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.

$25,039 - $71,834
$25K
$40K
$72K
MEDIAN: $39,794
10%
50%
90%

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$9.92 - $24.65
$9
$15
$25
MEDIAN: $14.00
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
$25,039 - $71,834  
   
Bonus
$350.00 - $9,000  
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).
)
$23,910 - $70,357  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 18 Jan 2017 | Individuals Reporting: 600
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
$9.92 - $24.65  
   
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
$350.00 - $9,000  
   
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).
)
$23,910 - $70,357  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 18 Jan 2017 | Individuals Reporting: 139

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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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


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

National Average: $38,247

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

Related Job Salaries

Key Stats for Journalist

Gender

Female
52 %
Male
48 %

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 45 votes.
Less than 1 year
10%
1-4 years
49%
5-9 years
18%
10-19 years
13%
20 years or more
10%
Location:
Years in Fields/Career:
United States (change)

Experience Affects Journalist Salaries




National Average
$38,000


Skills That Affect Journalist Salaries

Media / Public Relations
up arrow 18%

Social Media Marketing
up arrow 7%


Research Analysis
up arrow 1%

National Average
$38,000




up arrow 4%

Reporting
up arrow 8%

writing
up arrow 10%

Product Photography
up arrow 12%

Adobe Photoshop
up arrow 20%

Social Media Optimization
up arrow 22%

Photography
up arrow 29%

Job Satisfaction

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

Gender

Female
52 %
Male
48 %

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: 73%
dental benefits
Dental: 52%
vision benefits
Vision: 38%
dental benefits
None: 24%
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