The Top 12 Cities for Customer Success Managers

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The Customer Success industry continues to heat up with companies adding new positions on a regular basis.

According to the latest State of the Customer Success Profession for 2019 and LinkedIn, the Customer Success Manager role is one of the fastest growing and most promising jobs of 2019.

If you are thinking about starting a career in customer success, you’ve probably already seen the amazing 84%+ year-over-year growth in job postings, but you’re probably wondering how much you can expect to make.

If you’re already a seasoned Customer Success Manager, you might be wondering how your current salary stacks up against the average.

Using information from Glassdoor, we’ve pulled average Customer Success Manager salaries from across the United States. Glassdoor is a database of company reviews, salary reports and other behind-the-scenes information that is submitted by current and former employees.

When looking at the salary numbers, remember to keep in mind all the different factors that affect pay rates. Salaries will vary based on geographical location, the size of the company, the industry and even whether it’s a startup or a seasoned business.

Also remember that the cost of living varies from city to city, which means a lower salary could go further in a city with a lower cost of living.

In this article, we’ll take a look at:

  • The average salary for a Customer Success Manager in the United States overall

  • The top cities across the country for CSMs based on the average salaries

  • Tips for maximizing your starting salary at a new job or existing salary in your current role

Average Customer Success Manager Salary in the United States

According to Glassdoor, the average salary for a Customer Success Manager is $81,414 per year. Glassdoor pulls this average from over 4800 anonymous salary submissions from its users across the country.

Compared to the average salary of a Customer Service Manager at $39,694, a Client Relationship Manager at $65,956, or Technical Support, at $35,829, the average pay for a CSM looks pretty appealing, and the field continues to grow and thrive.

There’s never been a better time to launch your career or bolster your credentials as a CSM.

Average Customer Success Manager Salary by City

The following cities are the locations where Customer Success Managers are earning the most, or where the most CSM roles are being added.

The industries making the most use of Customer Success are software and IT, so many of these locations are tech hubs, but it’s a more diverse list than you might expect.

Plus, since there’s a connection between growth rate and salary, looking into opportunities in the fastest growing cities highlighted in the recent State of the Customer Success Profession for 2019 report — New York, Boston, LA, Chicago and Atlanta — can be beneficial to your search.

This shouldn’t be surprising, but given the density of tech jobs and innovative startups in these areas, Customer Success job seekers in the U.S. have a better chance of finding opportunities in major metropolitan cities. The salaries below are averages drawn from Glassdoor.

1. Cupertino, California

It’s no surprise that the best place to be a CSM, at least in terms of average salary, is the Bay Area, with a critical mass of tech giants, startups, venture capital and innovative ideas.

Customer Success Managers in the Bay Area earn an average of $98,384 per year, based on 225 salary submissions.

2. Houston, Texas

Houston’s Customer Success scene is, by comparison, small, but it is growing quickly, and the demand for qualified managers means that the right person can command a very high salary.

Customer Success Managers in Houston earn an average of $96,236 per year, based on 25 salary submissions.

3. New York City, New York

It probably won’t surprise you to see New York on this list, but the push to grow the Big Apple’s tech sector has been substantial, resulting in a lot of new job opportunities, including for Customer Success Managers. New York is the fastest growing market for CSMs, with more than 11 times as many positions in 2018 as 2015.

Customer Success Managers in New York earn an average of $89,290 per year, based on 428 salary submissions.

4. Boston, Massachusetts

Boston is the second-fastest growing market for Customer Success Managers and a great place to get started working for innovative companies like HubSpot and Oracle, as well as established industry leaders in science, technology and education. Boston is another fast-growing city, with more than nine times as many CSMs in 2018 as there were three years ago.

Customer Success Managers in Boston earn an average of $81,299 per year, based on 351 salary submissions.

5. Los Angeles, California

LA is a large market, though not as large as it might be given the size of the metro area, so look for these numbers to grow. Though software and IT are the industries that traditionally need customer success professionals the most, more and more companies are recognizing the value of these roles, so even though LA isn’t as much of a tech hotspot as the Bay Area or Austin, there’s plenty of potential here.

Customer Success Managers in Los Angeles earn an average of $78,765 per year, based on 174 salary submissions.

6. Miami, Florida

Though the market is smaller than some of the other cities on the list, Miami is a great place for Customer Success Managers, no matter where they are in their field. Serving as a springboard for tech startups from both North and South America opens up a lot of opportunities.

Customer Success Managers in Miami earn an average of $76,418 per year, based on 45 salary submissions.

7. Chicago, Illinois

Though maybe not the first place you might think of when it comes to innovation, Chicago’s tech scene is actually flourishing, adding almost 6,000 jobs last year, many of which are in Customer Success. Of those jobs, many are Customer Success positions, almost nine times as many as there were in 2015.

Customer Success Managers in Chicago earn an average of $75,993 per year, based on 224 salary submissions.

8. Seattle, Washington

Though not the leader that you might expect, the home of Microsoft and Amazon remains a hot market for tech and with a lot of companies looking to expand their customer-facing departments, a good place to launch a CSM career.

Customer Success Managers in Seattle earn an average of $75,349 per year, based on 176 salary submissions.

9. Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota

Minneapolis is another growing region and a great place to look for CSM jobs in interesting fields like bioscience, renewable energy and medical technology. Though the field is smaller than other comparable cities, the pay is competitive and the industry representation more varied than some of the other cities on the list.

Customer Success Managers in Minneapolis-St. Paul earn an average of $75,062 per year, based on 55 salary submissions.

10. Atlanta, Georgia

An often overlooked but thriving tech hub and the home of a number of up-and-coming contenders as well as established companies like Coca-Cola and Delta, Atlanta is a great place to start any career and has a growing number of Customer Success roles. The region has seen ninefold growth in CSM positions in the period covered by the LinkedIn report — an excellent indicator of future growth.

Customer Success Managers in Atlanta earn an average of $72,924 per year, based on 176 salary submissions.

11. Denver, Colorado

With a flourishing tech startup and venture capital environment, Denver is rapidly becoming a destination for new and innovative companies, making this an excellent place to look for CSM postings.

Customer Success Managers in Denver earn an average of $72,135 per year, based on 112 salary submissions.

12. Austin, Texas

Though the average salary is a little lower than the national average, there are signs that this is changing, and there are a lot more CSM jobs in Austin than in cities of a comparable size, no doubt due to the high volume of tech and software companies in the area.

Customer Success Managers in Austin earn an average of $67,041 per year, based on 285 salary submissions.

How to Maximize Your Salary as Customer Success Manager

Whether you’re about to start a new Customer Success role or you’re thinking about asking for a raise in your current role, there are a few tips to help you maximize your salary. Use these tips to earn what you’re worth as a customer success manager.

Do your research. Use websites like Glassdoor, Linkedin and Indeed to determine the average salary in your city. Check current job postings at your company and similar competitors. Enter the salary discussion knowing what the going rate is for someone in your role and location.

Ask for 5-10% more. If you’ve already been offered a salary or raise, you can negotiate before accepting. Asking for 5-10% more than what you’ve been offered positively affects your bottom line while coming across as reasonable and fair.

Negotiate on terms other than money. If you’ve already reached a number you’re happy with or there just isn’t room in the company budget to go any higher, you can ask for perks other than a salary increase. Try negotiating for additional vacation days, remote work days, free parking or a public transit pass.

Show the value you bring. No matter what you’re negotiating for, be prepared to prove your worth to the company. Showcase your previous experience and accomplishments. Elaborate on the difference you’re going to make going forward and how valuable you are to the customer success team.

Look into training and certifications. Especially in fast-growing and competitive markets like the cities we’ve listed, Customer Success can be a challenging field to break into, so make sure you’re as well-positioned as possible. Taking a Customer Success course or acquiring a Customer Success Manager Certification can make your application stand out.

The Value of a Customer Success Manager

In any company with a Customer Success team, the CSM is the main point of contact for customers. You have a direct influence on the customer journey, which turns into lower churn rates and higher revenue for your business.

There’s a reason the average salary of a Customer Success Manager is comparatively high. As a CSM, you create a lot of value for your company and should be paid accordingly.

Do’s & Don’ts

  • DO your research. You’ll be in a better position to increase your salary if you have the facts around Customer Success salaries.

  • DON’T get too stuck on a particular number. While there are averages to keep in mind, salaries differ based on a number of different factors.

  • DO stay familiar with industry standards over time. Plan ahead and know how much to aim for in the next step of your CSM career.

  • DON’T be afraid to negotiate for more. The worst they can say is no!

Robyn Petrik

SuccessCOACHING contributor Robyn Petrik is a freelance copywriter originally from Vancouver, Canada, who specializes in blogging, website copy, and social media content. While she happily spends most of her time writing, you’ll also find her reading, hiking, and eating too much peanut butter.