Journalist Salary

Journalists in the United States can expect only a modest salary, with average pay of just $40K annually. Residence is the biggest factor affecting pay for this group, followed by experience level. The majority of workers are highly satisfied with their job. Women Journalists who took the survey just slightly outnumber men. Close to one-fourth of professionals in this line of work do not receive benefits; however, a strong majority report medical coverage and over one-half claim dental coverage as well. This report is based on answers to PayScale's salary questionnaire.

$25,105 - $72,092
$25K
$40K
$72K
MEDIAN: $39,852
10%
50%
90%

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$9.89 - $24.60
$9
$15
$25
MEDIAN: $14.57
10%
50%
90%

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National Salary Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
)
$0$25K$50K$75K
Salary
$25,105 - $72,092  
   
Bonus
$306.39 - $9,933  
Profit Sharing
$1,000  
Commission
$4,038  
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).
)
$23,918 - $70,796  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 25 Mar 2017 | Individuals Reporting: 578
National Hourly Rate Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
)
$0$15$30$45
Hourly Rate
$9.89 - $24.60  
   
Hourly Tips
$0.48  
Overtime
$8.14 - $43.17  
National Annualized Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
)
$0$30K$60K$90K
Bonus
$306.39 - $9,933  
   
Commission
$4,038  
Profit Sharing
$1,000  
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).
)
$23,918 - $70,796  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 25 Mar 2017 | Individuals Reporting: 137

Find Out Exactly What You Should Be Paid

United States (change)

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Job Description for Journalist

A journalist carries out research to create news articles. These news articles may be published online or in a newspaper or a magazine. In other cases, the journalist’s stories will be broadcast on television or radio. The journalist will be responsible for looking for articles that are relevant and will grip the audience’s attention.

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Journalist Tasks

  • Collect and interpret facts about news events through interviews, investigations, and observation.
  • Work with news editor and reporters to generate new content.
  • Review and edit copy.
  • Report and write stories for newspapers, magazines, radio, television, or the internet.

Common Career Paths for Journalist


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As Journalists make advancements in their career path to positions such as Communications Specialist, their salaries may climb. Communications Specialists make $45K annually on average.

Journalist Job Listings

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Popular Skills for Journalist


Survey respondents exploit a significant toolbox of skills in their work. Most notably, skills in Media / Public Relations, Research Analysis, Social Media Marketing, and Video Editing are correlated to pay that is above average, with boosts between 7 percent and 18 percent. Those listing Photography as a skill should be prepared for drastically lower pay. Social Media Optimization and Adobe Photoshop also typically command lower compensation. For most people, competency in Editing indicates knowledge of Technical Writing.

Pay by Experience Level for Journalist

Pay by Experience for a Journalist has a positive trend. An entry-level Journalist with less than 5 years of experience can expect to earn an average total compensation of $35,000 based on 490 salaries provided by anonymous users. Average total compensation includes tips, bonus, and overtime pay. A Journalist with mid-career experience which includes employees with 5 to 10 years of experience can expect to earn an average total compensation of $43,000 based on 177 salaries. An experienced Journalist which includes employees with 10 to 20 years of experience can expect to earn an average total compensation of $51,000 based on 119 salaries. A Journalist with late-career experience which includes employees with greater than 20 years of experience can expect to earn an average total compensation of $54,000 based on 72 salaries.

Pay Difference by Location

National Average: $38,226

Larger city markers indicate a job is popular in that location.

For Journalists, San Francisco provides a pay rate that is 77 percent greater than the national average. Journalists can also look forward to large paychecks in cities like Washington (+58 percent), San Diego (+32 percent), New York (+28 percent), and Atlanta (+20 percent). Place of residence plays a huge part in a Journalist's salary, with Charlotte Journalists earning salaries that are 33 percent less than the national average. Two other places where employers offer below-median salaries are Dallas (17 percent less) and Austin (15 percent less).

Related Job Salaries

Key Stats for Journalist

Gender

Female
54 %
Male
46 %

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 45 votes.
Less than 1 year
11%
1-4 years
49%
5-9 years
18%
10-19 years
12%
20 years or more
10%
Location:
Years in Fields/Career:
United States (change)

Experience Affects Journalist Salaries

▲42%

▲33%

▲14%

National Average
$38,000

▼9%

Skills That Affect Journalist Salaries

Media / Public Relations
▲18%

Research Analysis
▲10%

Social Media Marketing
▲7%


National Average
$38,000



▼4%


Reporting
▼7%

▼11%

Product Photography
▼11%

Adobe Photoshop
▼20%

Social Media Optimization
▼23%

Photography
▼29%

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 45 votes.

Gender

Female
54 %
Male
46 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
11%
1-4 years
49%
5-9 years
18%
10-19 years
12%
20 years or more
10%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits
Medical: 71%
dental benefits
Dental: 52%
vision benefits
Vision: 37%
no benefits
None: 25%
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