and referrals about career, education, and employment options from Alberta Supports.

Updated Mar 31, 2022. The information contained in this profile is current as of the dates shown. Salary, employment outlook, and educational program information may change without notice. It is advised that you confirm this information before making any career decisions.

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