How to Make Money as a Google Ads Specialist

How to Make Money as a Google Ads Specialist

Interested in becoming a Google Ads specialist but have no idea if it pays well or if it even pays at all? Or else you're not quite sure how to get paid as a Google Ads specialist? These are legitimate worries, and to help you out, we're here to explain to you how to make money as a Google Ads specialist.

Being a Google Ads agency, we obviously have skin in the game as we're interested in making our Google advertising business profitable. Otherwise, we wouldn't do it, now, would we? So, to help you out, we're lending our experience of running profitable businesses in order to teach you how to earn money as a Google Ad specialist.

There are a few ways that you can make money with Google Ads, all of which depend on how much of an expert you are in PPC marketing as well as on your goals. We'll be looking at them all, highlighting the benefits and downsides of each one, and as well give you some basic steps of how to begin with each one.

So, let's get down to it and answer the question: "how do Google Ads specialists make money?"

how to make money as a google ads specialist
Table of contents

What Is a Google Ads Specialist?

A Google Ads specialist is essentially an expert in using the Google advertising platform for the purpose of online marketing.

In other words, these are people who have acquired very specialized knowledge in the use of Google Ads in order to boost the online presence of digital brands. Their expertise is accrued over a number of years through a mixture of professional training, accreditation, and hands-on experience.

However, they are not necessarily restricted to only using Google Ads, and are generally also proficient in other forms of PPC marketing, including Facebook Ads, Bing Ads, LinkedIn Ads, etc. Moreover, they would also be knowledgeable in general marketing concepts, strategies, etc.

There are many duties that a Google PPC specialist is expected to perform, but their main responsibilities include the managing and optimizing of paid ad campaigns; the tracking of the performance of those campaigns; creating new campaigns; and recommending new PPC strategies.

All in all, a Google Ads specialist is a marketer that specializes in the use of Google Ads and paid advertising in general. Being a Google Ads specialist is a legit occupation, and as we will see, there are many ways that you can earn money from this line of work.

How Do Google Ad Specialists Make Money?

There are plenty of ways that Google AdWords specialists make money—from working mundane 9-to-5 jobs as most of us do; to traveling the world with your laptop, managing ads campaigns as you go; to becoming the owner of your very own Google Ads agency.

So, depending which of the above options you settle for, you’re going to get paid via various means. For example, if you work as a full-time Google AdWords specialist at either a Google PPC agency or an in-house marketing team for a corporation, your source of income will be a Google Ads specialist salary, much like any other job.

If you’re a freelancer, on the other hand, you’ll be getting paid by invoicing your clients. You would either be charging an hourly rate or a fixed rate for accomplishing a predetermined amount of work, depending on the size of the job. The same applies if you’re a business owner with your own agency: you’ll be charging your clients for your services, generally in the form of a monthly payment.

If you’re not quite sure how much you should charge clients for Google Ads services, then we have a post dedicated to this subject, which will explain everything you need to know.

How to Become a Google Ads Specialist and Get Paid?

There are many steps involved in becoming a Google Ads specialist. The process is a bit of a task in itself, and it’s far from being the get-rich-quick scheme that some YouTubers and bloggers might have you believe, so you ought to first consider whether becoming a Google Ads specialist is worth it or not.

If you’ve weighed the pros and cons and found that the pros far outweigh the cons, then all that’s left is to take the first step to becoming a Google Ads expert. We’ll be providing you here with a rundown of the process; if you want a more detailed guide on how to become a paid ads specialist, we suggest reading our article on the subject.

So, here’s what you need to do in order to become a full-fledged Google Ad specialist:

  1. Firstly, you’re going to need to learn how to use Google Ads. While there are many ways that this can be accomplished, the best way is taking a Google Ads course. We have written about the best Google Ads courses in another post, so it’s a good idea to read that article for this step.

  2. The second step is somewhat optional, but can be very useful, and that’s getting a Google Ads certification. This step is “optional” because not all PPC marketers think the certification is valuable; in fact, some think it’s largely useless. However, we would suggest getting accredited, especially if you’re starting out.

  3. The third step is arguably the most difficult and that’s acquiring experience. However, there is a way to avoid the vicious cycle of needing experience to land a job but needing a job to get experience: you can either sign up for an internship or a junior position; offer your services for free to a charity; or even create your own website and advertise it.

  4. The final step is the accumulation of all of the above steps, and that’s building a portfolio of all your successful campaigns as well as your past clients’ testimonials. This is an important step, especially if you plan on freelancing in the long run, as it makes you more credible as a specialist.

How to Make Money as a Google Ad Specialist

As we’ve already said before, there is a variety of ways that you can make money from Google Ads. We will be going over all of the methods of how Google Ads specialists make money, so that you can gain a better idea of all the challenges and benefits that await you.

So, if you were still wondering “can you make money as a Google Ads specialist?” then reading this section should put that question to rest.

Just a small heads-up before we begin, however: here we’re excluding the use of Google AdSense, as making money with AdSense requires a different set of skills than that of a Google AdWords specialist. To show you what we mean, let’s go over the ways of how to make money from Google AdWords.

How to Make Money Being a Google Ads Specialist

With this first form of making money from Google AdWords, we’re sad to say that this is the boring part: while you might be imagining a lot of globetrotting as a Google PPC expert, the reality is that there are a lot of marketers that are simply working “normal office jobs”.

You read that right: being a paid ad specialist can often turn out to be nothing more than your average full-time desk job. Of course, that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. In fact, there are definitely benefits to working these kinds of Google Ads jobs, including the security of having a salary; the benefits that come with a job, like paid time off and health insurance; work-related activities; and even the benefits of feeling as part of a team.

The negatives are also the negatives that you would find with any other job like this, namely: having to work under a boss; being constrained to work a certain number of hours a week and with a certain schedule; not always being able to work from home; the difficulty of scaling up in terms of position and pay, etc.

However, gaining experience from this form of employment is imperative if you want to eventually freelance Google Ads. So, what do you need to do to land the Google Ads specialist job of your dreams? Well, we would suggest the following steps:

  1. After going through all the steps of becoming a Google advertising specialist, we would suggest creating a fantastic Google Ads specialist resume that will drop the jaw of any interviewer. We have given plenty of tips in our dedicated post on the subject, so we would suggest reading that.

  2. Then start sending out your resume to as many open positions and employers as possible as it’s a proven fact that you won’t get many answers back. In fact, only around 2% of applicants get to be interviewed. Moreover, 75% of applicants don’t even qualify for the job—but if you’ve done your training right, you don’t need to worry about that!

  3. Once you do get the call for the interview, make sure to prepare well by keeping in the classic interview tips, such as dressing well, being on time, etc. Moreover, you can also prepare by going over the most frequently asked Google Ads interview questions and practicing your answers beforehand.

  4. If you manage to get the job, then congratulations! You ought to take this opportunity to gain as much experience as possible. However, it doesn’t stop there: you need to make sure you work hard in order to secure any future promotions and raises, and slowly build your portfolio.

How to Make Money Freelancing Google Ads

On the other hand, becoming a Google Ads freelancer is another process entirely and it often proves to be an even more arduous process than simply applying for a Google Ads job. However, the pay-off is that you are effectively your own boss, with all the benefits that implies.

This means that you have plenty of flexibility of when and where to work (although, truth be told, a lot of Google AdWords jobs offer flexible conditions), 

The downside with this form of making money is that your Google Ads freelancer salary is never guaranteed, as you won’t always be certain that you have work coming. Moreover, when you stop working, your income also effectively stops with you, so taking vacations requires a delicate balance of how much work you can “afford to lose”.

Although we have already explained the process of how to be a Google Ads freelancer in more depth in our separate guide on the matter, we’re going to be summarizing the process here for your benefit:

  1. If you plan to become a freelancer, then you would already have enough experience being a Google PPC expert. All you need to pick up a couple of clients. There are many ways you can get clients for Google Ads, such as through job platforms like Upwork,, and Fiverr, or else by doing a lot of cold outreach to potential clients.

  2. Until you build up a very convincing portfolio or make a name for yourself as a highly skilled Google Ads marketer, it’s best to start with one-time gigs. Later, it would be wise to upgrade to long-term clients so that you have a continuous flow of income.

  3. The final step is then increasing your rate once you gain enough experience, reputation, and success stories, so that rather than chasing as many jobs as you can accomplish, you’ll be working a few jobs for prestigious clients that can afford your higher fee. Not only is this good for your finances and your time management, but working for bigger clients also boosts your portfolio!

How to Make Money with a Google Ads Agency

However, if you’re even more ambitious in your career goals and you don’t want to just settle for working on your own but you want to open up your own PPC agency, then this is a step that requires much preparation and experience.

Naturally, the benefits of opening your agency are pretty easy to see: much like being a freelancer, you’ll also be your own boss as you’ll essentially be the boss. At the same time, becoming a business owner means that there is more money on the line, so you can eventually become wealthy, especially if you start scaling up.

But the downsides to being the owner of a business need also be mentioned, including the many risks that you’ll be taking when opening up your business; the necessary stress and long working hours; having to start managing a team of people and taking a risk with who you employ, etc.

However, we understand that running a business, while very stressful, is also very rewarding and very alluring (we would know as we’re in the same boat!).

  1. Firstly, you’re going to need to have a lot of experience, and this comes with spending many years working in the industry. Ideally, you will have been working with PPC for well over 5 years, especially as a freelancer. This is because not only do you need the necessary experience of working on your own, but you’ll also need to have your business model in place by the time you decide to open your agency.

  2. If you’ve already been in the industry for some years and you’ve earned yourself a stellar reputation, then this next part is easy: you’re going to need to build a clientele, which would consist of businesses that will want to work with you on a long-term basis. If you’ve already been working as a freelancer for some time, then you should already have a clientele ready!

  3. At the same time, you’ll also want to build a team. Again, if you’re already a renowned name in the industry, then this part will be easy as other marketers will naturally gravitate towards working with you thanks to your reputation. They would be marketers who admire you and your work, and are looking to learn from you.

  4. Once you’ve built your clientele and team, the final step is simply to keep at it, or even to scale it up from there. Naturally, you’ll start out with a small team; eventually you might want to grow your workforce, create new departments, and even expand to different locations.

How to Make Money with a Google Ads Side Hustle

Finally, you might only want to make some money on the side and you’d like to use your Google Ads skills for this goal. Naturally, you don’t need to apply for any jobs with a company to achieve this aim (unless you manage to find a part-time Google Ads specialist job that is!): you can simply do a few hours freelancing.

However you wish to accomplish this goal, you don’t need to invest a lot of time into it—after all, you’re only looking to make a little extra on the side. So, in order to get your Google Ads side hustle, you can simply follow the steps we outlined in the previous sections.

How to Make Money with Google Ads Certification

Making money with your Google Ads certification is actually simpler than you would imagine. Firstly, however, you need to know how to get Google Ads certified as that would be the first and most important step. After all, without your Google Ads certification, you cannot use it to make money…

As we said above, getting a Google Ads specialist certification is one of the steps in becoming a certified Google Ads specialist, so if you follow the steps that we mentioned above, you’ll already have done what you need to do in order to make money with your ads certificate.

Of course, we must stress once again that just getting certified does nothing in the scheme of securing a Google Ads certification pay. In fact, the most important step in how to make money with Google AdWords certification is gaining the necessary experience to back up your certificate.

Having the certificate on your resume does nothing if you can’t manage paid ad campaigns to save your life.

How to Make Money as a Google Ads Specialist for Free

While it would be difficult to make money for free, as you might need to invest in some money of your own in order to be successful, especially if you’re trying to gain some hands-on experience from working on your own websites or else through investing in tools, it’s possible to do so.

One of the best ways of how to make money online with Google for free is by taking a free online Google Ads course. In other words, if you want to start using Google Ads but are a little strapped for cash, you can simply follow one of the many free courses available online.

Moreover, the Google Ads certifications are all completely free. So, you can become certified and already have something to stick on your resume for free. However, the budgetary problems will begin once you need to start gaining experience since, as you can easily realize, paid advertising is, well, not free.

At the same time, you’ll also need to have some tools at your disposal to make your life easier as a marketer. Thankfully, there are plenty of free PPC tools that you can use, including keyword tools like Ahref’s Keyword Generator, Answer the Public, and Keyword Tool, as well as other tools like the Google Ads Editor, Google Ads Transparency Center, and Neil Patel’s Ads Grader.

With regards to ad budget, this will be far more difficult. Actually, it’s impossible to get Google Ads credit for free because, well, it’s in no one’s interest to give away free money for paid advertising. However, you can use certain coupon codes and even promotional credit from Google to be able to mitigate the necessary ad spend.


How much do Google Ads specialists make?

The remuneration for a Google Ads specialist will differ depending on one’s level of experience and a few other variables, such as one’s geographical location. However, the average Google Ads specialist salary that you would expect to earn in the US is around $60,000/year. If you’re freelancing Google Ads instead, the average hourly rate is anywhere between $15 – $40.

Bear in mind, however, that the more experience you have in this line of work, the more you can expect to earn. In fact, if you’re particularly experienced in the job (for example, 8+ years of experience) having a salary of around $100,000/year or earning over $100/hour is not unheard of.

Can you make money being a Google Ads specialist?

Yes, absolutely! There are a few ways that you can make money from being a Google Ads specialist, but they all essentially boil down to the same thing: you’ll be offering your expertise in using the Google advertising platform (and other paid advertising platforms), and your services in PPC marketing and getting paid for it. That’s all there is to it!

Is becoming a Google Ads specialist worth it?

Well, there are several things to consider in order to answer this question, as becoming a Google Ads specialist comes with its fair share of advantages and disadvantages. The most important factor, however, is whether or not you’re passionate about pay-per-click marketing in the first place. If PPC is your passion, then all other considerations are dwarfed in comparison.

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