GUIDE 2022

What is the Average Knowledge Manager Salary?

The knowledge manager salary range in the US, according to estimates from Glassdoor, is $41,000 to $224,000. According to salary estimates from Zippia, the national average salary for a knowledge manager has risen from $86,600 in 2014 to $111,000 in 2022. The salary estimates vary depending on a number of factors such as experience, location and industry.

The requirement for knowledge manager jobs is expected to increase by 11% on an annual basis. It is a lucrative career path whose importance will only increase in the future as more and more companies recognize the importance of dedicated knowledge managers for safeguarding and optimizing the use of their intellectual capital.

Knowledge Manager Salary by Location

Location affects salaries in two ways: cost of living and demand.

The cost of living is largely dependent on location and specifically on the cost of housing. This is part of the reason why salaries in some urban areas, such as Silicon Valley and San Francisco, are higher than salaries for similar roles in other urban locations such as Houston, Texas. 

Job markets with higher demand allow professionals to demand higher levels of compensation. You can expect to receive a higher level of compensation in locations where the demand for your skillset and experience outweighs the supply.

One thing to note is that the effective salary (salary minus the cost of living) is higher in areas where the salaries are high but the average cost of living is low. In contrast, salaries in the highest paying cities can be offset by the higher cost of living.

Another thing to note is that with the increase in remote work, many employers have shifted to role-based compensation, rather than location-based. Again, research can help you target job markets where you can benefit from a high average salary and low expenses (cost of living).

To develop an accurate estimate of the effective knowledge manager salary, it makes sense to consider both the median salaries and cost of living when reviewing knowledge manager salary offerings.

US West Coast

Median salaries for knowledge managers:

  • Los Angeles: $103,734
  • San Francisco: $104,743
  • Seattle: $111,829

Compare these salaries with the average cost of living in each location:

  • Los Angeles: 43 percent above the national average
  • San Francisco: 80 percent above the national average
  • Seattle: 49 percent above the national average

US Midwest/Rocky Mountains

Median salaries for knowledge managers:

  • Chicago: $100,553
  • Denver: $95,108
  • Minneapolis: $105,108

The average cost of living in Midwest states tends to be closer to the national cost of living average.

  • Chicago: 23 percent above the national average
  • Denver: 12 percent above the national average
  • Minneapolis: 5 percent above the national average

US East Coast

Median salaries for knowledge managers:

  • Boston: $97,692
  • New York: $102,371

Much like the West Coast, the average cost of living in East Coast states tends to be above the national cost of living average.

  • Boston: 48 percent above the national average
  • New York: 129 percent above the national average

US South

Median salaries for knowledge managers:

  • Atlanta: $94,884
  • Dallas: $92,882

The average cost of living in the South is typically closer to or below the national cost of living average.

  • Atlanta: 1 percent below the national average
  • Dallas: 2 percent above the national average

Europe

Countries with the highest general salaries in Europe are Denmark, Luxembourg, Sweden, Finland, and Ireland. The median salary for knowledge managers in some major European cities varies widely.

  • Barcelona: €47,000
  • Madrid: €51,140
  • Berlin: €57,635
  • Munich: €101,456
  • Brussels: €67,554
  • Dublin: €94,762
  • London: £54,483
  • Paris: €42,723
  • Zurich: CHF106,252

European countries with the highest cost of living are Switzerland, Norway, and Iceland.

Australia

The median salary for knowledge managers in Australia is A$89,814. The average salary for knowledge managers in major Australian cities remains fairly close to the national average.

  • Sydney: A$103,783
  • Melbourne: A$82,566
  • Canberra: A$88,085
  • Perth: A$110,000

The average cost of living in Australia tends to be higher than the rest of the world. It is 7 percent higher than the cost of living in the U.S. Worldwide, Sydney ranks as the 34th and Perth as the 71st most expensive city.

New Zealand

The average salary for knowledge managers in New Zealand is NZ$86,428. Like Australia, the average knowledge manager salary in New Zealand's major cities is similar to the national average.

Worldwide, Auckland ranks as the 67th and Christchurch as the 88th most expensive city.

Experience

Knowledge manager salary also depends on experience level. The total compensation - average base salary plus add ons - for professionals with more experience falls in the higher salary ranges. The median knowledge manager salary for various experience levels is shown below:

  • 0 to 1 year: $92,939
  • 1 to 3 years: $93,087
  • 4 to 7 years: $97,038
  • 7 to 9 years: $99,274
  • 10 to 14 years: $104,485
  • 15+ years: $116,912

Education

Strictly speaking, a degree is not a requirement for knowledge manager roles. However, most organizations do prefer candidates with degrees.

College Degrees

Most universities don't offer degrees in knowledge management. However, a degree in business administration or information technology is highly beneficial for those interested in taking on the role of a knowledge manager.

According to surveys conducted by Zippia, the most common degree for knowledge managers is a Bachelor's degree. Approximately 63% of knowledge managers have a Bachelor's degree, 22% have a Master's degree and 1.9% have a Doctorate (PhD).

Approximately 23% of knowledge managers major in business, 11% in English, 6% in Computer Science and 6% in Computer Information Systems.

The level of education also affects salaries: knowledge managers with a Master's degree earn a median annual income of $126,274 compared to $115,976 for knowledge managers with a Bachelor's degree.

Certifications

Certifications are another way that a knowledge manager can improve credibility in the marketplace. Below we highlight some of the valuable certifications for a knowledge manager.

Project Management Professional (PMP)

The Project Management Professional (PMP) is the world's leading project management certification. It now includes predictive, agile and hybrid approaches. The PMP designation demonstrates to current and potential employers that you have demonstrated a solid foundation of knowledge from which you can competently practice project management.

Candidates must meet specific educational and project management experience requirements and agree to adhere to a code of professional conduct.

The final step to achieving the credential is passing a rigorous exam. The exam is designed to objectively assess and measure your ability to apply project management knowledge in the six domains that are initiating the project, planning the project, executing the project, monitoring and controlling the project, closing the project, and professional and social responsibility.

Certified Knowledge Manager (CKM®)

The Certified Knowledge Manager (CKM®) is the Flagship Certification course from the Knowledge Management Institute (KMI).

The CKM is ideal for a knowledge manager tasked to lead or improve a Knowledge Management initiative. Whether public or private sector, large or small – the CKM is the leading international standard for all knowledge management professionals and the top choice for anyone interested in gaining a solid grasp of common KM principles at an advanced level with actual "hands-on" experience performing KM. There are no prerequisites, and no technical background is required.

IT Information Library Foundations Certification (ITIL)

The ITIL Foundations Certification course is designed for all IT service and support staff members. It helps you gain a fundamental understanding of how IT service and support can be best organized to align IT with business needs, improve service quality, and reduce long-term costs.

The main benefits of this ITIL certification for a knowledge manager are

  • Gain an understanding of the ITIL framework and its relationship with the 10 foundational processes and Service Desk function.
  • Learn how ITIL processes can be utilized in organizations of any size.
  • Promote a common vision and language within the IT infrastructure.

Industry

Some industries have a higher demand for knowledge managers. If you have knowledge and experience in any of the following fields, companies are willing to pay for it.

  • Professional: $126,257
  • Pharmaceutical: $125,832
  • Manufacturing: $117,133
  • Technology: $115,898
  • Real Estate: $105,761

Wrap Up

Knowledge manager salaries depend on a number of factors that include location, experience, qualifications, and industry.

A knowledge manager needs to have several technical skills such as skills in team management, project management, and electronic knowledge management tools.

However, the most important skill for a knowledge manager is that of management. The knowledge manager leads and manages a team of knowledge management professionals. And it is the whole team that works together for organizational knowledge management.

Any professional with good management skills will always be valued highly in the job market. You can improve your management skills through training, certifications and by working with professionals who act as your mentors and guides. With enough experience and skill as a manager, you can take on a variety of roles to further your career.

FAQ

What is the Knowledge Manager Role?

Organizational knowledge is a vital asset. Organizations rely on knowledge management to safeguard this asset and to create a culture of knowledge sharing that ultimately benefits the business's bottom line.

Professionals with a knowledge manager job title head a knowledge management department. Knowledge managers oversee and control all knowledge management aspects of a business. They lead a team of knowledge management professionals that develops and implements knowledge management systems. The systems are based on processes and procedures that are themselves based on knowledge management best practices.

In coordination with the IT department, knowledge managers oversee the selection and implementation of electronic knowledge management tools for knowledge capture, storage and sharing. Some examples of knowledge management tools are document management systems and content management systems.

How do you become a Knowledge Manager?

If you want to become a knowledge manager, then the first step should be to obtain a bachelor's degree in business management or a related discipline. A degree carries credibility in the job market and will also help you advance to higher-earning positions more quickly.

Based on the degree, you can start your career at an entry-level position in the knowledge management department of an organization. After a few years of experience in the technical- and management-related aspects of knowledge management, and with continued education such as certifications, you can take on the role of a knowledge manager.