Journalist Salary

Journalists in the United States are not likely to strike it rich; they only make around $39K per year on average. Career duration and the particular city each impact pay for this group, with the former having the largest influence. Most Journalists report high levels of job satisfaction. Women make up a slight majority of Journalists (52 percent) survey respondents. A fair number enjoy medical while more than half get dental coverage. Vision coverage is also available to more than a third. This snapshot results from replies to PayScale's salary survey.

$23,935 - $71,506
(Median)
$24K
$39K
$72K
MEDIAN: $38,513
10%
50%
90%

Add this chart to your site: 640px    300px

$9.79 - $27.92
(Median)
$9
$15
$28
MEDIAN: $14.00
10%
50%
90%

Add this chart to your site: 640px    300px

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
$23,935 - $71,506  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $6,040  
Profit Sharing
$450.00 - $3,028  
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).
)
$22,946 - $71,074  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 20 Jun 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 493
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$18$36$54
Hourly Rate
$9.79 - $27.92  
   
Overtime
$10.00 - $51.20  
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$50K$100K$150K
Bonus
$0.00 - $6,040  
   
Profit Sharing
$450.00 - $3,028  
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).
)
$22,946 - $71,074  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 20 Jun 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 119
United States (change)

Find Out Exactly What You Should Be Paid

United States (change)


Comp Managers: Start Here »

Job Description for Journalist

A journalist is an individual hired to collect and interpret facts about various events and news stories. This may involve conducting interviews and investigations, and using personal observation. Journalists are currently employed by a magazine or newspaper company, both national as well as local, but may also be hired for an online news site or other news supplier. Many journalists work directly under a boss and news editor who oversee the columns of the magazine, paper, or website, but some journalists may also work as freelancers and supply their work on an as-needed basis.

Read More...

Journalist Tasks

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

Journalist Job Listings

Search for more jobs:

Popular Skills for Journalist


Survey respondents exploit a significant toolbox of skills in their work. Most notably, facility with Research Analysis, Media / Public Relations, and Social Media Marketing are correlated to pay that is significantly above average, leading to increases of 48 percent, 21 percent, and 16 percent, respectively. Those listing Social Media Optimization as a skill should be prepared for drastically lower pay. Photography and Reporting also typically command lower compensation. Those familiar with Editing also tend to know Technical Writing.

Pay by Experience Level for Journalist

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


In general, experience and pay appear to be strongly linked; those with more experience usually bring in higher incomes. People who have worked for fewer than five years bring home $32K on average. Median compensation in the five-to-10 year group, however, is higher at approximately $42K. Journalists bring in $54K after working for 10 to 20 years. More than 20 years of experience mean a somewhat bigger median paycheck of $62K, but it's not much more than what less experienced people make.

Pay Difference by Location


For Journalists, busy Washington offers a higher-than-average pay rate, 39 percent above the national average. Journalists will also find cushy salaries in New York (+24 percent), San Francisco (+19 percent), Los Angeles (+14 percent), and Chicago (+13 percent). Trailing the national average by 19 percent, Atlanta is the market with the smallest paychecks. Workers in Boston and Seattle earn salaries that trail the national average for those in this profession (7 percent less and 6 percent less, respectively).

Related Job Salaries

United States (change)

Find Out Exactly What You Should Be Paid

United States (change)


Comp Managers: Start Here »

Experience Affects Journalist Salaries




National Average
$37,000


Skills That Affect Journalist Salaries

Research Analysis
up arrow 48%

Media / Public Relations
up arrow 21%

Social Media Marketing
up arrow 16%

writing
up arrow 11%


up arrow 5%

National Average
$37,000

Online Research
up arrow 1%

Video Editing
up arrow 4%


Reporting
up arrow 16%

Photography
up arrow 20%

Social Media Optimization
up arrow 23%

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 74 votes.

Gender

Female
52 %
Male
48 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
7%
1-4 years
49%
5-9 years
22%
10-19 years
13%
20 years or more
9%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits Medical: 79% dental benefits Dental: 53%
vision benefits Vision: 35% employee benefits None: 20%
ADVERTISEMENT