Journalist Salary

Journalists in the United States can expect only a modest salary, with average pay of just $40K per year. Residence and career duration each impact pay for this group, with the former having the largest influence. Close to one-fourth of professionals in this line of work do not receive benefits; however, a fair number report medical coverage and around half claim dental coverage as well. Most Journalists report high levels of job satisfaction. Women Journalists who took the survey just slightly outnumber men. The data in this summary comes from the PayScale salary survey.

$24,793 - $71,762
$25K
$40K
$72K
MEDIAN: $39,688
10%
50%
90%

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$9.91 - $24.70
$9
$14
$25
MEDIAN: $14.45
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$24K$48K$72K
Salary
$24,793 - $71,762  
   
Bonus
$301.34 - $9,863  
Profit Sharing
$1,280  
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).
)
$23,506 - $70,345  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 4 May 2017 | Individuals Reporting: 579
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$14$28$42
Hourly Rate
$9.91 - $24.70  
   
Hourly Tips
$1.46  
Overtime
$8.29 - $40.22  
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$28K$56K$84K
Bonus
$301.34 - $9,863  
   
Commission
$4,038  
Profit Sharing
$1,280  
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).
)
$23,506 - $70,345  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 4 May 2017 | Individuals Reporting: 150

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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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Journalists may enjoy a small increase in earnings as they climb the career ladder to roles like Communications Specialist, which pays $45K on average annually.

Journalist Job Listings

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Popular Skills for Journalist


Survey results imply that Journalists deploy a substantial tool kit of skills at 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 8 percent and 19 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. Most people familiar with Editing also know 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: $37,795

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

Surpassing the national average by 79 percent, Journalists in San Francisco receive some of the highest pay in the country. Journalists will also find cushy salaries in Washington (+60 percent), San Diego (+34 percent), New York (+29 percent), and Atlanta (+22 percent). Journalists in Charlotte make 33 percent less than the national average, proving that location is a major factor in pay. Not at the bottom but still paying below the median are employers in Dallas and Austin (16 percent lower and 14 percent lower, respectively).

Related Job Salaries

Key Stats for Journalist

Gender

Female
54 %
Male
46 %

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 49 votes.
Less than 1 year
10%
1-4 years
49%
5-9 years
18%
10-19 years
13%
20 years or more
10%
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Location:
Years in Fields/Career:
United States (change)

Experience Affects Journalist Salaries

▲44%

▲34%

▲15%

National Average
$38,000

▼8%

Skills That Affect Journalist Salaries

Media / Public Relations
▲19%

Research Analysis
▲11%

Social Media Marketing
▲8%



National Average
$38,000


▼3%


Reporting
▼6%

▼10%

Product Photography
▼10%

Adobe Photoshop
▼19%

Social Media Optimization
▼22%

Photography
▼28%

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 49 votes.

Gender

Female
54 %
Male
46 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
10%
1-4 years
49%
5-9 years
18%
10-19 years
13%
20 years or more
10%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits
Medical: 70%
dental benefits
Dental: 50%
vision benefits
Vision: 37%
no benefits
None: 26%
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