Skip to the main content
This website uses cookies to give you a better online experience. By using this website or closing this message, you are agreeing to our cookie policy. More information
Alberta Supports Contact Centre

Toll Free 1-877-644-9992

Alert

The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted legislation and services. Information on this website may not reflect the current situation in Alberta. Please visit alberta.ca for up-to-date information about these impacts.

Updated / Emerging Occupations

Social Media Specialist

Social media specialists create and manage an organization’s public profile on social networking websites. They use interactive technology, such as blogging, livestreaming, and podcasts, to build online communities.

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

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: Professional Occupations in Public Relations and Communications (5124) 
  • 2006 NOC-S: Professional Occupations in Public Relations and Communications (F024) 
  • 2011 NOC: Professional occupations in advertising, marketing and public relations (1123) 
  • 2016 NOC: Professional occupations in advertising, marketing and public relations (1123) 
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.

Professional Occupations in Public Relations and Communications*
2006 NOC : 5124

Interest Codes


*The Social Media Specialist is similar to this NOC group

Interest Codes for This NOC Group

INNOVATIVE

Interest in co-ordinating information to prepare and oversee preparation of reports, briefs, bibliographies, speeches, presentations, Web sites and press releases, and to develop and organize workshops, meetings, ceremonies and other events for publicity, fund-raising and information purposes

METHODICAL

Interest in gathering, researching and preparing communications material for internal and external audiences, and in assisting in the preparation of brochures, reports, newsletters and other material

SOCIAL

Interest in persuading to initiate and maintain contact with the media, and to arrange interviews and news conferences; and in co-ordinating special publicity events and promotions to internal and external audiences

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

Social media specialist is an emerging occupation within the field of public relations / PR. Social media specialists market their organizations on the web. They use a variety of tools and strategies to create a targeted, well-branded online presence / image for the organization.

In general, social media specialists:

  • Manage the organization’s presence on social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, Instagram, blogs, and forums
  • Build and promote the organization’s branding
  • Monitor social media sites for potential issues that could affect the organization or its reputation
  • Identify opportunities to engage stakeholders and targeted customers in conversations designed to solicit opinions, stimulate debates, clarify facts, and maintain transparency
  • Develop and execute strategic marketing and communication plans to build active and sustainable online communities for the organization
  • Use a wide variety of social media tools including blogs, social bookmarks, tags, and hashtags to create and sustain an online presence
  • Conduct public opinion and attitude surveys online to identify the interests and concerns of key groups served by the organization
  • Identify key performance indicators, evaluate the effectiveness of social media events or campaigns, and submit insight charts to report results to senior managers
  • Create, execute, and monitor social media campaigns
  • Write editorials and promotional material and create content for various social media channels
  • Work with graphic designers to design and implement projects
  • Audit current use of social media channels for effectiveness and return on investment (ROI)
  • Manage online discussion forums and web inquiries from the public
  • Stay up to date on social technology and related trends

Senior or advanced social media specialists may work closely with the organization’s information technology staff. They may help define and implement search engine optimization (SEO) strategies to maximize the organization’s search ranking. They may develop social media guidelines for the organization and update its website. They may also train staff in areas such as services, strategic communication, and crisis management so they can respond to inquiries through social media channels.

In smaller organizations, the social media specialist may also be the web or graphic designer.

Working Conditions
Updated Mar 31, 2022
  • Strength Required Lift up to 5 kg

Social media specialists work in offices or from home using electronic devices such as computers, smartphones, and tablets. They generally work on several projects at a time and may work overtime to meet deadlines.

Social media specialists may travel to attend meetings and give presentations. Some, particularly in the private sector, may be required to monitor social media platforms in the evenings and on weekends.

Traits & Skills
Updated Mar 31, 2022

Social media specialists need:

  • Friendliness and customer service skills
  • Patience and emotional stamina
  • Creativity and initiative
  • Communication and presentation skills
  • Organizational and time-management skills
  • Interpersonal skills for consultation, training, and negotiation
  • Experience with social media, web design, video creation, and editing tools
  • Analytical thinking and flexibility
  • The ability to deal with ambiguity
  • Outgoing personality

They should enjoy:

  • Taking a methodical approach to gathering, researching, coordinating, and editing information
  • Finding innovative ways to handle problems
  • Persuading and influencing people

Top 10 Skills Employers Are Looking For

* The Social Media Specialist is similar to this NOC group
Professional occupations in advertising, marketing and public relations*
NOC code: 1123

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 Apr 12, 2022 and May 20, 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.
Assist in the preparation of brochures, reports, newsletters and other material
Develop, implement and evaluate communication strategies and programs
Gather, research and prepare communications material
Answer written and oral inquiries
Co-ordinate special publicity events and promotions
Personal Suitability: Organized
Personal Suitability: Effective interpersonal skills
Prepare or oversee preparation of reports, briefs, bibliographies, speeches, presentations, Website content and press releases
Advise clients on advertising or sales promotion strategies
Personal Suitability: 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.

Employers generally prefer applicants who have a bachelor’s degree in marketing, information technology, journalism, public relations, business, graphic design, or communications. Employers also look for demonstrated experience with:

  • Social networks within an organizational and personal context, and with an increasing level of engagement
  • Techniques for building online communities
  • Website content management systems
  • Search engine optimization (SEO) and social media optimization (SMO) tools

Knowledge or training in basic psychology, graphic design, computer sciences, or specific platforms is an asset.

For more information about marketing programs, see the Marketing Manager occupational profile.

For more information about information technology programs, see the Interactive Media Programmer and Web Designer occupational profiles.

For more information about journalism programs, see the Reporter occupational profile.

For more information about public relations and communications programs, see the Public Relations Representative occupational profile.


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

British Columbia Institute of Technology

CDI College of Business, Technology and Health Care - Calgary North

CDI College of Business, Technology and Health Care - Calgary South

CDI College of Business, Technology and Health Care - Edmonton City Centre

CDI College of Business, Technology and Health Care - Edmonton West

CDI College of Business, Technology and Health Care - Red Deer

Global College of Business & Technology

NIWE Academy Inc.

Nova Career College

Peerless Training Institute

QCom College of Technology (QCT)

Reeves College - Calgary City Centre

Reeves College - Calgary South

Reeves College - Edmonton North

Robertson College - Calgary

Robertson College - Edmonton

Southern Alberta Institute of Technology

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 Not Regulated

There is currently no provincial legislation regulating this occupation in Alberta.

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.

Social media specialists work for large organizations such as:

  • International not-for-profits
  • Large corporations
  • Marketing or advertising companies
  • Governments
  • Post-secondary schools

In smaller organizations, maintaining the company’s online profile may be the responsibility of the marketing or public relations staff, a web designer, or a senior manager.

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 1123: Professional occupations in advertising, marketing and public relations* occupational group, 78.2% of people work in:

*This data is for a NOC group that is similar to the Social Media 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 1123: Professional occupations in advertising, marketing and public relations* occupational group is expected to have an above-average annual growth of 2% from 2019 to 2023. In addition to job openings created by employment turnover, 308 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 Social Media 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

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.

Professional occupations in advertising, marketing and public relations*

2016 NOC : 1123
*The social media specialist is similar to this NOC group
Average Wage
$36.24
Per Hour
Average Salary
$69,165.00
Per Year
Average Hours
36.6
Per Week
Average Months on Payroll
11.9
Survey Methodology Survey Analysis

Source
2019 Alberta Wage and Salary Survey

NOC 1123 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.

A: High Reliability
Data Reliability Code Definition

High Reliability, represents a CV of less than or equal to 6.00% and 30 survey observations and/or represents 50% or more of all estimated employment for the occupation.


Hourly Wage
For full-time and part-time employees
  • Low
  • High
  • Average
  • Median
Starting
Overall
Top
Wages* Low (5th percentile) High (95th percentile) Average Median
Starting $15.00 $46.15 $28.73 $27.18
Overall $17.50 $70.05 $36.24 $31.79
Top $20.00 $128.21 $46.68 $36.58

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
Oil & Gas Extraction
Transportation and Warehousing
Public Administration
Finance, Insurance, Real Estate, Leasing
ALL INDUSTRIES
Professional, Scientific & Technical Services
Construction
Educational Services
Other Services (Repair, Personal Services and Related)
Manufacturing
Wholesale Trade
Information, Culture, Recreation
Health Care & Social Assistance
Business, Building and Other Support Services
Accommodation & Food Services
Retail Trade

Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years

48%
48%)

Recruiting Employers that Experienced Hiring Difficulties

14%
14%

Employers with Unfilled Vacancies of over 4 Months

3%
3%

Vacancy Rate

2%
Related Post-Secondary Field of Study
  • Business, Management and Administrative Studies
  • Communications
  • Computer and Information Technology
Other Sources of Information
Updated Mar 31, 2022

Canadian Public Relations Society (CPRS) website: www.cprs.ca

International Association of Business Communicators (IABC) website: www.iabc.com

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.

Was this page useful?
Top