A Day in the Life of a PPC Specialist

“So, what do you do?” It’s a common question people ask each other every day. And the responses vary: “I’m a banker,” “I’m a doctor,” “I’m Drake.”

Self-explanatory professions need no elaboration. But what happens when someone has never heard of a PPC Specialist before? The response is probably, “Um, what’s that?”

Although a PPC Specialist sounds like an abstract profession, it isn’t that different from any other job. PPC Specialists read and respond to emails, attend meetings, and often multi-task, just like many other professions. It’s pretty basic (minus the pumpkin spice latte), right?

But, what makes a PPC Specialist unique (besides the acronym) is their integral role in online advertising campaigns. They impact how much money a company stands to make (more on that later). They’re money-makers, and we feel they’re deserving of some praise.

So we’re shining the spotlight on PPC Specialists. Here’s why PPC Specialists are awesome, and why their field might be one you should consider joining, too.

What’s A PPC Specialist?

First, it’s important to note PPC stands for pay per click, and it’s a form of advertising coveted by brands and their ad agencies, to get more people to their website. A pay per click specialist (PPC Specialist) is someone whose bread and butter is managing internet pay per click advertising campaigns (PPC). Basically, this person handles:

  • Establishing new campaigns and overseeing current ones for their company, or on behalf of clients paying for their company to handle their campaigns.
  • Analyzing keywords and optimizing them for superior performance.

PPC Specialists also share similar traits:

  • Think critically.
  • Write well.
  • Are good at math.
  • Identify future trends.
  • Have a high tolerance for change and stress.

That last attribute is important, because working in an industry that’s constantly in flux (new rules, features, theories) requires flexibility and the ability to remain calm.

What’s The Daily Routine?

A day in the life of a PPC Specialist means getting in the office around 8 a.m. and leaving by 5 p.m. (not bad hours). And like most worker bees, PPC Specialists have a daily routine they follow. A typical day consists of:

    1. Checking Email: After caffeinating themselves with coffee, PPC Specialists settle in and check and respond to their email. They’ll answer campaign queries or other client related questions.
    2. Scanning Blogs: In order to stay up-to-date on industry trends (and get content for their own future blog posts), they’ll visit their go-to blogs (and probably BuzzFeed, too) and read industry e-newsletters. They like to stay on top of newsworthy buzz that could influence a campaign.

For instance, let’s say in 2013, a PPC Specialist managed a campaign for Raymour and Flanigan Furniture. Something as random as Kim Kardashian’s 2013 Met Gala dress trending could have potentially (and bizarrely) boosted couch sales. So it pays to stay on top of trends.

  1. Managing Campaigns: The bulk of their work day is spent setting up and managing PPC campaigns. (Here’s where the doughnuts are made!) This involves:
  • Continuous ad testing.
  • Updating negative keyword lists.
  • Whitelisting strong performing sources.
  • Researching competitors.
  • Monitoring campaign performance.
  • Checking in with clients.
  • Creating reports.

Of course an hour for lunch and the occasional 15-minute break is thrown in there. And in their spare time, a PPC Specialist may create original content for its company blog, focusing on PPC related topics.

Job Outlook: A Strong Future

For those currently in the field (or looking to get into it), there’s no lack of jobs out there. Search the words PPC Specialist and you’ll see several job postings right at your fingertips, like this one from Blue Corona:

PPC Specialist Description

Blue Corona’s job posting mirrors the typical required experience and education for a PPC Specialist. Although it doesn’t mention salary, PPC Specialists are paid a variety of ways. Some are paid straight salary, others performance based only, or some even get base salary plus commission. While it varies, the industry norm for an entry level position is typically a salary in the mid-forties.

Looking To Hire A PPC Specialist?

PPC Specialists are a special breed (hence the name). However, it’s important to note that not everyone who calls themselves a PPC Specialist is the real deal. There’s a huge difference between a real PPC Specialist and a ‘not so real one.’

How can you tell the difference? By actions. A legit PPC Specialist will use the right terminology, always have a plan, and turn your info into a great campaign. And an experienced PPC Specialist will possess a bachelor’s degree in marketing, business, or a related field, plus Google AdWords certification, strong communication skills, and solid organizational and time management skills.

So why should you care? Well, you wouldn’t want Simpsons’ Dr. Nick Riviera (a quack doctor) operating on you instead of the experienced Dr. Hibbert, so why would you want an unqualified PPC Specialist handling your ad campaign? An inexperienced PPC Specialist will inevitably misallocate your money, hurting your advertising budget.


PPC Specialists play an integral role in online advertising, and their day-to-day routine is never boring. If you’re a PPC Specialist, you should be proud. And if you’re not, maybe you should consider making a career change and joining the ‘cool kids.’