Pay for Journalists in the United States is very modest at just $40K per year. Residence and career length each impact pay for this group, with the former having the largest influence. Work is enjoyable for Journalists, who typically claim high levels of job satisfaction. Women Journalists who took the survey just slightly outnumber men. While some workers in this profession — nearly one-fourth — do not have any health coverage, a fair number do receive medical benefits and a little over a half have dental insurance. The figures in this overview were provided by individuals who took PayScale's salary questionnaire.
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.Read More...
It may be a necessary process to pitch the story idea to management prior to the research being carried out. The journalist should look for leads by gathering tips and by looking at what other news outlets have published. Sometimes, the journalist may decide to carry out interviews to make the news stories more relevant. In this case, it will be necessary to look for people related to the story, such as eye witnesses or family members of the people involved. Securing an interview may be difficult, and it may require some persuasion for people to agree to be a part of an interview. In some jobs, the journalist may be required to come up with a minimum amount of articles within a certain period of time. Some journalists will also appear on television, in order to personally report the stories. Others may carry out videographer duties. Strong written and verbal communication skills are necessary to be able to write and present stories in a coherent and gripping manner.
A bachelor’s degree in journalism, communications, or a similar field is often required. Some jobs will require experience, while others will offer entry-level or internship positions.
- 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.
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Popular Skills for Journalist
Journalists seem to wield many skills on the job. Most notably, skills in Media / Public Relations, Social Media Marketing, Video Editing, and Research Analysis are correlated to pay that is above average. 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
Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.
Journalists who reported more years of relevant experience also reported higher earnings. Those in the early stages of their career can expect to make around $35K; however, individuals with five to 10 years of experience bring in $43K on average — a distinctly larger sum. On average, Journalists make $51K following one to two decades on the job. Journalists who have stuck around for more than two decades see earnings that are only slightly higher than those of folks who have worked for 10 to 20 years; the more senior group makes around $56K on average.
Pay Difference by Location
With a pay rate for Journalists that is 58 percent greater than the national average, Washington offers a comfortable salary for those in this profession. Journalists will also find cushy salaries in San Diego (+57 percent), San Francisco (+31 percent), Atlanta (+20 percent), and New York (+18 percent). Journalists' salaries are heavily influenced by location — Journalists in Charlotte bring in salaries that are 33 percent lower than the national average. Not at the bottom but still paying below the median are employers in Dallas and Austin (17 percent lower and 15 percent lower, respectively).
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Key Stats for Journalist
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