Journalist Salary

Those pursuing careers as Journalists in the United States may have to make do with less; average incomes for people in this area hover around only $38K per year. Experience level and the particular city each impact pay for this group, with the former having the largest influence. Men are slightly outnumbered by their female counterparts who answered the questionnaire, who make up a slight majority at 52 percent. Not all workers are lucky enough to have benefits; in fact, nearly one in five are without coverage. Medical insurance is claimed by a fair number and dental insurance is reported by a little more than half. Most Journalists like their work and job satisfaction is high. This report is based on responses to the PayScale salary survey.

$23,928 - $71,264

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$9.72 - $27.06

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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$24K$48K$72K
Salary
$23,928 - $71,264  
   
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).
)
$22,685 - $70,712  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 18 Jul 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 512
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$17$34$51
Hourly Rate
$9.72 - $27.06  
   
Overtime
$9.97 - $50.72  
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$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).
)
$22,685 - $70,712  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 18 Jul 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 124
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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.

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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.

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Popular Skills for Journalist


Survey takers working as Journalists report using a large range of professional skills. 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 50 percent, 23 percent, and 18 percent, respectively. Those listing Social Media Optimization as a skill should be prepared for drastically lower pay. Photography and Video Editing also typically command lower compensation. Those proficient in Editing are, more often than not, also skilled in Technical Writing.

Pay by Experience Level for Journalist

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


Journalists with a lot of experience tend to enjoy higher earnings. Salaries of relatively inexperienced workers fall in the neighborhood of $32K, but folks who have racked up five to 10 years see a notably higher median of $42K. Journalists claiming one to two decades of experience make an estimated median of $53K. Journalists with more than 20 years of experience report incomes that are only modestly higher; the median for these old hands hovers around $61K.

Pay Difference by Location


For Journalists, busy Washington offers a higher-than-average pay rate, 56 percent above the national average. Journalists will also find cushy salaries in New York (+26 percent), San Francisco (+21 percent), San Diego (+13 percent), and Chicago (+11 percent). The lowest-paying market is Atlanta, which sits 18 percent below the national average. Workers in Boston and Seattle earn salaries that trail the national average for those in this profession (15 percent less and 4 percent less, respectively).

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Experience Affects Journalist Salaries




National Average
$37,000


Skills That Affect Journalist Salaries

Research Analysis
up arrow 50%

Media / Public Relations
up arrow 23%

Social Media Marketing
up arrow 18%

writing
up arrow 12%


up arrow 5%

Online Research
0%

National Average
$37,000


Reporting
up arrow 10%

Video Editing
up arrow 11%

Photography
up arrow 19%

Social Media Optimization
up arrow 22%

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
8%
1-4 years
49%
5-9 years
20%
10-19 years
12%
20 years or more
10%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits Medical: 78% dental benefits Dental: 53%
vision benefits Vision: 35% employee benefits None: 20%
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