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Communications Specialist Salary

The average Communications Specialist in the United States earns approximately $47K per year. With some bonuses approaching $5K and certain profit sharing proceeds approaching $5K, overall incomes of Communications Specialists spread between $31K and $71K depending on individual performance. Location and experience level each impact pay for this group, with the former having the largest influence. Medical benefits are awarded to a large number, and a fair number earn dental coverage. Men are in the minority of survey respondents, with female Communications Specialists making up 78 percent. The majority of workers are highly satisfied with their job. Respondents to the PayScale salary survey provided the data for this report.
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$34,113 - $70,934
(Median)
$34K
$47K
$71K
MEDIAN: $47,421
10%
50%
90%

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$11.81 - $29.60
(Median)
$12
$18
$30
MEDIAN: $17.00
10%
50%
90%

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National Salary Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$24K$48K$72K
Salary
$34,113 - $70,934  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $5,220  
Profit Sharing
$65.44 - $4,894  
Commission
$20.00 - $6,000  
Total Pay (?
XTotal Pay combines base annual salary or hourly wage, bonuses, profit sharing, tips, commissions, overtime pay and other forms of cash earnings, as applicable for this job. It does not include equity (stock) compensation, cash value of retirement benefits, or the value of other non-cash benefits (e.g. healthcare).
)
$31,059 - $71,485  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 2 May 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 1,878
National Hourly Rate Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$14$28$42
Hourly Rate
$11.81 - $29.60  
   
Overtime
$16.74 - $41.06  
National Annualized Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$28K$56K$84K
Bonus
$0.00 - $5,220  
   
Commission
$20.00 - $6,000  
Profit Sharing
$65.44 - $4,894  
Total Pay (?
XTotal Pay combines base annual salary or hourly wage, bonuses, profit sharing, tips, commissions, overtime pay and other forms of cash earnings, as applicable for this job. It does not include equity (stock) compensation, cash value of retirement benefits, or the value of other non-cash benefits (e.g. healthcare).
)
$31,059 - $71,485  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 2 May 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 437

Find Out Exactly What You Should Be Paid

United States (change)


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Job Description for Communications Specialist

A communications specialist manages a company's internal and external communications. Internal communications may include memos, job descriptions, and notes from management; external communications may include designing and editing press releases and marketing materials. Other responsibilities include coordinating media and marketing events, informal meetings for employees, and press conferences. They also answer inquiries and manage online content. Although communications specialists work in a business setting during regular business hours, overtime may be required to meet deadlines or deal with rapidly emerging or changing situations.

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Communications Specialist Tasks

  • Create and execute of employee communication campaigns.
  • Produce employee communication newsletter.
  • Design effective and innovative communication copy and materials, including new modes of electronic communication.

Common Career Paths for Communications Specialist


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There are some Communications Specialists — though it's uncommon — that transition into Senior Managers of Corporate Communications, where earnings are an average $97K annually. The most common next step for a Communications Specialist is to become a Communications Manager or a Communications Director. The former position pays an additional $12K per year on average, and the latter position pays $16K more per year.

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Popular Skills for Communications Specialist


Survey results imply that Communications Specialists deploy a substantial tool kit of skills at work. Most notably, skills in Corporate Communications, Project Management, Editing, and Copywriting are correlated to pay that is above average. At the other end of the pay range are skills like Social Media Marketing, Microsoft Excel, and Microsoft Office. Most people experienced in Marketing Communications also know Corporate Communications and Editing.

Pay by Experience Level for Communications Specialist

Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.


Communications Specialists with more experience do not necessarily bring home bigger paychecks. In fact, experience in this field tends to impact compensation minimally. Salaries of relatively inexperienced workers fall in the neighborhood of $42K, but folks who have racked up five to 10 years see a notably higher median of $51K. For Communications Specialists, 10 to 20 years of experience on the job amounts to an average salary of $58K. Veterans who have surpassed the 20-year mark may make only slightly more than those who are navigating the mid-career stage; the more senior group reports median earnings of around $63K.

Pay Difference by Location


For Communications Specialists, San Francisco provides a pay rate that is 45 percent greater than the national average. Communications Specialists will also find cushy salaries in Washington (+20 percent), New York (+18 percent), Houston (+17 percent), and Raleigh (+13 percent). Those in the field find the lowest salaries in Chicago, 3 percent below the national average.

Communications Specialist Reviews

What is it like working as a Communications Specialist?

Communications Specialist in Birmingham:
"Fun Experience, Meager Pay."
Pros: Working in communications can be a dynamic experience. Project management, special events, media relations and creative promotions can provide a pleasant change of pace and relief from rigid working environment.
Cons: PR may offer the occasional thrill, but it's not a particularly high-paying career option -- or one that provides easy upward mobility. Some might also consider the workload too heavy for the financial return. You really have to love what you do.

Communications Specialist in Waco:
"Email Campaigns, Marketing, Social Media And Blogging"
Pros: There is very little oversight in my position. They are open to new ideas, and I very rarely have anyone say "no" to my ideas. I'm very self-sufficient so I don't require a lot of hand-holding. I have access to several great mentors in the organization, both within my department and outside of it. I have a great range of projects and new items to work on, and they are sending me to conference just by myself.
Cons: There is almost no feedback. I wish that we had an annual performance review. The pay scale is atrocious, and the stress level is high in this building. Since I've been here more than 30 people have left, most of them have been fired. While, my job is very different from theirs you can still feel the pressure. While I have a wide variety of work, which prevents boredom, it also creates additional anxiety and stress. I am also much better at my job than my supervisor is at hers which seems to make her uncomfortable. While I deliberately try not to upstage her, she seems to hold it against me from time-to-time.

Related Job Salaries

United States (change)

Experience Affects Communications Specialist Salaries




National Average
$46,000


Skills That Affect Communications Specialist Salaries



Editing
up arrow 3%

Copywriting
up arrow 2%

Technical Writing
up arrow 1%

Web Content Management
0%

National Average
$46,000

Marketing Communications
up arrow 1%

Media / Public Relations
up arrow 1%

Microsoft Word
up arrow 1%

HTML
up arrow 2%

Graphic Design
up arrow 3%

Adobe InDesign
up arrow 3%

Microsoft Office
up arrow 4%

Microsoft Excel
up arrow 4%


Job Satisfaction

Highly satisfied
Rated 4 out of 5
based on 426 votes.

Gender

Female
78 %
Male
22 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
4%
1-4 years
48%
5-9 years
28%
10-19 years
15%
20 years or more
6%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits Medical: 88% dental benefits Dental: 78%
vision benefits Vision: 63% employee benefits None: 10%
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