Looking for a job with a future? This series profiles in-demand careers and expanding professional fields. Here's our latest pick:
Online Reputation Manager
Like any good PR person, online reputation managers work to maintain a favorable image for their clients. Your main work involves scouring the web for negative information about a company, brand, or celebrity client.
Once you find dirt—whether it's a bad product review or a picture of the CEO canoodling with a bikini-clad girl—it's your job to respond. This might take the form of an apology or explanation, but more often you work to remove, replace, or downplay the slip-up.
Often this is done by creating or promoting positive search engine results. For example, you might post an article that casts your client in a favorable light. That way, when the name or brand it searched, the negative info is pushed lower in the results, and, voila, becomes less visible.
Why the job outlook is good:
As more people and organizations jump on the internet bandwagon, the need for public relation specialist positions—like online rep managers—is going through the roof. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, this field is expected to expand at least 24 percent by 2018.
What training you need:
Because this field is so new, even the best pros only have a few years of experience under their belts. Get a Bachelor's degree in a field like computer programming and learn all you can about Search Engine Optimization (SEO) techniques. Good communication and writing skills are also crucial to success. And don't forget to ensure that your own online presence is spotless.
Show me the money!
The US Bureau of Labor Statistics puts the average salary of an online reputation manager between $38,000–$72,000.
Annie Favreau works for Inside Jobs, a career exploration site that helps people discover and pursue a career that excites them. Check out the website for more information on online reputation managers, or join in the conversation on Twitter.