What am I worth?
Get a free salary report »
What should I pay?
Pay the right way »

Journalist Salary

Journalists aren't exactly in the most profitable line of business; these folks earn a belt-tightening average of $38K annually. Career duration is the biggest factor affecting pay for this group, followed by geography. Women make up a slight majority of Journalists (51 percent) survey respondents. Medical benefits are awarded to a strong majority, and a little over a half earn dental coverage. Job satisfaction for Journalists is high. The figures in this rundown are based on the results of PayScale's salary questionnaire.

$23,882 - $71,598
(Median)
$24K
$38K
$72K
MEDIAN: $38,395
10%
50%
90%

Add this chart to your site: 640px    300px

$9.74 - $26.96
(Median)
$9
$14
$27
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
$23,882 - $71,598  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $5,960  
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).
)
$22,570 - $70,943  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 16 May 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 476
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
$9.74 - $26.96  
   
Overtime
$9.79 - $51.71  
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 - $5,960  
   
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).
)
$22,570 - $70,943  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 16 May 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 115
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 49 percent, 22 percent, and 18 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. The majority of those who know Editing also know Technical Writing.

Pay by Experience Level for Journalist

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


Journalists generally obtain higher compensation for more plentiful past experience. Average salaries for inexperienced employees average out to around $32K, but folks who have five to 10 years of experience earn a higher median of $42K. People with 10 to 20 years of experience make an average of about $57K in this role. Journalists who surpass 20 years on the job report pay that isn't as high as one would expect; the median compensation for this crowd sits around $62K.

Pay Difference by Location


For Journalists, busy Washington offers a higher-than-average pay rate, 40 percent above the national average. Journalists can also look forward to large paychecks in cities like New York (+26 percent), San Francisco (+20 percent), Chicago (+14 percent), and Los Angeles (+9 percent). Trailing the national average by 18 percent, Atlanta is the market with the smallest paychecks. Not at the bottom but still paying below the median are employers in Boston and Seattle (5 percent less).

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 49%

Media / Public Relations
up arrow 22%

Social Media Marketing
up arrow 18%


writing
up arrow 10%

up arrow 6%

Online Research
0%

National Average
$37,000

Video Editing
up arrow 2%


Reporting
up arrow 10%

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
51 %
Male
49 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
8%
1-4 years
50%
5-9 years
21%
10-19 years
12%
20 years or more
9%

Common Health Benefits

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