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Subject Matter Expert Careers

We all want to be considered experts in our chosen careers or fields of study. A lot of us have probably dreamed of being a revered personality in our respective fields. Pretty sure we all know that it would take years of hard work and experience, and possibly graduate degrees or additional years of formal education to be considered an expert. Companies hire subject matter experts as employees or consultants for their skills and experience.

So what does a subject matter expert do? Often, they provide advice on activities related to their fields. They play an important role in the assessment of programs and projects. This means that the opinions of the subject matter expert weigh a ton. Management teams always welcome conversations with subject matter experts.

Sounds interesting? Well, you better start working on your resume and building up experience in your chosen field. It wouldn't hurt to start investing in education and training, too.

There is more than meets the eye when it comes to being a subject matter expert. For example, did you know that they make an average of $46.35 an hour? That's $96,399 a year!

Between 2018 and 2028, the career is expected to grow 14% and produce 118,300 job opportunities across the U.S.

What Does a Subject Matter Expert Do

There are certain skills that many subject matter experts have in order to accomplish their responsibilities. By taking a look through resumes, we were able to narrow down the most common skills for a person in this position. We discovered that a lot of resumes listed interpersonal skills, problem-solving skills and time-management skills.

When it comes to the most important skills required to be a subject matter expert, we found that a lot of resumes listed 14.1% of subject matter experts included procedures, while 13.0% of resumes included sme, and 6.1% of resumes included customer service. Hard skills like these are helpful to have when it comes to performing essential job responsibilities.

When it comes to searching for a job, many search for a key term or phrase. Instead, it might be more helpful to search by industry, as you might be missing jobs that you never thought about in industries that you didn't even think offered positions related to the subject matter expert job title. But what industry to start with? Most subject matter experts actually find jobs in the technology and finance industries.

How To Become a Subject Matter Expert

If you're interested in becoming a subject matter expert, one of the first things to consider is how much education you need. We've determined that 50.8% of subject matter experts have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 13.6% of subject matter experts have master's degrees. Even though most subject matter experts have a college degree, it's possible to become one with only a high school degree or GED.

Choosing the right major is always an important step when researching how to become a subject matter expert. When we researched the most common majors for a subject matter expert, we found that they most commonly earn bachelor's degree degrees or associate degree degrees. Other degrees that we often see on subject matter expert resumes include master's degree degrees or high school diploma degrees.

You may find that experience in other jobs will help you become a subject matter expert. In fact, many subject matter expert jobs require experience in a role such as customer service representative. Meanwhile, many subject matter experts also have previous career experience in roles such as team leader or consultant.

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Average Salary
$96,399
Average Salary
Job Growth Rate
14%
Job Growth Rate
Job Openings
31,756
Job Openings

Subject Matter Expert Career Paths

Top Careers Before Subject Matter Expert

Top Careers After Subject Matter Expert

Subject Matter Expert Jobs You Might Like

What is the right job for my career path?

Tell us your goals and we'll match you with the rights job to get there.

Average Salary for a Subject Matter Expert

Subject Matter Experts in America make an average salary of $96,399 per year or $46 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $137,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $67,000 per year.
Average Salary
$96,399
Find Your Salary Estimate
How much should you be earning as an Architect? Use Zippia's Salary Calculator to get an estimation of how much you should be earning.

Best Paying Cities

City
ascdesc
Average Salarydesc
Baltimore, MD
Salary Range95k - 153k$121k$121,097
Washington, DC
Salary Range90k - 145k$115k$114,739
Arlington, VA
Salary Range89k - 143k$113k$113,482
Jersey City, NJ
Salary Range84k - 138k$108k$108,463
San Francisco, CA
Salary Range78k - 142k$106k$106,171
New York, NY
Salary Range82k - 135k$106k$105,534
$66k
$153k

Recently Added Salaries

Job TitleCompanyascdescCompanyascdescStart DateascdescSalaryascdesc
Usspacecom Visual Information/Graphics Subject Matter Expert
Usspacecom Visual Information/Graphics Subject Matter Expert
XXX
XXX
06/29/2021
06/29/2021
$70,00006/29/2021
$70,000
Digital Engineer/Model Based Systems Engineer Subject Matter Expert
Digital Engineer/Model Based Systems Engineer Subject Matter Expert
SAIC
SAIC
06/28/2021
06/28/2021
$185,00106/28/2021
$185,001
Manager, Order Management Subject Matter Expert
Manager, Order Management Subject Matter Expert
Avid
Avid
06/24/2021
06/24/2021
$100,00006/24/2021
$100,000
Subject Matter Expert, Encounters Claims-Telecommute
Subject Matter Expert, Encounters Claims-Telecommute
Unitedhealth Group Inc.
Unitedhealth Group Inc.
06/24/2021
06/24/2021
$94,50006/24/2021
$94,500
Subject Matter Expert IV
Subject Matter Expert IV
Ho Chunk
Ho Chunk
06/16/2021
06/16/2021
$125,00006/16/2021
$125,000
See More Recent Salaries

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Subject Matter Expert Resumes

Designing and figuring out what to include on your resume can be tough, not to mention time-consuming. That's why we put together a guide that is designed to help you craft the perfect resume for becoming a Subject Matter Expert. If you're needing extra inspiration, take a look through our selection of templates that are specific to your job.

Learn How To Write a Subject Matter Expert Resume

At Zippia, we went through countless Subject Matter Expert resumes and compiled some information about how best to optimize them. Here are some suggestions based on what we found, divided by the individual sections of the resume itself.

View Detailed Information

Subject Matter Expert Demographics

Gender

male

59.1 %

female

36.1 %

unknown

4.7 %

Ethnicity

White

72.4 %

Asian

9.8 %

Hispanic or Latino

7.7 %

Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

40.2 %

French

10.8 %

Arabic

10.6 %
See More Demographics

Subject Matter Expert Education

Majors

Business
25.4 %

Degrees

Bachelors

50.8 %

Associate

13.6 %

Masters

13.6 %

Top Colleges for Subject Matter Experts

1. Northwestern University

Evanston, IL • Private

In-State Tuition
$54,568
Enrollment
8,451

2. University of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, PA • Private

In-State Tuition
$55,584
Enrollment
10,764

3. New York University

New York, NY • Private

In-State Tuition
$51,828
Enrollment
26,339

4. University of Southern California

Los Angeles, CA • Private

In-State Tuition
$56,225
Enrollment
19,548

5. George Washington University, The

Washington, DC • Private

In-State Tuition
$55,230
Enrollment
12,161

6. Pennsylvania State University

University Park, PA • Private

In-State Tuition
$18,454
Enrollment
40,108

7. Lehigh University

Bethlehem, PA • Private

In-State Tuition
$52,930
Enrollment
5,030

8. Harvard University

Cambridge, MA • Private

In-State Tuition
$50,420
Enrollment
7,582

9. University of Georgia

Athens, GA • Private

In-State Tuition
$11,830
Enrollment
29,474

10. Ball State University

Muncie, IN • Private

In-State Tuition
$9,896
Enrollment
15,529
See More Education Info

Online Courses For Subject Matter Expert That You May Like

Advanced SQL: SQL Expert Certification Preparation Course
udemy
4.5
(2,509)

Complete Your Oracle SQL Knowledge From Intermediate to Advanced Level and Become a Database SQL Expert in Oracle!...

Lean Management Training and Lean Expert Certification
udemy
4.3
(502)

Get Lean Management and Lean Manufacturing Trained in this Lean Masterclass Part 2 and Achieve Lean Expert Certification...

Fundamentals of Logistics, Supply Chain & Customer Service
udemy
4.4
(656)

3 Courses in 1. Learn Logistics, Supply Chain and Customer Service...

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Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary

Top Skills For a Subject Matter Expert

The skills section on your resume can be almost as important as the experience section, so you want it to be an accurate portrayal of what you can do. Luckily, we've found all of the skills you'll need so even if you don't have these skills yet, you know what you need to work on. Out of all the resumes we looked through, 14.1% of subject matter experts listed procedures on their resume, but soft skills such as interpersonal skills and problem-solving skills are important as well.

Best States For a Subject Matter Expert

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as a subject matter expert. The best states for people in this position are Maryland, Alaska, Virginia, and New Jersey. Subject matter experts make the most in Maryland with an average salary of $120,399. Whereas in Alaska and Virginia, they would average $112,622 and $111,975, respectively. While subject matter experts would only make an average of $108,493 in New Jersey, you would still make more there than in the rest of the country. We determined these as the best states based on job availability and pay. By finding the median salary, cost of living, and using the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Location Quotient, we narrowed down our list of states to these four.

1. Maryland

Total Subject Matter Expert Jobs:
744
Highest 10% Earn:
$185,000
Location Quotient:
1.34
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

2. Virginia

Total Subject Matter Expert Jobs:
1,372
Highest 10% Earn:
$174,000
Location Quotient:
1.66
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

3. District of Columbia

Total Subject Matter Expert Jobs:
515
Highest 10% Earn:
$177,000
Location Quotient:
3.51
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here
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Top Subject Matter Expert Employers

We've made finding a great employer to work for easy by doing the hard work for you. We looked into employers that employ subject matter experts and discovered their number of subject matter expert opportunities and average salary. Through our research, we concluded that IBM was the best, especially with an average salary of $79,313. Farmers Insurance Group follows up with an average salary of $93,786, and then comes Xerox with an average of $144,717. In addition, we know most people would rather work from home. So instead of having to change careers, we identified the best employers for remote work as a subject matter expert. The employers include TSR, KeyBank, and Fairway Independent Mortgage

1. IBM
4.8
Avg. Salary: 
$79,313
Subject Matter Experts Hired: 
295+
2. Farmers Insurance Group
4.5
Avg. Salary: 
$93,786
Subject Matter Experts Hired: 
252+
3. Xerox
4.7
Avg. Salary: 
$144,717
Subject Matter Experts Hired: 
200+
4. Amdocs
4.8
Avg. Salary: 
$94,093
Subject Matter Experts Hired: 
178+
5. United States Army
4.2
Avg. Salary: 
$97,750
Subject Matter Experts Hired: 
157+
6. AT&T
4.7
Avg. Salary: 
$106,167
Subject Matter Experts Hired: 
150+

Subject Matter Expert Videos

Updated October 2, 2020